1 Samuel 25-27
(The Fugitive - Part II)
March 28th

Produced by The Listening for God Ministry
Copyright 2016

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Please refer to one or more Bible versions of your choice to read this section. We recommend that you read at least two versions for added understanding. For your convenience, we have provided six links below, each of which takes you directly to today's chapters in a specific version:

Key Verse

Men from Ziph came to Saul in Gibeah, reporting that David was hiding on the hill of Hachilah at the edge of Jeshimon.

So Saul went down to the wilderness of Ziph with three thousand of the best warriors of Israel, to search for David in the wilderness of Ziph.

- 1 Samuel 26:1-2 (NAB)

Summary of Chapters

Saul's pursuit of David continues, but the life of the man who anointed both of them comes to an end. Samuel's passing is noted in a very brief verse at the beginning of chapter 27, but his life had had a significant impact on the history of Israel.

At this time, David's company of men had been camped near the property of a man named Nabal. They had served as uninvited and unofficial protectors for the man's property; therefore they sent messengers to politely request food and supplies to sustain them. Nabal was known for having a surly disposition and lived up to it that day when he turned away the messengers:

    "Why should I take my bread and water, and the meat I have slaughtered and give it to men who come from who knows where?"

    - 1 Samuel 25:11 (NIV)

When David heard this response he decided to teach Nabal a violent lesson. David was on his way to execute his plan when he was approached by Nabal's wife Abigail, who had brought an abundant supply of food and gifts. This act of contrition satisfied David, but the news afflicted Nabal, who died shortly afterwards. Subsequently, David married Abigail and they remained in that area for a while.

Chapter 26 describes Saul's final futile attempt to capture David. He narrowed down David's location and camped nearby. One night the LORD put the whole entourage to sleep, allowing David the opportunity to sneak into the enemy's camp and steal Saul's spear and water jug. Once again, he was able to prove that he could have also stolen Saul's life, but decided to show mercy for God's anointed. David must have had a sense of humor because he also used the opportunity to have a little bit of fun with Saul's Honor guard:

    Then David went across to the opposite hill and stood far away on the top of the mountain. With this safe distance between them, he shouted across to the army and Abner son of Ner, "Hey, Abner! How long do I have to wait for you to wake up and answer me?"

    Abner said, "Who's calling?"

    "Aren't you in charge there?" said David. "Why aren't you minding the store? Why weren't you standing guard over your master the king, when a soldier came to kill the king your master? Bad form! As God lives, your life should be forfeit, you and the entire bodyguard. Look what I have—the king's spear and water jug that were right beside his head!"

    - 1 Samuel 26:13-16 (MSG)

David then re-emphasized his innocence, explained what had happened, and asked Saul to leave judgment in God's hands. Saul believed him and went home.

David was still wary of Saul, so he decided the safest hideout would be among the Philistines, the erstwhile enemy of all the tribes of Israel. He remained there for a while, carrying out various raids of foreign cities, as described in chapter 27.

Reflection and Application

The encounter with Abigail described in chapter 25 saved David from making a grievous error- the LORD knew what was about to happen and assigned Abigail to intercede by bringing gifts to David. Sometimes the LORD sends us messengers when we are on a course headed for personal disaster. It would be wise to pray that we recognize the true source of these messages and be careful not to dismiss them as obstacles. We also may want to be alert to opportunities for us to be the messengers. If you have a word of encouragement or reconciliation that suddenly comes to your mind then you may want to follow through. It might be your own idea or it could be a nudge from God.

Abigail's request for David to remember her was a foreshadowing of one of the criminals on the cross asking Jesus to remember him.


    When the LORD has fulfilled for my lord every good thing he promised concerning him and has appointed him ruler over Israel, my lord will not have on his conscience the staggering burden of needless bloodshed or of having avenged himself. And when the LORD your God has brought my lord success, remember your servant.”

    - 1 Samuel 25:30 (NIV)

    Criminal on the Cross

    One of the criminals who hung there hurled insults at him: “Aren’t you the Messiah? Save yourself and us!”

    But the other criminal rebuked him. “Don’t you fear God,” he said, “since you are under the same sentence? We are punished justly, for we are getting what our deeds deserve. But this man has done nothing wrong.”

    Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.”

    Jesus answered him, “Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise.”

    -Luke 23:39-47 (NIV)

How do we ensure that Jesus will remember us? When we give him our whole heart and turn our lives over to him. I was reminded of this truth by Bay Forrest, the co-founder of Focus Ministries, who was the guest speaker at my church's Men's Retreat from March 25-27th, 2011. Forrest advised us to examine ourselves with honesty to determine if we have made that commitment, and if not, then he encouraged us to pledge ourselves as soon as possible.

For example, David wanted revenge on Nabal, but he gave up that desire and left it in the LORD's hands, who resolved it promptly. David also turned his desires over to the LORD by showing mercy for Saul one more time - because he did not want to kill his anointed one. We can follow his example by being careful to not break apart what God has put together.

You can learn more about Bay Forrest and Focus Ministries at the following website: http://www.focusministries.org/

Questions and Prayers for Further Reflection

    Related Questions
    1. Have you had a situation similar to David's in which someone was ungrateful for your protection or other services
    2. What messengers from the LORD have you encountered in your life?
    3. Have you given your whole heart to Jesus? If not, then would right now be a good time?
    Recommended Prayer
    Father in heaven, we know that you have countless ways by which you can communicate with us. Please forgive us the times you sent us messages and we ignored them. We thank you for continuing to seek us and ask for your help to fully commit ourselves to you, because we can't do it on our own.

    Suggested Prayer Concerns
    Transient Farm Workers

    Looking Ahead

    Tomorrow's reading: 1 Samuel 28-29 (In the Enemy's Camp)

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