King Saul continues searching for David. He arrives in the wilderness of Hakilah. As he sleeps, David sneaks into his tent. Abishai urges David to kill the king and the commander of his army, Abner. However, David instead takes the spear and water jug lying next to the king. He decides to spare Saul’s life a second time, even though Saul has already promised he would stop trying to kill him and has broken his pledge. Much like Pharaoh, Saul cannot stand the divine test and continues to return to his evil ways. Saul is unable to take control of his negative thoughts. Conversely, David is cautious to not defile his soul.
King Saul confesses his sins to David and admits that he has been ungrateful and unjust. For a moment, he understands the irrationality of his behavior and the consequence of his actions. Furthermore, he promises to end his foolish pursuit. David, who has grown familiar with Saul’s impulsive and unpredictable behavior, doesn’t develop great expectations. He only wants to prove to God that his soul is pure and therefore gain favor in God’s eyes. David asks for God’s future help as a reward for his noble act.
“Then said Saul, I have sinned: return, my son David: for I will no more do thee harm, because my soul was precious in thine eyes this day: behold, I have played the fool, and have erred exceedingly. And David answered and said, Behold the king’s spear! and let one of the young men come over and fetch it” (1 Samuel 26:21-22)
“And, behold, as thy life was much set by this day in mine eyes, so let my life be much set by in the eyes of the LORD, and let him deliver me out of all tribulation” (1 Samuel 26:24)
Self-limitation is learning to channel our energies into specific, carefully selected fields of work.