King Saul was in constant pursuit of David. For no fault on David's part, his life was in jeopardy because of the king's jealousy. Saul, having learned of David's whereabouts, was in close proximity. "And David arose, and came to the place where Saul had pitched: and David beheld the place where Saul lay, and Abner the son of Ner, the captain of his host: and Saul lay in the trench, and the people pitched round about him. . . So David and Abishai came to the people by night: and, behold, Saul lay sleeping within the trench, and his spear stuck in the ground at his bolster: but Abner and the people lay round about him. . . David said. . .,
The LORD forbid that I should stretch forth mine hand against the LORD'S anointed: but, I pray thee, take thou now the spear that is at his bolster, and the cruse of water, and let us go. So David took the spear and the cruse of water from Saul's bolster; and they gat them away, and no man saw it, nor knew it, neither awaked: for they were all asleep; because a deep sleep from the LORD was fallen upon them" 1 Samuel 26:5, 7, 10-12.
In reading this story there emerges the question, why did God intervene by causing a deep sleep to fall on Saul and his army of three thousand chosen men (verse 2)? Two answers occur to me, and both can be summarized as God's love.
Imagine just two men approaching this vast host of sleeping men. One misstep could have spelled the end of David and Abishai, but God considered David "a man after his own heart" 1 Samuel 13:14. He had a plan for him and in love, kept the army sleeping that no harm should come to David.
Though Saul had turned his back on God, God was still reaching out to him. By Saul seeing David's gracious act in sparing his life, God was extending to him another opportunity to realize his sins and repent. This "love sleep" from the LORD was necessary to this provision.
Our LORD tells you and me "I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee" Jeremiah 31:3. Oh, the depth of God's love for every one of us!