You’d think by now Saul would give up on trying to take out David, but no, he’s still at it. Saul and his “black ops” team hit the trail as soon as they learn David and his men’s new location:
“Saul camped along the road beside the hill of Hakilah, near Jeshimon, where David was hiding. When David learned that Saul had come after him into the wilderness, he sent out spies to verify the report of Saul’s arrival” (I Samuel 26:3-4, NLT).
“David slipped over to Saul’s camp one night to look around. Saul and Abner son of Ner, the commander of his army, were sleeping inside a ring formed by the slumbering warriors. ‘Who will volunteer to go in there with me?’ David asked Ahimelech the Hittite and Abishai son of Zeruiah, Joab’s brother” (I Samuel 26:5-6a).
“‘I’ll go with you,’ Abishai replied. So David and Abishai went right into Saul’s camp and found him asleep, with his spear stuck in the ground beside his head. Abner and the soldiers were lying asleep around him” (I Samuel 26:6b-7).
Here’s where David is once again put to the test. Maybe even with the best of intentions, he receives some very bad advice: “‘God has surely handed your enemy over to you this time!’ Abishai whispered to David. ‘Let me pin him to the ground with one thrust of the spear; I won’t need to strike twice!’” (I Samuel 26:8).
But how did David respond? “‘No!’ David said. ‘Don’t kill him. For who can remain innocent after attacking the Lord’s anointed one? Surely the Lord will strike Saul down someday, or he will die of old age or in battle. The Lord forbid that I should kill the one he has anointed! But take his spear and that jug of water beside his head, and then let’s get out of here!’” (I Samuel 26:9-11).
Again, David has the perfect setup for taking Saul’s life. Again, he gets well-meaning advice from a sincere friend. Again, the advice is dead wrong. And again, David is wise enough to recognize his situation as a test and leave Saul for God to deal with.
“So David took the spear and jug of water that were near Saul’s head. Then he and Abishai got away without anyone seeing them or even waking up, because the Lord had put Saul’s men into a deep sleep. David climbed the hill opposite the camp until he was at a safe distance. Then he shouted down to the soldiers and to Abner son of Ner, ‘Wake up, Abner!’ ‘Who is it?’ Abner demanded” (I Samuel 26:12-14).
Then David called out: “‘Look around! Where are the king’s spear and the jug of water that were beside his head?’ Here is your spear, O king,’ David replied. ‘Let one of your young men come over and get it. The Lord gives his own reward for doing good and for being loyal, and I refused to kill you even when the Lord placed you in my power, for you are the Lord’s anointed one’” (I Samuel 26:16b, 22-23).
How’d David and Abishai get through an entire circle of sleeping soldiers to reach Saul and Abner? “The Lord had put Saul’s men into a deep sleep.” This wasn’t a “golden opportunity” to kill Saul; it was a test of David’s character.
Use extreme caution and plenty of prayer before latching onto any “golden opportunity.”
Copyright © 2012
Judy Woodward Bates