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1 Samuel 26:1-25 - Against Assassinating Saul II

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Once again the opportunity for David to kill Saul has presented itself; however, David refuses to assassinate Saul.  After this attempt on David's life by Saul, David did not see Saul again before Saul was killed in battle fighting the Philistines; for during the remaining days of Saul's life (which were "a full year and four months" (1 Samuel 27:7), David remained in Philistia to be a safe distance from Saul, and "he [Saul] sought no more again for him [David]" (1 Samuel 27:4).     

With Saul's last attempt to kill David being the background for David's second sparing of Saul's life, let’s review briefly here Saul's many attempts on David's life (the number cannot be determined exactly, but is at least over twenty).  The review will help emphasize how bloodthirsty Saul was for David's life and, therefore, how magnanimous David was in sparing Saul's life.

·         Saul first attempted to kill David with the javelin—and at least three times he tried to kill David with the javelin when David was playing his harp for Saul when Saul was under the spell of an evil spirit.

·         Twice Saul tried to kill David indirectly through the Philistines by demanding that David show extra valiant action against them to gain one of Saul's daughters as a wife.

·         Saul tried to kill David by ordering the members of his court to kill David.

·         Saul tried to kill David by surrounding his house to trap him.

·         Four efforts were made by Saul to kill David at Naioth in Ramah where David had fled to Samuel for protection.

·         On one occasion Saul ordered Jonathan to bring David to Saul so Saul could kill him.

·         Saul made plans to kill David at Keilah until David moved from there.

·         Then Saul sought David continuously for a time "Saul sought him every day" (1 Samuel 23:14) in the wilderness of Ziph.

·         After that Saul tried to kill David in the wilderness of Maon but a Philistine invasion stopped him.

·         Saul then went to the wilderness of En-gedi to kill David (this attempt included David's first refusal to assassinate Saul).

Now in our text is Saul's last attempt to kill David which provided David with a second opportunity to assassinate Saul.  Let me give you the outline for today…

A.           The Treachery Against David (v.1-5).

1.            The cruelty of the treachery (v.1).

a)            “The Ziphites came to Saul saying, Is David not hiding in the hill of Hachilah…”  (v.1).

(1)           What’s the reason for this treachery?  The reason the Ziphites reported the whereabouts of David to Saul was to have David killed. 
(2)           The Ziphites were afraid of David and now fear that if David ascended the throne he would take revenge on the Ziphites because they had betrayed him before.
(3)           They could have amended their ways with David attempting to make peace with David but they chose not to. 
(4)           Is there anyone in your life you are choosing to not make peace with?

Jesus said "Blessed are the peacemakers, For they shall be called sons of God."  (Matthew 5:9, NKJV)

Jesus also said that "Salt is good, but if the salt loses its flavor, how will you season it?  Have salt in yourselves, and have peace with one another."  (Mark 9:50, NKJV)

"If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men.”  (Romans 12:18, NKJV)

We are to endeavor “to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.”  (Ephesians 4:3, NKJV)

Listen to what the writer of Hebrews says "Pursue peace with all people, and holiness, without which no one will see the Lord: looking carefully lest anyone fall short of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up cause trouble, and by this many become defiled;" (Hebrews 12:14-15, NKJV)

James says that "The wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy. Now the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace."  (James 3:17-18, NKJV)

!!!!! (5)           The cruelty of the Ziphites demonstrates what happens when men reject God's anointed.  If the Ziphites had accepted David, God's anointed one, as king; their cruelty would have ceased.

(6)           Similarly, if men accept Jesus Christ as their Savior, their cruelty will cease.  I believe the reason that cruelty in our nation is so prevalent is because Christ is so universally rejected.  The best program against crime is Christ!
(7)           The persistence of evil: the Ziphites failed to accomplish their treachery in (1 Sam.23:19, 20) of the ending of David’s life so their back at it again.  Evil does not give up easily!

(8)           The relationship of the traitors: the Ziphites were of the same tribe from which David came, the tribe of Judah.
(a)           It always hurts more to be betrayed by your friends and relatives than strangers (Matthew 26:20-23; John 13:18, 26, 27; Ps.41:9). 
(b)           Pastors know that it hurts more to have church members turn against them than to have the world turn against them.
(c)           All who are dedicated to serving the Lord will sooner or later experience this betrayal by people who should be supporting them.
(d)           But when we are betrayed, remember that we serve a God who will never betray us:

In Jacobs dream in Genesis 28, God said "I am with you and will keep you wherever you go, and will bring you back to this land; for I will not leave you until I have done what I have spoken to you.”" (Genesis 28:15, NKJV)

Moses, as he is speaking to Israel before his death said "Be strong and of good courage, do not fear nor be afraid of them; for the Lord your God, He is the One who goes with you.  He will not leave you nor forsake you." (Deuteronomy 31:6, NKJV)

Then 2 verses later he speaks directly to Joshua saying "And the Lord, He is the One who goes before you. He will be with you, He will not leave you nor forsake you; do not fear nor be dismayed.”" (Deuteronomy 31:8, NKJV)

Then after the death of Moses, God speaks directly to Joshua and says "No man shall be able to stand before you all the days of your life; as I was with Moses, so I will be with you.  I will not leave you nor forsake you." (Joshua 1:5, NKJV)

David said to his son Solomon, “Be strong and of good courage, and do it; do not fear nor be dismayed, for the Lord God—my God—will be with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you, until you have finished all the work for the service of the house of the Lord." (1 Chronicles 28:20, NKJV)

!!! 2.            The corruption of the treachery (v.1-2).

a)            “The Ziphites came to Saul saying, Is David not hiding in the hill of Hachilah…”  (v.1).

(1)           The Ziphites Encouraged Iniquity: The Ziphites' action of reporting to Saul the whereabouts of David encouraged Saul to renew his corrupt behavior of chasing David.
(a)           Saul had been seeking David's life for some time, but in his last attempt to kill David, Saul had decided to quit chasing David.
(b)           But the Ziphites ignored this and encouraged Saul to return to his old habit of seeking to kill David.

b)            The warning of leading astray a child of God (Matthew 18:6-11).

(1)           Offense #1The Sin of leading others astray (v.6).
(a)           The Millstone – The millstone Christ spoke of was not the small hand millstone used by the women to grind a little grain at a time, but a huge millstone that the donkeys used to pull. 
(b)           Drowning – Drowning was a form of criminal punishment used by the Romans, but never by the Jews. The Jews saw drowning as a symbol of utter destruction and annihilation. They feared it. Even the Romans reserved it only for the worst criminals.
(c)           Around the Offenders Neck – Christ added to the fear of His audience. He painted the picture of a stone around the offender’s neck so that the body could never rise to the top and be recovered for proper burial.
(2)           Offense #2Being a stumbling block (v.7-9).
(a)           Woe to that man by whom the offenses come – There seems to be no end of books, magazines, movies, TV programs.  The world is constantly setting sin traps, and its favorite victims are God’s children.  But Woe to those by whom they come!
(3)           The Prevention – Do whatever is necessary (V.10).
(a)           Do whatever is necessary to keep yourself and others from sinning

Paul put it this way "But I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified." (1 Corinthians 9:27, NKJV)

(4)           In every age there are many people like the Ziphites who are always trying to get people to sin.
(a)           If you have made a decision to live a more holy life, it will not be long before some Ziphite character will come around and try to get you to recant your decision and go back to your old ways.
(b)           They will encourage people to sin (Matthew 18:6-11; 13:41; 23:13 1Cor.8:13; 11:9; Rom. 14:13, 19, 21; 15:2; 1 Cor. 8:13.).
(c)           We need people to encourage us to pursue after holiness

3.            The confirming of the treachery (v.3-5).

B.           The Temptation for David (v.6-12).

1.            The power of the temptation (v.6-8).

2.            The prevailing over the temptation (v.9-12).

C.           The Talking with David (v.13-25).

1.            The criticizm of Abner (v.13-16).

2.            The complaint for Saul (v.17-20).

3.            The confession by Saul (v.21).

4.            The caution of David (v.22).

5.            The counsel from David (v.23-24).

6.            The concession of Saul (v.25).

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