My camp sentry never sleeps...so I can't either!

BEEN THERE DONE THAT

The Ziphites can’t stand to see David get away, so they temp Saul to renew his witch hunt.  Everyone else seems aware that David was anointed by Samuel, but denial runs deep.

And the Ziphites came unto Saul to Gibeah, saying, Doth not David hide himself in the hill of Hachilah, which is before Jeshimon?  Then Saul arose, and went down to the wilderness of Ziph, having three thousand chosen men of Israel with him, to seek David in the wilderness of Ziph.  And Saul pitched in the hill of Hachilah, which is before Jeshimon, by the way. But David abode in the wilderness, and he saw that Saul came after him into the wilderness.  David therefore sent out spies, and understood that Saul was come in very deed.  1 Samuel 26:1-4

David doesn’t need a tattle-tale because God gives him awareness of Saul’s approach.  He sends men out to scout the king’s location so he can make a stealthy approach of his own.  Again I would mention that this kind of premonition is real and ongoing today.  A relationship with the Trinity God makes you Army of the Lord strong.

And David arose, and came to the place where Saul had pitched: and David beheld the place where Saul lay, and Abner the son of Ner, the captain of his host: and Saul lay in the trench, and the people pitched round about him.  Then answered David and said to Ahimelech the Hittite, and to Abishai the son of Zeruiah, brother to Joab, saying, Who will go down with me to Saul to the camp? And Abishai said, I will go down with thee.  So David and Abishai came to the people by night: and, behold, Saul lay sleeping within the trench, and his spear stuck in the ground at his bolster: but Abner and the people lay round about him.  1 Samuel 26:5-7

The familiar situation appears again as David finds Saul unguarded again.  Again his friends urge vengeance.

Then said Abishai to David, God hath delivered thine enemy into thine hand this day: now therefore let me smite him, I pray thee, with the spear even to the earth at once, and I will not smite him the second time.  And David said to Abishai, Destroy him not: for who can stretch forth his hand against the LORD’s anointed, and be guiltless?  David said furthermore, As the LORD liveth, the LORD shall smite him; or his day shall come to die; or he shall descend into battle, and perish.  The LORD forbid that I should stretch forth mine hand against the LORD’s anointed: but, I pray thee, take thou now the spear that is at his bolster, and the cruse of water, and let us go.  1 Samuel 26:8-11

The temptation is the same and so is David’s response.  He trusts God to be the judge, and refrains from doing Saul harm.  Perhaps a memory prompts him to take the spear he has dodged so often before though!

So David took the spear and the cruse of water from Saul’s bolster; and they gat them away, and no man saw it, nor knew it, neither awaked: for they were all asleep; because a deep sleep from the LORD was fallen upon them.  Then David went over to the other side, and stood on the top of an hill afar off; a great space being between them:  And David cried to the people, and to Abner the son of Ner, saying, Answerest thou not, Abner? Then Abner answered and said, Who art thou that criest to the king?  And David said to Abner, Art not thou a valiant man? and who is like to thee in Israel? wherefore then hast thou not kept thy lord the king? for there came one of the people in to destroy the king thy lord.  This thing is not good that thou hast done. As the LORD liveth, ye are worthy to die, because ye have not kept your master, the LORD’s anointed. And now see where the king’s spear is, and the cruse of water that was at his bolster.  1 Samuel 26:12-16

We see that God influenced the sleep on this camp, but Abner gets teased for the trick.  Taking personal items again proves the danger had come to him. 

And Saul knew David’s voice, and said, Is this thy voice, my son David? And David said, It is my voice, my lord, O king.  And he said, Wherefore doth my lord thus pursue after his servant? for what have I done? or what evil is in mine hand?  Now therefore, I pray thee, let my lord the king hear the words of his servant. If the LORD have stirred thee up against me, let him accept an offering: but if they be the children of men, cursed be they before the LORD; for they have driven me out this day from abiding in the inheritance of the LORD, saying, Go, serve other gods.  Now therefore, let not my blood fall to the earth before the face of the LORD: for the king of Israel is come out to seek a flea, as when one doth hunt a partridge in the mountains.  1 Samuel 26:17-20

The children of men indeed provoked this hunt, and Ziph is their city.  These are David’s fellow Jews who have rejected him without cause.  By driving him to exile they take him from the faith of Israel. 

Then said Saul, I have sinned: return, my son David: for I will no more do thee harm, because my soul was precious in thine eyes this day: behold, I have played the fool, and have erred exceedingly.  And David answered and said, Behold the king’s spear! and let one of the young men come over and fetch it.  The LORD render to every man his righteousness and his faithfulness; for the LORD delivered thee into my hand to day, but I would not stretch forth mine hand against the LORD’s anointed.  And, behold, as thy life was much set by this day in mine eyes, so let my life be much set by in the eyes of the LORD, and let him deliver me out of all tribulation.  Then Saul said to David, Blessed be thou, my son David: thou shalt both do great things, and also shalt still prevail. So David went on his way, and Saul returned to his place.  1 Samuel 26:21-25

Now Saul has seen his entire camp sleep through David’s approach, and he must know God has a hand in this, right?  David is not confident that Saul really gets it.

And David said in his heart, I shall now perish one day by the hand of Saul: there is nothing better for me than that I should speedily escape into the land of the Philistines; and Saul shall despair of me, to seek me any more in any coast of Israel: so shall I escape out of his hand.  And David arose, and he passed over with the six hundred men that were with him unto Achish, the son of Maoch, king of Gath.  And David dwelt with Achish at Gath, he and his men, every man with his household, even David with his two wives, Ahinoam the Jezreelitess, and Abigail the Carmelitess, Nabal’s wife.  1 Samuel 27:1-3

Now remember, David tried to find shelter with Achish before, and had to feign madness because he was known as a slayer of Philistines.  So how is going to live with the Philistine king now?  Especially since Goliath was the Philistine hero from Gath?  By this time David had a different reputation, as a fugitive from the king of Israel.  He finds a little more trust this time.  Even Saul thinks he has gone over to the enemy.

And it was told Saul that David was fled to Gath: and he sought no more again for him.  And David said unto Achish, If I have now found grace in thine eyes, let them give me a place in some town in the country, that I may dwell there: for why should thy servant dwell in the royal city with thee?  Then Achish gave him Ziklag that day: wherefore Ziklag pertaineth unto the kings of Judah unto this day.  And the time that David dwelt in the country of the Philistines was a full year and four months.  1 Samuel 27:4-7

So the Philistine king gave David a city that remained in Judean control after these events.  His enemies made him prosper!  He developed a plan to deceive the Philistines though.  There were enemies he could raid without turning against Israel.

And David and his men went up, and invaded the Geshurites, and the Gezrites, and the Amalekites: for those nations were of old the inhabitants of the land, as thou goest to Shur, even unto the land of Egypt.  And David smote the land, and left neither man nor woman alive, and took away the sheep, and the oxen, and the asses, and the camels, and the apparel, and returned, and came to Achish.  And Achish said, Whither have ye made a road to day? And David said, Against the south of Judah, and against the south of the Jerahmeelites, and against the south of the Kenites.  And David saved neither man nor woman alive, to bring tidings to Gath, saying, Lest they should tell on us, saying, So did David, and so will be his manner all the while he dwelleth in the country of the Philistines.  And Achish believed David, saying, He hath made his people Israel utterly to abhor him; therefore he shall be my servant for ever.  1 Samuel 27:7-12

David is still ready to play this Philistine king for a fool.  He raided nations not targeted by the Philistines, and left no witnesses to betray him to the Philistines.  He claimed to have been raiding the Jews, but rather raided the Jew’s enemies.  So Achish figured him to be a traitor to Israel, and a safe ally to have in his camp.  The mad man is back.

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