Saul 1k: David 10k

Opening Prayer

Heavenly Father, thank You that Your love for me is boundless. Teach me to forgive as I am forgiven. Open my heart to Your Word.

Read 1 Samuel 17:55—18:16

55 As Saul watched David going out to meet the Philistine, he said to Abner, commander of the army, “Abner, whose son is that young man?”

Abner replied, “As surely as you live, Your Majesty, I don’t know.”

56 The king said, “Find out whose son this young man is.”

57 As soon as David returned from killing the Philistine, Abner took him and brought him before Saul, with David still holding the Philistine’s head.

58 “Whose son are you, young man?” Saul asked him.

David said, “I am the son of your servant Jesse of Bethlehem.”

Saul’s Growing Fear of David
18 After David had finished talking with Saul, Jonathan became one in spirit with David, and he loved him as himself. 2 From that day Saul kept David with him and did not let him return home to his family. 3 And Jonathan made a covenant with David because he loved him as himself. 4 Jonathan took off the robe he was wearing and gave it to David, along with his tunic, and even his sword, his bow and his belt.

5 Whatever mission Saul sent him on, David was so successful that Saul gave him a high rank in the army. This pleased all the troops, and Saul’s officers as well.

6 When the men were returning home after David had killed the Philistine, the women came out from all the towns of Israel to meet King Saul with singing and dancing, with joyful songs and with timbrels and lyres. 7 As they danced, they sang:

“Saul has slain his thousands,
and David his tens of thousands.”

8 Saul was very angry; this refrain displeased him greatly. “They have credited David with tens of thousands,” he thought, “but me with only thousands. What more can he get but the kingdom?” 9 And from that time on Saul kept a close eye on David.

10 The next day an evil spirit from God came forcefully on Saul. He was prophesying in his house, while David was playing the lyre, as he usually did. Saul had a spear in his hand 11 and he hurled it, saying to himself, “I’ll pin David to the wall.” But David eluded him twice.

12 Saul was afraid of David, because the Lord was with David but had departed from Saul. 13 So he sent David away from him and gave him command over a thousand men, and David led the troops in their campaigns. 14 In everything he did he had great success, because the Lord was with him. 15 When Saul saw how successful he was, he was afraid of him. 16 But all Israel and Judah loved David, because he led them in their campaigns.

Reflect

A soured relationship is grievous! Lay aside any anger or jealousy you have towards someone as you come to meet with God.

When did Saul’s jealousy of David take root? Immediately after the defeat of Goliath? Seeing the warm relationship grow between Jonathan and David? Observing his soldiers’ appreciation of David’s success? Hearing the women’s victory rhyme? Realizing God was with David? Jealousy usually seeps into a relationship by stealth. We don’t know when David became aware of it, but once Saul had hurled his spear at David a second time, he knew his life was in danger.
Remarkably David did not run away. Maybe this was because Jonathan protected him; maybe David knew God was with him; or quite simply, Saul was the senior partner in this relationship so David was not free to leave. To David’s relief, Saul sent him away to fight the Philistines, hoping they would kill him.
Ignoring the existence of jealousy in a relationship usually allows that jealousy to fester. David’s removal from court helped him but did not reduce Saul’s anger. Attempting to bring jealousy (however irrational) out into the open might make matters worse and, after all, Saul was the king. David’s strategy was to live knowing that the Lord was with him (12,14).

Apply

How can you address jealousy in your heart? Do you need to seek forgiveness or make reparation? Do so today.

Closing prayer

Jealousy is listed as sin in Galatians 5, countered by the fruit of the Spirit. Ask God to develop the fruit of his Spirit in your life today.

Syndicated via Scripture Union. Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

Terry Schneider