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David spares King Saul's life

David cuts the corner of Saul's robe.
Contributed by Sweet Publishing
Story also available on our translated websites: Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, Romanian
King Saul was trying to kill David to prevent him becoming the next King of Israel. David fled to hide in a large cave at Adullum where his family came to join him. Four hundred men who were either in distress, in debt, or discontent came to support David. – Slide 1
Near to Adullum was the town of Keilah. Philistine raiders were attacking the town to steal grain. When David found out he asked God whether he should attack the Philistines. – Slide 2
The Lord answered, ‘Go, attack the Philistines and save Keilah.’ David and his men inflicted heavy losses on the Philistines and saved the people of Keilah. – Slide 3
King Saul was told that David was in Keilah and he thought he had him trapped. David learned that Saul was plotting against him. He asked Abiathar the priest to enquire from God whether Saul would attack Keilah and whether its citizens would hand him over to Saul. – Slide 4
The Lord replied that Saul would attack Keilah and David would be handed over to him. So David moved to the wilderness strongholds around Ziph. Saul searched for David but did not find him. While David was at Horesh, Saul’s son Jonathan secretly paid David a visit without letting his father know. – Slide 5
‘Don’t be afraid,’ Jonathan told David. ‘My father Saul will not lay a hand on you. You shall be king over Israel, and I will be second to you.’ The two made a promise before God and went their ways. – Slide 6
The local Ziphites went to Saul at Gibeah to report David was at the hill of Hakilah near Horesh. Saul told them to keep a close watch on David’s movements and keep him updated. – Slide 7
Saul and his army went down to the Desert of Maon where David was last seen. As Saul approached one side of the mountain David and his men were on the other side hurrying to get away. – Slide 8
At the moment Saul was closing in on David a messenger appeared. ‘Come quickly, the Philistines are attacking our land.’ Saul had to break off his pursuit of David to go and fight the Philistines. – Slide 9
David and his men escaped to live in the wilderness hills and caves around En-gedi near the Dead Sea. King Saul fought against the Philistines then, when told that David was in En-gedi, he returned with 3,000 men to search for David. – Slide 10
David and his men were hiding in a cave. King Saul needed to relieve himself and went alone into the cave in which David was hiding. – Slide 11
David and his men were hiding far back in the cave. His men whispered, ‘This is the day the Lord spoke of when he said, “I will put your enemy into your hands for you to deal with as you wish.”’ David crept up unnoticed on King Saul. – Slide 12
Instead of killing Saul, David cut off the edge of his robe without his noticing it. ‘The Lord forbid that I lay my hands on the King He has anointed,’ he told his men. And he stopped them attempting to kill Saul. – Slide 13
David went out of the cave and called out to Saul, ‘My lord the king!’ When Saul looked round, David bowed down with his face to the ground. ‘The Lord gave you into my hands when you came into the cave and my men wanted to kill you. But I spared your life as you are the Lord’s anointed. Look at this piece of your robe I cut off. I have not wronged you, but you are hunting me down to take my life. May God judge and decide between us. May He deliver me from your hand.’ – Slide 14
Saul asked, ‘Is that you, David?’ And he wept aloud. ‘You are better than me,’ he said. ‘You have treated me well, but I have treated you badly. The Lord gave me into your hands, but you did not kill me.’ – Slide 15
King Saul told David that he now knew that David would be the next king of Israel. He asked David not to kill his descendants or wipe out his family name when he became king. David promised he would not kill Saul’s descendants. King Saul then returned home, but David stayed at En-gedi. – Slide 16
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