1Sa 24: "Saul continues his relentless pursuit of David,
irrespective of the divine determination that the young man who defeated Goliath
was Yahweh's anointed-elect. It is a sad commentary on human nature that it acts
in opposition to the divine will, even within the community of the faithful. The
Lord Jesus himself was pursued to his death by the priesthood of Jerusalem. So
Saul gathered a whole community of murderers: 3,000 chosen men are sent on a
mission of death (v 2). And yet, in the strange but wonderful actions of
Providence, Saul and his men are unwittingly discovered in David's power (vv
3-7). It was an opportunity for revenge, and of the kind that could be justified
on the ground that Yahweh had permitted Saul's men to come into the power of
David. Is not this the obvious purpose of the Deity? Many times actions are
justified on grounds that seem to be correct. But David was greater, for his
heart was fashioned according to that of Yahweh, and he saw Saul, in his
clutches, as 'Yahweh's Anointed' (v 6). Certainly he cut a portion of Saul's
robe (v 4), and particularly that section of the ribband of blue on the hem,
which was a covenant garment commanded of all Israel. The ribband represented
the laws of the nation. Saul had certainly broken it himself, but it was not
proper for David to take advantage -- and his heart smote him (v 5). What a
change of fortunes, as the weakness of his position is brought before the king
(vv 8-15). There was no doubt that Saul had a moment of sanity as he saw the
righteousness of David, and the preservation of his life because of that. There
is some reconciliation between the two (vv 16-29). A covenant is established,
but David could not trust the vacillating promises of Saul, and therefore, as
the king returned to his 'home' (v 22), David remained in 'the hold.'
Faithfulness was with the 'king' in the cave; whilst the king on the throne of
Israel would never find true comfort" (GEM).
THE CRAGS OF THE WILD GOATS: "The Ibex Cliffs". There
are still ibexes these today (BAR 5:6:50,51).
THE SHEEP PENS: Usually an enclosure made by rocks and
thorns in the mouth of a cave, in which sheep are protected at night. Poss the
sheep moving around helped hide David's movements from Saul; also, such caves
are very dark (LB 603).
THIS IS THE DAY THE LORD SPOKE OF... 'I WILL GIVE YOUR
ENEMY INTO YOUR HANDS': When had God said this?! Or was this an inference
from their knowledge of David's earlier anointing?
A CORNER OF SAUL'S ROBE: The ribband of blue: symbol of
Saul's would-be devotion to God.
"When a man's ways are pleasing to the LORD, he makes even his
enemies live at peace with him" (Pro 16:7).
THEN SAUL RETURNED HOME, BUT DAVID AND HIS MEN WENT UP TO
THE STRONGHOLD: "Then each went to his own home. But Jesus went to the Mount
of Olives" (Joh 7:53; 8:1).