1 Samuel 23: 15Now David became aware that Saul had come out to seek his life while David was in the wilderness of Ziph at Horesh. 16And Jonathan, Saul’s son, arose and went to David at Horesh, and encouraged him in God. 17Thus 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.” 18So the two of them made a covenant before the LORD
We have seen how Saul was obsessed with killing David, and how prayer protected him. Here, Jonathan goes into the wilderness to offer his friend words of encouragement and vows to be by his side. Friendship is a vital relationship to cultivate. Do we have such a relationship in our lives? Someone closer than a brother? [not including Jesus, of course] Someone to share the great as well as the tough times of life; to make a vow, or to hold us accountable? Isn’t time we cultivate such a relationship as this?
1 Samuel 22
The Priests Slain at Nob
1So David departed from there and escaped to the cave of Adullam; and when his brothers and all his father’s household heard of it, they went down there to him. 2Everyone who was in distress, and everyone who was in debt, and everyone who was discontented gathered to him; and he became captain over them. Now there were about four hundred men with him.
3And David went from there to Mizpah of Moab; and he said to the king of Moab, “Please let my father and my mother come and stay with you until I know what God will do for me.” 4Then he left them with the king of Moab; and they stayed with him all the time that David was in the stronghold. 5The prophet Gad said to David, “Do not stay in the stronghold; depart, and go into the land of Judah.” So David departed and went into the forest of Hereth.
6Then Saul heard that David and the men who were with him had been discovered. Now Saul was sitting in Gibeah, under the tamarisk tree on the height with his spear in his hand, and all his servants were standing around him. 7Saul said to his servants who stood around him, “Hear now, O Benjamites! Will the son of Jesse also give to all of you fields and vineyards? Will he make you all commanders of thousands and commanders of hundreds? 8“For all of you have conspired against me so that there is no one who discloses to me when my son makes a covenant with the son of Jesse, and there is none of you who is sorry for me or discloses to me that my son has stirred up my servant against me to lie in ambush, as it is this day.” 9Then Doeg the Edomite, who was standing by the servants of Saul, said, “I saw the son of Jesse coming to Nob, to Ahimelech the son of Ahitub. 10“He inquired of the LORD for him, gave him provisions, and gave him the sword of Goliath the Philistine.”
11Then the king sent someone to summon Ahimelech the priest, the son of Ahitub, and all his father’s household, the priests who were in Nob; and all of them came to the king. 12Saul said, “Listen now, son of Ahitub.” And he answered, “Here I am, my lord.” 13Saul then said to him, “Why have you and the son of Jesse conspired against me, in that you have given him bread and a sword and have inquired of God for him, so that he would rise up against me by lying in ambush as it is this day?”
14Then Ahimelech answered the king and said, “And who among all your servants is as faithful as David, even the king’s son-in-law, who is captain over your guard, and is honored in your house? 15“Did I just begin to inquire of God for him today? Far be it from me! Do not let the king impute anything to his servant or to any of the household of my father, for your servant knows nothing at all of this whole affair.” 16But the king said, “You shall surely die, Ahimelech, you and all your father’s household!” 17And the king said to the guards who were attending him, “Turn around and put the priests of the LORD to death, because their hand also is with David and because they knew that he was fleeing and did not reveal it to me.” But the servants of the king were not willing to put forth their hands to attack the priests of the LORD. 18Then the king said to Doeg, “You turn around and attack the priests.” And Doeg the Edomite turned around and attacked the priests, and he killed that day eighty-five men who wore the linen ephod. 19And he struck Nob the city of the priests with the edge of the sword, both men and women, children and infants; also oxen, donkeys, and sheep he struck with the edge of the sword.
20But one son of Ahimelech the son of Ahitub, named Abiathar, escaped and fled after David. 21Abiathar told David that Saul had killed the priests of the LORD. 22Then David said to Abiathar, “I knew on that day, when Doeg the Edomite was there, that he would surely tell Saul. I have brought about the death of every person in your father’s household. 23“Stay with me; do not be afraid, for he who seeks my life seeks your life, for you are safe with me.”
1 Samuel 23
David Delivers Keilah
1Then they told David, saying, “Behold, the Philistines are fighting against Keilah and are plundering the threshing floors.” 2So David inquired of the LORD, saying, “Shall I go and attack these Philistines?” And the LORD said to David, “Go and attack the Philistines and deliver Keilah.” 3But David’s men said to him, “Behold, we are afraid here in Judah. How much more then if we go to Keilah against the ranks of the Philistines?” 4Then David inquired of the LORD once more. And the LORD answered him and said, “Arise, go down to Keilah, for I will give the Philistines into your hand.” 5So David and his men went to Keilah and fought with the Philistines; and he led away their livestock and struck them with a great slaughter. Thus David delivered the inhabitants of Keilah.
6Now it came about, when Abiathar the son of Ahimelech fled to David at Keilah, that he came down with an ephod in his hand. 7When it was told Saul that David had come to Keilah, Saul said, “God has delivered him into my hand, for he shut himself in by entering a city with double gates and bars.” 8So Saul summoned all the people for war, to go down to Keilah to besiege David and his men. 9Now David knew that Saul was plotting evil against him; so he said to Abiathar the priest, “Bring the ephod here.” 10Then David said, “O LORD God of Israel, Your servant has heard for certain that Saul is seeking to come to Keilah to destroy the city on my account. 11“Will the men of Keilah surrender me into his hand? Will Saul come down just as Your servant has heard? O LORD God of Israel, I pray, tell Your servant.” And the LORD said, “He will come down.” 12Then David said, “Will the men of Keilah surrender me and my men into the hand of Saul?” And the LORD said, “They will surrender you.” 13Then David and his men, about six hundred, arose and departed from Keilah, and they went wherever they could go. When it was told Saul that David had escaped from Keilah, he gave up the pursuit. 14David stayed in the wilderness in the strongholds, and remained in the hill country in the wilderness of Ziph. And Saul sought him every day, but God did not deliver him into his hand.
Saul Pursues David
15Now David became aware that Saul had come out to seek his life while David was in the wilderness of Ziph at Horesh. 16And Jonathan, Saul’s son, arose and went to David at Horesh, and encouraged him in God. 17Thus 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.” 18So the two of them made a covenant before the LORD; and David stayed at Horesh while Jonathan went to his house.
19Then 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? 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.” 21Saul said, “May you be blessed of the LORD, for you have had compassion on me. 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. 23“So look, and learn about all the hiding places where he hides himself and return to me with certqainty, and I will go with you; and if he is in the land, I will search him out among all the thousands of Judah.”
24Then 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. 25When 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. 26Saul 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. 27But a messenger came to Saul, saying, “Hurry and come, for the Philistines have made a raid on the land.” 28So Saul returned from pursuing David and went to meet the Philistines; therefore they called that place the Rock of Escape. 29David went up from there and stayed in the strongholds of Engedi.
1 Samuel 24
David Spares Saul’s Life
1Now when Saul returned from pursuing the Philistines, he was told, saying, “Behold, David is in the wilderness of Engedi.” 2Then 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. 3He 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. 4The 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. 5It came about afterward that David’s conscience bothered him because he had cut off the edge of Saul’s robe. 6So 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.” 7David 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.
8Now 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. 9David said to Saul, “Why do you listen to the words of men, saying, ‘Behold, David seeks to harm you’? 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.’ 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. 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. 13“As the proverb of the ancients says, ‘Out of the wicked comes forth wickedness’; but my hand shall not be against you. 14“After whom has the king of Israel come out? Whom are you pursuing? A dead dog, a single flea? 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.”
16When 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. 17He said to David, “You are more righteous than I; for you have dealt well with me, while I have dealt wickedly with you. 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. 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. 20“Now, behold, I know that you will surely be king, and that the kingdom of Israel will be established in your hand. 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.” 22David swore to Saul. And Saul went to his home, but David and his men went up to the stronghold.
God Alone a Refuge from Treachery and Oppression.
For the choir director; according to Jeduthun. A Psalm of David.
1 My soul waits in silence for God only;
From Him is my salvation.
2 He only is my rock and my salvation,
My stronghold; I shall not be greatly shaken.
3 How long will you assail a man,
That you may murder him, all of you,
Like a leaning wall, like a tottering fence?
4 They have counseled only to thrust him down from his high position;
They delight in falsehood;
They bless with their mouth,
But inwardly they curse.
5 My soul, wait in silence for God only,
For my hope is from Him.
6 He only is my rock and my salvation,
My stronghold; I shall not be shaken.
7 On God my salvation and my glory rest;
The rock of my strength, my refuge is in God.
8 Trust in Him at all times, O people;
Pour out your heart before Him;
God is a refuge for us.
9 Men of low degree are only vanity and men of rank are a lie;
In the balances they go up;
They are together lighter than breath.
10 Do not trust in oppression
And do not vainly hope in robbery;
If riches increase, do not set your heart upon them.
11 Once God has spoken;
Twice I have heard this:
That power belongs to God;
12 And lovingkindness is Yours, O Lord,
For You recompense a man according to his work.