God-Hearted #12 — Want What God Wants (1 Samuel 26)

Introduction

  • Example: Telling a little boy that one day he will probably want to kiss a girl — shocking news! But slowly, he changes.
  • Writing onto stone? Jesus has a better, heavenly, more excellent, second, and new covenant:
    • Quoting from Jeremiah 31:31-34, Hebrews 8:10 (ESV) — 10 For this is the covenant that I will make...I will put my laws into their minds, and write them on their hearts...
  • Theme:It is a mark of maturity and a work of the Spirit when a person internally wants what God wants. David, through the repetitive work of the Spirit, came to want what God wanted.
    • 1 I Trust God With My Life
    • 2 I Strive For A Clear Conscience
    • 3 I Want To Be Where God Is
    • 4 I Want God’s Grace (Not People’s Payback)

The Scene (1 Samuel 26:1-6)

1 Then the Ziphites came to Saul at Gibeah, saying, “Is not David hiding himself on the hill of Hachilah, which is on the east of Jeshimon?” 2 So Saul arose and went down to the wilderness of Ziph with three thousand chosen men of Israel to seek David in the wilderness of Ziph. 3 And Saul encamped on the hill of Hachilah, which is beside the road on the east of Jeshimon. But David remained in the wilderness. When he saw that Saul came after him into the wilderness, 4 David sent out spies and learned that Saul had indeed come. 5 Then David rose and came to the place where Saul had encamped. And David saw the place where Saul lay, with Abner the son of Ner, the commander of his army. Saul was lying within the encampment, while the army was encamped around him.

  • 1 Once again (see 1 Samuel 23:19), the Ziphites, old enemies of David and friends of Saul’s, revealed David’s location on the hill of Hachilah, which is on the east of Jeshimon, which they had learned of because of their panoramic view of the surrounding regions.
  • 2 The Ziphites knew how to stir Saul up and, even though he had faux-repented during his last encounter with David, he arose and went down to the wilderness of Ziph to seek David in the wilderness of Ziph.
    • As he had done previously, he took three thousand chosen, select Israelite warriors with him.
  • 3-4 As Saul encamped, David saw that Saul came after him, so, rather than wait to be found, he sent out spies and learned that Saul had indeed come.
  • 5 David then rose and came to the place where Saul had encamped. Apparently there was a visible marker of the place where Saul lay, along with Anbner the commander of Saul’s army. The army was encamped all around him, a protective measure.
    • One can imagine the disappointment, mixed with disillusionment, David experienced upon learning of Saul’s second coming.
      • But God would use this third episode to get David to want what he wanted.

6 Then David said to Ahimelech the Hittite, and to Joab’s brother Abishai the son of Zeruiah, “Who will go down with me into the camp to Saul?” And Abishai said, “I will go down with you.”

  • 6 David then proposed a dangerous mission to two of his men, Ahimelech and Abishai, asking, ”Who will go down with me into the camp to Saul?
  • 6 Apparently, Ahimelech did not want to go, but Abishai did, saying, ”I will go down with you.”
    • Abishai was David’s nephew, the son of David’s sister Zeruiah, the brother of Joab and also Asahel. All three were mighty warriors (2 Samuel 2:18).
    • He became the 4th greatest member of David’s army (2 Samuel 23:18-19).
      • He did this by killing three hundred men by himself.
      • He did this by putting the Edomites into submission, killing 18,000 of them in a single battle (1 Chronicles 18:12-13).
      • He eventually saved David’s life, delivering him from Goliath’s son, Ishbi-Benob (2 Samuel 21:17).
        • All of this opportunity because he took a simple risk with David.
        • Go with Jesus! — Isaiah 6:8 (ESV) — 8 And I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?” Then I said, “Here I am! Send me.”

1 I Trust God With My Life (1 Samuel 26:7-12)

7 So David and Abishai went to the army by night. And there lay Saul sleeping within the encampment, with his spear stuck in the ground at his head, and Abner and the army lay around him. 8 Then Abishai said to David, “God has given your enemy into your hand this day. Now please let me pin him to the earth with one stroke of the spear, and I will not strike him twice.” 9 But David said to Abishai, “Do not destroy him, for who can put out his hand against the LORD’s anointed and be guiltless?” 10 And David said, “As the LORD lives, the LORD will strike him, or his day will come to die, or he will go down into battle and perish. 11 The LORD forbid that I should put out my hand against the LORD’s anointed. But take now the spear that is at his head and the jar of water, and let us go.” 12 So David took the spear and the jar of water from Saul’s head, and they went away. No man saw it or knew it, nor did any awake, for they were all asleep, because a deep sleep from the LORD had fallen upon them.

  • 7 So David and Abishai went down to Saul’s army by night. Saul, identified by his spear stuck in the ground by his head, was surrounded by Abner and his army.
  • 8-12 David and Abishai were able to get all the way to Saul because a deep sleep from the LORD had fallen upon them (the same type of sleep Adam received from God in the garden, see Genesis 2:21).
  • 8 Abishai interpreted this sleep as a sign the God had given David’s enemy into his hand this day. In other words, if the cave was not God, this sleep certainly was God.
    • Abishai then requested David allow him to kill Saul on his behalf. He would even use Saul’s spear—the same spear Saul had tried to kill David with!
      • Note: Abishai speaks three times in Scripture, and each time he asks David for permission to kill someone.
  • 9-12 David denied Abishai’s request, instead taking Saul’s spear and jar of water.

  • 11 As the LORD lives, the LORD will strike him, or his day will come to die, or he will go down into battle and perish.

    • David thought Saul would experience one of three outcomes.
      • 1 God would strike him.
      • 2 He would die naturally.
      • 3 He would die in battle.
        • David had learned through the Nabal incident.
        • But David knew he wouldn’t kill Saul.
  • In confessing this, David was actively trusting God for his future, something he had not done with Nabal. God is trustworthy.
    • Proverbs 3:5–6 (ESV) — 5 Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. 6 In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.
      • The word translated “trust” means “to lie helpless, facedown.” It pictures a servant waiting for the master’s command in readiness to obey, or a defeated soldier yielding himself to the conquering general.
    • Hebrews 11:23–27 (ESV) — 23 By faith Moses, when he was born, was hidden for three months by his parents, because they saw that the child was beautiful, and they were not afraid of the king’s edict. 24 By faith Moses, when he was grown up, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter, 25 choosing rather to be mistreated with the people of God than to enjoy the fleeting pleasures of sin. 26 He considered the reproach of Christ greater wealth than the treasures of Egypt, for he was looking to the reward. 27 By faith he left Egypt, not being afraid of the anger of the king, for he endured as seeing him who is invisible.
      • Moses trusted God with his life:
        • 1 By refusing to be called Pharaoh’s grandson — some of you need to refuse the identity friends, coworkers, classmates, social media, parents, etc. try to put on you.
        • 2 By choosing the hard thing now — some of you need to get the future fruit via current hardship.
        • 3 By considering Christ more valuable than Egypt’s wealth — some of you need to value Jesus more than fame and fortune, power and pleasure.
        • 4 By leaving Egypt, no matter how angry the king became — some of you need to leave worldliness, or the god of this world (which Pharaoh was).

2 I Strive For A Clear Conscience (1 Samuel 26:13-16)

13 Then David went over to the other side and stood far off on the top of the hill, with a great space between them. 14 And David called to the army, and to Abner the son of Ner, saying, “Will you not answer, Abner?” Then Abner answered, “Who are you who calls to the king?” 15 And David said to Abner, “Are you not a man? Who is like you in Israel? Why then have you not kept watch over your lord the king? For one of the people came in to destroy the king your lord. 16 This thing that you have done is not good. As the LORD lives, you deserve to die, because you have not kept watch over your lord, the LORD’s anointed. And now see where the king’s spear is and the jar of water that was at his head.”

  • 13 After grabbing Saul’s jug and spear, David and Abishai went over to the other side and stood far off on the top of the hill, with a great space between them, enough space to escape if Saul attacked.
  • 14 God lifted the deep sleep, for when David called to the army, and to Abner, Abner answered.
  • 15-16 David proceeded to rebuke Abner for allowing one who wanted to destroy the king (Abishai, we assume) to get near Saul. By martial law, Abner and his officers had forfeited their lives. He produced Saul’s spear and jar of water as evidence that they’d snuck in and out of the camp.

    • Note: David’s rebuke would have been a foreshadowing of Abner’s future death at the hands of Abishai and Joab (2 Samuel 3:30).
  • The reason David grabbed the spear and jug was to prove his innocence.

    • Note: He felt this was more acceptable than cutting the robe, which was symbolic of Saul’s kingdom.
  • He had a clear conscience towards God, but wanted Abner, the army, and Saul to know he was innocent, something he did not value with Nabal. God is holy.
    • Like Paul —
      • Acts 24:16 (ESV) — 16 So I always take pains to have a clear conscience toward both God and man.
  • Fight for a clear conscience.
    • Give God an opportunity:
      • Proverbs 20:27 (ESV) — 27 The spirit of man is the lamp of the LORD, searching all his innermost parts.
      • Psalm 26:6 (ESV) — 6 I wash my hands in innocence and go around your altar, O LORD,
    • But build your team, and then let them in.
      • Internet / Location / Daily rhythms / Money

3 I Want To Be Where God Is (1 Samuel 26:17-20)

17 Saul recognized David’s voice and said, “Is this your voice, my son David?” And David said, “It is my voice, my lord, O king.” 18 And he said, “Why does my lord pursue after his servant? For what have I done? What evil is on my hands? 19 Now therefore let my lord the king hear the words of his servant. If it is the LORD who has stirred you up against me, may he accept an offering, but if it is men, may they be cursed before the LORD, for they have driven me out this day that I should have no share in the heritage of the LORD, saying, ‘Go, serve other gods.’ 20 Now therefore, let not my blood fall to the earth away from the presence of the LORD, for the king of Israel has come out to seek a single flea like one who hunts a partridge in the mountains.”

  • 17 Saul jumped in when he recognized David’s voice.
  • 17-18 David humbly referred to Saul as the king and lord, and appealed to Saul regarding his own innocence.
  • 19-20 In David’s mind, it was either The LORD who stirred up Saul against him, or men.

    • If it was the LORD, David wondered if he would accept an offering.
    • If it was man, David wished they be cursed before the LORD.
  • 19-20 But why did David oppose men who would drive him from Israel? Because:

    • 1 They kept him from his share in the heritage of the LORD.
    • 2 They, in effect, were saying, “Go, serve other gods.”
    • 3 They kept him from the presence of the LORD.
  • David’s greatest pain was not being removed from the luxuries of the palace, but being removed from the presence of the Lord.
    • True: Psalm 139:7–10 (ESV) — 7 Where shall I go from your Spirit? Or where shall I flee from your presence? 8 If I ascend to heaven, you are there! If I make my bed in Sheol, you are there! 9 If I take the wings of the morning and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, 10 even there your hand shall lead me, and your right hand shall hold me.
    • But: Psalm 122:1 (ESV) — 1 I was glad when they said to me, “Let us go to the house of the LORD!”
  • Means of grace in the church[^Systematic Theology by Wayne Grudem]: Teaching of the Word / Baptism / The Lord’s Supper / Prayer for one another / Worship / Church discipline / Giving / Spiritual gifts / Fellowship / Evangelism / Personal ministry to individuals

4 I Want God’s Grace (Not People’s Payback) (1 Samuel 26:21-25)

21 Then Saul said, “I have sinned. Return, my son David, for I will no more do you harm, because my life was precious in your eyes this day. Behold, I have acted foolishly, and have made a great mistake.” 22 And David answered and said, “Here is the spear, O king! Let one of the young men come over and take it. 23 The LORD rewards every man for his righteousness and his faithfulness, for the LORD gave you into my hand today, and I would not put out my hand against the LORD’s anointed. 24 Behold, as your life was precious this day in my sight, so may my life be precious in the sight of the LORD, and may he deliver me out of all tribulation.” 25 Then Saul said to David, “Blessed be you, my son David! You will do many things and will succeed in them.” So David went his way, and Saul returned to his place.

  • 21 Finally, Saul said, “I have sinned,” and invited David to return.
  • 21 He admitted that he had acted foolishly, an epitaph to his sad life.
  • 22 David gave back the spear, but did not foolishly go to Saul, instead asking for one of the young men to come over and take it.
  • 23–24 David then, as he’d done previously, appealed to The LORD and his rewards.
  • 25 Saul then predicted that David would do many things and succeed in them, a similar statement to his previous confession that David would “surely be king” (see 1 Samuel 24:20).

  • He did not say to Saul, “as your life was precious this day in my sight, so may my life be precious in your sight.”

    • But instead, he wanted God to treat him as he’d treated Saul.
  • This is a significant Christian attitude.
    • Matthew 5:7 (ESV) — 7 “Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.
    • Matthew 6:12 (ESV) — 12 and forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.
    • Matthew 7:2 (HCSB) — 2 For with the judgment you use, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.
  • Do you see this takes you into the grace (favor) of God, rather that into a legal relationship with people?
    • This truth can revitalize every relationship in your life:
      • Example — Marriage: contract or covenant?
      • How does this impact every interaction? With children? With politicians? With coworkers? With nonbelievers? With friends?

Close

  • Joyful word: We are almost to the top!
    • Keep walking with God, for His Spirit is writing His word and will onto your heart and mind.