David and Saul - 1 Samuel 26

David and Saul - 1 Samuel 26

Saul continually made attempts upon David’s life. In making a list I find:

It begins in 18:6-9, where Saul become jealous of David’s fame in battle.

·       Saul hurled a spear at him (18:10)

·       Saul requests 100 foreskins of Philistines as the price of marrying his daughter (18:20-25)

·       Saul sends assassins to slay David (19:8-14)

·       While David hid in Ramah, Saul sent agents to arrest him (19:18-21)

·       Saul orders Jonathan to bring David to him in order to have David executed (20:24-31)

·       David flees to Nob, and is pursued by Saul’s men who kill the priests (21:1-9)

·       Saul attempted to capture David in Keilah but again failed (23:9-14)

·       While David was hiding in the wilderness of Ziph, Saul again pursued him and attempted to capture him (23:26-29)

·       David flees to the area of Engedi, whereupon Saul takes 3000 men and pursues him (24:1-7)

·       David is reported to hide in the hill of Hachilah, and again Saul pursues him with 3000 men (26:1-5)

During this time, David had several opportunities to kill Saul. Amazingly, David refuses to take vengeance upon Saul, sparing his life only to be pursued yet again by Saul. When Saul is finally killed in battle, David writes a touching lament concerning Saul and Jonathan. David executes the one who claimed to have killed Saul.

David trusted in the Lord and fled Saul. David trusted that God would yet overturn the dynasty and make David King.

While David was under the first covenant, we are under the new covenant of Jesus. Yet, David provides a good example of Paul’s instruction for us:

17 Never pay back evil for evil to anyone. Respect what is right in the sight of all men. 18 If possible, so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all men. 19 Never take your own revenge, beloved, but leave room for the wrath of God, for it is written, "Vengeance is Mine, I will repay," says the Lord. 20 "But if your enemy is hungry, feed him, and if he is thirsty, give him a drink; for in so doing you will heap burning coals on his head." 21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good” (Romans 12:17-21).

If you were David, would you have justified yourself in killing Saul? How well do you control yourself when persecuted unlawfully? Do you leave room for God’s vengeance, or ‘try to help Him out’? Following Jesus is not always easy, but in the end it is of great value. 

Hugh DeLong