“May the Lord repay every man for his righteousness and his faithfulness; for the Lord delivered you into my hand today, but I would not stretch out my hand against the Lord’s anointed. And indeed, as your life was valued much this day in my eyes, so let my life be valued much in the eyes of the Lord, and let Him deliver me out of all tribulation.” 1 Samuel 26:23–24
Shortly after David’s insult by Nabal and appeasement by Nabal’s wife Abigail, Nabal died of a stroke. Not long later David asked Abigail to become his wife and they were married.
The next event recorded in first Samuel is another encounter between David and Saul.
Once again Saul has taken to hunting David but this time David doesn’t run away. Instead one night David and some of his men actually go out to spy on Saul’s camp and David notices the camp is not very well guarded so he takes one of his men with him and they sneak into camp and go right up to where Saul is sleeping.
David’s man, Abishai, thought that God must have given Saul into David’s hand and that he should take the spear next to Saul and kill him with it, but David refused to let him. Saul was God’s anointed and if he was to be removed God would have to be the one to remove him. Saul might die of natural causes or in battle but neither David nor one of his men would ever kill him.
Instead, David took the spear and a jug of water lying next to Saul and then left camp. When they were on another hill a safe distance away David called out to Abner, Saul’s cousin and the general of Saul’s army. David teased him about how poorly he had been guarding Saul and asked him if he knew where Saul’s spear and water jug were.
Saul recognized David’s voice and cried out, “Is that your voice, David, my son?”
“Yes it is,” David answered. “Why are you hunting me? What have I done? If God has stirred you up against me let me make an offering of repentance to him. If someone else has turned you against me let him be accursed. O king don’t let my blood be shed.”
“I have sinned,” Saul confessed. “I have played the fool. Come home David I won’t try to harm you any more.”
At this David told Saul to send a man to retrieve the spear and jug he had taken and then he spoke the words quoted in our focus text, but David did not go back to Saul. David had learned that Saul could thoroughly admit to his wrong doing and still not be truly repentant. Saul would never give up his claim on the throne God had taken from him nor his dream that his son would have it after him. Because of that David would never be safe from Saul no mater what Saul said.
Repentance is more than just words it’s a change of heart. That’s what David needed from Saul and that’s what God needs from us. David never experienced repentance from Saul. Will God find repentance from you. He loves you. Jesus came and died to purchase forgiveness and to prove God’s love but repentance is required if you’re going to be able to accept it. The Holy Spirit will give you repentance, he’ll change your heart, if you’ll ask him to. Will you ask?