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David as a Fugitive

Scripture Passage: 
1 Samuel 26:1-25; 1 Samuel 27:1-12

INTRODUCTION: David continues to be protected by the Lord. In some cases (as in the sparing of Saul), he acts in a most honorable way. In other cases (as in going over to Achish of the Philistines), David shows his weakness. But, in it all, God is working out His plan. O that we would learn to trust in the precious providence of God!

  1. SAUL COMES AGAINST DAVID (1 Samuel 26:1-4)
    1. Saul Comes to the Wilderness (1 Samuel 26:1-2).
      1. The Ziphite informers (1 Samuel 26:1; 1 Samuel 23:19; Psalm 54 subtitle)
        1. Saul dwells in Gibeah.
        2. The Ziphites tell Saul where David is hiding.
          1. They had done this before (1 Samuel 23:19).
          2. David laments their treachery (Psalm 54; see subtitle).
      2. Saul’s army (1 Samuel 26:2; 1 Samuel 24:2)
    2. David Learns of Saul’s Advance (1 Samuel 26:3-4).
      1. David’s place (1 Samuel 26:3)
        1. Saul pitches his tent “by the way” – he stays close to the main highway.
        2. David abides in the wilderness.
      2. David’s spies (1 Samuel 26:4); David confirms the presence of Saul.
  2. DAVID SPARES SAUL’S LIFE (1 Samuel 26:5-12)
    1. David Goes by Night to the Camp (1 Samuel 26:5-7).
      1. Saul goes to sleep in the trench (1 Samuel 26:5).
        1. David comes to Saul’s camp at night.
        2. Saul and his men have no fear of danger. Not only does he sleep, but Abner his captain and all the soldiers are asleep.
      2. David takes Abishai into the camp (1 Samuel 26:6-7).
        1. David gives two men a chance to go into the camp (1 Samuel 26:6).
          1. Ahimelech the Hittite – Note: He is not mentioned anywhere else in Scripture. Perhaps his unwillingness to go kept him from further advancement.
          2. Abishai, the brother of Joab
        2. Abishai volunteers to go with David (1 Samuel 26:6).
        3. They sneak into the camp during the night (1 Samuel 26:7).
          1. Saul is sleeping in the trench with his spear stuck in the ground.
          2. Bolster: pillow; soft cushion on which to lay his head
          3. Abner and the people are sleeping around Saul.
    2. David Spares the Life of King Saul (1 Samuel 26:8-10).
      1. Abishai offers to kill Saul (1 Samuel 26:8; see 1 Samuel 24:4).
      2. David restrains Abishai (1 Samuel 26:9); he still recognizes Saul as the Lord’s anointed (1 Samuel 24:6).
      3. David trusts in the providence of God (1 Samuel 26:10).
        1. He had seen what God did to Nabal (1 Samuel 25:38).
        2. He trusts God to remove Saul in His own way.
    3. David Takes Saul’s Spear and Water (1 Samuel 26:11-12).
      1. David takes evidence of his presence (1 Samuel 26:11).
        1. The spear
        2. The water
      2. Saul’s men receive a deep sleep from the Lord (1 Samuel 26:12; Genesis 2:21; Genesis 15:12).
  3. DAVID DECLARES HIS INNOCENCE (1 Samuel 26:13-20)
    1. David Cries Out to Abner (1 Samuel 26:13-16).
      1. David addresses Abner (1 Samuel 26:13-14).
      2. David accuses Abner (1 Samuel 26:15-16).
    2. David Cries Out to Saul (1 Samuel 26:17-20).
      1. Saul recognizes David (1 Samuel 26:17).
      2. David questions his guilt (1 Samuel 26:18).
      3. David questions his opposition (1 Samuel 26:19).
        1. Has the Lord stirred you up?  Then, let us make an offering unto him and appease His anger (see 2 Samuel 24:25; 1 Chronicles 21:26-27).
        2. Have men stirred you up? Then let them be accursed for they have driven me out from abiding in the inheritance of the Lord and have encouraged me to go and serve other gods.
      4. David questions his importance (1 Samuel 26:20; see 1 Samuel 24:14).
  4. SAUL PRAISES DAVID’S MERCY (1 Samuel 26:21-25)
    1. Saul’s Confession (1 Samuel 26:21; compare 1 Samuel 24:17-18)
    2. David’s Righteousness (1 Samuel 26:22-23)
      1. He asks for a young man to fetch Saul’s spear (1 Samuel 26:22).
      2. He asks for God to render to each man (1 Samuel 26:23)
        1. According to that man’s righteousness
        2. According to that man’s faithfulness
    3. David’s Confidence (1 Samuel 26:24)
      1. I set great value on your life today.
      2. I trust God to set great value on my life and deliver me (Psalm 37:1-7).
    4. Saul’s Admission (1 Samuel 26:25)
  5. DAVID DWELLS WITH ACHISH (1 Samuel 27:1-12)
    1. David Goes to Achish (1 Samuel 27:1-4).
      1. David grows weary of hiding from Saul (1 Samuel 27:1).
      2. David goes over to Achish of Gath (1 Samuel 27:2-3).
      3. Saul seeks no more for David (1 Samuel 27:4).
    2. David Dwells in Ziklag (1 Samuel 27:5-7).
      1. David asks Achish for a town for him and his men (1 Samuel 27:5).
      2. Achish gives David Ziklag (1 Samuel 27:6); as a result, Ziklag will pass over to Judah when David becomes king.
      3. David was in the land of the Philistines for a year and four months (1 Samuel 27:7).
    3. David Fights under Pretense (1 Samuel 27:8-12).
      1. His true victims (1 Samuel 27:8-9)
        1. The enemies of Israel (1 Samuel 27:8)
        2. Killing every person who could be a witness (1 Samuel 27:9)
      2. His claimed victims (1 Samuel 27:10-12)
        1. The Israelites and their allies (1 Samuel 27:10)
        2. Making sure to kill all witnesses (1 Samuel 27:11)
        3. Being believed by Achish (1 Samuel 27:12)
          1. He is utterly hated by the Israelites.
          2. He will be my servant forever.

CONCLUSION: Our troubles may not be as great as those of David’s. Neither is God planning to place us as the next king of Israel. But we do have problems and God does have a plan for us. We must learn to look to Him and trust that He is working out His plan for our lives (Romans 8:28).

David Reagan and Andrew Ray

Daily Proverb

Proverbs 29:8

Scornful men bring a city into a snare: but wise men turn away wrath.