Daily Bible Reading
Today's reading: 1 Samuel 26-28
Look for the promises in God’s word. As you read and find them, write them in your journal along with the scripture reference.
1 Samuel 26
David Spares Saul’s Life Again
1. The Ziphites came to Saul at Gibeah and said, “Isn’t David hiding on the hill of Hakilah near Jeshimon?”
2. So Saul arose and went down to the desert of Ziph, accompanied by three thousand select men of Israel, to look for David in the desert of Ziph.
3. Saul camped by the road on the hill of Hakilah near Jeshimon, but David was staying in the desert. When he realized that Saul had come to the desert to find him,
4. David sent scouts and verified that Saul had indeed arrived.
5. So David set out and went to the place where Saul was camped. David saw the place where Saul and Abner son of Ner, the general in command of his army, were sleeping. Now Saul was lying in the entrenchment, and the army was camped all around him.
6. David said to Ahimelech the Hittite and Abishai son of Zeruiah, Joab’s brother, “Who will go down with me to Saul in the camp?” Abishai replied, “I will go down with you.”
7. So David and Abishai approached the army at night and found Saul lying asleep in the entrenchment with his spear stuck in the ground by his head. Abner and the army were lying all around him.
8. Abishai said to David, “Today God has delivered your enemy into your hands. Now let me drive the spear right through him into the ground with one swift jab! A second jab won’t be necessary!”
9. But David said to Abishai, “Don’t kill him! Who can extend his hand against the Lord’s chosen one and remain guiltless?”
10. David went on to say, “As the Lord lives, the Lord himself will strike him down. Either his day will come and he will die, or he will go down into battle and be swept away.
11. But may the Lord prevent me from extending my hand against the Lord’s chosen one! Now take the spear by Saul’s head and the jug of water, and let’s get out of here!”
12. So David took the spear and the jug of water by Saul’s head, and they got out of there. No one saw them or was aware of their presence or woke up. All of them were asleep, for the Lord had caused a deep sleep to fall on them.
13. Then David crossed to the other side and stood on the top of the hill some distance away; there was a considerable distance between them.
14. David called to the army and to Abner son of Ner, “Won’t you answer, Abner?” Abner replied, “Who are you, that you have called to the king?”
15. David said to Abner, “Aren’t you a man? After all, who is like you in Israel? Why then haven’t you protected your lord the king? One of the soldiers came to kill your lord the king.
16. This failure on your part isn’t good! As surely as the Lord lives, you people who have not protected your lord, the Lord’s chosen one, are as good as dead! Now look where the king’s spear and the jug of water that was by his head are!”
17. When Saul recognized David’s voice, he said, “Is that your voice, my son David?” David replied, “Yes, it’s my voice, my lord the king.”
18. He went on to say, “Why is my lord chasing his servant? What have I done? What wrong have I done?
19. So let my lord the king now listen to the words of his servant. If the Lord has incited you against me, may he take delight in an offering. But if men have instigated this, may they be cursed before the Lord! For they have driven me away this day from being united with the Lord’s inheritance, saying, ‘Go on, serve other gods!’
20. Now don’t let my blood fall to the ground away from the Lord’s presence, for the king of Israel has gone out to look for a flea the way one looks for a partridge in the hill country.”
21. Saul replied, “I have sinned. Come back, my son David. I won’t harm you, for you treated my life with value this day. I have behaved foolishly and have made a very terrible mistake!”
22. David replied, “Here is the king’s spear! Let one of your servants cross over and get it.
23. The Lord rewards each man for his integrity and loyalty. Even though today the Lord delivered you into my hand, I was not willing to extend my hand against the Lord’s chosen one.
24. In the same way that I valued your life this day, may the Lord value my life and deliver me from all danger.”
25. Saul replied to David, “May you be rewarded, my son David! You will without question be successful!” So David went on his way, and Saul returned to his place.
1 Samuel 27
David Aligns Himself with the Philistines
1. David thought to himself, “One of these days I’m going to be swept away by the hand of Saul! There is nothing better for me than to escape to the land of the Philistines. Then Saul will despair of searching for me through all the territory of Israel and I will escape from his hand.”
2. So David left and crossed over to King Achish son of Maoch of Gath accompanied by his six hundred men.
3. David settled with Achish in Gath, along with his men and their families. David had with him his two wives, Ahinoam the Jezreelite and Abigail the Carmelite, Nabal’s widow.
4. When Saul learned that David had fled to Gath, he did not mount a new search for him.
5. David said to Achish, “If I have found favor with you, let me be given a place in one of the country towns so that I can live there. Why should your servant settle in the royal city with you?”
6. So Achish gave him Ziklag on that day. (For that reason Ziklag has belonged to the kings of Judah until this very day.)
7. The length of time that David lived in the Philistine countryside was a year and four months.
8. Then David and his men went up and raided the Geshurites, the Girzites, and the Amalekites. (They had been living in that land for a long time, from the approach to Shur as far as the land of Egypt.)
9. When David would attack a district, he would leave neither man nor woman alive. He would take sheep, cattle, donkeys, camels, and clothing and would then go back to Achish.
10. When Achish would ask, “Where did you raid today?” David would say, “The Negev of Judah” or “The Negev of Jeharmeel” or “The Negev of the Kenites.”
11. Neither man nor woman would David leave alive so as to bring them back to Gath. He was thinking, “This way they can’t tell on us, saying, ‘This is what David did.’” Such was his practice the entire time that he lived in the country of the Philistines.
12. So Achish trusted David, thinking to himself, “He is really hated among his own people in Israel! From now on he will be my servant.”
1 Samuel 28
The Witch of Endor
1. In those days the Philistines gathered their troops for war in order to fight Israel. Achish said to David, “You should fully understand that you and your men must go with me into the battle.”
2. David replied to Achish, “That being the case, you will come to know what your servant can do!” Achish said to David, “Then I will make you my bodyguard from now on.”
3. Now Samuel had died, and all Israel had lamented over him and had buried him in Ramah, his hometown. In the meantime Saul had removed the mediums and magicians from the land.
4. The Philistines assembled; they came and camped at Shunem. Saul mustered all Israel and camped at Gilboa.
5. When Saul saw the camp of the Philistines, he was absolutely terrified.
6. So Saul inquired of the Lord, but the Lord did not answer him – not by dreams nor by Urim nor by the prophets.
7. So Saul instructed his servants, “Find me a woman who is a medium, so that I may go to her and inquire of her.” His servants replied to him, “There is a woman who is a medium in Endor.”
8. So Saul disguised himself and put on other clothing and left, accompanied by two of his men. They came to the woman at night and said, “Use your ritual pit to conjure up for me the one I tell you.”
9. But the woman said to him, “Look, you are aware of what Saul has done; he has removed the mediums and magicians from the land! Why are you trapping me so you can put me to death?”
10. But Saul swore an oath to her by the Lord, “As surely as the Lord lives, you will not incur guilt in this matter!”
11. The woman replied, “Who is it that I should bring up for you?” He said, “Bring up for me Samuel.”
12. When the woman saw Samuel, she cried out loudly. The woman said to Saul, “Why have you deceived me? You are Saul!”
13. The king said to her, “Don’t be afraid! What have you seen?” The woman replied to Saul, “I have seen one like a god coming up from the ground!”
14. He said to her, “What about his appearance?” She said, “An old man is coming up! He is wrapped in a robe!” Then Saul realized it was Samuel, and he bowed his face toward the ground and kneeled down.
15. Samuel said to Saul, “Why have you disturbed me by bringing me up?” Saul replied, “I am terribly troubled! The Philistines are fighting against me and God has turned away from me. He does not answer me – not by the prophets nor by dreams. So I have called on you to tell me what I should do.”
16. Samuel said, “Why are you asking me, now that the Lord has turned away from you and has become your enemy?
17. The Lord has done exactly as I prophesied! The Lord has torn the kingdom from your hand and has given it to your neighbor David!
18. Since you did not obey the Lord and did not carry out his fierce anger against the Amalekites, the Lord has done this thing to you today.
19. The Lord will hand you and Israel over to the Philistines! Tomorrow both you and your sons will be with me. The Lord will also hand the army of Israel over to the Philistines!”
20. Saul quickly fell full length on the ground and was very afraid because of Samuel’s words. He was completely drained of energy, not having eaten anything all that day and night.
21. When the woman came to Saul and saw how terrified he was, she said to him, “Your servant has done what you asked. I took my life into my own hands and did what you told me.
22. Now it’s your turn to listen to your servant! Let me set before you a bit of bread so that you can eat. When you regain your strength, you can go on your way.”
23. But he refused, saying, “I won’t eat!” Both his servants and the woman urged him to eat, so he gave in. He got up from the ground and sat down on the bed.
24. Now the woman had a well-fed calf at her home that she quickly slaughtered. Taking some flour, she kneaded bread and baked it without leaven.
25. She brought it to Saul and his servants, and they ate. Then they arose and left that same night.