1 Samuel, 24
David spares Saul
1: And it came to pass, when Saul was returned from following the Philistines, that it was told him, saying, Behold, David is in the wilderness of En-gedi. 2: Then Saul took three thousand chosen men out of all Israel, and went to seek David and his men upon the rocks of the wild goats. 3: And he came to the sheepcotes by the way, where was a cave; and Saul went in to cover his feet: and David and his men remained in the sides of the cave. 4: And the men of David said unto him, Behold the day of which the LORD said unto thee, Behold, I will deliver thine enemy into thine hand, that thou mayest do to him as it shall seem good unto thee. Then David arose, and cut off the skirt of Saul's robe privily. 5: And it came to pass afterward, that David's heart smote him, because he had cut off Saul's skirt. 6: And he said unto his men, The LORD forbid that I should do this thing unto my master, the LORD's anointed, to stretch forth mine hand against him, seeing he is the anointed of the LORD. 7: So David stayed his servants with these words, and suffered them not to rise against Saul. But Saul rose up out of the cave, and went on his way. 8: David also arose afterward, and went out of the cave, and cried after Saul, saying, My lord the king. And when Saul looked behind him, David stooped with his face to the earth, and bowed himself. 9: And David said to Saul, Wherefore hearest thou men's words, saying, Behold, David seeketh thy hurt? 10: Behold, this day thine eyes have seen how that the LORD had delivered thee to day into mine hand in the cave: and some bade me kill thee: but mine eye spared thee; and I said, I will not put forth mine hand against my lord; for he is the LORD's anointed. 11: Moreover, my father, see, yea, see the skirt of thy robe in my hand: for in that I cut off the skirt of thy robe and killed thee not, know thou and see that there is neither evil nor transgression in mine hand, and I have not sinned against thee; yet thou huntest my soul to take it. 12: The LORD judge between me and thee, and the LORD avenge me of thee: but mine hand shall not be upon thee. 13: As saith the proverb of the ancients, Wickedness proceedeth from the wicked: but mine hand shall not be upon thee. 14: After whom is the king of Israel come out? after whom dost thou pursue? after a dead dog, after a flea. 15: The LORD therefore be judge, and judge between me and thee, and see, and plead my cause, and deliver me out of thine hand. 16: And it came to pass, when David had made an end of speaking these words unto Saul, that Saul said, Is this thy voice, my son David? And Saul lifted up his voice, and wept. 17: And he said to David, Thou art more righteous than I: for thou hast rewarded me good, whereas I have rewarded thee evil. 18: And thou hast shewed this day how that thou hast dealt well with me: forasmuch as when the LORD had delivered me into thine hand, thou killedst me not. 19: For if a man find his enemy, will he let him go well away? wherefore the LORD reward thee good for that thou hast done unto me this day. 20: And now, behold, I know well that thou shalt surely be king, and that the kingdom of Israel shall be established in thine hand. 21: Swear now therefore unto me by the LORD, that thou wilt not cut off my seed after me, and that thou wilt not destroy my name out of my father's house. 22: And David sware unto Saul. And Saul went home; but David and his men gat them up unto the hold.
1 Samuel, 25
1: And Samuel died; and all the Israelites were gathered together, and lamented him, and buried him in his house at Ramah.
David and Abigail
And David arose, and went down to the wilderness of Paran. 2: And there was a man in Maon, whose possessions were in Carmel; and the man was very great, and he had three thousand sheep, and a thousand goats: and he was shearing his sheep in Carmel. 3: Now the name of the man was Nabal; and the name of his wife Abigail: and she was a woman of good understanding, and of a beautiful countenance: but the man was churlish and evil in his doings; and he was of the house of Caleb. 4: And David heard in the wilderness that Nabal did shear his sheep. 5: And David sent out ten young men, and David said unto the young men, Get you up to Carmel, and go to Nabal, and greet him in my name: 6: And thus shall ye say to him that liveth in prosperity, Peace be both to thee, and peace be to thine house, and peace be unto all that thou hast. 7: And now I have heard that thou hast shearers: now thy shepherds which were with us, we hurt them not, neither was there ought missing unto them, all the while they were in Carmel. 8: Ask thy young men, and they will shew thee. Wherefore let the young men find favour in thine eyes: for we come in a good day: give, I pray thee, whatsoever cometh to thine hand unto thy servants, and to thy son David. 9: And when David's young men came, they spake to Nabal according to all those words in the name of David, and ceased. 10: And Nabal answered David's servants, and said, Who is David? and who is the son of Jesse? there be many servants now a days that break away every man from his master. 11: Shall I then take my bread, and my water, and my flesh that I have killed for my shearers, and give it unto men, whom I know not whence they be? 12: So David's young men turned their way, and went again, and came and told him all those sayings. 13: And David said unto his men, Gird ye on every man his sword. And they girded on every man his sword; and David also girded on his sword: and there went up after David about four hundred men; and two hundred abode by the stuff. 14: But one of the young men told Abigail, Nabal's wife, saying, Behold, David sent messengers out of the wilderness to salute our master; and he railed on them. 15: But the men were very good unto us, and we were not hurt, neither missed we any thing, as long as we were conversant with them, when we were in the fields: 16: They were a wall unto us both by night and day, all the while we were with them keeping the sheep. 17: Now therefore know and consider what thou wilt do; for evil is determined against our master, and against all his household: for he is such a son of Belial, that a man cannot speak to him. 18: Then Abigail made haste, and took two hundred loaves, and two bottles of wine, and five sheep ready dressed, and five measures of parched corn, and an hundred clusters of raisins, and two hundred cakes of figs, and laid them on asses. 19: And she said unto her servants, Go on before me; behold, I come after you. But she told not her husband Nabal. 20: And it was so, as she rode on the ass, that she came down by the covert of the hill, and, behold, David and his men came down against her; and she met them. 21: Now David had said, Surely in vain have I kept all that this fellow hath in the wilderness, so that nothing was missed of all that pertained unto him: and he hath requited me evil for good. 22: So and more also do God unto the enemies of David, if I leave of all that pertain to him by the morning light any that pisseth against the wall. 23: And when Abigail saw David, she hasted, and lighted off the ass, and fell before David on her face, and bowed herself to the ground, 24: And fell at his feet, and said, Upon me, my lord, upon me let this iniquity be: and let thine handmaid, I pray thee, speak in thine audience, and hear the words of thine handmaid. 25: Let not my lord, I pray thee, regard this man of Belial, even Nabal: for as his name is, so is he; Nabal is his name, and folly is with him: but I thine handmaid saw not the young men of my lord, whom thou didst send. 26: Now therefore, my lord, as the LORD liveth, and as thy soul liveth, seeing the LORD hath withholden thee from coming to shed blood, and from avenging thyself with thine own hand, now let thine enemies, and they that seek evil to my lord, be as Nabal. 27: And now this blessing which thine handmaid hath brought unto my lord, let it even be given unto the young men that follow my lord. 28: I pray thee, forgive the trespass of thine handmaid: for the LORD will certainly make my lord a sure house; because my lord fighteth the battles of the LORD, and evil hath not been found in thee all thy days. 29: Yet a man is risen to pursue thee, and to seek thy soul: but the soul of my lord shall be bound in the bundle of life with the LORD thy God; and the souls of thine enemies, them shall he sling out, as out of the middle of a sling. 30: And it shall come to pass, when the LORD shall have done to my lord according to all the good that he hath spoken concerning thee, and shall have appointed thee ruler over Israel; 31: That this shall be no grief unto thee, nor offence of heart unto my lord, either that thou hast shed blood causeless, or that my lord hath avenged himself: but when the LORD shall have dealt well with my lord, then remember thine handmaid. 32: And David said to Abigail, Blessed be the LORD God of Israel, which sent thee this day to meet me: 33: And blessed be thy advice, and blessed be thou, which hast kept me this day from coming to shed blood, and from avenging myself with mine own hand. 34: For in very deed, as the LORD God of Israel liveth, which hath kept me back from hurting thee, except thou hadst hasted and come to meet me, surely there had not been left unto Nabal by the morning light any that pisseth against the wall. 35: So David received of her hand that which she had brought him, and said unto her, Go up in peace to thine house; see, I have hearkened to thy voice, and have accepted thy person. 36: And Abigail came to Nabal; and, behold, he held a feast in his house, like the feast of a king; and Nabal's heart was merry within him, for he was very drunken: wherefore she told him nothing, less or more, until the morning light. 37: But it came to pass in the morning, when the wine was gone out of Nabal, and his wife had told him these things, that his heart died within him, and he became as a stone. 38: And it came to pass about ten days after, that the LORD smote Nabal, that he died. 39: And when David heard that Nabal was dead, he said, Blessed be the LORD, that hath pleaded the cause of my reproach from the hand of Nabal, and hath kept his servant from evil: for the LORD hath returned the wickedness of Nabal upon his own head, And David sent and communed with Abigail, to take her to him to wife. 40: And when the servants of David were come to Abigail to Carmel, they spake unto her, saying, David sent us unto thee to take thee to him to wife. 41: And she arose, and bowed herself on her face to the earth, and said, Behold, let thine handmaid be a servant to wash the feet of the servants of my lord. 42: And Abigail hasted, and arose, and rode upon an ass, with five damsels of hers that went after her; and she went after the messengers of David, and became his wife. 43: David also took Ahinoam of Jezreel; and they were also both of them his wives. 44: But Saul had given Michal his daughter, David's wife, to Phalti the son of Laish, which was of Gallim.
Today we read of David sparing Saul his king and of the death of Samuel. One of Israel’s greatest men dies after a life of integrity and godliness. And then we have the story of David with Abigail. After David returned from the destruction of the Philistine army Saul is informed that David is in the wilderness of En-gedi. Does he go to thank him? No, he gathers 3,000 men to destroy him. Saul found a cave and went in to use the toilet but David and his men were also in the cave. His men said to him, Today the LORD has delivered Saul into your hand. David rose up and cut off the corner of his robe, but Saul didn’t know it. But when he had done it his heart fell because he thought he had done wrong. David said forbid me Lord from doing anything against my Lord Saul. He is the LORD’s anointed and l will not put out my hand against the LORD’s anointed. David prevented his men from attacking Saul. Saul when he had finished went on his way. Then David came out of the cave after him and called to him, my lord – king and he bowed down to the earth. Then David asked him why do you seek to hurt me? Today the Lord delivered you into my hand and my men encouraged me to kill you but l would not put out my hand to touch you because you are the Lord’s anointed one. But l did cut off a part of your robe for which l am sorry. I have never sought to hurt you yet you seek to hurt me. The LORD will judge between us and he will avenge me of you, but my hand will not be against you. When Saul heard the voice of David he wept and he said, you are more righteous than me because you rewarded me good when l only did evil toward you. So may God bless you today and reward you according to your kindness. And l know that you will be king and that the kingdom will be made secure by you. Please swear that you will not destroy my family. Saul went home but David went to his secure place. Then we read of the death of Samuel. Samuel stands out as a man of incredible godliness alongside Noah and Daniel. The whole nation gathered to weep for him. David went north to the wilderness of Paran where there lived a man who had great possessions yet he was an ignorant and cantankerous man. David sent ten men asking for food but he spoke rudely to them and refused common hospitality. When David heard of the abusive reply he armed his men and set out to avenge the slur. However Nabal had a wife who was wise an kind and she remembered that Davids men had given her shepherds protection. So she very hurriedly let out to meet David bring huge qualities of food with her. When David met her she pleaded for mercy for her husband and David relented and turned away his anger for her sake. When Abigail returned home she found her husband at a huge feast and she waited until the morning to tell him what she had done. When she finally told her husband what she had done his heart died within him. (Perhaps this was a stroke) He became like a stone but ten days later he was struck by the Lord and died. It seems that those who treat the Lords anointed badly face the judgment of God. When David heard that he was dead he blessed God because the LORD had acted in the matter and David himself had not needed to. Then David came and took Abagail to be his wife.