David Spared Saul Again

21 Then Saul confessed, “I have sinned. Come back home, my son, and I will no longer try to harm you, for you valued my life today. I have been a fool and very, very wrong.”
1 Samuel 26:21 (NLT)

In the previous articles, we have seen how Saul tried to hunt David down. In his operation, Saul found himself trapped by David. David spared him. Saul repented and returned to his palace. In his mind, he knew David had no intention to take his throne. However, his heart was still very insecure. All it took was for someone to stir up his insecurity and he wanted to kill David again.

1 Now some men from Ziph came to Saul at Gibeah to tell him, “David is hiding on the hill of Hakilah, which overlooks Jeshimon.”
2 So Saul took 3,000 of Israel’s elite troops and went to hunt him down in the wilderness of Ziph.
1 Samuel 26:1-2 (NLT)

At that time, David’s 400 followers had grown into 600 courageous warriors. It was a great improvement in terms of quality and quantity. This tells us that David had never stop improving even though he was no longer a high ranking officer of the king’s army. However, he was still outnumbered by Saul’s 3,000 elite troops. The only way for David was to opt for guerrilla warfare, which relies on ambushes and avoid direct confrontation.

David had another advantage. He had the Lord’s blessing on him. He could never lose. The only way for him to lose was for he to give up himself. Yesterday, I received a comment from a lady who said she had been happily tithing but ended up being unemployed for a long time and her mother had cancer. She had since given up tithing and sowing. She considered God’s words on tithing and sowing to be fairy tales. I replied by telling her that there are setbacks in the real world. If she is to give up because of the setbacks she faced, her life will never change. The Bible has many stories on godly people who faced various setbacks. Despite that, they refused to give up and succeeded in overcoming them.

The same will happen to every Christian. The world that we are living in is full of setbacks. If you have been following the news, the once seemingly infallible mighty banks and insurance companies are facing bankruptcy. They need their governments to use tax payers’ money to bail them out. This incident tells us that if we are to rely on the world’s system for our prosperity, we are standing on shaky ground. We need to rely on God and not the world for our prosperity. The world’s economy can go up or down but if you are living in faith, your prosperity can only go up.

In David’s case, he was up against Saul’s best troops. They were the elite. Today’s term is “commandos”. How was David’s 600 men going to fight Saul’s 3,000 commandos? God helped him by putting Saul and his commandos into deep sleep. David and one man could just walked into Saul’s camp unopposed. He was in position to kill Saul and end his misery.

8 “God has surely handed your enemy over to you this time!” Abishai whispered to David. “Let me pin him to the ground with one thrust of the spear; I won’t need to strike twice!”
9 “No!” David said. “Don’t kill him. For who can remain innocent after attacking the Lord’s anointed one? 10 Surely the Lord will strike Saul down someday, or he will die of old age or in battle.
11 The Lord forbid that I should kill the one he has anointed! But take his spear and that jug of water beside his head, and then let’s get out of here!”
12 So David took the spear and jug of water that were near Saul’s head. Then he and Abishai got away without anyone seeing them or even waking up, because the Lord had put Saul’s men into a deep sleep.
1 Samuel 26:8-12 (NLT)

David still considered Saul to be God’s anointed. Killing Saul was the equivalent of dishonoring God. All he did was taking away Saul’s spear and jug. Despite the troubles he went through and all the unfairness life threw at him, David had not given up on God. Why was that so? He was already convinced beyond doubt that his God will deliver him. The last thing he wanted to do was to kill God’s anointed and dishonor God. This is the mark of true faith.

After he reached at a safe distance from the camp, David called out to Saul’s camp.

13 David climbed the hill opposite the camp until he was at a safe distance.
14 Then he shouted down to the soldiers and to Abner son of Ner, “Wake up, Abner!”
“Who is it?” Abner demanded.
15 “Well, Abner, you’re a great man, aren’t you?” David taunted. “Where in all Israel is there anyone as mighty? So why haven’t you guarded your master the king when someone came to kill him?
16 This isn’t good at all! I swear by the Lord that you and your men deserve to die, because you failed to protect your master, the Lord’s anointed! Look around! Where are the king’s spear and the jug of water that were beside his head?”
1 Samuel 26:13-16 (NLT)

Saul woke up.

17 Saul recognized David’s voice and called out, “Is that you, my son David?” And David replied, “Yes, my lord the king.
18 Why are you chasing me? What have I done? What is my crime?
19 But now let my lord the king listen to his servant. If the Lord has stirred you up against me, then let him accept my offering. But if this is simply a human scheme, then may those involved be cursed by the Lord. For they have driven me from my home, so I can no longer live among the Lord’s people, and they have said, ‘Go, worship pagan gods.’
20 Must I die on foreign soil, far from the presence of the Lord? Why has the king of Israel come out to search for a single flea? Why does he hunt me down like a partridge on the mountains?”
1 Samuel 26:17-20 (NLT)

Saul was again confronted with the truth. It was the truth he could not deny. His actions were irrational and based on the insecurity inside him. So, Saul repented again and tried to make up with David.

21 Then Saul confessed, “I have sinned. Come back home, my son, and I will no longer try to harm you, for you valued my life today. I have been a fool and very, very wrong.”
1 Samuel 26:21 (NLT)

By then, David must have realized that Saul was not the man of his words. Saul’s promises could be broken any time. Staying with Saul was the most dangerous thing to do. David returned the items he took, gave a goodbye message and left.

22 “Here is your spear, O king,” David replied. “Let one of your young men come over and get it.
23 The Lord gives his own reward for doing good and for being loyal, and I refused to kill you even when the Lord placed you in my power, for you are the Lord’s anointed one.
24 Now may the Lord value my life, even as I have valued yours today. May he rescue me from all my troubles.”
1 Samuel 26:22-24 (NLT)

The above words show us that David had been living by faith. He looked to the Lord for his reward and deliverance. No wonder he was so successful in his life. As mentioned earlier, if you choose to rely on the physical world for your success, you are on shaky ground. Nothing in this world is reliable. Once upon a time, multinational banks were considered the anchors of the world’s financial system. They were the biggest and the strongest companies around. Investing in them was the wisest thing to do. After all, how can you lose money in owning banks?

We see the truth today. Those banks have been falling like dominos. They resorted to begging their respective governments for funds. Those who had believed in those great and mighty banks, and invested heavily in them are now in a rude shock. If you happen to be one of them, it is not too late. Turn to God. He will deliver you and bring you prosperity. God will never go bankrupt. Living in faith is the best investment you can ever have.

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