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Saturday, April 12 2014

1 Samuel 26: The Raid On Saul's Camp

"For they were all asleep; because a deep sleep from the LORD was fallen upon them"

Despite his previous, very brief repentance (see 1 Samuel 24: The Cave Of The Wild Goats Incident), Saul continued his pursuit of David at every opportunity.

"26:1 And the Ziphites came unto Saul to Gibeah, saying, Doth not David hide himself in the hill of Hachilah, which is before Jeshimon?

26:2 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. 26:3 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. 26:4 David therefore sent out spies, and understood that Saul was come in very deed." (1 Samuel 26:1-4 KJV)

David's raid on the camp would have seemed to be a dangerous adventure. David went with only one other warrior, who volunteered - his nephew Abishai, the son of Zeruiah, David's sister (1 Chronicles 2:13-16). It obviously wasn't an attack - two men against an encampment of 3,000 troops. Nor was it a mission to assassinate Saul - David steadfastly refused to harm him (see 1 Samuel 21: Why Didn't David Kill Saul?). So why did he go? The answer was made obvious a little later.

David and Saul

"26:5 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.

26:6 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.

26:7 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.

26:8 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. 26:9 And David said to Abishai, Destroy him not: for who can stretch forth his hand against the LORD'S anointed, and be guiltless? 26:10 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. 26:11 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.

26:12 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." (1 Samuel 26:5-12 KJV)

David risked his life to demonstrate, once again, to Saul, and moreover as a public, for-the-record proof (that you are reading in the Scriptures), that he was not Saul's enemy. Once again, Saul briefly regained his sanity: "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." David was not however a fool - he knew that Saul could not be trusted for very long. "So David went on his way, and Saul returned to his place."

"26:13 Then David went over to the other side, and stood on the top of an hill afar off; a great space being between them: 26:14 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?

26:15 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. 26:16 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.

26:17 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.

26:18 And he said, Wherefore doth my lord thus pursue after his servant? for what have I done? or what evil is in mine hand? 26:19 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. 26:20 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.

26:21 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.

26:22 And David answered and said, Behold the king's spear! and let one of the young men come over and fetch it. 26:23 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. 26:24 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.

26:25 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 26:13-25 KJV)

Fact Finder: Did Abishai remain patriotic to his uncle, King David - even in times when some of David's own sons attempted to overthrow their father?
See Sheba's Revolt


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This Day In History, April 12

238: the Battle of Carthage. The forces of Gordian II were defeated by Numidian forces of Maximinus Thrax. Gordian II was killed in the battle and his father, Gordian I, committed suicide.

240: Shapur I became king of the Sasanian Empire - the last Iranian empire prior to the invention of the Islamic religion in the fifth century.

Yuri Gagarin 467: Anthemius was proclaimed Emperor of the Western Roman Empire.

1204: During the Fourth Crusade (see Constantine's Crusades In History And Prophecy), Constantinople was taken from the Muslims by the Crusaders (see A History Of Jerusalem: Constantine and Muhammad). Constantinople was founded in 330 by the Roman Emperor Constantine, after whom the city is named (listen to our Sermon Constantine's Papacy). Centuries later, the city became the capital of the Ottoman Empire (listen to our Sermon The Ottoman Empire).

1606: King James of England (after whom the King James Bible is named) ordered a "Union Flag" combining the crosses of St. George of England and St. Andrew of Scotland. The origin of the Union Jack.

1654: The Ordinance of Union came into effect, uniting Ireland and Scotland with England.

1782: The British, under Admiral Sir George Rodney, won a naval victory in the West Indies over the French off Dominica.

1796: Napoleon's forces defeated the Austrian and Sardinian armies at the end of the Battle of Montenotte. It was Napoleon's first significant victory.

1861: The U.S. Civil War began when Confederate forces fired on Fort Sumter in Charleston, South Carolina.

1877: The United Kingdom annexed the Transvaal of South Africa.

1917: During the First World War, four divisions of the Canadian Army captured Vimy Ridge (France) from the German Sixth Army.

1928: The Bremen, a German Junkers W33, departed on the first successful transatlantic flight from east to west.

1945: U.S. President Franklin Roosevelt died at age 63. In his last weeks, he had reportedly turned "anti-Zionist" after a meeting with Arabian King Ibn Saud after the Yalta Conference. The "pro-Zionist" Presidential assistant, David Niles, later asserted: "There are serious doubts in my mind that Israel would have come into being if Roosevelt had lived" (Mr. Niles overestimated Roosevelt and the late-comers who became involved in what others had built - nothing or no one could stop the fulfillment of the prophecy of Judah's return; see A History Of Jerusalem: The British Mandate, A History Of Jerusalem: Zionism and A History Of Jerusalem: War And Peace).

1955: The polio vaccine, which was developed by Dr. Jonas Salk, was declared safe and effective.

1955: Albert Einstein collapsed at home in Princeton, New Jersey from a ruptured aortic aneurysm; he died in hospital 3 days later.

1961: Russian cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin became the first human in outer space when he completed the first manned orbital flight aboard Vostok 1.

1981: The first U.S. space shuttle launch, the Columbia (the U.S. and Russia deliberately sought to overshadow important dates of the other's accomplishments; in this case, the first U.S. space shuttle launch was deliberately chosen to be the same date of Russia putting the first man in space 20 years earlier). Columbia completed 27 missions before disintegrating during re-entry on its 28th flight, on February 1, 2003. Seven astronauts, including the first Israeli astronaut, were killed.

1999: U.S. President Bill Clinton was cited for contempt of court for testifying "intentionally false statements" in a sexual harassment civil lawsuit.

2002: A 17 year old Palestinian female suicide bomber murdered 7 people and wounded 104 at Jerusalem's Mahane Yehuda open-air market.


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Copyright © Wayne Blank