1 Samuel 25:32-35
Then David said to Abigail, “Blessed be the LORD God of Israel, who sent you this day to meet me, and blessed be your discernment, and blessed be you, who have kept me this day from bloodshed and from avenging myself by my own hand. Nevertheless, as the LORD God of Israel lives, who has restrained me from harming you, unless you had come quickly to meet me, surely there would not have been left to Nabal until the morning light as much as one male.” So David received from her hand what she had brought him and said to her, “Go up to your house in peace. See, I have listened to you and granted your request.”
David is an interesting kind of leader. We are given insight into both his toughness and his willingness to show kindness. Through it all David appears to want to be consistent in how he responds to God.
1 Samuel 26:9-12
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?” David also said, “As the LORD lives, surely the LORD will strike him, or his day will come that he dies, or he will go down into battle and perish. The LORD forbid that I should stretch out my hand against the LORD’S anointed; but now please take the spear that is at his head and the jug of water, and let us go.” So David took the spear and the jug of water from beside Saul’s head, and they went away, but no one saw or knew it, nor did any awake, for they were all asleep, because a sound sleep from the LORD had fallen on them.
David was über-careful not to usurp any of God’s delegated authority. While Saul was seeking to kill David, David was intent on sparing his life. It is interesting that “a sound sleep” came from the Lord (God of the Angel-armies). The creativity of God is really quite stunning. His measured power is apparent throughout the entire God Story.
1 Samuel 27:11-12
David did not leave a man or a woman alive to bring to Gath, saying, “Otherwise they will tell about us, saying, ‘So has David done and so has been his practice all the time he has lived in the country of the Philistines.” So Achish believed David, saying, “He has surely made himself odious among his people Israel; therefore he will become my servant forever.”
While David did not appear to search for the upper hand intentionally, he seemed to be willing to make use of any and every circumstance to achieve God’s victory. This is helpful to me as I seek a right-life in such a messed up world.
1 Samuel 28:5-7
When Saul saw the camp of the Philistines, he was afraid and his heart trembled greatly. When Saul inquired of the LORD, the LORD did not answer him, either by dreams or by Urim or by prophets. Then Saul said to his servants, “Seek for me a woman who is a medium, that I may go to her and inquire of her.” And his servants said to him, “Behold, there is a woman who is a medium at En-dor.”
When things are intense we often find our true colors. It is so hard to wait on God – no matter what the outcome may be. This represents Saul’s sliding heart. It is so sad.
1 Samuel 29:9-11
But Achish replied to David, “I know that you are pleasing in my sight, like an angel of God; nevertheless the commanders of the Philistines have said, ‘He must not go up with us to the battle.’ Now then arise early in the morning with the servants of your lord who have come with you, and as soon as you have arisen early in the morning and have light, depart.” So David arose early, he and his men, to depart in the morning to return to the land of the Philistines. And the Philistines went up to Jezreel.
It is interesting how David’s entire life was intertwined with the Philistines and their armies. From his defeat of the giant Goliath and throughout his life, the Philistines were a thorn in his side and a mechanism for God’s displayed power. And God’s favor was not lost upon King David.
1 Samuel 30:16-18
When he had brought him down, behold, they were spread over all the land, eating and drinking and dancing because of all the great spoil that they had taken from the land of the Philistines and from the land of Judah. David slaughtered them from the twilight until the evening of the next day; and not a man of them escaped, except four hundred young men who rode on camels and fled. So David recovered all that the Amalekites had taken, and rescued his two wives.
As odious as the Philistines were, the Amalekites were worse. This is hard for us to comprehend on several levels. We are all, of course, falling short of the glory of God. But there appear to be different degrees of evil. Can you see it in our world? How does it manifest itself?
1 Samuel 31:1-5
Now the Philistines were fighting against Israel, and the men of Israel fled from before the Philistines and fell slain on Mount Gilboa. The Philistines overtook Saul and his sons; and the Philistines killed Jonathan and Abinadab and Malchi-shua the sons of Saul. The battle went heavily against Saul, and the archers hit him; and he was badly wounded by the archers. Then Saul said to his armor bearer, “Draw your sword and pierce me through with it, otherwise these uncircumcised will come and pierce me through and make sport of me.” But his armor bearer would not, for he was greatly afraid. So Saul took his sword and fell on it. When his armor bearer saw that Saul was dead, he also fell on his sword and died with him.
The demise of Saul is both predicable and sad. The fact that Jonathan, David’s friend, fell with his father is interesting. Just another backstory we will be privy to in the Kingdom of Heaven. Hope you enjoyed these readings from 1 Samuel. We will begin 2nd Samuel next week!