After David and Abishai had gathered Saul’s “spear” and “water jug,” some distance away, David spoke “to the army and to Abner son of Ner.” Her woke them up from their supernatural slumber. Then as they regained consciousness, David began to provoke Abner with a series of four questions and a pronouncement of judgment.
- First, he questioned Abner’s manhood: “You’re a man, aren’t you?”
- Next, he raised questions about Abner’s competency: “Why didn’t you guard your lord the king” when “someone came to destroy” him?
- Finally, David urged Abner to note the absence of “the king’s spear and the water jug that were near his head.”
By this time, Saul was now awake. He asked David, “Is that your voice, David my son?” (1 Samuel 26:17). David confirmed his identity and then asked Saul more questions:
- “Why is my lord pursuing his servant?”
- “What have I done?”
- “What crime have I committed?”
Then, before Saul responded, David asked the king to listen a prayer designed to put an end to their conflict. David asked that if the Lord was causing Saul to hunt David, that He accept a freewill offering to restore the broken relationship and end the strife.
The second part of his prayer, David suggested that someone else —not God— were the source driving him away. David’s words informed that wicked men were deceiving Saul. They said that David had been “driven” away from the Lord, and now they were trying to make him “serve other gods.”
David asked Saul to put his present actions in proper perspective. The king was wasting his time “look[ing] for a flea,” or “hunt[ing for] a partridge.”
David’s actions and prayer seemed to bring Saul to repentance and reconciliation. He confessed he had “sinned” and urged his “son” to “come back” (1 Samuel 26:21).
David knew better. He rightly judged the king’s words for what they were, deadly lies. Accordingly, David turned down the invitation to return. Instead, he asked the king to have one of his “young men come over” to David and retrieve “the king’s spear.”
In the last recorded words spoken by David to Saul, he offers a brief statement on God’s promise of “sowing and reaping.” Because David acted righteously and faithfully by sparing “the Lord’s anointed” when “the Lord delivered” him into David’s hands, David could humbly expect that “the Lord considered [his] life valuable and rescue [him] from all trouble.”
In Saul’s last recorded words to his son-in-law, he declared David “blessed” and confidently predicted a glorious future for David. Having uttered those words, both men parted ways, never to see each other again in life.