Shall we turn in our Bibles to the seventeenth chapter of first Samuel? In the seventeenth chapter of first Samuel, we read where,
The Philistines had gathered their armies together [against the children of Israel, Of course] king Saul had gathered his armies together, [They were setting their battle lines. They were digging their foxholes and setting up their battle array on either side of the Elah Valley] (17:1-2).
Now the Elah Valley is an area that is south and west of Jerusalem, maybe fifteen miles. A beautiful little valley but of course anything can be made ugly by war.
And so on the mountain on the one side was the camp of the Philistines, on the mountain on the other side was the camp of Israel (17:3):
In those days they would take their time in getting started into a real battle. They’d come and they’d yell and they’d have their shouts, and they’d try to psyche each other out. The children of Israel had been pretty well psyched out by this fellow Goliath, who came out every day for forty days.
The champion from the Philistines, he was from the city of Gath, he was nine feet six inches tall. He had a brass helmet, a brass coat of mail; that weighed [five hundred or] five thousand shekels. [Was it?] And he had these plates of brass on his legs, he had a brass chest protector. His spear was like a weaver’s beam; [Huge spear and man, he’d come out there and stand and he was an awesome sight in the eyes of the children of Israel.] (17:3-7).
And daily he would challenge them. He would say, “Look facing off here in battle. We can settle it easily. Send out a man to fight me, for I’m a Philistine, you’re the Israelites, and if you’ve got a man in your army that’s able to fight me, if he can defeat me, we’ll be your servants. If I can beat him, then you’ll be our servants.” He was daily challenging them for forty days.
Meanwhile back in Bethlehem Jesse called his young son David in and said, [David, I want you to go out to the battlefield and check with your brothers and see how things are going.] Take these loaves of bread for them and this bushel of parched corn, and take these cheeses for their captains, and just find out how things are going, [and bring us news again of the condition of your brothers. And so David headed off on a chariot towards the battlefield in Elah Valley from Bethlehem, about twenty miles distance. And as he came near and he could see the camp of the Israelites, and the Philistines,] he got off the chariot, and ran to meet his brothers. [And of course he started sharing with them the parent’s concern, How’s everything going, and are you warm enough at night, is everything okay? As he was talking to them, this fellow Goliath came out and made his daily challenge.] So the fellows when they saw this man, they fled from him, and they were very afraid. And the men of Israel said to David, Have you seen this fellow that comes out every day? to defy Israel: the king said if any man can kill him, the king will make him very rich, he’ll allow his family to become tax free in Israel, and he’ll give his daughter for a wife. [And David said, The king will do what? They said, “Well, he’s going to give the guy a lot of riches, and his daughter to wife, and his family will be tax free.”] (17:17-25).
And so David’s brother Eliab saw David’s interest in this thing, and he said to David, “Who’s watching over your sheep back there in the wilderness kid? You better get on home in a hurry. I know your heart, you’re just—dad probably didn’t send you down here. You’re just down to see what a war looks like and you go home in a hurry.” His big brother is trying to sort of protect him.
And David said, Hey wait a minute what have I done? There’s a cause here? (17:29)
This fellow is defying the armies of the living God, and if none of you fellows want to go out and fight him, I’ll go out and fight him. So a fellow ran and told Saul the fact that they had a volunteer who had volunteered to go out and fight: David. And so they brought David in to fight Goliath. They brought David in unto Saul and Saul said, “Oh, you can’t fight him son. That man is a man of war.”
you’re just a youth and he’s been a man of war from his youth (17:33).
You can’t go out and fight him.
David said, [Wait a minute, don’t reject me so fast. He said,] One day when I was watching my father’s sheep, a lion and a bear came out and grabbed a sheep and began to drag them off. And I grabbed the sheep out of the lion’s mouth: so he turned on me, and I took him by the beard, and I killed him. And I also killed the bear: and the God who delivered the lion and the bear into my hands will deliver also this uncircumcised Philistine. So Saul said, Well give you a try. Here take this helmet and this armour plate, [and so forth] and so they put this armour on David and the helmet, [And he’s probably just a little kid and the helmet probably came down over his ears, and you know the armour plate’s so heavy] He said, If you don’t mind, I haven’t tested this stuff. I don’t think I better use this. I’ll just go out as I am. And so David headed toward the giant (17:34-40).
Now one interesting thing about the Elah Valley, there is a dry streambed in the bottom. Of course it’s got water in it when it rained, but it’s one of those typical Southern California type of rivers that only gets water when it rains.
But interestingly enough when God created the earth, I have in my office actually, some—and I should’ve brought some out tonight, but when God created the earth, knowing what was going to transpire in this particular valley, when God made this valley and this particular little stream bed, God just placed thousands of smooth round stones in this particular streambed. I’ve never seen any streambed with so many smooth, round stones. Beautiful stones for a sling. I’ve got a bunch of them in my office. I like to pick them up out of that stream, maybe because they’re so perfect for a sling.
So David stopped by and he picked up five smooth round stones, [And there’s just bundles of smooth round stones in this stream bed.] and he headed up the hill towards the giant. Put them in his little shepherd’s sack, and headed up the hill. But when Goliath saw David coming he was outraged. He said, Am I a dog that you’d send a child out to fight me? And he began to curse David by his gods. He said, [All right kid you’re asking for it,] I’ll chop you up and feed you to the birds. And David said to the Giant, You come against me with a sword, and a spear, and a shield: but I come against you in the name of Jehovah of hosts, the God that you have defied. And he’s going to deliver you into my hand; and I'm going to chop up your whole army and feed it to the birds. [David was assured victory not only over the giant, but over the whole host of the Philistines.] And so David took one of the stones out of his little pouch, put it in his sling, and let it fly towards the giant, and he sunk the stone right into the forehead of the giant; and the giant fell down. And David went running up, [because he didn’t even have a sword. All he had was a sling, he didn’t even have a sword.] He pulled the sword out of the sheath of the giant, his own sword, and David used it and hacked off his head. [Then he grabbed it by the hair and held it up. Probably began to swing it around yelling.] And all the Philistines when they saw this, [their champion destroyed by a child, panic gripped them and] they began to flee (17:41-51).
And of course the men of Israel, when they saw this, their hearts were encouraged, and they all came out of their tents and began charging after the Philistines. And there was a great slaughter of the Philistines that day. So the Lord delivered the Philistine there in the hands of David.
Now when Saul saw David go out against this fellow, he said to his captain Abner, Who is this young fellow? [Who is his dad?] And Abner said, [I don’t know,] as thy soul live I can’t tell you. And so the king says, Inquire and find out whose son he is. And so as David returned from the slaughter of the Philistine, Abner took him, and brought him before Saul with the head of the Philistine still in his hand (17:55-57).
It was a trophy that David had, and he wasn’t going to let the thing go. He was going to carry it around for a few days. Must have been a big head too, you know, the guy’s nine foot, six inches tall.
And he said, Whose son are you David? and David said, I am the son of thy servant Jesse the Bethlehemite (17:58).
Now when it came to pass, when he had made an end of speaking to Saul, that the soul of Jonathan [Saul’s son was just sort of] knit with the soul of David, Jonathan loved him as himself (18:1).
Actually there became a bond between Saul’s son Jonathan and David. They were really sort of two of a kind. They were both of them, very adventuresome. They were both of them very daring. Both of them with great confidence in God, great love for the Lord.
It was Jonathan, you remember last week we were studying about him. When they were facing the Philistines, he was the one that woke up his armourbearer and said, “Hey, I’ve been thinking this morning, it doesn’t make any difference to God if we have a whole army or just ourselves. If God wants to deliver the Philistines into the hands of Israel today, He can do it with just two of us. He doesn’t need the whole army. Let’s go over this morning, and see if God wants to deliver the Philistines into the hands of Israel.”
So he and his armourbearer took on the whole army of the Philistines. “Just find out if God wants to deliver, because God’s big enough if He wants to deliver them. He doesn’t need a whole army, He only needs two.” God delivered the Philistines into the hand of Jonathan and his armourbearer that day. So Jonathan and David were really sort of two of a kind, so they just immediately hit it off. They just, you know, that kind of a thing where a bond was formed, a deep bond was formed between these two fellows Jonathan and David.
Now Saul sort of kept David. I mean he just also at this point had a very great admiration and liking for this brave, daring young kid. So he wouldn’t let him go home. He’s going to keep him now there with the army.
And Jonathan and David made a covenant, because they loved each other so deeply. And Jonathan stripped himself of the robe that was on him, and gave it to David, and his garments, and his sword, and his bow, and his girdle. [He just gave David, “Hey here, take my sword, my bow, my...” you know, he just tried to show his expression of love towards David.] And so David went with Saul wherever Saul would go, and David behaved himself very wisely: so Saul set him over the men of war, and he was accepted in the sight of the people (18:3-5),
Though he was just a very young fellow, he was set over a part of the army and these guys respected him so much, of course God’s deliverance of the Philistine in his hand, that they just accepted him, but then trouble began to arise.
Because as they would come into a village after David had returned from the slaughter of the Philistine that the women came out of all of the cities of Israel, singing and dancing, to meet king Saul, with their tabrets, and with joy, and with instruments of music. [And the women would sing back and forth one to another.] And one group would sing, Saul hath slain his thousands (18:6-7),
Now he was used to this. The women had started this when Saul had come back from victory. They’d come out and they’d sing with their tambourines, and they’d go through their dances singing, “Saul has killed his thousands.” Now in this particular case they started off, and old Saul is just, “All right that’s me folks. Here I am.” And then a second company of women sort of answered,
and David his tens of thousands (18:7).
Well to a fellow that was having a problem with pride, this was a little much. Saul became extremely jealous of David and said,
what does he want more than this the kingdom (18:8)?
Of course, he was not aware of the fact that God had chosen David to be the king, and that God had anointed David to be king over Israel. So it is interesting that immediately he began to suspicion the fact that the kingdom was in jeopardy. “What does he want more than this, the kingdom?”
And Saul was very angry, and he said, Look they’ve ascribed to me thousands, but to David, tens of thousands. So from that day onward Saul was watching David very carefully. And it came to pass on the next day, that an evil spirit came upon Saul, [One of these bad ill-tempered days for him.] and he prophesied in the midst of the house: and David played with his hand, as at other times: and there was a javelin in his hand. [And he thought I’ll thrust that kid through and I’ll pin him to the wall.] So he threw the javelin at David, and David nimbly dodged the thing, but twice that day he tried to ram the javelin through David, and David dodged it both times. But David figured, It’s time for me to get out of here. And so he departed. And so Saul then made him a captain over the thousand; and he went out into the field. But David behaved himself very wisely; and the Lord was with him. So Saul began to get a little afraid of David when he saw how wisely he kept himself, and how he did always the right thing. But Israel and Judah loved David, [because he was there among them,] and he would go in and out before them. So Saul said, Here David is Merab, my oldest daughter [And of course, “I promised my daughter to anyone who would kill the Philistine.”] so he said, She can be your wife: but be valiant for me, and fight the Lord’s battles. For Saul said, Let the Philistines kill him and I won’t have to lay my hand on him. [He figured if he’d send him out against the Philistines they’d kill him, and he wouldn’t have to kill him himself.] But David to Saul said, [Hey] who am I, what is my life? what is my father’s family in Israel, that I should be a son in law to the king? And it came to pass when the time was supposed to be that Merab was suppose to be given to David as a wife, [Saul switcherooed and gave her to somebody else, pulled a dirty one on David, and gave her to someone else.] Now Saul had another daughter Michal actually loved David very much: and when they told Saul, [“Hey Michal is really in love with David.”] Saul said, [That’s all right,] I will give him her, that she may be a snare to him (18:8-21),
So I don’t know what kind of a daughter she was. I don’t know but he figured she’d be a snare to David and give him problems, which she did in time.
and that the hands of the Philistines will be against him. So Saul said to David, You’re going to be my son in law today. [And David said, Who am I? I’m a poor man, my family’s—I don’t have any dowry to give. So Saul’s servants spake the words in the ears of David, and they said, Saul wants you to be his son-in-law, he wants you to marry his daughter Michal.] And David said, [Hey, you guys] think it’s just a light thing to be a king’s son in law, I’m a poor man, and lightly esteemed? So they came back and they told Saul, [He doesn’t want to do it. He doesn’t feel that he should, he doesn’t have a dowry or anything else.] So Saul said, Go back and tell him that I really don’t want any dowry of money (18:21-25),
He set up a dowry regarding the Philistines. David went out and gave him double dowry. So Saul then of course was sort of shocked and surprised. He figured David would get wiped out in going out against the Philistines.
But he gave then his daughter Michal to David as a wife (18:27).
Now in the nineteenth, we find Saul’s third attempt to kill David.
Saul spoke to Jonathan his son, to all of his servants, and he told him that they should kill David. But Jonathan because of his love for David: said to his father, or he said to David, David my dad seeks to kill you: I pray, take heed to yourself until the morning, and abide in a secret place, hide: And I will go out and stand beside my father in the field where you are, and I’ll commune with my father of thee; and what I see, I’ll tell you. [In other words, “Hide yourself until I can find out really what my dad is thinking.”] So Jonathan spoke good of David to Saul his father, and said, Let not the king sin against his servant, and against David; because he hath not sinned against you, and because his works have been very good towards you: For he did put his life in his own hand, and he slew the Philistine, and the Lord wrought a great salvation for all Israel: you saw it, and you did rejoice: why then will you sin against innocent blood, and slay David without a cause? So hearken to the voice of Jonathan, and Saul swear, As the Lord liveth, he shall not be slain (19:1-6).
So there was an apparent change of attitude for a moment. Now Saul does manifest almost a schizophrenia. I would imagine if a psychiatrist would read the case history on Saul here, he would probably be classified as a schizophrenic. He would have these periods of great depression. He would have periods of remorse and periods of change. “Oh David, my son. You’re like a son to me.” And he’d speak great words of love, and then next day try to ram him through with a javelin again. So he was very vacillating.
Now Jonathan speaking these kind words to his dad about David, Saul responded and he said, “As the Lord liveth he’ll not be slain.”
So Jonathan called David, and Jonathan shewed him all of those things. And Jonathan brought David to Saul, and he was in Saul’s presence as in times past. And there was war again: and David went out, and fought with the Philistines, and slew them with a great slaughter; and they fled from him. And the evil spirit from the Lord was upon Saul, as he sat in his house with his javelin in his hand: and David played with his hand on the harp. And Saul sought to smite David even to the wall with the javelin; but David slipped out of Saul’s presence, and the javelin went into the wall: and David fled, and escaped that night. So Saul sent out messengers to David’s house, to watch him, and to slay him in the morning: and Michal David’s wife told him saying, Now if you don’t save your life tonight, tomorrow you’re going to be dead. So Michal let David down through a window: and he fled, and escaped. And then she took the bed and put pillows under the blankets, so it looked like someone was lying there. And so in the morning when the messengers were going to kill David, she said, Oh he’s sick. [They said, “We want to bring him to Saul.” They said, He’s sick he’s in bed. So they went to Saul and they said, “We can’t bring him, the guy’s sick in bed.”] He said, Bring him with the bed and all so we can slay him. So they went back to get David, and then they found out that it was just the pillows under the blankets, [David was gone.] So he got angry with his daughter Michal, he said, What are you doing turning against your own father, your own flesh and blood to protect David? So Michal said to her dad, he said, Let me go or I’m going to kill you. [So she lied her way out of it.] So David fled, and he came to Samuel there in Ramah, and he told him all that Saul had done to him. And Samuel went and dwelt in Naioth. And it was told Saul, saying, Behold, David is at Naioth in Ramah. And Saul sent messengers to take David: and when they saw the company of the prophets prophesying, and Samuel stand as appointed over them, the spirit of God came upon the messengers of Saul, and they all prophesied (19:7-20).
So here is an interesting thing Samuel was there at Naioth, and David was there, and so they sent these guys out to take David in, and God’s Spirit just came on them. They just started prophesying.
So he sent out another group of messengers to get David, and as they came near where the spirit of God was working, the spirit of God came on them, they started prophesying. So he sent out a third company of messengers to get David, [and when they came into the scene, and all this going on] they began to prophesy. So Saul came down himself, and the spirit came on Saul, and he took off his clothes, and he lay there naked all night prophesying. So that they began to say, Is Saul among the prophets (19:21-24)?
Again that proverb that came out early in Saul’s career.
Now David fled from Naioth in Ramah, he came to Jonathan, he said, What have I done? what is my iniquity? what is my sin that your father is seeking my life? And Jonathan said to him, God forbid; thou shalt not die: behold, my father will do nothing either great or small, but he’ll shew it to me: and why should my father hide this thing from me? is it not so (20:1-2).
David said, “Your father’s trying to kill me.” Jonathan says, “Ah, he’s not really trying to kill you, he wouldn’t do anything unless he told me first, and he hasn’t said anything about it.”
And David sware moreover, and said, Your father certainly knows that you and I are good friends; and so he said, Don’t let Jonathan know this, lest he is grieved: but truly as the Lord liveth, and as thy soul liveth, there is but a step between me and death (20:3).
David just said, “Man, I’m living on the border of eternity. There’s just a step between me and death. Your dad’s after me and he’s trying to kill me.”
Then Jonathan said to David, Whatever you want, I'll do. And David said to Jonathan, Behold, tomorrow is the new moon, and I’m supposed to be sitting there at your father’s feast: and I’m not going to show up. [I want you to pick up on your dad’s attitude when I don’t show up.] If he says, Where’s David? Just tell him, Well his family is having an annual get together in Bethlehem. [And David pleaded with me that he might go and spend this annual family affair with his family. So he didn’t come. Just notice what your dad’s attitude is when I don’t show up, because he’s really planning to kill me when I come and sit there at the table. So Jonathan was a little skeptical, but he said, Okay, we’ll let you know.] But he said, What we’ll do is you wait out here behind this rock, and I’ll come out with my servant when I really find out what my dad’s feelings are. I’ll come out with my servant, and I will shoot my arrows and send him out after them; and if I call to him, and I say, The arrows are this side of you, then they’ve fallen short, then you’ll know that it’s okay, my dad is in a good mood, and he doesn’t really have any intentions of killing you. But if I say to the young fellow, The arrows have gone beyond you, then you’ll know it’s time to flee because my dad is angry and is thinking about killing you. So Saul, the new moon, [the feast of the king,] and Abner his captain was there, Jonathan’s place was there, but David’s place was empty. And Saul didn’t say anything the first day: he thought, Well he probably isn’t ceremonially clean, [maybe he’s killed somebody, has blood on his hands, go through the cleansing rites before he comes, he’ll be here tomorrow.] So the next day when David’s chair was empty too: he said to Jonathan, Where’s David? Jonathan said, Well his family’s having an annual get together it’s a family gathering, and David pleaded with me that he might go, and spend this celebration with the family in Bethlehem. And Saul’s anger was kindled against Jonathan, and he said to him, Thou son of the perverse woman, don’t I know that you’ve chosen the son of Jesse to your own confusion, and to the confusion of your mother’s nakedness? For as long as the son of Jesse is living, you’re not going to become king after me, he’s going to have the kingdom. Wherefore now send and fetch him unto me, for he shall surely die (20:4-31).
So Saul of course gave forth now his true feelings. Jonathan saw what was in his dad’s heart.
And Jonathan said, Why should he be slain? what evil has he done? And Saul cast his javelin at Jonathan: [You know the guy was just enraged, and so just because his son dared to ask a question, “Why should you kill him, what has he done wrong?” Saul let fly with the javelin towards his son Jonathan.] and so he knew that he had determined to kill David. So Jonathan arose from the table in fierce anger, [He was really upset with his dad.] he did not eat meat on the second day of the month: and he was grieved for David, because his father had done him this shame. So it came to pass in the morning, that Jonathan went out in the field at the time appointed with David, and a little fellow was with him. [The little boy that chases arrows.] And he said to the lad, Run, out to the field and find the arrows which I shoot. And so as the lad ran, he shot the arrows beyond him. And when the lad was come to the place of the arrow which Jonathan had shot, Jonathan cried after the lad, and said, Is not the arrow beyond you? So Jonathan said, Hurry and gather together all of the arrows. And so the fellow gathered together all of the arrows, and he brought them back to Jonathan. So Jonathan gave him all of his artillery, and said, Take it back to town. And after the little boy left, then David came out from behind the rock where he was hiding, and he bowed himself: they kissed each other, they wept with one another, until David exceeded. And Jonathan said to David, Go in peace, forasmuch as we have sworn both of us in the name of Jehovah, saying, The Jehovah be between me and thee, and between my seed and thy seed for ever. And they arose and departed: and Jonathan went into the city (20:33-42).
Now Jonathan and David had made a bond. Jonathan had realized that somehow God was going to give the kingdom to David, and he said, “I just want you to treat my family well when you come into the kingdom, and all of my descendants. Let there be a bond between us.” And David made an oath to Jonathan that he would treat the house of Saul with respect and kindness, and love.
So David now fled to Nob to Ahimelech who was the priest: and Ahimelech was afraid at the meeting of David, and said to him, Why are you alone, why aren’t there men with you? [You know David was a captain over a thousand men, “Where’s your—where are your troops?”] David said to Ahimelech the priest, The king has commanded me on a business, and said, Let no man know any thing of the business whereabouts I’m sending you, and what I’ve commanded thee: and I’ve appointed my servants to such and such a place (21:1-2).
So David’s saying, “I’m a CIA agent, I’m on a special mission for the king, and nobody knows about this special mission. It’s just a secret mission that I’m on for King Saul. So my men are over here, and I need some bread for them.
The priest said, I don’t have any common bread, all I have is this bread that I baked for the shew bread for the table of the Lord; [It was that bread that had been sanctified to set out before God on the table of shew bread. And David said, Well give it to me five loaves, and for me and my men. He said, Well are the men clean?] He said, Have they not touched women? He said, We’ve not been around women for at least three days since we’ve been on this trip. So the fellow gave them the holy bread [which was not lawful for any man to eat but the priest.] They took it and gave it to David and his men (21:4-6).
Now in the New Testament Jesus makes reference to this particular incident. When the Pharisees are trying to nail Him in some of the fine, technical aspects of the law, Jesus said, “Did not David take the shew bread, which was not lawful for a man to eat?” They were getting on Him because they felt He had violated the Sabbath, one of the fine points of the law of the Sabbath. The disciples had gone through the field on the Sabbath day and they took some wheat, corn of wheat. They called it the wheat, the tassel of wheat tares, they called it the corn actually. They took it and they were rubbing it in their hands.
Now you can take the dry wheat from the stalk and you can rub it in your hands, and as you rub it in your hands it has the effect of sort of threshing it. What you’re doing is rubbing off the hard, outside hull. Then you can hold it in your hands and blow on it and you can actually blow off the hulls, then you can eat the wheat raw. It’s actually very good.
One of the trips over in Israel we were there in the latter part of May when the wheat fields were about ready for harvest. Up in the area near Mount Gilboa where Saul and Jonathan were ultimately killed, which is up at one end of the Valley of Megiddo. It’s about eight miles, ten miles south of the Sea of Galilee, Mount Gilboa there. There in that valley are some beautiful wheat fields. So we were there and I went out and I took some of this wheat. I rubbed it in my hands, and blew off the hulls and ate this wheat.
Of course when we were kids we discovered out of the chicken feed, if we took the wheat out of the chicken feed, we were kids, it’s soft enough that you can crunch it in your teeth and chew it. If you chew it long enough it turns into a gum. We used to always chew wheat gum when we were kids. We didn’t have enough money to buy regular chewing gum. So we’d pick all the wheat out of the chicken feed and then we’d chew it and after a while it turns into gum. Then we’d have our gum with wheat. So it’s very nutritional, very healthy.
So the disciples were with Jesus, they were hungry; it was the Sabbath Day. They were going through the wheat fields, and they began to pick the corn of wheat and rub it in their hands, and blow it off and began to eat it. So they said, “Oh, look at your disciples. They’re doing that which is not lawful to do on the Sabbath day. You’re not supposed to do any work.” So that constituted work rubbing the wheat in your hands.
So Jesus said, “Don’t you remember what David did when he was hungry, how he went in and ate the shew bread which was not lawful for a man to eat?” So Jesus makes an illusion to this thing of David showing that human need rises above the law. Human hunger, these guys are hungry, forget this little work bit of rubbing the wheat in your hands, their hunger. The hunger supercedes the fine point of the law, even as with David, the guys are hungry. Yes, it’s not lawful that they should eat this shewbread. Yes, it’s supposed to be only there for the priest to eat but the guys are hungry. The human hunger supercedes the fine points of the law. The point that Jesus was making, and of course using this particular instance with David as the illustration of the point, which of course everybody accepted that David had done. In other words, there was no wrong doing here.
“So the priest gave him the hallowed bread,” verse six, “for there was no bread except the shewbread, that was taken from before the Lord, and put hot bread in the day it was taken away.”
So they ate the bread that had been sitting there all week before the Lord when it was replaced by this new hot bread.
Now a certain man of the servants of Saul was there that day, and his name was Doeg, and he was an Edomite, [“Doeg”, and you could very well pronounce it “dog,” because he turned out to be a real dog.] and he was the head over the herdsmen that belonged to Saul. And David said to Ahimelech, Do you have here any spear or any sword? for I didn’t bring any sword or weapons with me, for the king’s business required haste. The priest said, Well, I have the sword of Goliath that you took from him when you killed him, and it’s wrapped here in a cloth behind the ephod: if you will take it: there’s no other but that one here. So David said, Ah, there’s no sword like that one; give it to me. So David arose, for fear of Saul, and he went to Achish the king of Gath. [So actually he fled down to the camp of the Philistines, to the enemy, the city of Gath and to king Achish.] And the servants of Achish said unto him, Is not this David the king of the land? did not they sing one to another of him in dances, saying, Saul has slain his thousands, and David his ten thousands? And David laid up these words in his heart, and he was afraid of Achish the king of Gath. [I mean they said, “Hey, this is that David you know that wiped out the giant. This is David they were singing about killing his thousands,” and so David thought, “Uh oh, the king’s going to do me in.” So they brought David in before the king.] And David changed his behaviour, and he acted like he was a madman, he began to scrabble on the doors of the gate, and he let his spit run down his beard. [Just acted like he was insane.] And so Achish said to his servants, Hey, the guy is crazy: why have you brought him to me? I don’t need any mad men, that you’ve brought this fellow to play a madman in my presence? shall this fellow come into my house (21:7-15)?
So he sent David away and he escaped, of course, out of the guy’s hand. Of course he wasn’t afraid of some guy that was so weird. I personally like it. I think David’s just, you know, he’s a neat kind of a shrewd kind of a guy. I just like him. Yet here’s an interesting thing, my hero, but I sort of admire his wit and his little act here and getting out of trouble, yet there’s an interesting verse of Scripture that says, “The fear of man brings a snare” (Proverbs 29:25).
Now it does definitely declare that David was afraid of Achish. The fear of man can oftentimes cause a person to act like a fool. It brings a snare. So my brave David, he’s not afraid of the giant, he’s afraid of the king. So acting like a madman, he’s reduced to a man with spit running down his beard and scrabbling on the doors and gates, but he did escape out of the hand of Achish.
And he went from there, and he escaped to the cave at Adullam: and when his brethren and all his father’s house heard of it, they went down to him there. And every one that was in distress, and every one that was in debt, and every one that was discontented, gathered themselves unto him; and he became a captain over them: and there came about four hundred men (22:1-2).
So from out of all the land, David began to gather together a band of men, a motley crew to be sure. Every one who was stressed, every one who was in debt, every one who was discontented. They gathered together with David down there at Adullam.
And David went from there to Mizpeh of Moab (22:3):
So he actually crossed over in the area of the Dead Sea, went over to the other side to Moab and there he established his family. Now he knew that Saul’s anger against him would ultimately turn against his family.
So he said to the Moabites, Let my father and my mother dwell here, until I find out what God’s going to do with me. And so he brought them before the king of Moab: and they dwelt with the king of Moab all the while that David was in the hold (22:3-4).
Verse four. Now the word “hold” is “Masada”, and there are those who believe that actually David was there in the hold, or in the fort of Masada which of course was later really developed by king Herod as a winter palace and a fortress. So it is possible David was down in that area of the Dead Sea. It is possible that this is indeed a reference to Masada, but he was there in the hold or in the fort wherever it might have been.
Now I want you to put a little note here to read Psalm 57 and Psalm 142. Both of these psalms were written at this particular time of David’s experiences. So I want you to go home tonight and read these two psalms, but I want you to be thinking now of the background of these two psalms as David writes Psalm 47, and Psalm 57 rather, and Psalm 142. He’s down there, Saul is pursuing him. He’s just taken his parents to safety over in Moab. He’s hiding there in the wilderness area down near the Dead Sea.
And the prophet Gad said to David, Abide not [in the fortress, or] in the hold, [Masada] depart and get thee to the land of Judah. Then David departed, and came into the forest of Hareth. [Now a prophet by the name of Gad, whoever he was, told David not to stay there but to get into Judah.] So when Saul heard that David was discovered, and the men that were with him, (now Saul was staying in Gibeah under a tree in Ramah, having his spear in his hand, and all of his servants were standing around him;) Then Saul said to his servants that stood around him, Hear now, ye Benjamites; this son of Jesse, will he give every one of you fields and vineyards, and make all of you captains of the thousands, and captains of hundreds; That all of you have conspired against me (22:5-8),
In other words he is saying, “Hey, you Benjamites, I’m a Benjamite. Look what I’ve done for you. If you elect me president, I’ll do this and this and this,” sort of a political speech against David. “You know if David’s elected, if David’s elected king, he’s not going to treat you Benjamites well. He’s from the house of Judah, you know Jesse, and so forth. He’s not going to be as nice to you as I’ve been to you. He’s not going to make you the captains over the thousands and the hundreds. He’s not going to give you fields and all. Here look what I’ve done for you, and you guys are turned against me. You’re in favor of David instead of me. None of you will really tell me where he is. You’ve conspired against me.”
You haven’t shown me that my son Jonathan has made a league with David, there’s none of you that’s sorry for me? Then answers this Doeg [fellow] and he said, I saw this son of Jesse come to Nob, to Ahimelech the son of Ahitub. And he inquired of the Lord for him, [That is Ahimelech the priest inquired of the Lord for David.] and gave him food, and gave him the sword of Goliath the Philistine. So the king sent to call Ahimelech the priest, and all of his father’s house, and the priests that were there at Nob: and they all of them came to the king. Now Saul said, Hear now, thou son of Ahitub. And he answered, Here I am, my lord. And Saul said unto him, Why have you conspired against me? thou and the son of Jesse, in that you have given him bread, and a sword, and you have inquired of God for him, that he should rise against me, to lie in wait, as at this day? And Ahimelech answered the king, and said, And who is so faithful among all of your servants as David, which the king’s son in law, and goes at your bidding, and is honourable in thy house? Did I then begin to inquire of God for him? be it far from me: let not the king impute any thing unto his servant, nor to all of the house of my father: for thy servant knew nothing of all this, less or more (22:8-15).
“What are you talking about? I don’t know what you’re talking about, Saul. I didn’t really conspire. I’m not against you, and you don’t have any servant that’s more faithful in all of your house than David.”
And the king said, You shall surely die, Ahimelech, you, and your father’s house. And the king said unto the footmen that stood about him, Turn, and slay the priests of the Lord; because their hand also is with David, and because they knew when he fled, and didn’t shew it to me. But the servants of the king would not put forth their hand to fall upon the priests of the Lord. But the king said to Doeg, Turn thou, and fall on the priests. And Doeg the Edomite turned, and he fell upon the priests, and slew them that day eighty-five persons that wore the priest’s gown. [Terrible, terrible crime.] And Nob, the city of the priests, he smote with the sword, both men women, children, little children that nursed, oxen, asses, sheep, with the edge of the sword. [That which he wouldn’t do against the enemies of God, he is now doing against the servants of God.] And one of the sons of Ahimelech whose name was Abiathar, escaped, and he fled after David. And Abiathar shewed David that Saul had slain the Lord’s priests. And David said to Abiathar, I knew it that day, when Doeg the Edomite was there, that he would surely tell Saul: I have occasioned the death of all of the persons of your father’s house. Stay with me, don’t be afraid: for he that seeks my life is seeking your life: but with me you’ll be safe (22:16-23).
So the one escaped to David from the house of Ahimelech, and David felt really responsible for the death of all of those families. He knew that he made a mistake in letting this Doeg go. He should’ve killed him.
Then they told David, saying, Behold, the Philistines are fighting against Keilah, and they’re robbing their threshingfloors. So David inquired of the Lord, saying, Shall I go and smite these Philistines? And the Lord said to David, Go, and smite the Philistines, and save Keilah. And David’s men said unto him, Behold, we’re afraid here in Judah: how much worse if we come to Keilah against the armies of the Philistines (23:1-3)?
Now David didn’t have a very brave army at this point, these guys said, “Hey, man we’re afraid here. It’s even worse if we go to the Philistines.”
So David inquired of the Lord again. And the Lord answered him and said, Arise, go down to Keilah: for I will deliver the Philistines into your hand. So David and his men went to Keilah, and they fought with the Philistines, and they brought away their cattle, and smote them with a great slaughter. So David saved the inhabitants of Keilah. Now it came to pass, when Abiathar the son of Ahimelech had fled to David that he came down with a ephod in his hand. [Now it was through the ephod that they inquired of the Lord.] And so it was told Saul that David was come to Keilah. And Saul said, God has delivered him into my hand; because he is gone into a walled city, now we can surround him, and capture him. So Saul called all of the people together to war, to go down to Keilah, to besiege David and his men. And David knew that Saul was on his way down. So David inquired of the Lord, and he said, Lord will the men of Keilah deliver me into the hands of Saul (23:4-11)?
Now David had delivered the city from the Philistines. But yet the men weren’t really faithful to David.
and the Lord answered and said, Yes the men of Keilah will deliver you into the hands of Saul. So David and now his band had grown to about six hundred men, they fled from Keilah, and they fled to the area of the wilderness in the strong holds, that were in the mountains, the wilderness of Ziph. And Saul sought him every day, but God delivered him not into Saul’s hand. And David saw that Saul was come out to seek his life: and David was in the wilderness in a wood. And Jonathan Saul’s son arose, and went to David in the wood, and he strengthened his hand in God. And he said to him, Fear not: for the hand of Saul my father shall not find thee; and thou shalt be king over Israel, and I shall be next unto thee; and that also Saul my father knows (23:12-17).
Now Saul was becoming aware of the fact that God’s anointing was off of his life, and Saul knew that David was going to be the king. What he’s trying to do is hold onto the kingdom that he knows is not his.
Now Jonathan his son recognized that David was going to be king also. Jonathan said, “I’ll be your right hand man.” Jonathan is actually taking a very beautiful attitude towards David. His love was so great that he was willing to let David be exalted. He was willing to just be a helper, a right hand man to David. He was willing to abdicate the throne for David’s sake, to step down to let David rule. “I know you’re going to be king. I’ll be your right hand man, don’t be afraid. My dad won’t catch you. He won’t find you because this is what God has in mind.” Jonathan was expressing these things to David.
So the two of them made a covenant before the Lord: and David stayed in the wood, and Jonathan went to his house. Then the Ziphites came to Saul in Gibeah, saying, David’s hiding with us in the strong holds in the wood, in the hill of Hichilah, which is on the south of Jeshimon? Now therefore, O king, come down according to all the desire of your soul; come down to our part and our part shall be to deliver him into the king’s hands. So Saul said, Blessed be ye of the Lord; for ye have compassion on me (23:18-21).
What a phony character, using spiritual language in such evil things. You know it’s possible to just get sort of a spiritual jargon going and you don’t have enough discernment to know when to use it. You use it even for corrupt things.
“Praise the Lord. I really ripped him off.” It’s horrible the way people can use spiritual language for such corrupt things.
“Oh blessed be ye of the Lord. You’ve shown compassion on me.” Oh. Not all who say, “Lord, Lord” are going to enter into the kingdom of heaven. Lot of people use the right jargon, spiritual jargon but they’re just not going to make it. It’s not what you say, it’s not what comes out of a man’s mouth that defiles him—or it’s actually it is which comes out of the mouth, but this dullness out of the mouth with blessings out of the same fountain proceeds bitter and sweet water, blessings and curses. Such things should not be.
So here’s the blessing, but soon curses.
Go, I pray you, and prepare, and know and find out the place where he’s hiding, and who has seen him: and be careful because this guy is very subtle. Take all knowledge of all of the lurking places where he hides himself, and come and tell me of certainty, and I’ll go with you: and it will come to pass, if he’s in the land, I’ll search him out throughout all the thousands of Judah. And they arose, and went to Ziph before Saul: but David and his men were in the wilderness of Maon, in the plain on the south of Jeshimon. And so Saul also with all of his men went to seek him. And it was told David: wherefore he came down into a rock, and abode in the wilderness of Maon. And when Saul heard that he pursued after David in the wilderness of Maon. And Saul went on this side of the mountain, and David and his men were on the other mountain: and David made haste for fear of Saul; and Saul and his men had circled David and his men had encompassed him to take them (23:22-26).
So Saul, I mean David had been surrounded by Saul’s men. Looks like he’s had it.
But there came a messenger unto Saul, saying, Haste, and come; for the Philistines have invaded the land. Wherefore Saul returned from pursuing David, went after the Philistines: wherefore they called the place Selahammahlekoth. [Which is the crag of divisions.] And David went up from there, and he dwelt in the strongholds of Engedi (23:27-29).
David now headed again down towards the wilderness area of the Dead Sea. Engedi is about twenty miles probably from where the Jordan comes into the Dead Sea on the West Bank of the Dead Sea. Engedi is a beautiful spot. The word Engedi means, “wild goats.” It is a place where there are still a lot of the ibex, the wild goats of Israel. But the neat thing about Engedi, the Dead Sea there is about twelve hundred and eighty-two feet below sea level. Because you are so low, there are springs, because you’re at a thousand feet below sea level. Actually, the spring of Engedi is at about, oh eight hundred feet, seven hundred feet below sea level. It just springs out there from the pressure of the underground water and all. There’s a beautiful spring and there’s the neatest waterfalls, and fern canyons, and wild fig trees growing up the sides of the canyons, and all kinds of caves around there. Just a beautiful place to hide out as far as just, you know, you’ve got your water, you’ve got your wild goat to eat, and it’s just an excellent place to hide out. A very beautiful little valley in the midst of a vast wilderness. That whole Dead Sea area is just a vast wilderness. But Engedi is a beautiful oasis, and of course because of the heat, it stays warm down there year round. It’s very fertile around Engedi, a lot of date palms. They grow excellent watermelons in wintertime and it’s just a neat place. That’s where David was now hiding out from Saul, there in the strong holds at Engedi.
Now it came to pass, when Saul was returned from the Philistines, they told him, David’s in Engedi. So Saul took three thousand of his chosen men out of all of Israel, they went to seek David and his men upon the rocks of the wild goats. [Engedi means, “wild goats”.] And he came to the sheepcotes by the way, where there was a cave, and Saul went in to cover his feet: [That is to go to sleep.] and David and his men remained in the sides of the cave. [So David was hiding in this cave, and Saul came to, and you know went to sleep in the very cave where David and his men were hiding up in the sides of the thing.] And the men of David said unto him, [Aha,] Behold, the day of which the Lord said unto you, Behold, I will deliver your enemy into your hand, that you may do to him as it seems good unto thee. So David arose, and cut off the skirt of Saul’s robe secretly. Now it came to pass after, that David’s heart smote him, because he had cut off Saul’s skirt. [He did it and then he thought, “Oh that’s not right. This guy’s a king and shouldn’t have his skirt cut off.” and he felt bad about it.] And David said, The Lord forbid that I should do this thing to my master, the Lord’s anointed, to stretch forth my hand against him, seeing he is anointed of the Lord. So David stayed his servants with these words, and he would not allow them to rise against Saul. But Saul rose up and went out of the cave and went his way. [The men of course wanted to do Saul in, and David forbid them to do it.] And after Saul had gotten down the hill away, David arose also afterward, and he went after Saul, saying, My lord the king. And when Saul looked behind, David stooped with his face to the earth, and bowed himself. And David said to Saul, Why do you listen to men’s words, saying, Behold, David is seeking to hurt you? Behold, this day your eyes have seen that the Lord delivered you today in my hand in the cave: and some of them were begging me to kill you: but I said, I will not put forth my hand against my lord; for he is the Lord’s anointed. Moreover, my father, see, here is the skirt of your robe in my hand: for in that I cut off the skirt of your robe, and I didn’t kill you, you ought to know, and see that I have neither evil nor transgression in my hand, I’ve not sinned against you; and you’re hunting my soul to take it. And the Lord judged between me and thee, and the Lord avenged me of thee: but my hand shall not be upon thee. As saith the proverb of the ancients, Wickedness proceedeth from the wicked: but my hand shall not be upon thee (24:1-13).
Here’s an interesting proverb. “Wickedness proceedeth from the wicked.” It is the same as saying, “A man sins because he is a sinner.” You see we often think, “Because I sin, I am a sinner.” No. Because I’m a sinner, I sin. You say well what difference—it’s an important difference. Only horsethieves steal horses. If you were not a horsethief you couldn’t steal a horse, no matter what the circumstances are. Stealing a horse doesn’t make you a horsethief. It only proves you are. If you weren’t a horsethief to begin with, you could never have stolen it. The same with sin; sinning doesn’t make you a sinner, it only proves that you are. I am a sinner by nature. If I try to deny the sinful nature, I’m calling God a liar. His truth isn’t in me. All of us are sinners by nature, and because we are sinners by nature, sin is the fruit, or the effect, or the result of what I am. I sin because I’m a sinner.
Now even so in Christ Jesus, I am now righteous, therefore the righteousness that I do doesn’t make me righteous, I do it because I am righteous. Because of God’s work in my life in making me righteous, I do now the deeds of righteousness. But we’ve got to keep in our minds from this fallacy of thinking, “Because I do deeds of righteousness, I am righteous.” Not so. “But wickedness proceeds from the wicked.” If you’re wicked, wickedness is going to proceed from your life. It doesn’t make you wicked, it only proves that you are wicked. So it’s an interesting proverb of the ancients. It is a true proverb indeed. It’s in keeping with the basic doctrines of the Scriptures.
After whom [David said] is the king of Israel come out? who are you pursuing? you’re looking for a dead dog, you’re looking for a flea. The Lord therefore be judge, and judge between me and you, and see, and plead my cause, and deliver me out of your hand. It came to pass, when David had made an end of his speech, that Saul said, Is this the voice, of my son David? And Saul lifted up his voice, and wept. [“Oh my son David, oh my son.”] And he said to David, You are more righteous than I: for you have rewarded me good, whereas I have rewarded you evil. And you have shewed this day how that you have dealt well with me: forasmuch as when the Lord had delivered me into your hand, you did not kill me. For if a man finds his enemy, will he let him go away well? wherefore the Lord reward thee good for thou hast done unto me this day. And now, behold, I know well that thou shalt surely be king, and that the kingdom of Israel shall be established in your hand (24:14-20).
He knew it and yet he sought to fight it all the way. He knew what God’s will was and still he sought to fight the will of God. The Bible says, “Woe unto him who strives with his Maker”(Isaiah 45:9). How many times people are trying to fight what they know to be the will of God. Sad but true. Saul expresses now, “I know that some day God’s going to make you king, the kingdom’s going to be established in your hands.”
Swear now therefore by the Lord, that you will not cut off my children after me, and that you will not destroy my name out of my father’s house. And so David sware unto Saul. And Saul went home; but David and his men went into the hold (24:21-22).
Now Samuel died; and all of the Israelites were gathered together, and lamenting him, and they buried him in his house at Ramah. And David arose, and went down to the wilderness of Paran. And there was a man in Maon, whose possessions were in Carmel; and the man was very wealthy, he had three thousand sheep, a thousand goats: and they were shearing his sheep there in Carmel (25:1-2).
Now Carmel is the mountain range that goes from east to west. It starts at the port city of Haifa and goes east along the area. Actually, Megiddo is in a portion, a lower portion of this range of Carmel, just about the end of the range towards the east. So there Nabal, his servants were shearing his sheep.
Now the name of the man was Nabal; and the name of his wife was Abigail: and she was a woman of good understanding, and a very beautiful face: but the man was churlish and evil in his doings; and he was of the house of Caleb. And David heard in the wilderness that Nabal was shearing his sheep. And so David sent out ten young men, and David said unto the young men, Get up to Carmel, and go to Nabal, and greet him in my name: And thus shall you say to him who is living in such prosperity, Peace both to thee, and peace to your house, and peace to all that you have. Now I’ve heard that you have shearers: and now your shepherds which were with us, we did not hurt them, neither was there anything missing from them, all the while that they were in Carmel. Ask your young men, and they will shew thee. Wherefore let my young men find favour in thine eyes: for we come in a good day: give, I pray thee, whatsoever cometh to your hand unto thy servants, and to thy son David. And when David’s young men came, they spake to Nabal according to all of the words in the name of David, and they had finished. Nabal answered David’s servants, and said, Who is David? and who is the son of Jesse? there are many servants now a days that break away from a man’s master. Shall I then take my bread, and my water, and my meat that I have killed for my shearers, and give it to men, whom I know not from where they are? So David’s young men turned their way, and they went again, and they came and told David all those sayings. And David said to his men, All right men put on your swords. So every man put on his sword; and David also put on his sword: and they went up after David about four hundred men; two hundred men stayed by their stuff. And one of the young men told Abigail, Nabal’s wife, saying, Behold, David sent messengers out of the wilderness to greet our master; and he railed on them. But the men were very good to us, we were not hurt, neither did we miss anything, as long as we were conversant with them, in the fields: They were a wall unto us both by night and day, the whole while we were there keeping the sheep. Now therefore know and consider what you’re going to do; for evil is determined against our master, and against his house: for he is such a man of Belial, that a man can’t speak to him (25:3-17).
So they came to Nabal’s wife, and they said, “Hey, David sent these servants to talk to our master, and man, he really railed on them. It’s not good, because David’s men were indeed kind. They were a wall to us, they didn’t take anything from us, and now evil’s determined. We can’t talk to him, you know, no one can talk to him. He’s just such a character.”
And so Abigail, Nabal’s wife made haste, she took two hundred loaves, two bottles of wine, five sheep that were already dressed, and five measures of parched corn, and a hundred clusters of raisins, and two hundred little cakes of dried figs, and she laid them on the donkeys. And she said to her servants, Go on before me; behold, I come after you. But she did not tell her husband Nabal. And it was so, as she rode on the donkey, that as she came down by the covert of the hill, and behold, David and his men were coming down against her; and she met them. Now David had said, Surely in vain have I kept all that this fellow has in the wilderness, so that nothing was missed from all that pertained to him: and he has requited me evil for good. And so more also do God unto the enemies of David, if I leave of all that pertain to him by the morning light any man at all. And when Abigail saw David, she hurried, and got off of her donkey, and fell down before David on her face, and bowed herself to the ground. And fell at his feet, and said, Upon me, my lord, upon me let this iniquity be: and let your handmaid, I pray thee, speak in your audience, and hear the words. Don’t let my lord, I pray thee, regard this man of Belial, even Nabal: for as his name is, so is he (25:18-25);
Now the word “Nabal” means foolish. She said, “Don’t regard this guy. He’s a fool like his name, so he is, his name is a fool. So you know he’s just, he is. They named him well.”
[Fool] is his name, and folly is with him: but I thine handmaid saw not the young men of my lord, whom you did send. [“I didn’t see them.”] Now therefore, my lord, as the Lord lives, and as your soul lives, seeing the Lord has withheld thee from coming to shed blood, and from avenging thyself with your own hand, now let your enemies, and they that seek evil to my lord, be as Nabal. And now this blessing which your handmaid has brought unto my lord, let it be given unto the young men hath follow my lord. I pray thee, forgive the trespass of thine handmaid: for the Lord will certainly make my lord a sure house; because my lord fights the battles of the Lord, and evil has not been found in thee in all thy days. Yet a man is risen to pursue thee, and to seek thy soul: but the soul of my lord shall be bound in the bundle of life with the Lord thy God; and the souls of thine enemies, them shall he sling out, as out of the middle of a sling (25: 25-29).
So Abigail is there pleading with David. Beautiful woman, has brought all of these things, and she is making good sense. “You know why should you avenge yourself. God will avenge you David. He’s taken care of you, and so forgive the foolishness of this foolish man.”
It shall come to pass, when the Lord shall have done to my lord according to all the good that he has spoken concerning thee, and shall have appointed thee the ruler over Israel; Then this will not be a grief to you, [“that you avenge yourself, this won’t be on your conscience that you came up and you wiped out this guy and his family just because he didn’t give the provisions that you were wanting for your men.”] but when the Lord shall have dealt well with my lord, then remember your handmaid. So David said to Abigail, Blessed be the Lord God of Israel, which sent you to meet me today: And blessed is the advice, and blessed are you, which have kept me today from coming to shed blood, and from avenging myself with my own hand (25:30-33).
Now to me this shows the greatness of David. Some men are so dumb that they can’t take advice from women. You know they think, “I’m the man” and they’re not willing to listen to anybody much, and really oftentimes not a woman. But here it really shows the greatness of David. “Ah, blessed be thou of the Lord,” that’s good advice, blessed is your advice. You’re just a blessed person. “Thank you for coming and stopping me from avenging myself, shedding blood, avenging myself.” He saw that the advice was sound. He saw that it was good. He respected it, he admired her for it, and of course, many characteristics about Abigail, very, very sharp, good woman. She’ll be an interesting one to meet in heaven and to share with and all. She’s just a very outstanding person indeed.
For in very deed, as the Lord God of Israel lives, which has kept me back from hurting thee, except you had come to meet me, surely there had not been to Nabal any left in the family. So David received of her hand that which she had received of him, and said to her, Go up in peace to your house; I have hearkened to your voice, I’ve accepted what you’ve said. So Abigail came to Nabal; and, behold, he held a feast in his house, like the feast of a king; and Nabal’s heart was merry within him, for he was very drunk: therefore she did not tell him any thing less, or more, until the morning. But it came to pass in the morning, when the wine was gone out of Nabal, [Sobering up] that his wife told him of these things, that his heart died within him, and he became as a stone (25:34-37).
He was so angry and so upset in what she did, he just froze. His heart died within him, and actually he probably had a heart attack.
And it came to pass ten days afterwards, [that he died,] the Lord smote Nabal, and he died. And when David heard that Nabal was dead, he said, Blessed be the Lord, that hath pleaded the cause of my reproach from the hand of Nabal, and hath kept his servant from evil: for the Lord has returned the wickedness of Nabal upon his own head. And David sent and communed with Abigail, that she might become his wife. And when the servants of David were come to Abigail to Carmel, they spake unto her, saying, David sent us to thee, to take thee to him for a wife. And she arose, and bowed herself on her face to the earth, and said, Behold, let thine handmaid be a servant to wash the feet of the servants of my lord. [Now here again showing really the greatness of this woman Abigail, she said, “Oh let me wash your feet, the feet of the servants of my lord”, so they were servants but yet a very gracious woman, and a marvelous woman indeed.] So Abigail hurried, and arose, and rode upon a donkey, with five of her damsels that went after her; and she went after the messengers of David, and became his wife. Now David also took Ahinoam of Jezreel; and they were also both of them his wives. But Saul had given Michal his daughter, David’s wife, to Phalti the son the Laish, which was of Gallim (25:38-43). So the whole crazy mixed-up marriage situations that began, which of course with Solomon when he took over as king, took to the extremes, foolish extremes.