Gaebelein's Annotated Bible
And it came to pass, when Saul was returned from following the Philistines, that it was told him, saying, Behold, David is in the wilderness of Engedi.CHAPTER 24
1. In the wilderness of En-gedi (1Samuel 24:1-8)
2. David’s words to Saul (1Samuel 24:9-15)
3. Saul’s answer to David (1Samuel 24:16-22)
Saul continues in the pursuit of David and with 3000 chosen men he sought David at the rocks of the wild goats. It was in En-gedi, which means “the fountain of the young goat.” There were wild rocks and the fountains of water and here David had found his refuge and strongholds. God trained him also amidst the hardships and difficulties suggested by the rocks, while the fountain suggests the refreshing which was also his blessed portion. Perhaps in that trying wilderness he poured out his heart in the way as recorded in Psalm 63. It is certain that he developed constantly in his faith and trust in God. And a test is now permitted to come upon him. Saul had entered a cave. David and his men were in the sides of the cave. But a few steps between him and the unsuspecting Saul! An uplifted sword, one stroke and Saul’s career would have been ended. Is he going to do it? Will he take his case out of the hands of the Lord and become his own avenger? And his men remind him of an unrecorded word, which the Lord had spoken to David (verse 4) which David might have used to justify the slaying of Saul. Faith conquers. He looks upon Saul as being still the Lord’s anointed and only cut off a part of the skirt of Saul’s garment. What magnanimity it was! And even for this his tender conscience smote him. A marvellous, eloquent address to King Saul was delivered by David. He tells him all what he had done and what is in his heart and thus shows the purpose of his soul to leave it all with the Lord. This is faith’s language. The Man of God who walks by faith can await the Lord’s own time. And thus the case was not Saul against David, but Saul fighting David’s Lord. The outcome is obvious. And Saul? His reply, given in the voice of weeping, acknowledged the wrong he had done and the righteous cause of David as well as the future of David, that he would receive the Kingdom of Israel. He also made David swear not to cut off his seed. He is broken down and deeply moved. Yet his heart is unchanged.