Wednesday, March 29, 2006

David and Jonathan

1st Samuel 20 to 1st Samuel 26

Saul sent soldiers to try to find and capture David, but they failed to find him. Jonathan meanwhile kept trying to save his friend. When Saul threw his spear at David in his anger, Jonathan realized that his efforts at pleading for David his friend were useless.

Jonathan and David bid each other farewell with a loving embrace. David went into the wilderness, where he soon gathered together a band of followers.

Saul continued his fierce pursuit of David, his life was twice in David's power, who refused to hurt Saul, though his followers urged him to kill the king. On one of these occasions, David, to prove how easily he might have killed Saul if he wanted to, cut off a piece of his robe when he was asleep.

When the king awoke, David showed it to him and told him that if he desired to take his life he could have. Saul's hard heart was softened by his appeal, and he said to David, "You are more righteous than I" because David had returned him good for evil he had shown him.

Saul told him that he knew David should be king after him. He begged that his sons would not be put to death when David came to the throne. David solemnly promised this. Saul stopped pursuing him but David, not daring to trust himself with him, went back to his stronghold in the wilderness.

Saul's reconciliation with David did not last long. He was soon hunting him again with an army of three thousand men. He had pitched his camp in the wilderness; and David, with Abishai, one of his followers, came down to it at night. The people were all asleep, and Saul's tent was set up in the midst of the encampment.

They sneaked to the place where Saul lay sleeping with his spear stuck into the ground by his pillow, surrounded by his guard. Abishai wanted to kill Saul but David would not allow him. To show Saul once again how completely he had been at his mercy, David took the spear and water-bottle away with him to his camp.

When David returned to his camp, he called out tauntingly to Abner the captain of Saul’s army, and the king's guard, asking them if they were not pretty defenders of their master. He told them to send someone to fetch the king's spear from him.

Saul knew the voice and when David complained to him of his merciless pursuit of one who had so often spared his life, he gave his word that he would do David no more harm.

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