Aug 2, 2020. I Samuel 23:14-29

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THE ROCK OF ESCAPE. I Samuel 23:14-29. 8/2/20. #74.

1 Samuel 23:14-29 [New King James Version]

14 And David stayed in strongholds in the wilderness, and remained in the mountains in the Wilderness of Ziph. Saul sought him every day, but God did not deliver him into his hand. 15 So David saw that Saul had come out to seek his life. And David was in the Wilderness of Ziph in a forest. 16 Then Jonathan, Saul’s son, arose and went to David in the woods and strengthened his hand in God. 17 And he said to him, “Do not fear, for the hand of Saul my father shall not find you. You shall be king over Israel, and I shall be next to you. Even my father Saul knows that.” 18 So the two of them made a covenant before the Lord. And David stayed in the woods, and Jonathan went to his own house. 19 Then the Ziphites came up to Saul at Gibeah, saying, “Is David not hiding with us in strongholds in the woods, in the hill of Hachilah, which is on the south of Jeshimon? 20 Now therefore, O king, come down according to all the desire of your soul to come down; and our part shall be to deliver him into the king’s hand.” 21 And Saul said, “Blessed are you of the Lord, for you have compassion on me. 22 Please go and find out for sure, and see the place where his hideout is, and who has seen him there. For I am told he is very crafty. 23 See therefore, and take knowledge of all the lurking places where he hides; and come back to me with certainty, and I will go with you. And it shall be, if he is in the land, that I will search for him throughout all the clans of Judah.” 24 So 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. 25 When Saul and his men went to seek him, they told David. Therefore he went down to the rock, and stayed in the Wilderness of Maon. And when Saul heard that, he pursued David in the Wilderness of Maon. 26 Then Saul went on one side of the mountain, and David and his men on the other side of the mountain. So David made haste to get away from Saul, for Saul and his men were encircling David and his men to take them. 27 But a messenger came to Saul, saying, “Hurry and come, for the Philistines have invaded the land!” 28 Therefore Saul returned from pursuing David, and went against the Philistines; so they called that place the Rock of Escape. 29 Then David went up from there and dwelt in strongholds at En Gedi.

  • No place to hide                                                          
    • David and his men leave Keilah and go to Ziph
      • Ziph = SE of Hebron on African  Rift Ridge toward Dead Sea            
      • Later moves to Maon Rock         
      • Finally moves into the Jeshimon (“waste land”) – wilderness of Judah
    • David is hiding 600 men on wilderness ridges on west forested side
    • Saul is seeking daily to find David_
    • Jonathan comes to David to strengthen him
      • Jon. states that Saul knows David will be king
      • Jon. swears to be next to David (support + rule)
    • No one successfully fights the will of God
      • Lucifer (Isaiah 14; Ezekiel 28), Jonah (Jon. 1), and Saul all lost when they opposed God
      • To fight a losing moral battle is foolish
      • Pride denies and fights against truth to own ruin
    • David is continually harassed (fleeing from place to place)
      • Harassment by evil men is normal for believers
      • God has a great plan even in midst of pressure
      • Harassment of believers by wicked men gives strength to the believer and adds judgment to wicked
  • The Ziphites betray David
    • The Ziphites do not like David’s men near them
      • Saul could accuse them of being traitors, as he did the priests of Nob
      • Ziphites didn’t want to be put between Saul and David                
      • Since the Ziphite’s had not experienced the wrath of Saul, they may still have honored him as king
    • The Ziphites go to Saul and promised to help Saul capture David (Saul blesses them for showing him compassion)
      • Saul’s blessing of the Lord is profane coming from the lips of the murderer of God’s priests
      • Saul uses Ziphites as spies against David
    • This episode is the topic of Psalm 54 where “strangers have helped” David’s enemies, (God will deliver him and punish them)
      • The Ziphites had no part in this dispute
      • Ziphites did not need to meddle in the issue at all
  • In the nick of time
    • David moves from Ziphites to Maon Rock on edge of wilderness
      • The Arabah = desert land between ridge and Dead Sea
      • Saul begins to surround David with desert to south
    • Just as Saul is closing in, he receives word that the Philistines have invaded the land
      • Saul must withdraw to meet the threat
      • David is saved in the nick of time
    • David rejoices and renames Maon Rock to Escape Rock
    • David now moves to En Gedi (a nature spring forming a water fall into a pool, which then flows underground to Hebron 25 miles away)
    • God’s purposes varied, but perfect in his plans
      • David’s struggle trains him to be a king
      • At times, God delivers from enemy (David, Hezekiah, Peter [Acts 12], Jews in Esther)
      • At times God’s people are delivered to martyrdom (Stephen, James, the priests of Nob, trib. saints…)
    • All outcomes for faithful saints glorify God (Romans 8:28)