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Bible Commentaries

Bell's Commentary on the Bible

1 Samuel 26

Verses 1-25

  1. INTRO:
    1. A story was told of a man who loved old books. He met an acquaintance who had just thrown away a Bible that had been stored in the attic of his ancestral home for generations. “I couldn’t read it,” the friend explained. “Somebody named Guten-something had printed it.” “Not Gutenberg!” the book lover exclaimed in horror. “That Bible was one of the first books ever printed. Why, a copy just sold for over two million dollars!” His friend was unimpressed. “Mine wouldn’t have brought a dollar. Some fellow named Martin Luther had scribbled all over it in German.”
      1. Value...what is your value...what are you worth?
      2. We’ll discuss this towards the end when David said that he desired his life to be valued much in the eyes of the Lord. (24)
  2. THE SPEAR & THE JUG!
    1. ​​​​​​​SETTING THE SCENE! (1-5)
    2. Once again, David is going to spare Saul’s life. Just like 2 chapters back.
      1. This is a different story than ch.24. Many differences.
    3. SECOND OPPORTUNITY! (6-12)
    4. (8) Abishi - a brave man; but brave men are not always wise.
      1. He basically said, “you missed your first opportunity, so don’ miss this one.”
      2. But David knew that God’s hand, not his own, would have to strike Saul.
      3. It would have been easy to argue that David had been wrong in the cave & that God was giving him a second chance to kill Saul.
        1. But David’s decision was based on principle & not circumstances.
    5. (10) A principle emerged from 25:39 - Its the Lord’s work/job/doing! (see 26:10, 23)
    6. (11) The spear stuck in the ground by his head(7) - a symbol of his office & authority.
      1. David took the spear from him, a significant action.
    7. The Lord must have instructed David to go to Saul’s camp that night, because He sent a deep sleep upon Saul & his men. (I think God giving Saul yet another chance of repentance!)
    8. MOCKING SAUL’S BODYGUARD! (13-16)
    9. Didn’t want to mock the King to embarrass him, he picks on Abner his bodyguard.
    10. A PARTRIDGE! (17-25)
    11. (19) Saul are you chasing me because God told you to do so? Or, man told you to?
    12. (20) Partridge - Part of the Pheasant/Quail family. Why I like hunting Quail over dove.
      1. Partridges don’t like to fly. They run from one cover to another. (like David)
    13. (21) I have sinned - nice words...but are they sincere? Nope!
      1. He has already said this twice & yet still pursued David.
      2. Here’s a great demonic lesson to learn, when you feel squeezed by the Spirit w/conviction...go sentimental! Say the right words!
      3. Pharaoh made this profession (Ex.9:27); & so did Balaam (Num.22:34); Achan made this profession (Josh 7:20); & so did Judas (Mt.27:4).
        1. It’s not about forming words in your mouth, but meaning them with your heart!
    14. (21) I have played the fool & erred exceedingly - Yep!
      1. He was correct in calling himself a fool.
      2. He was a fool in the way he treated Jonathan, David, Samuel, his army, his nation, & his God.
      3. He lived like a fool, & he died like a fool.
      4. Prov.26:11 As a dog returns to its vomit, so a fool repeats his foolishness.
        1. As a dog eats its vomit, so a fool cannot learn from experience. He returns to his habits even though they are disgusting.
    15. I have played the fool - There are 2 Saul’s in the Bible, 1 in the OT, 1 in the NT.
      1. These 2 make a striking & instructive contrast: (J. Sidlow Baxter; Awake My Heart; pg.228.)
      2. 1 was the 1st king of Israel; the other became the apostle Paul.
      3. 1 stood head & shoulders above others physically; the other stood head & shoulders above others spiritually.
      4. 1 said at the end of his life, “I have played the fool”; the other died saying, “I have fought the good fight...finally there is laid up for me a crown of rt.”
    16. A man plays the fool when…
      1. When, he neglects his godly friends (Samuel, David)
      2. When, he goes on enterprises for God before God has sent him.
      3. When, he disobeys God even in seemingly small matters (Amalekites).
      4. When, he tries to cover up his disobedience to God by religious excuses (they kept the animals for sacrifices).
      5. When, he tries to persuade himself he is doing God’s will when in his heart he knows otherwise.
      6. When, he allows some jealousy or hatred to master & enslave & deprave him.
      7. When, he knowingly fights against God, as Saul did in hunting David, to save his own face.
      8. When, he turns from the God he has grieved, & seeks an alternative in traffic with spirits in the Beyond (ch.28)
      9. He truly had, “played the fool!”
    17. The contrast con’t…
      1. With Saul of the OT there is a progressive downgrade; with Saul of the NT there is a progressive upgrade (for the prize of the upward calling of God in Christ Jesus).
      2. With Saul of the OT “self” more & more gets the upper hand; with Saul of the NT there is a progressive displacement of self-ism in favor of monopoly by Christ.
      3. Saul of the OT is egocentric; Saul of the NT is Christocentric.
      4. Saul of the OT to live was “self”; Saul of the NT to live was “Christ”.
      5. Saul of the OT to die was “shame & gloom”; Saul of the NT to die was “gain & glory”.
      6. Saul’s heart-rending requiem was, “I have played the fool”; Paul’s martyrdom song was, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith. Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown!”
      7. Saul of the OT threw his crown away; Saul of the NT, who lived for Christ, gained a crown which will never lose its luster through all the ages!
        1. I guess the bummer in all this is...how often I look more like Saul of the OT! :(
    18. (22) David’s only response to his “words” - Here is the king’s spear. Come & get it.
    19. (24) Let my life be valued much in the eyes of the Lord - Amen!
      1. What is my worth? Well, what is one willing to pay for you? I did find a web site that if you enter a few pages of information (which I didn’t want to do) it will tell you how much you are worth.
      2. But I already know how much Brian’s worth. I am worth the death of God’s only Son!
        1. Turn to Mt.13 for 3 parables:
        2. R.C.Trench, Archbishop of Dublin said, The Oriental custom of the day was that rich men would divide their goods into 3 parts:
          1. One they would put into Commerce for their support.
          2. One they would put into Jewels which might be easily carried.
          3. The 3rd they’d Bury for safe keeping.
        3. Interesting these 1st 3 parables speak of Burying, a Jewel, & Commerce by fishing!
      3. Mt.13:44 Again, the kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field (believers in the world), which a man found and hid; and for joy over it he goes and sells all that he has and buys(purchased by Jesus) that field(not for the field but for the treasure in the field).
      4. Mt.13:45,46 Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant seeking beautiful pearls, who, when he had found one pearl of great price(the Church), went and sold all that he had and bought it.
      5. Mt.13:47-50 Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a dragnet that was cast into the sea and gathered some of every kind, which, when it was full, they drew to shore; and they sat down and gathered the good into vessels, but threw the bad away. So it will be at the end of the age. The angels will come forth, separate the wicked from among the just, and cast them into the furnace of fire. There will be wailing and gnashing of teeth.
        1. What is my worth? You may not feel worth very much...but its how God, the purchaser sees you, not how you, the purchased one sees yourself.
        2. American artist James Whistler, who was never known to be bashful about his talent, was once advised that a shipment of blank canvases he had ordered had been lost in the mail. When asked if the canvases were of any great value, Whistler remarked, “not yet, not yet.”
    20. (25) These are the last recorded words of Saul to David.
      1. A statement that affirms the greatness of David’s deeds & the certainty of his kingship.
    21. The next day Saul withdrew his troops from the area.
      1. Never again does the bible indicate that Saul attacked David.
      2. They depart: Saul toward disgrace & death; David toward ultimate glory & victory
Copyright Statement
These files are the property of Brian Bell.
Text Courtesy of Calvary Chapel of Murrieta. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Bell, Brian. "Commentary on 1 Samuel 26". "Bell's Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/cbb/1-samuel-26.html. 2017.