I Samuel 27

1. And David said in his heart, “Now I shall perish someday by the hand of Saul. There is nothing better for me than that I should speedily escape to the land of the Philistines; and Saul will despair of me, to seek me anymore in any part of Israel. So I shall escape out of his hand.”

David now realizes that no appeal to God or conscience will turn Saul from his dogged pursuit of David to kill him, and no word from Saul to the contrary is worth anything at all. It seems that he starts to dwell on this, and it looms large in his mind to the point where he fears in his heart. Remember that the Hebrew word “heart” means not just the emotions, but the inner being. It seems with his whole being he starts to fear and lose his confidence in the helping hand of God that was with him. He focuses on his fears, rather than on the LORD, Who has helped him up until now. The result is that he does not think he can continue to escape from Saul forever, and so he concludes that one of these days Saul will catch him and kill him. Well, the only reason that had not happened already was because the hand of God was with David. Yet where did David think that hand would go in the future? David forgot here his confidence and trust. Read the rest of this entry »

I Samuel 26

1. Now the Ziphites came to Saul at Gibeah, saying, “Is David not hiding in the hill of Hachilah, opposite Jeshimon?”

As they did back in chapter 23, the Ziphites once again betray David’s location to Saul. They had decided to throw in their lot with the current king, in spite of the fact that they were from Judah, David’s own tribe. Thus, they figured to go all in, and hope for the victory of Saul resulting in their own advancement. Fortunately for them, David was not a vengeful person. Yet certainly their hopes of advancement by siding with Saul did not come to fruition.

The Ziphites come to Saul at his home in Gibeah, and report to him that David is in the hill of Hachilah opposite Jeshimon. This was the same place he was in when they betrayed him back in I Samuel 23:19! Apparently he was as yet unaware of the treachery of the Ziphites, and so he had returned to this old hiding place, not realizing that his trust in the local peoples had been betrayed. Of course, it was also true that Saul was not supposed to be pursuing David anymore, as he had sworn to him back in I Samuel 24:22. Read the rest of this entry »

I Samuel 25 Continued

23 Now when Abigail saw David, she dismounted quickly from the donkey, fell on her face before David, and bowed down to the ground.

Now Abigail sees and recognizes David riding towards her. She jumps off her donkey and falls on her face before God’s anointed, bowing herself down before him. In our European customs, we usually only bow from the waist, but in an oriental culture like that of Israel, bowing to the ground was customary and usual, so this is what she does to honor David.

24. So she fell at his feet and said: “On me, my lord, on me let this iniquity be! And please let your maidservant speak in your ears, and hear the words of your maidservant.

Abigail falls at David’s feet, which was the position of a supplicant. She then asks David to let her take the blame for this iniquity, by which she means her husband’s insult against David. Yet she begs him to hear her out, claiming for herself only the position of a maidservant before David. Read the rest of this entry »

I Samuel 25

1. Then Samuel died; and the Israelites gathered together and lamented for him, and buried him at his home in Ramah. And David arose and went down to the Wilderness of Paran.

Here we have the sad note that Samuel, that great prophet, priest, and judge of Israel, died. Of course, this eventually happens to and is the fate of all men, for we are all dying in Adam. Thank God that, as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive, and so we have a life after this one. This life we are now living is indeed not all there is.

Now this book is the book of Samuel, and Samuel has been the author of the early chapters. What happens here, then, when the book itself records Samuel’s death? Surely the LORD did not have him write the historical record of his own death and of the events that took place after his death. Yet this is no problem, for as we have seen from I Chronicles 29:29, this book had three authors, listed in that verse as Samuel the seer, Nathan the prophet, and Gad the seer. Therefore it is doubtless true that one of them took over writing the book at this point, probably Nathan, since he is listed first. (He may not have taken over just here, but may have started writing the record a few chapters before this as well. There is really no way to tell when one author ends and another begins, since the book is written as a seamless whole.) Read the rest of this entry »

I Samuel 24

1. Now it happened, when Saul had returned from following the Philistines, that it was told him, saying, “Take note! David is in the Wilderness of En Gedi.”

Saul chases off the Philistines invaders and returns from this campaign. He then learns from his spies David’s new hiding place in the Wilderness of En Gedi. It certainly did not take him long to get this information in order to be able to continue his pursuit!

2. Then Saul took three thousand chosen men from all Israel, and went to seek David and his men on the Rocks of the Wild Goats.

Saul perhaps is reluctant to take his entire army this time after what happened the last time. Therefore, he takes three thousand chosen men from his army to chase David. These would have been elite forces, and probably more than a match under normal circumstances for David and his rag-tag band of misfits. Then they move out to seek David and his men on the Rocks of the Wild Goats, which were probably very near En Gedi, the “Fountain of the Kid.” Read the rest of this entry »

drifter02I Samuel 23

1. Then they told David, saying, “Look, the Philistines are fighting against Keilah, and they are robbing the threshing floors.”

Now a report reaches David that the Philistines are fighting with the city of Keilah, a city in the lowlands of Judah northwest of Hebron. Keilah means “Fortress,” and assuming this city lived up to its name it had little to fear from a siege. Yet this does not seem to be the object of the Philistines in this battle. Instead, they have come at harvest time, and are robbing their threshingfloors. At harvest time, the fields would have been full of what would have amounted to great wealth, and those fields were outside the walls of the city. Thus the Philistines were raiding to steal their crops, which would mean the impoverishment of the city, and could even mean death by starvation for its people. Read the rest of this entry »

fossil02I received the following comments:

I think I have spent enough time reading in the last month or so to be able to add a bit more to our discussion. I appreciate the opportunity to bounce a few things off someone whose opinions I respect. I am going to make statements without “wax” and let you respond as directly as you wish. I am still considering both sides at this point.

I understand death before fall to be a natural part of animal life. I understand human death after the fall to be “spiritual” and also physical death for man probably started on that day and concluding at the time of Adams death.

Of course this view of animal death puts me at odds with some, but not at odds with scripture, as I understand it. I am quite confident that the Romans passage applies very clearly just to man. I don’t see why soul-creatures would be included in that verse. Read the rest of this entry »

bloodyknife02I Samuel 22

1. David therefore departed from there and escaped to the cave of Adullam. So when his brothers and all his father’s house heard it, they went down there to him.

The king of Gath, instead of killing David, ejects him from his house as a madman, and so David escapes the Philistines. Perhaps he now realizes that his attempt to sojourn with Israel’s enemies was ill-advised. At any rate, he heads back into Judah, trusting God to care for him there. He escapes to a cave called Adullam, which means “Justice of the People.” This cave was near the city of Adullam in Judah’s plains. In this case, the cave did mean justice, since it hid David, whom justice proves was innocent of all the jealous accusations of Saul.

David’s family hears of his exile and of his new dwelling place, and they realize the difficult situation they are in. Now that David is branded a traitor his whole family is in danger, since Saul might figure they will know where David is and demand that they turn him over to him on pain of death. Their home is no longer safe for David’s family, so his brothers and all his father’s house come down to the cave and join him in hiding there.

This must have been a difficult thing. We saw back in chapter 17 that at least David’s oldest brother (and perhaps others of his brothers as well) was jealous of David and his choice by God. With them being swept up in this calamity that now had happened to David, they perhaps wished that David had not been chosen by God at all. Yet they were associated with David, and God would care for them along with him. They, unlike Jonathan, threw their lot in with God’s man, and they would go up or down with him. In the short term they might go down, but in the long term they would go up with David, and their faithfulness to him would be rewarded. Read the rest of this entry »

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI Samuel 21

1. Now David came to Nob, to Ahimelech the priest. And Ahimelech was afraid when he met David, and said to him, “Why are you alone, and no one is with you?”

Now we cover the record of David’s flight. First of all, David comes to Nob, which means “High Place,” and was a city of the priests. It was near Jerusalem in the land of Benjamin. There he meets with Ahimelech the high priest. The name Ahimelech means “My Brother is King.” This was a most ambitious name! Yet consider that this man was the great-grandson of Eli. Remember that God had cursed Eli’s line back in I Samuel 2:31-33.

31. Behold, the days are coming that I will cut off your arm and the arm of your father’s house, so that there will not be an old man in your house. 32. And you will see an enemy in My dwelling place, despite all the good which God does for Israel. And there shall not be an old man in your house forever. 33. But any of your men whom I do not cut off from My altar shall consume your eyes and grieve your heart. And all the descendants of your house shall die in the flower of their age.

The curse of God on Eli’s family was that they all would die young, none surviving to old age until a rival priest arises and takes over. At this time they would be put out of the priesthood and find themselves impoverished, hoping that the family of the new priest would give them even a minor job so that they would have food to eat. This has not happened yet, however, and Ahimelech is the priest. Yet for a man in a family that is under God’s curse, it is interesting that his name is in no way humble, but rather is vainglorious and ambitious. Certainly the family of Eli does not seem to have humbled itself before the LORD in light of the curse they were under! Read the rest of this entry »

I Samuel 20 Continued

24. Then David hid in the field. And when the New Moon had come, the king sat down to eat the feast.

David does as Jonathan said and hides himself in the field. The next day when the New Moon feast is held arrives, and Saul sits down to the meal, as David and Jonathan knew would happen.

25. Now the king sat on his seat, as at other times, on a seat by the wall. And Jonathan arose, and Abner sat by Saul’s side, but David’s place was empty.

The scene is described for us as if the prophet was there to see it take place, which of course he was not. Yet the LORD was there, and He saw all the proceedings.

Saul is there on his typical seat next to the wall. If a king has his accustomed chair, no one is else is going to sit in it! Jonathan was on the seat of honor by him as his son and heir, and Abner, his cousin and army commander, was on his other side. David’s place, however, the place of the king’s son-in-law and lesser army commander, was empty. Read the rest of this entry »

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