Useful Bible Studies > 1 Samuel Commentary > chapter 26

Why David would not punish Saul

1 Samuel 26:10-12

David and Abishai had entered Saulís camp secretly by night. Although 3000 soldiers were guarding Saul, they were all asleep. David and Abishai were able to enter the kingís tent, and nobody stopped them.

Abishai wanted to kill Saul, but David stopped him. David simply wanted to take two objects as evidence that they had been in Saulís tent. Later, David would use those objects to prove to Saul that he remained loyal to him.

David did not protect Saul because he imagined Saul to be an innocent man. David knew that Saul was guilty of many terrible crimes. Saul had ordered the deaths of many people, without any proper reason (1 Samuel 22:16-18; 2 Samuel 21:1). He had decided on purpose not to obey God (13:13; 15:11). He was jealous and angry with David, and he had tried to murder David on several occasions.

Clearly, Saul deserved punishment. However, David insisted that he would not carry out that punishment against Saul. Because God had appointed Saul to be king, David considered Saul to be Godís servant. A servant is responsible to his master, therefore, Saul was responsible to God. So it would be wrong for David to punish Saul; God alone should punish Saul.

David believed that God would punish Saul. He explained to Abishai how that might happen. Saul might die in a battle, or he might die in some other way. Then Saul would stand in front of God as his judge. All the rulers of the world are responsible to God. He laughs when they try to oppose him. He will establish his government in the world, as 1 Samuel 2:1-10 and Psalm 2 teach.

Next part: David calls to Abner (1 Samuel 26:13-16)


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© 2014, Keith Simons.