1 Sam 21.1-9; Story; David and the Holy Bread
1 Sam 21.10-15; Story; David Flees to Gath
1 Sam 22.1-5; Story; David at the Cave of Adullam
1 Sam 22.6-23; Story; Saul Kills the Priests at Nob
1 Sam 23.1-14; Story; David Saves the City of Keilah
1 Sam 23.15-29; Story; Saul Pursues David
1 Sam 24.1-22; Story; David Spares Saul’s Life
Passage and Comments
David still continues to evade Saul. Perhaps we are meant to ask how long can he keep it up? During the pursuit Saul commands that the priests of the LORD who assisted David (1 Sam 21.1-9) be killed (1 Sam 22.6-23). At a later occasion David has opportunity to kill Saul and be done with it. But Saul is the anointed king, David has no right to strike the LORD's anointed (1 Sam 24.1-22). Here the contrast between David and Saul is apparent. David refuses to strike the LORD's anointed. One has respect for the LORD, the other doesn't.
Our passage describes David's heart for the people and again compares David and Saul. Even while David is being pursued by one who wants him dead, he is concerned for the welfare of others.
23 Now they told David, “Behold, the Philistines are fighting against Keilah and are robbing the threshing floors.” 2 Therefore David inquired of the LORD, “Shall I go and attack these Philistines?” And the LORD said to David, “Go and attack the Philistines and save Keilah.” 3 But David’s men said to him, “Behold, we are afraid here in Judah; how much more then if we go to Keilah against the armies of the Philistines?” 4 Then David inquired of the LORD again. And the LORD answered him, “Arise, go down to Keilah, for I will give the Philistines into your hand.” 5 And David and his men went to Keilah and fought with the Philistines and brought away their livestock and struck them with a great blow. So David saved the inhabitants of Keilah. 6 When Abiathar the son of Ahimelech had fled to David to Keilah, he had come down with an ephod in his hand. (1 Sam 23:1–6)David has a heart for his people. He is acting as king even though he is not yet the king. David relies on the LORD for guidance. Twice he went to the LORD for help. He listens to the concerns of his men. He cares for the well being of the people in Israel. David puts himself and his men in the line of fire for others. And the LORD is with him. The LORD gives the Philistines into his hand. Bear in mind, all this happens while he is being pursued by Saul.
7 Now it was told Saul that David had come to Keilah. And Saul said, “God has given him into my hand, for he has shut himself in by entering a town that has gates and bars.” 8 And Saul summoned all the people to war, to go down to Keilah, to besiege David and his men. (1 Sam 23:6–8)By way of comparison. Saul does not care about the people. He has not even heard of the plight of Keilah. He will destroy them to get to David. Saul presumes on the LORD's favour. He mistakenly thinks God has given him David, when in fact God has put David there to save others. Saul does not inquire of the LORD. Imagine the LORD's response if he did. Saul only motivation seems to be jealousy. He wants to kill David, the future king.
9 David knew that Saul was plotting harm against him. And he said to Abiathar the priest, “Bring the ephod here.” 10 Then David said, “O LORD, the God of Israel, your servant has surely heard that Saul seeks to come to Keilah, to destroy the city on my account. 11 Will the men of Keilah surrender me into his hand? Will Saul come down, as your servant has heard? O LORD, the God of Israel, please tell your servant.” And the LORD said, “He will come down.” 12 Then David said, “Will the men of Keilah surrender me and my men into the hand of Saul?” And the LORD said, “They will surrender you.” 13 Then David and his men, who were about six hundred, arose and departed from Keilah, and they went wherever they could go. When Saul was told that David had escaped from Keilah, he gave up the expedition. 14 And David remained in the strongholds in the wilderness, in the hill country of the wilderness of Ziph. And Saul sought him every day, but God did not give him into his hand. (1 Sam 23:1–14)David continues to rely on the LORD for guidance. The LORD is with him. Shamefully the people of Keilah would have surrendered David their saviour to Saul. But David's trust is not in men. David escapes because the LORD is with him. Its a difficult time for David, but he is showing every sign of living up to the reason why the LORD chose him.
And yet, David’s time to be king has not yet come.
Story of Israel
When his time does come the LORD makes him a promise that will be remembered for centuries. Nathan the prophet declares.
"Moreover, the LORD declares to you that the LORD will make you a house. 12 When your days are fulfilled and you lie down with your fathers, I will raise up your offspring after you, who shall come from your body, and I will establish his kingdom. 13 He shall build a house for my name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever." (2 Sam 7:11–13)Story of Jesus
The king anticipated in this promise is Jesus. Like David there were times where he was pursued. But he was not caught because his time had not yet come.
25 Some of the people of Jerusalem therefore said, “Is not this the man whom they seek to kill? 26 And here he is, speaking openly, and they say nothing to him! Can it be that the authorities really know that this is the Christ? 27 But we know where this man comes from, and when the Christ appears, no one will know where he comes from.” 28 So Jesus proclaimed, as he taught in the temple, “You know me, and you know where I come from. But I have not come of my own accord. He who sent me is true, and him you do not know. 29 I know him, for I come from him, and he sent me.” 30 So they were seeking to arrest him, but no one laid a hand on him, because his hour had not yet come. 31 Yet many of the people believed in him. They said, “When the Christ appears, will he do more signs than this man has done?” (Jn 7:25–31)When his time did come and he was ready to bring in his kingdom he did it in the most unexpected way. The cross.
23 And Jesus answered them, “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. 24 Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit. 25 Whoever loves his life loses it, and whoever hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. (Jn 12:23–25)When his time had come, Jesus the king ushered in his eternal kingdom by going to the cross. Its on the cross where Jesus reveals his glory as king.