1 Samuel 26

V. 1. Ziphites... They do it again. These people betrayed David back in chapter 23:19. (See my notes on 24:19.) Again, David seeks safety among his own people, in the land belonging to Judah. (Joshua 15:20-24.) Was David here again putting more confidence in man than in God's protection? How many times does man havt to betray us before we learn the Lord is the only one we can trust?

Would Saul have left David alone if Ziphi had left him alone?

I believe we see this today: "God's people" reporting God's people to the authorities who are bent on destroying them, especially over the licence issue. To impress the authorities? Or maybe so they will not have to have the Son of David among them exposing their sin of the state licence.

Saul returned to pursuing David, like a dog returning to his vomit. How Sad! A man bound and blinded by his sin, pride and hard heart, falling right back into the trap. And the Devil will see that he has plenty of encouragement to fall back.

Again, in this situation (24:9, 26:19), Saul's friends encourage Saul to kill his enemy. Saul tries his best to kill David, but David has God's protection.

It appears these enemies, e.g., the Ziphites, were jealous of David. Envy and jealousy will motivate one to do some dastardly deeds.

David's friends encourage David to kill his enemy, Saul. David restrains them, even though God delivers Saul once again to David.

See the contrast: Both "friends" encourage a violation of God's principles.

One man obeys, or heeds, his friend's wicked advice.
One man rejects his friend's wicked advice. (However, David would have been justified in killing the one who was trying to kill him, but his standard was higher – The Lord's Anointed.)

A. This man, David, was established forever in Christ.
B. Christ was advised to turn the stones into bread. He was advised to set up his kingdom by force.

How many times do we get bad advice from friends, and we yield to it?
Amnon had a friend named Jonadab, 2 Samuel 13:3. He gave wicked advice.
Samson had a friend, companion, Judges 15:2. He took Samson's wife.

Just because someone is a trusted friend, does not mean we should receive their advice without checking it with the word of God. We cannot violate the word of God and escape the results of bad advice, no matter upon what matter the advice is.

Good study on friends

Vv. 3, 4. David would not act on hearsay. Rather, he sent to find out the matter for himself. A wise man will hear and check all the facts before taking action. Here the action was not to return evil for evil, but to avoid evil. David could not believe Saul was coming out again when it had not been long since Saul turned back, and admitted "he was not as righteous" as David.

Vv. 5-7. David wen tot check the situation out for himself. Evidently, God impressed him to go down among Saul's army, because God sent the deep sleep for David's safety.

Abisai volunteers to go with David. This is the same Abishi of 2 Samuel 21:17 who helped David kill a giant, one of Goliath's sons.

This even sounds like Gideon going down and checking out the camp. Of course, the same God delivered the army to David as delivered the enemy to Gideon.

The camp was set up for the night with Saul the King in the center, and 3,000 of Israel's best men camped around him.

V. 12. From the Lord... God took the mightiest men of Israel, 300 of them, and put them all to sleep at once. Once again, God delivered David's enemy into David's hand. God ordered the circumstances again.

How many Christians would have killed the enemy here regardless of Biblical principles. They would take the second set of circumstances as a sure sign from the Lord that they were to kill the enemy.

The first time in the cave would have easily been excused as an accident, but this time, God's hand in delivering the enemy to David is very evident.

V. 9. Abishai pleads with David to be allowed to solve the problem now, and kill Saul. The fastest and easiest way to solve a problem is not always the right way. No matter what the problem or the evident solution might be, we need the word of God to confirm the solution.

V. 9. David's answer—Against the Lord's anointed... This reason is the same as given in 24:6, the Lord's anointed, when the Lord had delivered Saul into his hand the first time. But look at what has been added to David's response since 24:6: and be guiltless. This addition is no doubt a result of David's situation with Nabal and Abigail. Abigail warned David about hasty retaliation and vengeance. David seems to have not only remembered her warning, but accepted her advice. After Nabal died, David took Abigail to be one of his wives.

Men, a good woman offers good advice that we will do well to heed.

V. 10. The Lord will take care of the enemy. David knew the truth before with his ‘head,' but now he realizes the reality of the statement. The difference? Nabal:

1. The Lord shall smite him: The Lord will send the stroke of death as with Nabal.
2. His day shall come to die: His time will come as it does to every man—a natural death.
3. He shall descend into battle, and perish: Killed in battle.

"When God gets ready, he will take care of it just as he did with Nabal. But I am going to have nothing to do with it. I learned my lesson with Nabal, and it was too close for comfort. Let the Lord take care of it."

What a difficult lesson to learn, The Lord will take care of it in his good time.

Too bad we cannot learn as well as David did from our mistakes.

V. 12. Saul was asleep:

1. Lost his spear, his means of defense.
2. Lost his cruse of water, his means of refreshment and strength.

We could go all over the countryside with this thought:

1. Sin put Saul asleep. Unconfessed sin.
a. the sleep was from the Lord, but was the result of Saul's pride and refusal to submit to God. (James 1:22, be ye doers of the word...)

2. As he slept, he lost his means of defense.
a. This is just a short time before he goes to the witch, and dies at his own hand in battle.

3. He slept, and lot his means of refreshment.
a. David refreshed himself with living water.
b. Saul, in his pride and asleep, did not have access to that living water, even as the leader of God's people. He could no longer see spiritual truths.
Position had nothing to do with the effects of God's word. There can be no exceptions. God has established one standard for all, not one standard for leaders and one standard for followers.

4. Saul was asleep, and all who followed him were asleep. He could not awaken because it was from the Lord.
a. We had best be careful who we follow. If they are asleep, we will be also. Saul had 3,000 of the best in all the land following him. But they were asleep also.

Samson is a good example. Sin caused him to sleep, and he lost all his hair, and his power with God.

5. Saul, being asleep, was open to the attack of his enemy. He had no means of defense.
a. Sin lulls us to sleep.
b. Satan, the Devil, is looking for those who sleep because of sin. 1 Peter 5:7ff.
c. If David had not been one who feared God more than he feared man (Saul), Saul would have been dead twice over. (Chapter 26, 26.)

Whoever we fear most will control our actions.
To the extent we fear God, we will be controlled by God and his word.
To the extent we fear man more than God, we will be controlled by man and what pleases man.

6. Notice here a difference between being asleep and dead.
Saul was asleep, not dead.
Saul was the leader of God's people, Saved. 28:19, Samuel said, "With me".
The child of God is open to the same attacks of Satan when asleep as a dead man (unsaved) is. He was at the mercy of his enemy.
Only because God stayed the hand of his enemy, did he survive.
Only by God's mercy was he not killed in his sleep.

Paul warned the carnal, baby, immature Christians at Corinth to awake to righteousness (1 Corinthians 15:34), because they stood in jeopardy every hour as the result of their sin. V. 30

Saul is asleep because of the sin of rebellion from under authority stood in jeopardy every hour, and it finally caught up with him. Notice that when he died, he killed himself. The end result of sin is self-destruction. No one forced him to kill himself. It just seemed to him the best way out of the situation he got himself into.

1. A child of God that refuses to awake out of sin is killing himself.
2. He leaves himself wide open to the attacks of the enemy.
3. He leaves those under his authority open for the same attacks. 3000 of the best men of God's people are here open to the same attack as was saul, because the one in authority over them was asleep in his sin.

"I know what I should do, but I just can't quite seem to do it," leaves those under him open to destruction.

Saul was not dead, although he might as will have been. All can be traced back to his rebellion against God's man and against God.

The deep sleep was from the Lord, but it was not the Lord's fault. It was Saul's fault, brough about by his pride and stubbornness and rebellion.

Saul blames everyone except the only one who could do anything about it—Saul himself. As long as he refused to accept the blame for his own sin, he was a victim of his own passions.

If he would hav ehumbled himself he would:

2. Had his kingdom established
3 Not have been asleep in his sin
4. Not have troubled Israel. He would have saved Israel much trouble later.

Also notice here: The man asleep in his sin, even though a child of God, looks just like a dead man. His response is the same. One would have to look very closely to see any signs of life, even if he is breathing.

Leaders need to ask God to show what has put his people to sleep, if they are HIS people, or if they are dead.

Notice what woke Saul. V. 14, the cry of David.

Nothing short of the cry of David or the Word of God will wake either dead people or people who are asleep in their sins.

A person who has no desire to look into the word of truth is one or the other – dead or asleep in their sins. Some times, only the Lord knows the truth of which it is.

If a person has no desire to search God's word, then they are probably dead. Those with no desire should be especially concerned that the Lord show them the truth of their salvation or of their hardened state of sin.

July 26, 2008.
I had a man question Bettie and me about his desire to preach. However, he had no desire to seriously read and study God's word. His desire to preach, therefore, was sure not from God. I also sent him the salvation booklet. His response was, "It was interesting." How many men like this are in the pulpits?

Unsaved - eternal damnation.
Saved but asleep - early death.

Not only did Saul face an early and unnecessary death, but so did all of his children, and grandchildren. And all under his authority were in jeopardy.

Saul's grandchildren paid for Saul's sin. 2 Samuel 21:8. This is another principle of God just as sure as the sun raises in the east.

6/1/84 (August 5, 2008)

V. 13. Men have tried for years to pull the Son of David down. They never will. They have tried every way under the sun to stop his word. They have wasted their time.

Vv. 14-16.
Said to Abner... David addresses himself to Abner, the most valiant man in Israel. David reminds him he was asleep, and not doing his job.

It does not matter how valiant a man is or great in the eyes of men; he is putty in the hands of God. He will still be affected by the principles of God. He still slept when Saul slept because it was from the Lord.

V. 17.
Saul says My son David. Here we go again. This is almost a replay of chapter 24. When confronted with the facts, Saul changes personality. Again, a double minded man is unstable in all his ways. Why? Unconfessed sin. See James 1.

The one Saul is trying to kill is now my son.

25:44. Saul had given David's first wife to another man, and still calls him my son. Saul is still sleeping while awake. He is living in a dream world, and cannot see what he is doing nor what is going on around him.

Saul's convictions of good and evil are based on what he gets caught doing rather on any firm foundation. It changes with the wind, and this is exactly what a guilty conscience will do.


V. 18

David reminds Saul that he has done no evil, and Saul himself admitted David was inocent.

V. 19.

The first point about this verse:

"If the Lord had caused yo to do this, then together let us offer a peace offering to him. Let's make it right."

Though the "Lord" was not the problem, let us pursue this though.

Matthew 18:15, If a brother trespass against you, go to him alone...
Matthew 5:23, Leave there thy gift before the altar... and be reconciled...

Remember now, Matthew gives us the laws and principles that operate in the Kingdom of God, laws established by the Son of David. The Son is lord of all, regardless of what man thinks.

Here we have given to us the kingdom laws and principles of why we must go to the brother of chapters 5 & 18. This law is given in many other places, but these two are enough to establish the facts.

Matthew 7:1-5. Here we have a view of sin in our eyes. To me, the sin in my life looks like a small splinter, but to my brother who is watching me, it is a light pole. It may be something that is very small and insignificant, and long forgotten on my part. But to him, it is very large, and keeps getting larger. Until it is made right, everything we do will be considered in the ‘light' of the past sin by the one sinned against.

Here David says, "If there is something between us, let us make it right." "If there is something I have done, tell me, and I will make my offering to God for it." "If I have done something to offend you, point it out to me."

However, the offence was not on David's part, but on Saul's. He pursued David because he (Saul) was fleeing from God. He knew he had been set aside by God, but rather than deal with God, he pursued God's man who he knew would replace him.

Man is good at pursuing other things as he flees from or fights with God. (I have found that I can find all kinds of even good things to do in order to put off doing what I should be doing.)

V. 19.
If the Lord... "If I have done something that has offended you and the Lord is using you to show me, then we need to settle it."

The same goes for God's people today—We need to let irritations, hard times, hard feelings and bad spirits get our attention. These things others have toward us should be considered signels to examine our relationship toward God. (Is there unconfessed sin, or am I not doing soemthing I should be doing?)

Is my sin of omission or commission being reflected back to me by "Saul?" Saul was not right with God. Saul had rebelled and was rebelling against God. God had sent a troubling spirit to Saul. But even at that, David used the experience with Saul to examiner his own self. If the Lord... no matter who it is or what it is or the circumstances might be, we must see it as a signal to examiner our lives.

"Is the Lord causing that person to respond to me in that evil manner?" I must honestly look and see if it is a sin or a wrong attitude or something else being reflected back. How can I look? Again, ask the lord to show me. Here again is the necessity of spending time alone with the Lord and his word.

The second point about this verse:

If it be the children of men... The problem will be one or the other.

Notice here that rather than counsel Saul to get right with God in his rebellion, the advice he was given was to get rid of David. But Saul lost his kingdom over rebellion; that is, refusal to submit to the authority of God. He did not lose it because David was a better man. David was only a better man in the since of submission to the Lord.

Is this not like men today? We want to deal with the results of sin, which might be conflict with others, rather than dealing with the cause of sin. And many people are making vast sums of money transferring sin from the sinner onto someone or something else.

The Enemy says:

Let us develop a new medicine for AIDS rather than say, "Sodomy is wrong." The same goes for all types of illnesses.

Let us operate for stomach problems, gall bladders, kidneys, heart, collin instead of telling people to get rid of bitterness and unbelief – get right with God.

The list is endless of how man today wants to treat the results rather than the cause of illnesses. Let me mention that there is no money in dealing with the cause of illnesses. The money is in treating the symptoms.

The list is endless, of how man today wants to treat the results rather than the root, all at the encouragement of the enemy of our souls.

Their advice here is, "Get rid of David if you want your kingdom established." (August 5, 2008, this is really a problem today, much more than when I put this together back in 84. Sinful man is working very hard to get rid of David so he can establish his own kingdom. In fact, man is willing to replace David with anyone, even followers of Mohamad, if it will establish more firmly man's kingdom.

"Get rid of David if you want peace and freedom."
"Get rid of David if you want people to respect you." 18:8, 9.

The lie of humanism is that you can have freedom, victory, health, peace, prosperity all of the good things man desires without David. In fact, you can only have these things without David.

His lie even included, "Less work, and more play time, and you will be happy." The 36 hour work week went to China, where they work double that amount, and now we are "lucky" to have a job at all.

Go to the counselor and he will tell you how to deal with the results of your hard feelings and bitterness. One of the ladies at Merrywoods Baptist Church did that in the very early 80s. The government paid the $75 an hour.

A note in passing: Rome was the most corrupt government to ever be established on the face of the earth. It was wicked and ungodly: Abortion was entirely legal within the empire, although the early church enforced severe penalties against any member who might be involved in this practice. When the woman would still deliver the baby she did not want, she would abandon the baby under a bridge on the River Tiber in Rome. It was left there for the dogs to eat. The Christians would collect these babies and raise them in the ways of the Lord.

Rome even passed laws against the Christians collecting the babies, but public pressure caused them to repeal the laws within a year.

These berths were not registered, therefore the baby was a non-person and it is hard to legislate in regard to a non-person, although Rome tried.

The government charged the Christians with collecting these non-person babies for cannibalism (communion feasts), and with incest. Rome accused the early church of being ‘atheists' because they would not worship Rome's gods, or admit Caesar was the one who gave them permission to establish churches and worship the Lord. The result was terrible persecution, but in all this mess, the people paid taxes.

Returning to:

The State will pay for abortions, but will not discourage the cause. In fact, the State encourages "free sex."

Saul lost his kingdom because of rebellion, not because of David, no matter how much the children of men counseled him to get rid of David in order to secure his throne. David was not the problem.

The only way he could have scured his throne and protect his children was to deal with his sin of rebellion.

David said, "If there is sin, let us deal with it."
Man said, "It does not matter how we got here (the root), here is the problem," and they blame the problem on someone else.


V. 19
Cursed be they before the Lord, and the people who give this kind of wicked counsel to deal with the fruit and not the root have the curse of God upon them. Of course, this is the advice of men today, even among the "clergy."

Notice these men drive David from his proper place.

The Son of David's proper place is dealing with and exposing sin. These wicked advisers, inspired by Satan, advise against the Son of David are doing the same today–driving David from his proper place.

"Ah, but that is not the problem. The problem is we have not learned enough yet. The problem is that we have not discovered the right drugs to treat AIDS, VD, Pregnancy, heart disease, blood disease, cancer, &c., &c."

Driven me out from my inheritance... Try to convince my people there are other answers; try to separate me from my inheritance, and his people are his inheiratance. God's people are looking for the chance to blame their problems on something other than rebellion, a root sin in their lives.

It was the Ziphites (26:1) who wanted him out of his inheritance–people settled in the land of Judah that was also David's inheritance. Not only once but twice, they tried to take his inheritance from him: "We will not have this man reign over us," cried the Jews. He exposes our root problems (sin) that must be dealt with, and we enjoy them too much.

We want man's advice. For he will advise us to try a new drug, different doctor or anothe rhospital rather than to get the sin right.

Let us drive David out of his inheritance, so we will have the inheritance, say the ungodly counselors.

Mark 12:7, This is the heir, come let us kill him, and the inheritance shall be ours. Men think to themselves and they convince Saul this is the answer.

The Ziphites call on Saul to come deal with the problem. Saul has the same mind, "If I can only get rid of David, the throne will be mine and my family's." (Mark 12:7, speaks of the Jewish nation, though it applies for our day.)


V. 21. I have sinned said Saul, and again Saul deals with the fruit of his rebellion, rather than the origional rebellion. He meets a miserable death.

Answer: Take stock of our lives. Are we pursuing fleas and partridges with our lives? Ask God to show a root of bitterness, or that root of sin, and deal with it. Make sin right, and we can be establishere, or rather the Son of David can be established in us.


Saul, seeing the facts laid out before him, will admit sin, but as far as dealing with it, repentance, he still refuses. 27:4 implies that Saul still had in mind catching David.

V. 21, behold I have played the fool, and have erred exceedingly. A man caught "red handed" will admit to about anything.

Notice Saul admits:

1) I have sinned–acted against God.
2) I have played the fool–acted against himself

The person who sins is playing the fool against himself and his family and loved ones. He harms everyone around him, particularly himself.

V. 21. Saul said. (V. 25 is along this line also.)

1) return, my son David.
2) I will no more do thee harm.

Here we come back to Saul. A double minded man is unstable in all his ways.

When Saul is under the influence of David (the right crowd), he makes all kinds of promises. And just as sincere as he can be.

As soon as he gets back with his other advisers (26:19), he turns against David. Saul cannot be trusted until he makes sin right, and by right, we must mean turning from that sin. It takes a good amount of time for one to prove he is trustable again. Wisely David went his own way, v. 25.

We do the same: As long as we are under David's influence, we too will make right decisions.

V. 23. The Lord render to every man his righteousness and his faithfulness...

The Lord is the only one who can. Notice: David should have had this attitude toward Nabal, Chapter 25, but he did not until Abigail came to him. Many times it takes a woman to bring a man to his senses. (They can also drive a man from his senses.)

Vengence is mine, saith the Lord. I will repay... And by Saul being the Lord's anointed (26:23), David did not have any problem remembering this. But with the fool, he forgot this principle. There are certain situations where we have no problem remembering what God says, but in others, we seem to forget quickly, and it is the same principle.

Maybe we would not think of talking against the preacher, but we will talk against the boss, a fellow employee, neighbor, &c. David foudn out the principle is the same. Just as much a sin and the rusults the same as taking vengence against the fool as it was against the Lord's anointed. Both would have cost him the blessings of the Lord.

V. 24
David does not trust himself to Saul, for Saul's protection, but to the Lord to deliver him out of all tribulation.

David depends upon the Lord:

1) to avenge him.
2) to repay him for doing right and suffering for it.
3) to protect, deliver him from all tribulation.

V. 25.
Saul responds. Not much differently than his response in 24:16-22, which was the last time Saul found himself in this situation.

1) Blessed be thou, my son David.
2) thou shalt both do great things.
3) and also thou shalt still prevail.

1> Only when Saul is faced with the fact of his sin does he confess, "Blessed are you, David."
2> Why? Because David tried to do right in this situation.
3> Why? Because God will avenge and establish David.

Saul knew all of this from the last time (chapter 24) but "Out of sight, out of mind."

So David went his way.
Saul returned to his place.

David could not trust Saul.

1. 18:11, David avoided out of his presence twice as Saul tried to kill him.
2. 19:1, They should kill David.
3. 19:8, 9, Saul sought to smite David.
4. 19:11, 12, Saul sent messengers to David's house to kill him.
5. 19:19, Saul sent messengers to Ramah to take David.
6. 19:21, Again...
7. 19:23, Saul himself went to Ramah.
8. 20:23, Saul cast a javelin at Jonathan for covering for David.
9. 22:18, Saul kills 45 priests for helping David.
10. 23:8, Saul calls all people of war together to Keilah to besiege David.
V. 13, David escapes.
11. 23:19, Men of Ziph tell Saul David is at Ziph.
Saul seeks to kill David there.
12. 24:2, Saul takes 3000 chosen men to seek David at Engedi.
13. 26:2, Saul takes 3000 chosen men to seek David at Ziph.

At least 13 times, Saul attempted to take captive or kill David, and now Saul (v. 21) asks David to return with him. David rightly refuses.

"Come now, said the spider to the fly."

Is it not amazing how dumb God's people can be. Over and over, Got tells us how Satan robs and destroys God's people of their victory, power and freedom. With illustration after illustration, God shows the result of indifference and undependability, unfaithfulness. God wrote 66 books to us, straight from his heart to caution us. And still the Devil says, "All is all right. No need to be faithful all the time. You will get by." God's people believe the lie, and return with "Saul" into his trap.

"Come into my lair," the lion says to his victim. "I have changed. I no longer eat little lambs. My natural diet has changed, and I eat wolves now."

And the lamb goes into the lion's den even when the fresh bones of previous lambs litter the ground, and the wolves gnawing on the bones. 13 little sheep have followed the lion into his den, and have not returned, "But you will be the exception."

David knew better. 13 times Saul tried and failed to do him in. David was not going to give him another chance. The average Christian today would have said, "He has changed. He is no problem this time. I will go and see what he has for me."

Saul even lifted up his voice and wept (24:16) the last time, and still came after David again.

Note: Genuine repentance requires a change of life-style, proved over a period of time. It took 10 generations in the Old Testament for the seed of the sinner to be admitted to the congergation of the Lord. (Deuteronomy 23:2, 3.)

How can we be so blind to Satan's attacks upon us. I have heard the term, "Compulsive coolness" of God's people toward the important things of God. Not only coolness of the individuals, but the coolness of the local assembly. ("The Atheism of the Early Church.")

This Compulsive Coolness is the result of the fall. Adam, as a perfect man, desired to please God in the right things (as did the second Adam, Christ.) The fall resulted in man's attitude toward the right things, important things, turning into a Compulsive Coolness.

14 Times the enemy attempted to do us in, but man's nature of Compulsive Coolness toward God and faithfulness to him gives man a compulsion to try to be the exception one more time.

Man must overcome his Compulsive Coolness and heed the word of God in his faithfulness to God, or Saul will do him in. The enemy never gives up, and makes all kinds of promises. Even now, Saul continues after David, 27:4, if David is within striking distance.

Though Saul wept with tears and pleaded with David, he did not change. When a man believes his enemy has changed without long range proof, he tempts God, or presumes upon the Lord–presumption. For a Christian to believe he can go his own way as he feels is best, is to tempt God, and God will use Saul to finish him off.

Again, the answer is found in v. 23b—use the word of God as our authority.

V. 25.
David went his way, and Saul returned to his place.

Judas went to his place. Was Saul "saved?"