1 Samuel 26: The Lord Gives David Courage and Restraint Yet Again

Think about this… your enemy, the person who is persecuting you, who wants to kill you, is sound asleep. So are all of his men. His weapon is right by his head. You have the perfect opportunity to put and end to him and the persecution that’s been going on for years. What do you do? What would that accomplish?

Well, David had that very opportunity to kill Saul again. He could take his rightful throne. Does he do it? Let’s dig in….

1 Samuel 26: 1-4 – Betrayed Again

Now some men from Ziph came to Saul at Gibeah to tell him, “David is hiding on the hill of Hakilah, which overlooks Jeshimon.”

So Saul took 3,000 of Israel’s elite troops and went to hunt him down in the wilderness of Ziph. Saul camped along the road beside the hill of Hakilah, near Jeshimon, where David was hiding. When David learned that Saul had come after him into the wilderness, he sent out spies to verify the report of Saul’s arrival.

1 Samuel 26:1-4 NLT

As David did many times, he composed another psalm / prayer….

Psalm 140

O Lord, rescue me from evil people.
    Protect me from those who are violent,
those who plot evil in their hearts
    and stir up trouble all day long.
Their tongues sting like a snake;
    the venom of a viper drips from their lips. Interlude (Selah)

O Lord, keep me out of the hands of the wicked.
    Protect me from those who are violent,
    for they are plotting against me.
The proud have set a trap to catch me;
    they have stretched out a net;
    they have placed traps all along the way. Interlude (Selah)

I said to the Lord, “You are my God!”
    Listen, O Lord, to my cries for mercy!
O Sovereign Lord, the strong one who rescued me,
    you protected me on the day of battle.
Lord, do not let evil people have their way.
    Do not let their evil schemes succeed,
    or they will become proud. Interlude

Let my enemies be destroyed
    by the very evil they have planned for me.
10 Let burning coals fall down on their heads.
    Let them be thrown into the fire
    or into watery pits from which they can’t escape.
11 Don’t let liars prosper here in our land.
    Cause great disasters to fall on the violent.

12 But I know the Lord will help those they persecute;
    he will give justice to the poor.
13 Surely righteous people are praising your name;
    the godly will live in your presence.

Psalm 140 NLT

1 Samuel 26: 5-25

David slipped over to Saul’s camp one night to look around. Saul and Abner son of Ner, the commander of his army, were sleeping inside a ring formed by the slumbering warriors. “Who will volunteer to go in there with me?” David asked Ahimelech the Hittite and Abishai son of Zeruiah, Joab’s brother.

“I’ll go with you,” Abishai replied. So David and Abishai went right into Saul’s camp and found him asleep, with his spear stuck in the ground beside his head. Abner and the soldiers were lying asleep around him.

“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!”

“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.

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?”

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?”

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.”

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.”

25 And Saul said to David, “Blessings on you, my son David. You will do many heroic deeds, and you will surely succeed.” Then David went away, and Saul returned home.

1 Samuel 25:5-25 NLT

Points to Ponder

  • If David had wanted to kill Saul as badly as Saul wanted to kill him, Saul would be dead. He had the chance to do it not once, but twice!
  • David chose peace. He walked away with a clear conscience.
  • By not killing Saul, David made him see that he lived in a state of fear and paranoia.

Friend, we are living right now in a state of fear and paranoia — all over the word! No matter where you live or who is in power over your land, God is Still in Control.

If you are a born-again believer, you have the Holy Spirit in your heart. No matter what you are going through right now, you can ask God for the help you need. Whether it be courage, boldness or restraint, He will provide it!

Paul wrote…

17 Never pay back evil with more evil. Do things in such a way that everyone can see you are honorable.

Romans 12:17 NLT

Jesus said…

Blessed are the peacemakers,
    for they will be called children of God.

Matthew 5:9 NIV

James wrote…

If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking.

James 1:5 NLT

The Holy Spirit in your heart is a believer’s source of strength, power, wisdom, guidance, self-control, patience, joy, peace, and so much more! (Check out the 22 Benefits of Salvation!)

Do you have God’s Spirit in your heart?

If you’re not sure if you’re saved or not, if you truly want to be born again and have the assurance of salvation, receive the Holy Spirit, and get a 1-way, non-stop ticket to Heaven after you die, or that you won’t be left behind at the Rapture, this is what you have to do…

Believe. Repent. Be Baptized. Receive the Holy Spirit.

  • Believe — have Faith — that Jesus is the Christ and He died taking your sins away forever and that He rose from the dead 3 days later.
  • Repent of your sins — stop sinning! Do a complete 180 in your life and surrender your life to Him.
  • Be Baptized — show the world and yourself that you have died to your old life and are born again in Christ.
  • Receive the Holy Spirit in your heart.

Invite Jesus into Your Heart and Receive the Gift and Confident Hope of Eternal Life…

You Can Have it All, Lord



Soli Deo Gloria! To God Alone Be the Glory!

Top image by Richard Gunther from FreeBibleImages.org. (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0)

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