1 Samuel 26–31: David’s Escape & Saul’s Death

Read the Bible in 2011 ◊ Week 16: Tuesday


Then Abishai said to David, “Today God has
delivered your enemy into your hand; now
therefore, please let me strike him with the
spear to the ground with one stroke, and I
will not strike him the second time.”

But David said to Abishai, “Do not destroy him, for who can stretch out his hand against the LORD’S anointed and be without guilt?”

David also said, “As the LORD lives, surely the LORD will strike him, or his day will come that he dies, or he will go down into battle and perish. The LORD forbid that I should stretch out my hand against the LORD’S anointed; but now please take the spear that is at his head and the jug of water, and let us go.”
1 Samuel 26:8–11

In Tuesday’s Bible reading of 1 Samuel 26–31, David finds Saul asleep and once again refuses to kill him. David’s character is again a sharp contrast to Saul’s actions.

David spares Saul, but when the Philistines who later gather against him do not. The end of Saul’s life is tragic. Seeing the Philistine army, Saul seeks the Lord, but receives no answer. Despite God’s forbiddance of mediums and spiritists, and even though Saul himself had expelled them, he seeks one out, asking her to bring up Samuel. The dead prophet reiterates that God has taken the kingdom from Saul to give to David and tells Saul he and his sons will be killed the next day by the Philistines. Ironically, when Samuel was alive, the prophecy he made after Saul disobeyed God equated rebellion with divination.

Samuel said,

“Has the LORD as much delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices
As in obeying the voice of the LORD?
Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice,
And to heed than the fat of rams.
For rebellion is as the sin of divination,
And insubordination is as iniquity and idolatry.
Because you have rejected the word of the LORD,
He has also rejected you from being king.”
1 Samuel 15:22–23

The next day Saul and his sons are killed and the Philistines publicly exhibit their bodies in a demeaning display on the wall of Beth-shan. 1 Samuel closes with the men of Jabesh-gilead taking the bodies back to Jabesh. D. F. Payne writes:

“The first book of Samuel ends on a fitting note. Saul’s first royal act had been to rescue Jabesh-Gilead (ch. 11); its citizens now repaid him, posthumously.”1

A calamitous finish to the reign of Israel’s first king.

_________
Isaiah 42 Photograph: ChristianPhotos.net – Free High Resolution Photos for Christian Publications
1D. F. Payne, “1 Samuel,” Donald Guthrie, “Philemon,” The New Bible Commentary: Revised, D. Guthrie, J. A. Motyer, eds., A. M. Stibbs, D. J. Wiseman, contributing eds., p. 302.

Original content: Copyright ©2011–2012 Iwana Carpenter

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One Response to 1 Samuel 26–31: David’s Escape & Saul’s Death

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