Deja Vu

David was caught in a living nightmare. Once again, Saul was hot on his heels. The king had taken 3,000 of Israel's elite troops and was hunting David down in the wilderness of Ziph. The events in 1 Samuel 26 have a sense of déjà vu about them, they're remarkably similar to what took place in chapter 24.

In the first encounter, David was retreating as Saul was advancing. But in chapter 26, Saul's soldiers are camped out and David is on the offensive. His scouts located Saul's camp and David, accompanied by at least two men, goes to check it out. What's he up to? we wonder. Surely, he won't attempt to assassinate Saul, for he was conscience-stricken when he previously cut off a portion of Saul's robe (24:5).

David had come for Saul's spear and water container, and that was all. He commanded Abishai not to kill Saul for basically the same reason (v.9) he verbalized in 24:6,11. But David went beyond what he had said before, assuring Abishai, "Surely the Lord will strike Saul down someday, or he will die of old age or in battle" (26:10). After his experience with Nabal and Abigail (ch.25), David knew that God could accomplish His will in any number of ways.

It's important to note that David didn't simply know that God defends His own. He believed it. His whole plan hung on it. He staked his life on it. We see from his example that faith and action go hand-in-hand. His plan was totally dependent on God for success. In 1 Samuel 26, David dealt with a similar situation with greater confidence and wisdom than in chapter 24. Can that be said of us? How are we living out the wisdom He has taught us through previous life experiences? , Poh Fang Chia

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