1 Samuel

1 Samuel - Lesson 23-24

Chapters 23:15-29; 24:1-22

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  • David is fresh off his victory in defending the city of Keilah

    • He patiently sought the Lord’s counsel after the battle 

      • So the Lord warned David not to retreat into the city

      • The people would give him up to the king

      • And therefore, David and his men must keep moving

    • Israel isn’t a very large place

      • So David’s flight from Saul is like a gang of men trying to hide from the police in Central Park

      • If you’re smart, you can manage it, but you have to stay on the run and you’re never out of danger

      • Such was David’s flight in Israel

    • Meanwhile, Samuel has constructed his narrative to contrast David’s increasing obedience with Saul’s increasing rebellion

      • And that contrast will only grow as we move forward

      • Next we find David seeking a new refuge 

      • And now we find Jonathan seeking out David again in the wilderness

1Sam. 23:15 Now David became aware that Saul had come out to seek his life while David was in the wilderness of Ziph at Horesh. 
1Sam. 23:16 And Jonathan, Saul’s son, arose and went to David at Horesh, and encouraged him in God. 
1Sam. 23:17 Thus he said to him, “Do not be afraid, because the hand of Saul my father will not find you, and you will be king over Israel and I will be next to you; and Saul my father knows that also.” 
1Sam. 23:18 So the two of them made a covenant before the Lord; and David stayed at Horesh while Jonathan went to his house. 
  • After leaving Keilah, David fled 12 miles southeast to the wilderness of Ziph into a town by the same name

    • This is a town in the tribe of Judah, yet as we’ll see it’s not particularly friendly to David

      • So once again, the Lord sends David encouragement in the form of a member of Saul’s family

      • Jonathan travels from Gilbeah to Horesh

      • It’s interesting that Jonathan located David while his father couldn’t

      • We can only assume that the Lord allowed – even sent – Jonathan to find David

    • This will be the final meeting of David and Jonathan, and during this meeting Jonathan speaks words to reassure David

      • He tells David that Saul will not find him 

      • Moreover, Jonathan affirms that David will one day be king

      • And when that day happens, Jonathan will be at his side in support

      • Finally, Jonathan says his father also knows this to be true

      • Which is to say, not even Saul has confidence he can stop the plan of God, which explains his paranoia

  • Consider Jonathan’s words carefully and you land on several observations

    • At first, it seems as though Jonathan is speaking prophetically, as if the Lord had given him these words to speak to David concerning the future

      • But this cannot be so, since Jonathan’s testimony is not entirely accurate

      • Jonathan is correct, of course, that David will take the throne one day and Saul can’t stop that

      • But Jonathan is incorrect when he says he will be next to David

      • In Hebrew Jonathan literally says he will be David’s double which probably means he will be David’s right hand man in leading Israel

    • Jonathan seems to think he will be in David’s government

      • That the house of Saul and the house of David would be united in leadership

      • But this is simply not true

      • Jonathan is going to die before David becomes king

      • More importantly, this is not the plan God has for Saul’s house

      • Saul’s family will have no part in the monarchy of Israel

    • So then it would seem that Jonathan is speaking in optimistic and hopeful terms yet without specific revelation from the Lord

      • Jonathan did not understand the Lord’s intention to replace Saul’s family with David’s family

      • And he certainly didn’t know of his own untimely death

      • Jonathan’s words are simply a statement of faith and trust in the promises of God concerning David

      • Jonathan was speaking in agreement with the revealed word of the Lord

      • And in faith he was certain that God’s word would come to pass, and on that basis he offered his encouragement to David

  • This is a good example of the differences between inspired prophecy and simple encouragement

    • Jonathan had not received a specific revelation from the Lord concerning David

      • Nevertheless, he spoke with great earnestness convinced he had something to offer David

      • But sincerity isn’t a substitute for accuracy nor does it guarantee that someone’s word can be trusted

      • More often they are simply presuming too much about what God intends to do

    • People still fall prey to this error today believing they have received a divine revelation when it was merely optimistic encouragement

      • If someone simply repeats previously revealed promises of God to us, this does not make them a prophet

      • Jonathan and David both knew that God had said David would be king…Jonathan was merely repeating this truth

      • But he mixed God’s revealed word with his own assumptions and presented it as certain fact

    • Just because someone speaks with certainty does not ensure they speak accurately

      • The best we can say about such speech is that is a personal demonstration of faith in God’s word

      • And of course it can serve as a source of encouragement

      • But as people make predictions of your future, take those words with a large dose of skepticism 

  • After Jonathan’s words of encouragement, he and David enter into another covenant

    • There is some debate over whether this is a new covenant or the reaffirming of an existing covenant

      • While it could be a reaffirming of the original covenant of friendship, I believe this is something new

      • I believe this was a covenant to formalize Jonathan as David’s right-hand man in the future government of Israel

      • David is promising to grant Jonathan this position, while Jonathan is promising to support David’s rule as before

      • David might have been willing to make this covenant in response to Jonathan’s willingness to take great personal risk in seeking David out in the wilderness

    • Once again they separate, and they will never meet again in this life

      • And in the end, Jonathan’s death will prevent this covenant from ever being put into force

      • As Paul teaches in Romans 7, the death of one party dissolves a covenant

  • Returning back to Saul, he’s still seeking to locate David 

    • And he’s depending on a word of David’s whereabouts from informers

      • We remember that earlier when David was seeking to know whether to stay in Keilah, he sought the Lord’s counsel

      • But in contrast, Saul is seeking the counsel of men

      • It’s telling that we never see Saul seek counsel from the Lord concerning anything he does in this situation

      • He is depending entirely on the wisdom of men

    • Moreover, he’s only seeking men who will affirm his existing opinions concerning David

      • Can you imagine what Saul might have done to someone who suggested that his pursuit of David was misguided

      • To say nothing of a suggestion that Saul should step aside and allow David to have the throne

      • Saul would have heard nothing of it

    • Paul speaks of a similar problem in the last days, when many in the church won’t listen to counsel that contradicts their preferred notions

      • And in the place of the Bible, men and women will seek for earthly wisdom

      • They will seek out teachers who say what they want to hear

      • As a result, false teaching will grow and with it, biblical ignorance

  • Then Saul gets his informer

1Sam. 23:19 Then Ziphites came up to Saul at Gibeah, saying, “Is David not hiding with us in the strongholds at Horesh, on the hill of Hachilah, which is on the south of Jeshimon? 
1Sam. 23:20 “Now then, O king, come down according to all the desire of your soul to do so; and our part shall be to surrender him into the king’s hand.” 
1Sam. 23:21 Saul said, “May you be blessed of the Lord, for you have had compassion on me. 
1Sam. 23:22 “Go now, make more sure, and investigate and see his place where his haunt is, and who has seen him there; for I am told that he is very cunning. 
1Sam. 23:23 “So look, and learn about all the hiding places where he hides himself and return to me with certainty, and I will go with you; and if he is in the land, I will search him out among all the thousands of Judah.” 
  • The Ziphites decide to turn in David to Saul

    • We can imagine numerous sensible reasons for them to make this decision

      • Perhaps they worried Saul would do to them what he did to the priests when he discovered they were harboring a fugitive

      • Or maybe they wanted to receive the king’s favor

      • Or maybe they didn’t think very well of David’s band of men

    • In any case, they send representatives to Saul and tell him of David’s hiding place

      • Their desire to get on Saul’s good side seems to have worked 

      • He says they are blessed of the Lord for this action

    • Here we see the corollary to our earlier observation about encouraging speech 

      • Saul tells these people they are “blessed” for what they did

      • In reality, there would be no blessing for seeking to destroy the Lord’s anointed

      • Once again showing that just because someone uses the words doesn’t mean they are speaking with the heart of God

      • God is the source of all blessing, and He blesses those who seek to please Him

      • As Jesus said:

Luke 11:28 But He said, “On the contrary, blessed are those who hear the word of God and observe it.”
  • Then Saul begins to scheme with the people on how to locate and trap David

    • Notice in his instructions the repetition of action verbs

      • He says “Go, make sure, investigate, see, look, learn, return…”

      • For all this activity and effort there is no thought to turn to the Lord, which is Samuel’s point here

      • Saul is focused on human effort while David has been content to seek only the Lord, for that is the only counsel he has

    • Furthermore, Saul says David is cunning

      • This is not a compliment, obviously

      • It suggests a person who schemes and devises trickery to get his way

      • Yet David is the opposite of cunning

      • He’s relying only on the Lord’s direction

      • It’s Saul who is obviously being cunning in his plans to kill David

    • He sends the people to carry out his plan and to report back with what they learn

      • Saul doesn’t want another goose chase

      • And so they return

1Sam. 23:24 Then they arose and went to Ziph before Saul. Now David and his men were in the wilderness of Maon, in the Arabah to the south of Jeshimon. 
1Sam. 23:25 When Saul and his men went to seek him, they told David, and he came down to the rock and stayed in the wilderness of Maon. And when Saul heard it, he pursued David in the wilderness of Maon. 
1Sam. 23:26 Saul went on one side of the mountain, and David and his men on the other side of the mountain; and David was hurrying to get away from Saul, for Saul and his men were surrounding David and his men to seize them. 
1Sam. 23:27 But a messenger came to Saul, saying, “Hurry and come, for the Philistines have made a raid on the land.” 
1Sam. 23:28 So Saul returned from pursuing David and went to meet the Philistines; therefore they called that place the Rock of Escape. 
1Sam. 23:29 David went up from there and stayed in the strongholds of Engedi. 
  • The men of the city return and report that David was in the wilderness of Maon, which was a few miles south of Ziph

    • So Saul departs to intercept David there

      • But sympathizers of David get word to him so he can escape Saul again

      • Unfortunately, David didn’t really have somewhere to run

      • This is a wide open wilderness, such that if David took off across open land, Saul would have had no problem chasing him down

    • So instead, David and his men hide behind a large hill

      • The text says “mountain” but the word can also be used to describe a smaller hill

      • In this region there are many wadis that run up from the Dead Sea to the high cliffs on the either side

      • It’s probably one of these wadis that conceals David

      • And Saul is closing in on both sides of the wadi

  • But then we see the Lord move to protect David

    • A messenger comes to report that the Philistines are raiding Jewish land

      • In another clear display of God’s sovereignty, Israel’s enemies are put to the task of attacking Israel to distract Saul

      • The Lord directed that attack and ensured a messenger would make his way to Saul in just the right time to stop the attack on David

      • Stories like this are a real encouragement to every believer to trust in the Lord’s protection

    • What was David thinking at the time? Did he assume that the Lord would automatically save him? Was he just resting assuming it would all work out?

      • No, he was praying fervently that the Lord would do something

      • We read that prayer in Psalm 54

Psa. 54:0  For the choir director; on stringed instruments. A Maskil of David, when the Ziphites came and said to Saul, “Is not David hiding himself among us?” 
Psa. 54:1 Save me, O God, by Your name, 
And vindicate me by Your power. 
Psa. 54:2  Hear my prayer, O God; 
Give ear to the words of my mouth. 
Psa. 54:3  For strangers have risen against me 
And violent men have sought my life; 
They have not set God before them. Selah. 
Psa. 54:4  Behold, God is my helper; 
The Lord is the sustainer of my soul. 
Psa. 54:5  He will recompense the evil to my foes; 
Destroy them in Your faithfulness. 
Psa. 54:6 Willingly I will sacrifice to You; 
I will give thanks to Your name, O Lord, for it is good. 
Psa. 54:7  For He has delivered me from all trouble, 
And my eye has looked with satisfaction upon my enemies. 
  • Notice in that Psalm David’s tone seems to shift

    • At first he’s sounding fearful and desperate

    • And then it turns to thankfulness

    • It seems like the prayer was changing even as the Lord was answering

  • The result is an escape for David and a new hiding place in Engedi, a wadi near present-day Masada

    • The Engedi wadi has a fresh supply of water from a flowing spring

      • It still flows today

      • Tourists can walk up and stand in the same waterfalls that David and his men would have found refreshing

    • Perhaps David was here in this partial cave of Engedi when he wrote Psalm 57

Psa. 57:0  For the choir director; set to Al-tashheth. A Mikhtam of David, when he fled from Saul in the cave. 
Psa. 57:1  Be gracious to me, O God, be gracious to me, 
For my soul takes refuge in You; 
And in the shadow of Your wings I will take refuge 
Until destruction passes by. 
Psa. 57:2  I will cry to God Most High, 
To God who accomplishes all things for me. 
Psa. 57:3  He will send from heaven and save me; 
He reproaches him who tramples upon me. Selah. 
God will send forth His lovingkindness and His truth. 
Psa. 57:4  My soul is among lions; 
I must lie among those who breathe forth fire, 
Even the sons of men, whose teeth are spears and arrows 
And their tongue a sharp sword. 
Psa. 57:5  Be exalted above the heavens, O God; 
Let Your glory be above all the earth. 
Psa. 57:6  They have prepared a net for my steps; 
My soul is bowed down; 
They dug a pit before me; 
They themselves have fallen into the midst of it.  Selah. 
Psa. 57:7  My heart is steadfast, O God, my heart is steadfast; 
I will sing, yes, I will sing praises! 
Psa. 57:8  Awake, my glory! 
Awake, harp and lyre! 
I will awaken the dawn. 
Psa. 57:9  I will give thanks to You, O Lord, among the peoples; 
I will sing praises to You among the nations. 
Psa. 57:10  For Your lovingkindness is great to the heavens 
And Your truth to the clouds. 
Psa. 57:11  Be exalted above the heavens, O God; 
Let Your glory be above all the earth. 
  • As we now move into Chapter 24, we begin a three chapter story of David’s spiritual growth

    • You may remember I said that David’s flight would be a time when the Lord schooled him on righteousness

      • The time David spent in the wilderness fleeing Saul would expose David to many trials

      • And as David contended with these situations, he grew to rely more and more on the Lord, which was the purpose

    • In Chapter 24, David will have opportunity to kill Saul

      • He will refrain from doing so, yet he still commits a sin against the Lord’s anointed

      • Afterward, David will sense the conviction of the Holy Spirit

      • Then in the next chapter, the Lord will put David in a similar situation again though this time with a different antagonist

      • As David moves to sin again, the Lord will bring godly counsel to David through an unlikely source

      • David will learn his lesson and repent

    • Then in Chapter 26, the Lord will once more put David in a position to kill Saul

      • David spears Saul’s life again

      • But this time he also refuses to dishonor the Lord’s anointed

      • Leading the Lord to take vengeance on behalf of David, which was the lesson the Lord was trying to teach David

  • So let’s study the first chapter of this three-part drama

1Sam. 24:1 Now when Saul returned from pursuing the Philistines, he was told, saying, “Behold, David is in the wilderness of Engedi.” 
1Sam. 24:2 Then Saul took three thousand chosen men from all Israel and went to seek David and his men in front of the Rocks of the Wild Goats. 
1Sam. 24:3 He came to the sheepfolds on the way, where there was a cave; and Saul went in to relieve himself. Now David and his men were sitting in the inner recesses of the cave. 
1Sam. 24:4 The men of David said to him, “Behold, this is the day of which the Lord said to you, ‘Behold; I am about to give your enemy into your hand, and you shall do to him as it seems good to you.’” Then David arose and cut off the edge of Saul’s robe secretly. 
1Sam. 24:5 It came about afterward that David’s conscience bothered him because he had cut off the edge of Saul’s robe.
1Sam. 24:6 So he said to his men, “Far be it from me because of the Lord that I should do this thing to my lord, the Lord’s anointed, to stretch out my hand against him, since he is the Lord’s anointed.” 
1Sam. 24:7 David persuaded his men with these words and did not allow them to rise up against Saul. And Saul arose, left the cave, and went on his way. 
  • Engedi is a narrow canyon that moves up from the desert floor of the Dead Sea to the mountain range on the West

    • It is rocky and difficult to traverse as you wind through the canyon

      • Running down the wadi is a stream created by a spring at the mountain

      • Along either side of this canyon are caves of various sizes worn out of the limestone hills

      • And mountain goats can be seen throughout this region even to this day

    • Saul has come here with three thousand men to find and kill David

      • This gives Saul a considerable advantage in numbers if not skill

      • David and his men are essentially trapped in this wadi

      • So David decides to hide in one of the caves used as sheepfold along the side

    • As it turns out, Saul decides to enter one of these caves to relieve himself as we’re told

      • He just happens to select the very cave David and some of his men are occupying 

      • They had hoped Saul would have moved up the wadi, discovered no one waiting and retreated without searching every cave

      • Instead, they are staring at back of the king in the dark

  • David’s men see their opportunity and counsel David that this was a day the Lord gave him to destroy his adversary

    • They are encouraging David to rise up and kill the king and be done with this trial

      • And they tell David these circumstances were orchestrated by the Lord for that purpose

      • Here again we see someone speaking falsely yet as if with godly insight 

      • In reality they are projecting their own desires upon God and interpreting their circumstances to their own benefit

    • The truth is the Lord placed Saul in that cave for David but these circumstances were intended as a test of David’s trust in the Lord

      • It was not to be an opportunity for David to rebel against the Lord’s anointed

      • Would David do the right thing by resisting his desire to take matters into his own hands?

      • And to make matters worse, his men are encouraging him to go down the wrong path

    • In response to their suggestion, David declined to take Saul’s life

      • He understood that Saul was the Lord’s anointed and therefore, he did not kill the king

      • Nevertheless, he wanted to send Saul a message about what might have happened

      • Saul’s robe would have been removed and set aside so that he could attend to his business

      • While that robe was lying on the floor of the cave, David cuts a piece of the hem off

    • In the ancient East the hem of a robe held special significance

      • We may remember how the woman following Jesus touched the hem of his garment and was healed

      • The hem was a symbol for the social standing of the person, which is why Pharisees decorated their hems in ornate ways

      • In the case of a king, his hem would have been particularly special and symbolic

      • So cutting it off represented cutting off the king’s rule and authority

  • David’s choice seemed like a smart play under these circumstances

    • I’m sure he felt he was demonstrating admirable restraint yet he succeeded in sending a message to Saul

      • But this was just his pride 

      • David failed the Lord’s test

      • And immediately the Spirit of the Lord brought David conviction

    • Though David took a measured step against Saul, the problem was he was still attacking rather than depending on the Lord

      • The degree of offense doesn’t matter

      • That’s something we tell ourselves to feel better about our sin

      • “I could have killed Saul, but I only cut off his robe…”

      • “I could have robbed a bank, but I only kept the extra change I received at the cash register”

    • But from God’s point of view, sin is sin

      • The Lord set up this circumstance so that David would discipline his flesh to do the right thing

      • But David listened to the voice of his men rather than seeking the voice of the Lord, as he had been doing

    • Having been convicted of his sin, David confesses it to his men

      • His act of cutting the hem was a moment of rebellion against the Lord’s anointed, however minor it might have been

      • And in that moment, David lowered himself to Saul’s level

      • Up to this point David has been blameless

      • But now he has sinned against the king and could justly be condemned for his offense 

    • This change of heart causes David to become Saul’s protector

      • Now he knows he must not permit his anger at Saul turn to sin against him

      • Let Saul do as Saul will, but David must remain obedient to the Lord

      • The Lord brought Saul near David to test David’s heart of obedience

      • David failed the test because he tried to take matters into his own hands

  • Having confessed his sin to himself and to his men, it now stands for David to confess his sin to the one he offended, Saul

1Sam. 24:8 Now afterward David arose and went out of the cave and called after Saul, saying, “My lord the king!” And when Saul looked behind him, David bowed with his face to the ground and prostrated himself. 
1Sam. 24:9 David said to Saul, “Why do you listen to the words of men, saying, ‘Behold, David seeks to harm you’? 
1Sam. 24:10 “Behold, this day your eyes have seen that the Lord had given you today into my hand in the cave, and some said to kill you, but my eye had pity on you; and I said, ‘I will not stretch out my hand against my lord, for he is the Lord’s anointed.’ 
1Sam. 24:11 “Now, my father, see! Indeed, see the edge of your robe in my hand! For in that I cut off the edge of your robe and did not kill you, know and perceive that there is no evil or rebellion in my hands, and I have not sinned against you, though you are lying in wait for my life to take it. 
1Sam. 24:12 “May the Lord judge between you and me, and may the Lord avenge me on you; but my hand shall not be against you. 
1Sam. 24:13 “As the proverb of the ancients says, ‘Out of the wicked comes forth wickedness’; but my hand shall not be against you. 
1Sam. 24:14 “After whom has the king of Israel come out? Whom are you pursuing? A dead dog, a single flea? 
1Sam. 24:15 “The Lord therefore be judge and decide between you and me; and may He see and plead my cause and deliver me from your hand.” 
  • After Saul has returned to his army in the bottom of the wadi, David stands at the mouth of the cave on the side of the mountain and puts himself in God’s hand

    • He calls out to the king and professes his faithfulness to his authority

      • He bows and lies prostrate in a sign of submission to the king

      • Obviously, little prevented the king and his men from charging up the cliffside to attack David

      • David is trusting the Lord in whatever happened

      • His attitude is that if it were the Lord’s will that Saul defeat David here and now as punishment for David’s offense, then so be it

      • For David, the Lord’s will be done

    • Nevertheless, David hopes to turn the king’s heart with a passionate argument combined with a little shock 

      • He begins by telling Saul that he has been mislead to think David is his enemy

      • David is no threat

      • He will respect Saul’s leadership as king until the day Saul dies

    • And to prove his argument, David holds up the piece of Saul’s hem as evidence he will not harm Saul

      • Obviously, anyone who could cut his robe could have killed Saul with a single blow

      • So the hem is proof that David didn’t intend to kill Saul

    • Ironically, the hem was a small symbol of rebellion, however

      • The Lord installed Saul and it was the Lord alone who had the right to remove Saul in the day the Lord chose

      • For David to accelerate that plan was sin

  • David needed to learn that he must wait on the Lord to avenge David’s enemies

    • Whatever happened in the meantime was a part of God’s plan to train David

      • David is learning this lesson through these circumstances

      • Notice in v.12 David asks the Lord to judge between him and Saul

      • David promises he will not take matters into his own hands

      • Because out of wickedness comes only wickedness

      • The more we sin – even in cases where we think we’re doing some good – will eventually produce more sin

    • Instead, David is saying he’s so sure of his innocence in this matter, he will willingly submit himself to God’s judgment

      • He won’t fight his own battle

      • He won’t oppose Saul

      • He will let the Lord judge his sin and Saul’s sin

      • We’ll see who the Lord favors…Daivd has confidence that he’s on the right side of the matter

  • David ends his argument highlighting how disproportionate Saul’s anger is in light of David’s degree of threat

    • David compares himself to a dead dog, a flea

      • How much threat are such things to a king?

      • Yet here’s Saul with 3,000 of his best men trying to eradicate a flea

    • David’s statements are well-reasoned and demonstrate a degree of repentance for his mistake in cutting the hem

      • But when you fail a test, the Lord will make you retake the exam

      • So David must see this circumstances once more before the Lord grants him a respite from the oppression of Saul

      • For now, the Lord will grant David temporary relief

1Sam. 24:16  When David had finished speaking these words to Saul, Saul said, “Is this your voice, my son David?” Then Saul lifted up his voice and wept. 
1Sam. 24:17 He said to David, “You are more righteous than I; for you have dealt well with me, while I have dealt wickedly with you. 
1Sam. 24:18 “You have declared today that you have done good to me, that the Lord delivered me into your hand and yet you did not kill me. 
1Sam. 24:19 “For if a man finds his enemy, will he let him go away safely? May the Lord therefore reward you with good in return for what you have done to me this day. 
1Sam. 24:20 “Now, behold, I know that you will surely be king, and that the kingdom of Israel will be established in your hand. 
1Sam. 24:21 “So now swear to me by the Lord that you will not cut off my descendants after me and that you will not destroy my name from my father’s household.” 
1Sam. 24:22 David swore to Saul. And Saul went to his home, but David and his men went up to the stronghold. 
  • Saul responds to David with a disingenuous reply calling him “my son”

    • Saul’s weeping is probably a mixture of relief and personal conviction

      • It’s hard to tell at this point in Saul’s life how much he is hearing from his conscience

      • Certainly, the Lord has provoked him into this chase, as we’ve already seen

      • And that provocation was intended to produce good outcomes in David’s life

    • Still, many wonder about what lies in the heart of this man at this point

      • He’s certainly been deceived and is paranoid

      • But he still appears to have some sense of right and wrong at least in moments like this

      • Which is proof that he hasn’t completely lost touch

    • Like David, Saul recognizes that the Lord has been in control of everything that’s happening

      • This is the primary effect of confession and repentance

      • While it mends relationships and softens rebellion, the primary outcome is a recognition of God’s sovereign will

      • We come to see that our will has been in conflict with the Lord

      • Moreover, we come to appreciate that our present negative circumstances are the result of the Lord pressing upon us

    • That’s Saul’s feeling here…he recognizes that his moment in the cave was God getting his attention

      • And David, whom Saul counts as his enemy, did something unexpected in saving his life

      • From the shock of that revelation, Saul enters into a moment of clarity and transparency

      • He declares that David will one day be king after all

      • And he asks, much like Jonathan, that his descendants not be cut off

      • David agrees because he has already made a covenant with Jonathan to that effect

  • With that Saul departs, but neither man expects this to be the end of the conflict

    • For all that I’ve observed about Saul’s demeanor, don’t fall for his crocodile tears too quickly

      • Although Saul felt some regret at pursuing David, more likely he’s just saving face among his men

      • His enemy had a perfect chance to kill him but chose to show mercy

      • Under those circumstances, Saul would have appeared to lack honor had he then attacked David

      • So Saul has no honorable choice but to retreat under these circumstances

      • Therefore, both men know that there will be another day to come

    • Meanwhile the first part of our three part story has come to an end

      • Since David failed his test to honor the Lord’s anointed, the Lord will give David a second chance to pass it

      • But before that, the Lord is going to show David what honoring an evil man truly looks like

      • And he’s going to deliver that message with an exceptionally godly and humble servant