1 Samuel 26-27 - Skip Heitzig
Calvary Church is dedicated to doctrine, and we want you to experience the life change that comes from knowing God's Word and applying it to your life. So we explain the Bible verse by verse, every chapter, every book. This is Expound.
We are in our trek through Scripture. We are in 1 Samuel 26. 26. Let's turn in our Bibles, we'll get ready for that. If you're new to Wednesday nights, welcome. I'll tell you what it is-- very simple.
Welcome to our living room-- our large living room. We study the Scriptures together verse by verse, book by book-- chapter by chapter, book by book. I've been through the Bible now or three or four or five times with this church, and people say, well, how many churches have you pastored? I probably have pastored 20 or 30 in one place.
Because people move-- they are here a while, they move on. They go to different cities, they go to heaven. New generations are born, I dedicate children who have me dedicate their children. So we're just marching toward Heaven and, in the meantime, studying the Scriptures to find out what we should do until we get there.
So we are find ourselves in one of the most influential and consequential lives ever lived. That is the life of David-- King David. David, who was a shepherd, and then a poet, and then a psalmist, then a warrior, then a builder, then a king, so one of the great lives of Scripture-- one of the great, most influential people ever who have lived. And we are almost through 1 Samuel, then we'll go back to the New Testament, then we'll go back to the Old Testament. So if you're new, that's what we're doing. We're going verse by verse through the Scripture.
We're going to pray in a moment. If you don't think you're able to sit here for an entire hour, understood. I mean, look, it's like-- really? A Bible study, like, for an hour? I mean five minutes, ten minutes is OK, but an hour?
So if you're thinking that way, and you're freaking out when I mentioned that, we're going to bow our heads, close our eyes. We're going to pray. During that time, you can move to the very back so that if you, like, ten minutes down the road go, OK, I'm out of here-- not a problem, because nobody will see you.
If, however, you get up in the middle of the study and meander out, then all the attention goes to you instead of the Holy Spirit's attention on the Word. And, you know, we're not going to, like, tackle you or anything, but-- but we're gonna want to! No, I'm just kidding. But just to save all that, just thought we'd warn you as we begin. Let's pray.
Father, thank you for this ability to gather together in the middle of our week, to take a break from work, from commitments, from deadlines, from planning, and to be able to intentionally, purposefully hear your voice through the Scriptures. To take a swath of Scripture so that as a church, we might learn together and literally be on the same page when it comes to eternal truth. Pray that you will direct us individually, but also that you will direct us as your community in this community. That we would know what to do, we might know how to live, we might know how to present you faithfully, lovingly, powerfully. In Jesus' name, amen.
An author by the name of Galen Anderson wrote something I wanted to begin with. He said, "A man's life is either like a tumbleweed or an oak tree. Some people just grow like a weed. They're of no value in their youth, and as the years of life come, they break loose and become a blotch on society. They have no useful purpose in life, just grifters. Their loved ones will mourn their loss, but society will not miss them.
Then there are those whose lives are like the oak. They have turned from the frivolity of this life and have invested in things that have genuine worth. Their influence for good will live on in the lives of others after they are gone. Their death is noticed because their lives were spent bettering the nation and the community. They will be missed."
Now think of that and ask yourself the simple question, which am I like? Am I a tumbleweed or an oak tree? We are studying the difference between King Saul and king-to-be, David.
Saul really was sort of blowing through the nation like a tumbleweed. Making his mark, sort of, but the people will be glad, and the nation will be better and at rest when he's passed off the scene. David, on the other hand-- greatly influential, contributes greatly, and goes down in history so importantly that our Messiah, our Christ, our Lord, is called the Son of David.
Not only because, literally, he is of the offspring of David, but that name carried weight with it. Even though David himself was not a perfect man, as we have and will see over the course of our study. David was more like the oak tree, Saul was more like the tumbleweed.
Yet, as we saw last week, David struggled with David. He had his low moments. He almost killed Nabal-- that was last week's study, chapter 25. Nabal was the guy who owned all those sheep and was shearing his sheep. David's men had protected him in the wilderness. David thought Nabal should give him some payback, like some food, some grub, some wool for his troops-- his 600 men.
Nabal said, get out of here, I don't care who you are. So David went ballistic and threatened to kill every single male that worked for Nabal. Just kill them all! I mean, he went all al-Qaeda on him. Like, I'm just gonna wipe you out.
What's interesting is that he did not do that with King Saul. In chapter 24, the chapter before, that when in En Gedi, in that cave we told you about-- and you can see, when you go on a tour with us to Israel-- where David was hiding with his men. When Saul walked in and his men said, there he is. He's vulnerable, kill him.
David goes, I can't. I can't touch the Lord's anointed. I'm not gonna do it. And he cut off a little piece of Saul's robe and felt guilty about cutting off a piece of Saul's robe.
Oh, man, I've sinned against the Lord's anointed. I cut off a piece of his shorts, or his pants, or his coat, or whatever it might be. The hem of his garment.
Yet when it comes to Nabal, he has no problem at all killing Nabal and everybody else for that infraction. So that's why I say like, Jekyll and Hyde, he is struggling with himself. David is struggling with David.
I can't tell you exactly why he would be forgiving to Saul and so filled with anger and animosity toward Nabal, except-- and here's my take on it-- I really think David believed that he could turn Saul's heart back toward him. I just think that David knew Saul a little bit and thought, I know he's a wild card, but given the right speech, the right circumstances, we have a history. He knows my heart. I think I'll be able to turn him back. I know what his men have told him, but I think David believed that he might be able to do that.
So we see this struggle, and we will see many other struggles like it as we go on in our study. David does have a problem with anger. It even shows up in the inspired literature of the Psalms, where David will be praising God one moment, and then the next song Psalm will be an imprecatory Psalm calling judgment down on his enemies-- Lord break their teeth in their mouth, hallelujah. He did struggle with anger.
When I was a kid, I struggled with anger. There was that time I've told you about when I came in-- I was so angry at something my parents were making me do that I karate chopped the door to my bedroom and put a huge hole right in the middle, above the doorknob. My dad thought that it would be good if I would remember that, so he just put a piece of white cardboard over the white door with tape over it for months.
So that everybody who came inside and said, what's the cardboard for? Oh, there's a hole in the door. What's the hole there for? Well, my son kicked it in, put a hole in it.
So it's like, dad, get rid of the door. Well, I didn't kick it in, you get rid of the door. You fix it.
But it was there for a while, just to remind me of that. Or the time my brother threw me through the front window of my parent's house and broke it while they were out on a date, and they paid to repair it. And then as soon as it was repaired, I, in another altercation, threw him through that same newly replaced window out into the front yard.
So I had a history, like David did. Now you, I think, will be happy to know, and I think you suspect, I don't have the same problem anymore. Although, when I drive around Albuquerque-- right? Right? You feel me, right? You get that, right?
I get tempted. It's tough. It's hard. I wanna-- I wanna go from the Sermonator to the Terminator, and it's an easy transition.
In the days of Winston Churchill, there was a notorious member of the Parliament-- the first female member of the Parliament at that time, Lady Astor. And famously they were at each other's throat. Famously, they argued with each other and slandered each other.
On one occasion, Lady Astor said to Winston Churchill publicly, sir, if you were my husband, I'd put arsenic in your tea. And everybody laughed and clapped at that. And Winston Churchill, not to be outdone, quickly turned to Lady Astor and said, if I were your husband, I'd drink it.
On another occasion, Lady Astor said sir, you're drunk. And he was. But Churchill said, madam, you're ugly, and tomorrow I will be sober. So on and on it went. They got jabs at each other, and David's has that in him.
And he-- we left off in chapter 25, where he wanted to do that. Now, in chapter 26:1-- I should actually get into the Bible study by now-- now the Ziphites came to Saul at Gibeah saying, is David not hiding in the hill of Hachilah, which is opposite Jeshimon? Jeshimon just means the desert or the wasteland, somewhere in that southern portion of the land of Judah. There's so much of that desert area down by the Dead Sea and down toward Beersheba.
Then Saul arose and went down to the wilderness of Ziph, having 3,000 chosen men of Israel. So three military companies, 3,000 and all, went down. David has 600 men-- he's outnumbered five to one. Saul brings a standing army.
Now, when we left off in chapter 25-- chapter 24, excuse me-- in the previous time that Saul was after David, and David had the little piece of robe that he held up, said, see I could have killed you, I didn't kill you. And Saul lifted up his voice and wept, is that you, my son David? Oh, you know-- you're going to be the next king, and basically, you know, you're more righteous than I am. When you're the king, please be nice to my household.
But now he's back. Hears that David is still alive, still hiding-- goes after him again to seek David in the wilderness of Ziph. And Saul encamped in the hill of Hachilah, opposite Jeshimon, by the road, but David stayed in the wilderness. And he saw that Saul came after him into the wilderness.
David, therefore, sent out spies and understood that Saul had indeed come. So he dispatched a couple of guys who, go check it out. I hear Saul's on the road. See if it's really him.
They came back, yep. He's here. He's chasing you. He's got his men.
So David arose, and he came to the place where Saul had encamped. And David saw the place where Saul lay, and Abner, the son of Ner, the commander of his army. So Saul is there. He's got his 600 men. He has Abner, his commander in chief of the army-- his bodyguard.
And Saul lay within the camp, and the people encamped all around him. That was standard procedure-- you always protect the king. You got your Secret Service people around you.
David answered and said to Ahimelech, the Hittite, and to Abishai, the son of Zeruiah, the brother of Joab, saying, who will go down with me to Saul in the camp? And Abishai said, I'll go with you. First of all, I really like that David was almost brazen in his bravery. You know, here you've got 3,000 men, you yourself have 600 men, and you say to somebody in your camp, hey, I'm going down there alone. Who wants to come with?
You know, just, you know, unafraid. Now I'm thinking, most guys-- I'm not going to go two to 3,000. But one of them, Abishai, goes, I want to go. Sounds like fun. Let's go.
So David and Abishai came to the people by night. And there Saul lay, sleeping within the camp with his spear stuck in the ground by his head. And Abner and the people lay all around him.
Now let me explain a couple of things in our text, because we could just read this through, but some people want more information. Some may not, but I'm just going to give you what I've got. So you'll notice in verse six, Ahimelech the Hittite. The reason he is named as such, Ahimelech the Hittite, is because a Hittite is not an Israelite. He's from another tribal group.
Much like later on there will be Uriah the Hittite, who will have a wife named Bathsheba, and David will hire Uriah the Hittite in his army. And then later on have Uriah the Hittite killed. So you've got Uriah the Hittite, now you've got Ahimelech the Hittite-- these were probably for-hire soldiers. Mercenary soldiers. Special forces hired by David for the job.
And then it mentions also in verse six Abishai, the son of Zeruiah. Zeruiah was David's sister. David's sister bore three sons-- this guy, Abishai, another guy mentioned here, Joab, another guy not mentioned here, Asahel. All three of them, the sons of Zeruiah, will become very important in David's army, as he builds his army up, but they are nephews to him-- they're relatives to him.
And so it says Abner and all the people, at the end of verse seven, lay all around him. Saul is after David again, and as I was reading chapter 24 again-- I was reading through some of the sections today-- I was thinking this. David gave Saul a second chance.
David could have killed him. In fact, his men said, this is the Lord. He's right in front of you. He's in the cave relieving his needs. Kill him!
This is the Lord. The Lord's delivered him into your hand. No, I'm not going to do it, David said. He's the Lord's anointed. So he let him escape.
Now, Saul was grateful and said, David, you are more righteous than I am. That's his way of going, phew, you didn't kill me. So he got a second chance What do you do when you get a second chance?
What do you do when you get a second chance at life? When I was a kid, my dad was driving from Reno, Nevada, up toward our little cabin in Oregon. We got in a head on collision. The man and the other car died instantly. My mom and dad were put in the hospital.
I walked away from the accident. And I was young, but I know the Lord was speaking to me. You got a second chance.
And in the months and years shortly after there, I gave my life to the Lord. What do you do when you have a second chance? What should Saul have done?
Changed his way. But he didn't. He's right back at it again, and he's going to get another chance in another situation.
Verse eight. Then Abishai said to David, God has delivered your enemy into your hand this day. Same theology that they had in chapter 24-- this is the Lord. And we told you then that sometimes Christians misinterpret events as being from the Lord, or this is the Holy Spirit, or this is God doing this, when David doesn't really read that as the Lord delivering them into my hands, but an opportunity for me to get a message to him in a very creative way.
But Abishai said, God has delivered your enemy into your hand this day. Now therefore, please let me strike him at once with the spear right to the Earth, and I will not have to strike him a second time. David, I'm a good shot. One blow. Just give me one shot at it. I'll make sure he gets the point.
And David said to Abishai, do not destroy him, for who can stretch out his hand-- here it is again-- against the Lord's anointed and be guiltless? David said, furthermore, as the Lord lives, the Lord shall strike him, or his day shall come to die, or he will go out to battle and perish.
Interesting. He's ready to off Nabal and all of his sheep-shearing buddies, but when it comes to this king, he goes nope. I'm not going to be the instrument through which he ends his life. It could be that he'll die of natural causes, it could be that he's in a battle, and he will die-- and by the time we get into chapter 31, that's what we will see happen. It'll be the final battle with the Philistines that Saul will have, and Saul will be killed on Mount Gilboa in that battle.
Verse 11. The Lord forbid that I should stretch out my hand against the Lord's anointed, but please, now, take the spear-- that's his spear-- and the jug of water-- that's his canteen-- that are by his head, and let's go. So David took the spear and the jug of water by Saul's head, and they got away. And no man saw it or even awoke.
Now, when you read that, if you don't finish reading the verse, it doesn't quite make sense. Because even if you tiptoe into a camp-- an army-- where people are sleeping, when you start pulling spears out of the ground, that-- that'll make some kind of a noise. Your rustling is going to make some kind of noise. You're lifting up a water jug, it'll make some kind of a noise.
When I was, years ago, living on a kibbutz in Israel, I was with a buddy who was a roommate of mine-- he was a physician in Orange County, and we were sleeping on the beach down in the Sinai Peninsula in a place called Sharm el-Sheik. And there were Bedouins who would come through the camps at night. We didn't know this.
We were sleeping on the beach, and he had his head on his backpack, and that was his pillow. Got up in the morning, looked around. Dennis's backpack was not under his head. It was strewn-- it was cut open, and all the contents strewn on the beach. His wallet was taken, his passport was taken, all his cash was taken.
And what they told us is that Bedouin thieves frequent the area and, no doubt, pulled out the backpack and ripped it open and took the stuff and left. And we looked at each other like, yeah, but we didn't feel anything or hear anything. How did that happen? Well, what you're about to read didn't happen with us, but it did happen with Saul.
So look what it says at the end of verse 12:4-- they were all asleep because a deep sleep from the Lord had fallen on them. Now, that explains it. They're in Saul's camp, they pull the sword out, they get the jug of water, nobody wakes up-- because the Lord put them into a deep sleep.
You know, the Lord can give you a deep sleep. If you struggle with it, you may want to consider asking the Lord to put you-- not into a detrimental sleep where somebody will steal your sword and jug of water, but you get the point. The Lord's in control of those things. The Lord gives his beloved sleep.
David will later write, in the Psalms, he gives his beloved sleep. By the way, it's the same wording that we read in Genesis chapter 2, when it says the Lord caused a deep sleep to fall upon the woman, and the Lord took a rib and fashioned-- or deep sleep upon Adam, and took and fashioned Eve, a woman. The Lord caused that deep sleep in both places.
So verse 13, David went over to the top of the other side, stood on the top of a hill far off, got a distance-- a great distance between them. They were social distancing at that time for a real threat, their lives. And David called out to the people and to Abner, the son of Ner, saying, do you not answer, Abner? David yells out. Then Abner answered and said, who are you? Calling out to the king.
Now you've gotta picture the scene. David is a far off at a safe distance. He has the spear in plain sight and the jug of water in plain sight. David is hidden, probably behind a rock or a crevice, and he's just shouting out. So they hear a voice, and they see those things that were taken from Saul's camp.
And David says, don't you answer, Abner? And Abner said, who are you, calling out to the king? David said to Abner, are you not a man?
Now he's kind of rubbing it in. It's like, what, are you a wuss? Aren't you a man? Don't you have a job to do? Are you not a man?
And who is like you in Israel? Why then have you not guarded your Lord the King? For one of the people came in to destroy your Lord the King-- that would be him and Abishai-- this thing that you have done is not good. As the Lord lives, you are worthy to die, because you have not guarded your master, the Lord's anointed. And now see where the King spear is, and the jug of water that was by his head?
Why did David take the spear and the jug of water? Now keep in mind that a spear, in those days, among tribal communities as such, weren't just a spear-- and we know that Saul loved his spear. He threw it at David three times, and once said his son, Jonathan.
But for tribal leaders-- or in this case, the leader of Israel-- that spear was his scepter. That was-- to take the spear was symbolic of the right to rule. Leadership. Taking the water jug was-- the water was needed to sustain life in the wilderness, right? You carry your own water source.
So what David is saying is, I have the right to rule, because I was anointed by Samuel, the prophet. And I have the power to take your life. It's a very, very symbolic move, those two items that were displayed before Saul and his chief CIA guy.
Then Saul knew David's voice. Abner's going, who are you? Saul knew. He recognized that voice.
Saul knew David's voice and said, is that your voice, my son? That's how I'm picturing him do it, because remember-- I told you before, he's addled. He's not right in the head. He's schizophrenic.
He loves David, I'm going to kill him. Oh, I love David, he's the best-- I'm going to kill him. So he's back and forth. He's just unpredictable.
Is that you? Is that your voice, my son, David? And David said, it is my voice my Lord, oh king.
And he said, why does my Lord thus pursue his servant? For what have I done? What evil is in my hand? Now therefore, please let my Lord the King hear the words of his servant. If the Lord has stirred you up against me, then let him accept an offering.
Now stop there for a moment. Isn't it interesting that David won't touch the Lord's anointed-- won't kill Saul-- and here, even says, it's possible that the Lord has raised you up against me. He has stirred you up. And if it's the Lord that has stirred you up, then let me know so I can get right with God. I'll go make the appropriate sacrifice. I'll get my own heart-- my own life right with God.
But later on-- keep this in mind, because later on, when David is king, and there's a coup because of his son Absalom, and David has to flee the city. And David goes out of Jerusalem and goes up to the Mount of Olives and then gets out of town. There's gonna be a guy named Shimei.
Shimei will curse David to his face. Just-- you know-- it'd be the equivalent of Twitter, but they would do it face to-- they'd have at least enough guts to do it face to face. They would unload. And he just unloaded-- you're this, and you're that, and you deserve it.
And interestingly, Abishai was also with David on that occasion. And Abishai says the same thing-- let me at him, I'll kill him. One blow.
David goes nope, don't touch him. It could be that the Lord has raised him up to say those things to me. And he lets it go. He forgives it. So keep that in mind.
So if it's the Lord that has stirred you up, let me know. I'll give him an offering. He will accept that. But if it is the children of men-- like Abner and your other army guys-- if it's the children of men, may they be cursed before the Lord. For they have driven me out this day from abiding in the inheritance of the Lord, saying go and serve other gods.
What he means by that is because of their telling you that this, stuff putting smack in your ear about me, I have to leave the land of promise. The land of the Covenant. I have to go hang out in places that aren't under Israeli occupation-- that serve other gods.
This is the Lord's inheritance. This is where I belong. The land of Israel.
Now therefore, do not let my blood fall to the Earth before the face of the Lord, for the king of Israel has come out to seek a flea, as when one hunts a partridge in the mountains. Now you and I would read that, and we really wouldn't pick up on the inference in these verses. But let me just give you a little color to that.
There is and was-- especially in those days, because they were more plentiful-- there was a species of partridge in the Middle East-- still around today, quite plentiful-- that when a hunter or an attacker is after them, rather than fly away, they will run away on their little bird feet. And they'll become fatigued. And hunters know this, so they'll pick up a stick, and they'll just chase that bird down until it gets fatigued. And they'll just smack it and kill it.
But you would never go on the hunt for one partridge and keep hunting it-- when it goes up into the mountains-- keep hunting it, because there's hundreds of thousands of them. If one flees, you just get another one. So it's like, why are you persistently following a flea? A partridge that would run away from you? That's the color behind that little phrase.
Then Saul said-- now watch what he says, listen to what he said. Get a load of this. You may be shocked-- Then Saul said, I have sinned. First time he admitted it.
I have sinned. Return, my son David, for I will harm you no more. Because my life was precious in your eyes this day, indeed I have played the fool and erred exceedingly. Indeed I have played the fool and erred exceedingly. Nine words. A nine-word autobiography.
G. Campbell Morgan, that great expositional teacher of a century ago in England, said this is perhaps the shortest and most accurate autobiography ever stated. You know, every man, every woman, knows himself or herself. You know who you really are. You know what God could have against you.
You know your sin. You know your failure. I know mine. You know your own stuff-- your own baggage. Every man knows himself.
Saul knew himself. And Saul was asleep, and he gets woken up out of a dead sleep. And so often, people, when they wake up, if they start talking, and their brain doesn't engage their vocal cords-- in that unguarded moment, they may make an utterance that is so truthful. And here's one. I've sinned.
Probably in the afternoon, after a good meal and a little wine, Saul would never say that. Early morning, when he's shocked like this that somebody came into the camp, stole his spear and water jug? I've sinned!
Indeed I have played the fool and erred exceedingly. Now I'm wondering-- because that statement is a banner statement that could be put over every person who squanders his or her life. Who wastes their life. As I told you Sunday, don't spend your life. Invest your life.
When you waste it, when you squander it, when you just spend it, you could, at the end of your life, say, I played the fool. I've erred exceedingly. I have so many regrets.
And so let this be a good warning. Instead of saying, I could have done that. I could have been that. Just say, I will, by the grace of God and the power of the Holy Spirit, be that. Do that. Accomplish that.
And David answered and said, here is the king's spear. Let one of the young men come over and get it. May the Lord repay every man for his righteousness and faithfulness, for the Lord delivered you into my hand today, but I would not stretch out my hand against the Lord's anointed. And indeed, your life was valued much this day in my eyes.
That's another rub at Abner. He said Abner, where are you? You're supposed to protect your king. You're not a very faithful bodyguard, but I'm a faithful friend, because I could have killed the guy, and I didn't.
And he's reminding that of Saul in this particular verse. Indeed is your life is valued much to this day in my eyes. So let my life be valued much in the eyes of the Lord, and let Him deliver me out of all tribulation.
Then Saul said to David, may you be blessed my son David. You shall both do great things and also still prevail. So David went on his way, and Saul returned to his place.
Now listen to the speech that Saul is making. I've sinned. I've erred. Oh, blessed are you, David.
It's beautiful. It's heartwarming. Question-- is it real?
May have even been accompanied with tears. Oh man, forgive me, man. I've blown it so much.
OK. That's great. That's awesome. You emoted, dude. Awesome. Saul, good show!
But that's different than repentance. Remorse is not repentance. Paul the apostle will write to the Corinthians. In chapter 7 he goes, you know, I'm not glad that I made you sad. I'm glad that the sorrow produced repentance, for godly sorrow worketh repentance, or produces repentance. That's why I'm glad.
Judas was remorseful, but not repentant. Peter, who denied his Lord, repentant. And Jesus restored him and used him again.
So I love his speech. It's beautifully done. But there's no true repentance.
By the way, these are the last words Saul and David will ever say to each other. They'll part ways for 16 months, and after 16 months, there will be a battle with the Philistines on Mount Gilboa, and Saul and his son Jonathan and his son Malchisua-- they will die in that battle, as we will see in just a few weeks. So it says Saul returned to his place.
Now during this time, or after this time, David wrote a Psalm. And wouldn't you like to see that Psalm? I knew you'd say yes.
So Psalm 54. I'm turning there. You can find that quite easily. It's a very, very short Psalm-- just a few verses.
But you will notice the introduction to Psalm 54, to the chief musician with stringed instruments, a contemplation of David. When the Ziphites went and said to Saul, is David not hiding with us?
So here's the background. We just read it. Here's the Psalm.
Save me, oh God, by your name and vindicate me by your strength. Hear my prayer, oh God. Give ear to the words of my mouth. For strangers have risen up against me.
Who would those strangers be? The Ziphites. The people of that region who found out that this fugitive is on the run from his king, and they went and they told the king when he was in Gibeah.
Strangers have risen up against me. Oppressors have sought after my life. They have not set God before them. Behold, God is my helper. The Lord is with those who uphold my life.
He will repay my enemies for their evil and cut them off. He says, cut them off in your truth. I will freely sacrifice to you, I will praise your name, oh Lord, for it is good.
Try to remember that next time you experience pain or persecution. Remember to praise the Lord in your pain. David was persecuted, he was chased, he was hunted, he was ratted on by Ziphites, but he utters praise to the Lord.
And why? I will praise your name, oh Lord, for it is good. Don't we say that? God is good-- all the time, God is good.
For he has delivered me out of all trouble, and my eyes have seen its desire upon my enemies. So David is on the run, and in chapter 27, David is on the run again. On the run again.
David, verse 1. It's a short chapter, so we'll make it through-- only 12 verses, so take heart as I begin this chapter. David said in his heart-- not always good, I'll tell you why in a minute-- 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 any more in any part of Israel: so I shall escape out of his hand.
Then David arose and went over with the 600 men who were with him to Achish, the son of Maoch, the king of Gath. So David dwelt with Achish at Gath-- he and his men. Each man with his household, and David with his two wives, Ahinoam, the Jezreelitess, Abigail, the Carmelitess, Nabal's widow.
And it was told Saul that David had fled to Gath, so he sought him no more. David. So skilled, so anointed at talking to God-- talking to the Lord, praising the Lord-- writing so many of those great Psalms. Now David is talking to himself. And it's OK to talk to yourself-- my dad said, I talk to myself because I like to hear a wise man talk.
But sometimes you talk to yourself, and you have to monitor self-talk quite carefully. Because you can tell yourself things that aren't true-- things that are lies. You can talk yourself into, you know, that person's against me, and this is going to happen. And you do it when you drive, you do it when you're alone at night in your bed. You start churning things over in your heart.
It's dangerous to talk to your own heart. The heart is deceitful above all things, the Bible says, who can know it. So unless you compare your subjective feelings with the objective truth of scripture, you're gonna be haywire.
You could say, I think this, I feel this, but I don't read this. Therefore, it's not true. Or I think this, I feel this, and I read this, therefore it is true.
So notice what he is churning over in his mind, what he's saying to his own heart. He is saying, I'm going to die by the hand of Saul, and there's nothing better than for me to run away. Now is that true?
Is he going to die by the hand of Saul? Wait a minute-- didn't the prophet Samuel, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, say you're gonna be the next king and pour oil on his head in chapter 16? Didn't Jonathan, Saul's son, say to David while he was first running from Saul, you're gonna be the next king, and I'll be next to you.
Didn't Saul himself say, now I know that you're gonna be the guy in charge. And didn't Abigail, in chapter 25-- the wife of Nabal-- say, you're gonna be the next king, and this is gonna be a blot on your record, if you kill my husband. So he had the witness of no less than four times-- probably by this time five, maybe six affirmations-- that he was going to be the next king. That God was doing this.
But I told you before-- we said this in this study of David. Even the best men are men at best. And David was anointed by God, and he was a man after God's own heart, but David-- when he talks to himself-- can get a little haywire and tell himself things that aren't true, and his mind can take it and go crazy with it. And you have to monitor your self talk.
So he tells himself these things, and he says, I gotta-- I gotta go. I gotta go now. And listen-- the enemy will always make you think that you need to act now. Don't wait. Don't wait on the Lord, do it now! You don't have time to pray about it, do it now.
The Bible talks about those who trust in the Lord will not make haste, won't be in a hurry. God is never in a hurry. Wait on it. Think it through. Pray it through.
But David thinks, I gotta go to Gath, gotta go to the Philistines. Um-- been there, done that. Did that a couple of chapters ago, David. How'd that work out for you?
Remember when he went the first time? They said, hey, that's the guy that they sing about in that song. It's on the top 40 charts, Casey Kasem says it all the time. Saul has slain us thousands, David has slain us tens of thousands. That's the guy.
And David goes, oh, man, they've outed me. They know who I am. So he started drooling in his beard and clawing the door to act crazy, and Achish says, get him out of here. I got enough crazy people in my kingdom.
Now he goes back. Goes back, and it says, at the end of verse four, so he sought, so Saul sought him no more. Now, you may be tempted to think, well, it worked for him. He may have acted in haste, he may have listened to his own self-talk, and it wasn't the promise of God, but it worked. He delivered himself.
Listen, if that's how you live your life-- if the ends always justify the means-- that's a bad way to live. You don't do things because they work, you do things because they're right. He did not need to do this.
Now, yes, all things work together for good to those who love God, Romans 8:28. Yes, David will be able to get the strategy of the Philistines, which will serve him well later on. But this is a lapse of faith. This is a lapse of faith.
So he goes over to Gath. He's gonna spend 16 months there. David said to Achish, if I have now found favor in your eyes, let them give me a place in some town in the country, that I may dwell there. For why should your servant dwell in the royal city with you? So Achish gave him Ziklag lag that day, therefore Ziklag belonged to the kings of Judah to this day.
Now the time that David dwelt in the country of the Philistines was one full year and four months. Ziklag is down in the desert regions of Judah. Down in the area of Beersheba, about 13 miles away from that. It's sparse, it's wilderness. It's far away from the main population of the Philistines.
I've told you this before-- by the time we get through 2 Samuel, you'll have these memorized. There are five Philistine cities, principally, that gave the Israelites problems. Gath-- that's their capital, that's where Goliath was from. That's where the king, Achish, is. That's where David goes.
Gath, Gaza, Ekron, Ashkelon, Ashdod. Those five cities were sort of in the same region, but Ziklag lag is far, far away. Which means that's good, because David can come and go, and nobody will really have eyes on him. He becomes like a vassal state to the king-- to King Achish, to the Philistines.
So he gives him Ziklag. David is there 16 months. Verse 8, David and his men went up and raided the Geshurites, the Gerzites, the Amalekites-- probably the termites, as well, and the turn out the lights, all of them were in that area. These are tribes of Canaanites that have been there a long time-- for those nations were of the inhabitants of the land from of old, as you go to Shur, even down to the land of Egypt.
So in those southern areas, these tribal peoples were common enemies of both Israel and the Philistines. So he's down there, conducting raids to get rid of them, which would serve the Philistines. But it would also serve the Israelites.
So what David is doing during this time is taking care of some of the little enemies that would be a pain to Saul and would be a pain to David, later on, because they haven't really been dealt with. So he deals with the little guys-- the little enemies. Or, the words of Solomon-- beware of the little foxes that spoil the grapes. So he's taking care of these little tribes.
Verse nine, whenever David attacked the land, he left neither man nor woman alive but took away the sheep, the oxen, the donkeys, the camels, and the apparel, and returned and came to Achish. And Achish would say, where have you made a raid today? And David would say, against the southern area of Judah or against the southern area of the Jerahmeelites-- which is a little tribe associated with Judah-- or against the southern area of the Kenites.
Quick FYI-- Kenites were a buffer group. The people of Judah made a pact with them, an agreement with them, that the Kenites, who they were friendly with for generations, would be in that area to protect Israel. So they were in that area.
David would save verse 11, neither man or woman alive of Gath-- alive to bring news to Gath, saying, lest they should inform on us, saying thus David did, and so it was his behavior all the time he dwelt in the country of the Philistines. So Achish believed David saying he has made his people utterly abhor him, therefore he will be my servant forever.
So you get the picture. David goes and deals with these tribes, whose mutual enemy is the Philistines and Judah. He's taking care of them. But when the king, King Achish, said, what have you been doing? He goes, oh, man, I've been taking care of those people from Judah. So he's lying to him.
Again, this guy is out of the will of God, in the flesh, not trusting in the Lord. Trusting in what his head told him to do. Taking matters in his own hands. And, again, completely out of the will of God.
By the way, what's interesting about this chapter is God is not mentioned in it at all. And you might say, well, you said that Sunday when you went through the book of Esther. God wasn't mentioned there.
Yeah, but He is the main character in that book, even though He's not mentioned. He's not the main character in this chapter. He's mentioned in all the other chapters around it. This chapter, the name of God is absent.
Because he's really absent from David's thoughts. From David's life. David is not seeking the Lord.
Verse 12 closes it. I just want you to notice it, and then I'll make application. The king-- the Philistine king says about David, he has made his people utterly hate him.
Now, that's not true. The Israelites love him. David is Saul has slain us thousands. David has tens of thousands. He was a national hero. The people loved him, and you'll see that in 16 months, when they anoint him king in Hebron. They loved him.
He goes, man, David doing this for me means they're just-- he's just making them hate him more, so they utterly abhor him. Therefore he will be my servant forever. Now that's not true, either. David will be the next king of Israel. He will not be the servant of the King of the Philistines forever.
I am belaboring this, because the devil says that to people every day. I've got you on my side. You will be my servant forever.
Prove him wrong. Tonight. If you've not given your life to Christ, surrender your life to Him tonight. Defect from the kingdom of darkness. Defect from the grip of the enemy-- your enemy, my enemy, the enemy of our souls, Satan. Defect and get on the right side, and serve the Lord.
And if you've wandered away from the Lord, and the enemy says, now I've got you again. Not letting you go. This addiction-- I'm gonna hold you down.
Don't listen to it! Don't believe it. Prove him wrong. In a moment I'm going to give you that opportunity. Let's pray.
Thank you, Lord, for these two incredible, insightful chapters of a man who became, though flawed, an influential oak. Versus a man who just blew through history, wrecking havoc as he went, more like a tumbleweed than anything else-- King Saul. Thank you for the lessons we have learned and gleaned, and I pray for those who may be here in our auditorium tonight. I know many more are joining us on the radio and by social media.
But Lord, you have brought some tonight who need to come back home, because they've wandered away. They've run away from You, they've gotten under the grip of Satan, maybe, once again, or some area of the flesh once again. Like Paul sang in that song, just at the beginning of our service, sinners are crooked. We're all crooked.
Only You can straighten us. Out only you can fix what is bent and what is broken. But You can do it, and You can do it utterly. And You can do it for everyone, absolutely.
And so we pray, Father, that those who need Your touch, who've wandered away and need to come back home and rededicate their lives, or need to come to Christ for the first time-- though they've been religious, or they've believed in their head that you exist, they've never turned from their sin, they've never repented, they've never surrendered to You-- I pray they would do it in this setting, in this living room, in this place.
So with our heads bowed, our eyes closed, if you need to come to the Lord for the first time, or come back to the Lord, and you're willing to do so, I want you to raise your hand up in the air. Just raise it up so I can notice your hand, and I'll pray for you as we close this service. In raising your hand, you're just saying, Skip here's my hand, here I am. Pray for me. Include me.
I'm gonna come back home, or I'm going to come to Christ, for the first time. God bless you, right over here on my left. Who else? Right up here, on my right.
Again, you could be-- I grew up in a church, I grew up in a religious home. I knew the language, I knew what they did when they went to church, but I had never personally surrendered to Christ. I think some of you are here for this reason tonight. Who else in this room would want to do that? Just raise your hand up so I can see it.
You could be in the balcony, you could be in the family room. God bless you in the family room, yep. You could be outside.
I have pastors every week-- see, there's people out there raising your hand. If you're outside, watching on the screen-- there's probably 100 or so of you out there-- raise your hand up. A pastor will acknowledge you right where you are. God bless you, sir toward the back.
Father, I pray for all of these you love so lavishly, and you love these so individually. I pray that you will forgive utterly, totally. Let these know how precious they are in your eyes. In Jesus' name we pray, amen. Amen.
Let's all stand to our feet as we sing this last song. I saw hands go up to my left, to my right, toward the middle on both sides, in the family room. I'm going to ask you now to get up from where you're standing, find the nearest aisle, or come through the doors of the family room-- we'll let you out and let you over-- if you're outside, we're going to bring you in-- I want you to step forward out of where you're standing if you raised your hand and come right up to the front. I'm going to lead you in a prayer to receive Christ as Lord and Savior.
Come right now. Come on. Let us encourage you as you come. You raised your hands up, you get up and come. Come and join the family. Come and join the celebration.
(SINGING) Here I am, Lord, standing holy before your throne.
Yes. Stand right up here.
(SINGING) Giving thanks unto You that I'm worthy to be called Your own. He lifted me from darkness, and He draws me into the light of Your Son so I could be one with You.
Come right on up. Come all the way up to the front. Just stand right up here. I'm going to lead you in a prayer in just a moment.
If you're in the family room, we'll let you through those doors. I saw a couple of different people.
[GENTLE GUITAR MUSIC](SINGING) So I trust You, Lord. It's all in Your hands. All I want is to serve You, I will make no demands. For I know this, You're faithful. Guide the way that has been done by Your Son.
(SINGING) So I could be one with You.
Those of you who have come forward, I'm going to lead you in a prayer, OK? I'm gonna say a prayer out loud. I'm gonna ask you to say these words from your heart. Mean them as you say them. This is you giving your life to Him. You're giving your life back to the one who gave you life to begin with.
So say Lord, I give You my life. Say that. I know that I'm a sinner. Forgive me.
I believe in Jesus. I believe He died on a cross, that He shed His blood for me, that He rose again for me. I turn from my past. I repent of my sin.
I turn to Jesus as my Savior. I want to follow Him as my Lord. Help me. In Jesus' name, amen.
For more resources from Calvary Church and Skip Heitzig, visit calvarynm.church. Thank you for joining us from this teaching in our series, Expound.