- 1 Sam. 25:1b-27:7
- 1 Chron. 12:1-7
- 1 Sam. 27:8-28:2; 29:1-11
- 1 Chron. 12:19-22
- 1 Sam. 30:1-31
After sparing Saul’s life, David moved down into the Desert of Maon. There was a rich man there whose name was Nabal. Nabal had a beautiful and smart wife named Abigail. Nabal was preparing to shear (kill for food) 3,000 goats and 3,000 sheep. David heard that Nabal was shearing and he sent messengers to ask for gifts from Nabal. However, Nabal was a mean man, and he did not agree to David’s request.
When the messengers returned, David was very angry, and he and his men took off after Nabal to kill him and all the males in his house. Meanwhile one of Nabal’s servants told his wife Abigail what Nabal had said to David’s messengers. Abigail immediately sprang into action, collected supplies and took them to meet David and his men. She pleaded with David to turn away from his anger and not shed blood on account of her husband. David accepted her gift and forgave her husband. He and his men returned to their dwellings.
About ten days after this GOD struck Nabal and he died. When David heard about it he sent word to Abigail and asked her to be his wife, which she accepted. David had another wife at this time, named Ahinoam. Sadly, King Saul gave David’s first wife, Michal, to another man since David had fled.
The Ziphites told Saul that David was in Hakilah and he chased after David, breaking his promise to David that he would not harm him. When Saul was asleep one night, David snuck up on him and his general Abner and took Saul’s spear and his water pitcher. When David was safely atop a hill across from Saul’s camp he called out to Abner, accusing him of sleeping when he should have been protecting his king. David showed them Saul’s spear and pitcher which he had captured. Saul recognized David’s voice and, once again, confessed his sin and asked for David’s forgiveness. He then returned home.
David feared that Saul would one day kill him, so he fled to the Philistines, where he lived for sixteen months. The Philistine king’s son Achish gave David the city of Ziklag where David’s family and his followers’ families lived. In time, the Philistines prepared to go to battle against Israel and Achish asked David’s help in battle. David was willing to go with him but the other Philistine lords didn’t trust David, so Achish told David not to help.
While David’s force was traveling back home to Ziklag Amalekite raiders attacked the city and burned it, plundering the town and taking the women and children captive. David found out about it and he inquired of GOD through the priest Abiathar whether they would be able to catch them and GOD said yes, so they pursued the raiders. They did catch them, killed the raiders and recovered all of the stolen goods plus the raiders’ possessions. David sent some of the plunder throughout Judah to the elders of Judah who were his friends.