Ellen G. White Writings

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Beginning of the End, Page 334

The Noble Spirit of David

This chapter is based on 1 Samuel 22:20-23; 23 to 27.

“One of the sons of Ahimelech the son of Ahitub, named Abiathar, escaped and fled after David. And Abiathar told David that Saul had killed the Lord’s priests. So David said to Abiathar, ‘I knew that day, when Doeg the Edomite was there, that he would surely tell Saul. I have caused the death of all the persons of your father’s house. Stay with me; do not fear. For he who seeks my life seeks your life, but with me you shall be safe.’”

Still hunted by the king, David’s brave group retreated to the wilderness of Ziph. At this time, when there were so few bright spots in the path of David, he received an unexpected visit from Jonathan. These two friends told each other about their many experiences, and Jonathan cheered the heart of David, saying, “Do not fear, for the hand of Saul my father shall not find you. You shall be king over Israel, and I shall be next to you. Even my father Saul knows that.” The hunted fugitive was greatly encouraged. “So the two of them made a covenant before the Lord. And David stayed in the woods, and Jonathan went to his own house.”

The Ziphites sent word to Saul in Gibeah that they knew where David was hiding and that they would guide the king to his retreat. But David, warned of their intentions, changed his location, seeking safety in the mountains between Maon and the Dead Sea.

Again a message came to Saul, “‘Take note! David is in the Wilderness of En Gedi.’ Then Saul took three thousand chosen men from all Israel, and went to seek David and his men on the Rocks of the Wild Goats.” David had only six hundred men in his company. The son of Jesse waited in a secluded cave for God’s guidance about what to do.

As Saul was making his way up the mountains, he entered alone the very cave in which David and his people were hiding. When David’s men saw this they urged their leader to kill Saul. The king was now in their power—certain evidence that God Himself had delivered the enemy into their hand so that they could destroy him. David was tempted to take this view of the situation, but the voice of conscience spoke to him. “Touch not the anointed of the Lord.”

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