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  David and His Character Under Duress Part 2
by Anne Coyle

David still feared Saul and fled to the wilderness of Paran, he heard that the Prophet Samuel had died and was buried in his house at Ramah.
Now David resided near a very wealthy man named Nabal who lived in Maon whose possessions were in Carmel. He had 3000 sheep and a 1000 goats.
The manís wife was Abigail, she was very beautiful with good understanding. Nabal was evil.

Now David heard that Nabal had called in the shearers to shear the lambs so he sent 10 men down to the valley and told them to say to Nabal that David who was up in the hills would like some supplies as a gesture of welcome and gratitude for not harming any of the flock while he and his troops were all around in the hills. Davidís men told Nabal to ask of his shepherds and they would testify that they safe and unharmed while David was there. Nabal laughed in derision, who is David, he asked?.

It was known around who David was because he had camped in the wilderness while Saul was searching for him.
When the 10 men returned to David and told him what the owner had said , David was very upset. He told his men to get his sword and they started out with 400 men while 200 stayed with all the baggage.

In the meantime Abigail heard about her husbandís reply to the 10 men and started to prepare 200 hundred loaves of bread,2 wine skins, five sheep fully dressed , 5 measures of grain, 200 cakes of figs .She had it all put on donkeys and send it all before her. She rode on a ass and when she saw David she alighted and fell on her face before him. She begged for his mercy. David had purposed in his heart to leave not one male alive in Maon. Abigail stated her case before him, her husband was a worthless fellow but she pleaded,  "And it shall come to pass when the lord shall have done for my lord according to all the good that he hath spoken concerning thee, and shall have appointed thee ruler over Israel, that this shall be no grief unto thee, nor offense of heart unto my lord, either that thou hast shed blood without cause, or that my Lord hath avenged himself, but when the lord shall have dealt well with my Lord, then remember thine handmaid."

And David replied: Blessed be thy advice, and blessed be thou who hast kept me back form hurting thee, except thou had hastened and come to meet me, surely there had not been left unto Nabal by the morning light any male child. So David received of her hand that which she had brought him, and said to her. Go up in peace to thine house, see I have hearkened to thy voice and have accepted thy person.

Later Abigail tells her husband about David and her errand to beg for mercy. Nabal was stricken with fear, in 10 days he died. When David heard about his death he sent a message to Abigail to ask her to be his wife. She hastened and arose and rode upon a ass; five damsels went with her. David also took Ahinoam and they both became his wives. Michal the daughter of Saul who had married David had been given to another man, Palti.

Now the Ziphites went to Saul to tell him that David was in the hill of Hachilah so Saul went down to the wilderness of Ziph. Most Bibles have maps where you can follow Davidís travels, you will notice that the area is quite small 20-30 miles away from Bethlehem.

Now David saw where Saul was camped and at night went down and took Saulís spear and cruse of water.
He went back to the hills and called out to Saul. Again David spared Saulís life, he had such respect for the Lordís anointed. Saul said to him: I have sinned, return my son David for I will no more do thee harm, because my soul was precious in thine eyes this day. Behold I have played the fool and have erred exceedingly.
David replied ďBehold as thy life was much esteemed this day in mine eyes, so let my life be much esteemed in the eyes of the lord and let him deliver me out of all tribulation.Ē

So David went on his way and Saul returned to his place.
Now at this time David knew he would never be free from Saulís hatred so he decided to go to the land of the Phillistines for he knew Saul would not come there. David arose with his 600 hundred men and went to Achish, the son of Maoch, king of Gath. David dwelt there with his two wives and families. David asked Achish for a place where he could settle his people because Achish knew that Saul had made him flee. So the king gave him the town of Ziklag, he stayed there for 16 months. All the time he and his men raided various places around the area unbeknown to the king. David made sure no one lived in theses places to tell the king. The king thought David was raiding the towns of Judah , his own country but David would never do that.

Later there came a time when the Phillistines prepared for war against Israel. Achish asked David and his men to join him, David said yes. When the other princes of the Phillistines heard about this they said no ,he canít go with us. Isnít he the one who slew Goliath and was celebrated as the one who killed thousands in battle? So Achish told David to go back to Ziglag.

When David returned to his place the Amalekites had invaded the land and burned Ziglag and took all the wives of David plus everyone .David and his men lifted up their voices and wept. David encouraged himself in the lord. Psalm 18:6- psalm 25:1-2 and many others. David prayed and asked the lord , He answered him- Go for thou shall surely overtake them and without fail recover all. Thatís faith.

David went with 400 men and left 300 to guard their possessions, the Amalekites were celebrating their victory when David came upon them, the scripture says: behold they were spread abroad upon the earth, eating and drinking and dancing, because of all the great spoil that they had taken out of the land of the Phillistines and Judah. And David smote them from the twilight even unto the evening of the next day. He recovered all that they had carried away and David rescued his two wives.David took all the flocks and the herds and said this is Davidís spoil.

David came back and saw the 200 hundred men waiting, some of the warriors didnít want to share the spoil with them but David said You shall not do so with that which the lord has given us, those who go to battle are the same as those who stay and watch our possessions, they shall share alike. And so it is today that it is an ordinance and statute for Israel even to this day.
Then David did a most generous thing. He sent of the spoil to the elders of Judah saying Behold a present for you of the spoil of the enbeies of the lord. He gave to those in Bethel, South Ramoth, attie, Aroer, Siphmoth, Eshtemoa, Racal, and many others. And to them at Hebron and to all the places where David himself and his men were accustomed to haunt. Such generosity, such a giving heart, such love for his neighbors, no wonder God called him a man after his own heart.
At this time Saul was in battle against the Phillistines where he was slain, the enemy cut off his head and sent it to the land of the Phillistines to show in the house of their idols. Later when the inhabitants of Jabesh-gilead in Judah heard about it they went at night and took the bodies of Saul and his three sons and buried them at Jabesh. The scripture says they fasted for seven days. They showed honor and respect to their fallen king.

David sought the Lord about going to Hebron and dwelling and so David and his army moved there. Soon after the people of Jusdah asked David to be their King so David was King of Judah for 7 years.
There were wars between the descendents of Saul who reigned in Israel and Davidís men. David kept increasing in strength and honor, finally after seven years Israel came to david and asked him to be the King of all Israel. David agreed , one condition his wife Michal be returned to him since Saul had given her to someone else.

David sought the Lord about going to Hebron and dwelling and so David and his army moved there. Soon after the people of Jusdah asked David to be their King so David was King of Judah for 7 years.

There were wars between the descendents of Saul who reigned in Israel and Davidís men. David kept increasing in strength and honor, finally after seven years Israel came to david and asked him to be the King of all Israel. David agreed , one condition his wife Michal be returned to him since Saul had given her to someone else.

So David , his army, and his wives entered Jerusalem and he became King of Israel and reigned for 33 years.

 

 
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