Last time we heard how David could have killed King Saul but instead cut the corner off of his robe and Saul knew that David would be the next king and had asked David to spare Saul’s children and then the prophet Samuel died. But David was not yet king and Saul continued to seek to get him.
The Ziphites came to Saul at his hometown and said, “David is hiding in the wilderness of Ziph on a hill we know.” So Saul got up and went down to the wilderness of Ziph with his 3,000 chosen men to find David in this wilderness. And Saul camped on that very hill. But David was away in the wilderness and when he saw that Saul came after him there he sent out spies to see if it was true. Upon hearing that Saul was in fact there, David went at night with his nephew Abishai to the place where Saul was laying in the army encampment with his army commander and surrounded by that army. Saul’s spear was stuck in the ground next to his head. So David’s nephew said, “God has given your enemy into your hand, please let me pin him to the earth with one stroke of the spear and I will not strike him twice.” But David refused to let his nephew do it because King Saul was God’s anointed. Instead, he said, “I swear God will strike him or his day will come to die or he will go down into battle and die. God forbid that I strike His anointed. But let’s take the spear and the jar of water and go.” Now God had put the entire army into a deep sleep so that no one saw or knew what happened.
Then David went over to the other side and stood far off on the top of the hill with a large space between them. And David called to the army and to Abner their commander. And when Abner finally replied, he said, “Who are you who calls to the king?” And David said, “Why did you not keep watch over your lord the king? For one of the people came in to destroy the king your lord. I swear, you deserve to die because you did not keep watch over your lord, God’s anointed, and now see where the king’s spear is and the jar of water that was at his head.”
Saul recognized David’s voice and said, “Is that your voice, my son David?” And David said, “Yes, it is. Why do you come after me? If God led you to do it, may He accept an offering; but if men led you to do it, may they be cursed before God because they drove me out saying, ‘Go serve other gods.’” And Saul said, “I have sinned, come back my son David, I will not harm you because you would not harm me, I have been a fool and made a huge mistake.” And David said, “Send someone over to get your spear, God rewards everyone for righteousness and faithfulness for God gave you into my hand today but I would not strike God’s anointed. May God deliver me from trouble and may my life be precious in His sight just as your life was precious today in mine.” And Saul blessed David, but David thought in his heart, “Saul is going to kill me one day, I had better escape to the land of the Philistines so that Saul will stop trying to get me.”