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All Articles For Day of Shadows

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As pursued by Saul, David, it was seen, had fled southward to the wilderness of Moan. Catching up with him, the king nearly had succeeded in surrounding and seizing the fugitive, when he received information of a new Philistine invasion, tie had to desist from further pursuit; and David was saved. So had the Lord again delivered his servant. Going up from thence, David dwelt in the stronghold of Engendi, a mountainous region with many caves on the border of the wilderness of Judah about the middle of the ‘ West shore of the Dead Sea.

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Having heard Nabal’s reply, David’s ten men turn their way; they go again, and come to report to their leader. David’s anger burns. “Surely,” says he to his men, “in vain have I kept all that this fellow hath in the wilderness, so that nothing was missed of all that pertained to him: and he hath requited me evil for good.” And now follows his orders to his men, “Gird on every man his sword”.

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It was not so much anger as fear that prompted David to take immediate action against Nabal. David was worried about what that “very great” (verse 3) and bitterly hostile man might do to him, were he permitted to live. The sacred text makes this clear. First, David was decided to slay only the males of Nabal’s household (verses 22, 34). Second, in reproving David, Abigail speaks of the Lord’s withholding him from saving himself with his own hand.

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As we have seen, in the wilderness of Engedi Saul had received tangible proof that David was not seeking his life. The Lord had delivered him into David’s hand, but David’s eyes had spared the king. As was stated, Saul now was, must have been, as assured in his heart of David’s innocence as he was convinced of his own existence in the flesh. Yet a year and a half later the king repeats his persecution. David has returned to the wilderness of Ziph and hides himself in the mountain of Hachilah situated near the cities of Judah.

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As we have seen, the Lord through David again confronted Saul with evidence such as could be seen and handled that the son of Jesse seeks not the king’s life to take it. As pricked in his conscience and as filled with carnal remorse, the king confessed, “I have sinned/’ But he was not truly penitent. As was pointed out, he was subdued and afraid and remorseful like the doomed in hell are subdued and afraid and remorseful. That Saul was not truly penitent, that at the core he now was harder than ever, is plain from the sequel of...

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It was fully explained what we are to think of David’s removal to the land of the Philistines, of his attaching himself to the royal heathen, Achish of Gath. It was a doing that proceeded from unbelief. As we saw, with Achish’s permission David removed from Gath and settled in Ziklag, an uninhabited Philistine city that Achish appointed him. The problem of the support of himself and his retinue David solved by plundering Amalekites and other heathen tribes that dwelt in the district that bordered on the south country of Judah.

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During the last days of David’s residence in Philistia the Philistines make a new war again Israel, 28:1. Samuel is dead and was buried in Rama his own city as having been lamented by all Israel. The Philistines either advance along the sea coast and enter the valley of Jezreel from the west, or else they come right through Samaria, starting from Ephek. It is a general war of all the Philistine princes that is contemplated, and the purpose is to bring about a decisive battle in the plain with the Israelites.

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