Summary: The significant part of a person's story is how God is able to work through events & experiences to accomplish His purpose in & for our lives. David chooses to extend the mercy & grace that he desires God to extend to him. This story should inspire us to
1 SAMUEL 26:13- 25 [The Life of David]
The most significant part of a person's story is how God is able to work through events and experiences to accomplish His purpose in and for our lives. First Samuel 26 tells of another incident in which David spared Saul's life. David chooses to extend the mercy and grace that he desires God to extend to him (CIT). This Scripture story should inspire us to extend mercy and grace to those we deal with each day. Such godliness requires us to trust God to control life instead of us trying to control life and life's circumstances. Like David, we must trust that God is in control of our life.
[In chapter 25, David is insulted by Nabal, a foolish descendant of Caleb, who does not live up to his heritage in the least. David sets out fully intending to kill not only Nabal, but to take the lives of every male in his household. Only because of the wise, self-sacrificing intervention of Abigail, Nabal's wife, does David turn from hot-headed vengeance. In this encounter, Abigail assures David he will become the next king, and that leaving pay-back to God is the best course of action. David agrees, and these two part peacefully.]
Chapter 26 is another spiritual high point for David. Once again, Saul is in pursuit of him. David learns of Saul's presence and sends out scouts, who pinpoint the exact location of their camp. David and his nephew Abishai then enter the camp as the soldiers of Saul sleep the deep sleep of divine sedation (26:12). David does not allow Abishai to kill Saul, as he clearly intends to do (26:8-9, 15). Instead, only Saul's spear and water container are taken, as proof of how close they were to the king, yet unhindered by any of Saul's men.
Once a safe distance away David begins a confrontation by rebuking Abner, and then the rest of the soldiers with Saul for allowing an assassin to approach their king. This is a crime worthy of death, David informs them it was he who saved the king's life, not any of them. How can it be, David proposes, that the one who saves the king is hunted as though an assassin[, while those worthy of death because they did not protect their king are the ones who seek his life]?
I. A DIVINE PROTECTION, 26:9-12.
II. A DISTANT PRODDING, 26:13–16.
III. A DRIVING PURSUIT, 18-20.
IV. A DELIVERANCE PLEADED / IMPLORED, 26:21–25.
Let's go over a little BACKGROUND. The last time David encountered Saul, Saul said, "David, I've been wrong in chasing you. You're a bigger and better man that I am" (24:16–22). Our text indicates that, although David knew Saul's army was coming, he didn't believe Saul himself was leading the charge. Evidently, David believed Saul meant what he said at En-gedi—until his scouts confirmed the worst. Saul was not a man of his word. Actions reveal the truth or falseness of man's professions.
It hadn't take much for Saul to take up the chase again. This time it was news from the Calebites in the Wilderness of Zith that David was "hiding in the hill of Hachilah" (v. 1). Once again Saul learned from the Ziphites about David's place of hiding, so the king and 3,000 chosen men went [to the hill of Hakilah (23:19) in the Desert of Ziph] to search for David. Saul slept in the center of his camp, with 3,000 of his special forces protecting him.
I. A DIVINE PROTECTION, 26: 9-12.
[A dictator says, "Go." A leader says, "Let's go." David is a true leader. Jesus, our Greater than David, neither asks us to go where He hasn't gone before (Hebrews 4:15), nor where He won't go with us (Matthew 28:20).]
Under normal circumstances, this would have been considered a suicide mission. Again the Lord miraculously delivered His chosen one. One of David's most courageous soldiers, Abishai, volunteered to accompany David into the camp. Abishai, was a skilled soldier and the brother of Joab (26:6; 2 Sam. 2:24; 10:14; 18:12; 21:17; 23:18). They were so close to the sleeping king that David retrieved both his spear and water jug (1 Sam. 26:5-12).
This is at least the second time David has the opportunity to get rid of his enemy. But it wasn't an opportunity. It was a test for David to prove whether he would take things into his own hands or wait upon the Lord. Again David dared not harm the Lord‘s anointed (vv. 9, 11, 23; 24:6, 10).
David's faithful companion is about to kill Saul when David stops him in verse 9. "But David said to Abishai, "Do not destroy him, for who can stretch out his hand against the Lord's anointed and be without guilt?"