Saturday, May 5, 2012

Tattlers, Traitors, and Villains Against David

By Mary Vee
I Samuel 23

One of David's Scouts

Danger. Thrilling. Adventure. These are the words I'd use in my definition for "scout." 

Blood soared through my veins each time David sent us out to monitor king Saul's location. I felt like some kind of super person running from one shadow or rock to the next searching for clues leading me closer to the man who spent every waking hour hunting my commander, David.

Two other scouts and myself followed the trail to Ziph. Outside the city gate, a few men looked both ways before sneaking away from the city. When they moved to the shadows, I knew their mission had to be trouble. 

We followed them to Gibeah where they requested to meet with Saul. I took the lead and circled around to the backside of the king's tent to listen. 

One of Saul's guards spoke. "My Lord, men from Ziph have a report regarding David's position."

Saul answered. "Let them in."

"King Saul, we have come from Ziph and know you seek David. He is hiding in the strongholds in the woods, in the hill of Hachilah which is on the south of Jeshimon. Come and we will deliver him into your hands."

Saul said, "Blessed are you of the Lord for thinking and watching for me. Please go back, check to see if David is still hiding there. You know David is a crafty one. Spy out his location and come back to me with your report. If he is there, I shall go with you. If he is in the land, I will search for him throughout all the clans of Judah."

The two other spies ran with me to get ahead of the men from Ziph. We had to be cautious: crawl like snakes, run like cheetahs, become invisible in bushes, breathe softer than a balmy breeze. Our eye ever on the men from Ziph, the ones who tattled to king Saul of David's location. 

Those traitors would not win. God Almighty had allowed us to follow the villains from Ziph and to hear Saul's words. As fast as a raindrop falls we arrived at our hideout. David, the beloved commander didn't stay seated when we arrived. He ran to the entrance and greeted us and a brother. "What news have you?"

"Men from Ziph stole away from their city, ran among the shadows to king Saul. They reported our hideout and guaranteed your capture."

David walked among the men. Calling them close. "Don't think evil of the Ziphites. They only want a reward. Pack. We move to the Wilderness of Maon."

Saul followed our trail to the wilderness. He didn't know we stood close to his men. We moved on one side of mountain as he moved on the other. 

The other scouts kept watch from a higher place on the mountain while I hurried to report Saul's position. "They're coming from both sides, Commander David."

He searched the area for a place to hide. There were no caves, no brush large enough to hide us. It seemed all would be lost. David looked to the sky and raised his hands. "Oh Lord God, Almighty, help us. Hide us from Saul."

A moment later one of the other scouts shimmied down a mountain path. "Commander David, Saul received a message about a Philistine attack. He pulled his army away from the mountain to pursue the Philistines."

David did waste a minute. He looked back to the sky and released a deep breath. "Oh My God, You have blessed your servant. By Your hands we were protected. I praise You with joyful lips." 

Just like that. One minute Saul could have taken David captive or killed him. The next, God intervened. How good and awesome is the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.

1. What city did the spies against David come from?
2. Where did they go?
3. What did they say?
4. Who heard the message?
5. What did they do about the message?
6.  What did David say/do when he heard the news?
7.  Saul nearly captured David. What stopped him?

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