Read chapter in full:



19 Then the Ziphites went up to Saul at Gibeah, saying, “Is not David hiding among us in the strongholds at Horesh, on the hill of Hachilah, which is south of Jeshimon? 20 Now come down, O king, according to all your heart’s desire to come down, and our part shall be to surrender him into the king’s hand.” 21 And Saul said, “May you be blessed by the Lord, for you have had compassion on me. 22 Go, make yet more sure. Know and see the place where his foot is, and who has seen him there, for it is told me that he is very cunning. 23 See therefore and take note of all the lurking places where he hides, and come back to me with sure information. Then I will go with you. And if he is in the land, I will search him out among all the thousands of Judah.” 24 And they arose and went to Ziph ahead of Saul.


Now David and his men were in the wilderness of Maon, in the Arabah to the south of Jeshimon. 25 And Saul and his men went to seek him. And David was told, so he went down to the rock and lived in the wilderness of Maon. And when Saul heard that, he pursued after David in the wilderness of Maon. 26 Saul went on one side of the mountain, and David and his men on the other side of the mountain. And David was hurrying to get away from Saul. As Saul and his men were closing in on David and his men to capture them, 27 a messenger came to Saul, saying, “Hurry and come, for the Philistines have made a raid against the land.” 28 So Saul returned from pursuing after David and went against the Philistines. Therefore that place was called the Rock of Escape. 29 And David went up from there and lived in the strongholds of Engedi.




  1. David, though running for his life, volunteered to aid the Israelite city of Keilah against the Philistines. Yet the people remained loyal to Saul, perhaps out of fear (v12). David had to go into wilderness areas where he might hide from Saul’s army. Just when Saul’s army was closing in, news about the Philistines’ attack drew Saul away.
  2. David and his men look like goners, but God’s plan could not be changed by Saul. The irony is while Saul is David’s enemy, the Philistines unwittingly became David’s allies. Their attack is God’s means of deliverance of David, from the grasp of Saul.
  3. Review #2 of Ch 17, what giants (challenges or difficulties) am I facing right now? How do I face them?



Psalm 54 reflects David’s fears and his faith in this critical situation. Pray with David:

Save me, O God, by Your name; vindicate me by Your might. Hear my prayer, O God; listen to the words of my mouth. Arrogant foes are attacking me; ruthless people are trying to kill me—people without regard for God. Surely God is my help; the Lord is the one who sustains me. Let evil recoil on those who slander me; in Your faithfulness destroy them. I will sacrifice a freewill offering to You; I will praise Your name, LORD, for it is good. You have delivered me from all my troubles, and my eyes have looked in triumph on my foes. (Ps 54)