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LIFE OF KING SAUL
Welcome to our Christianity Oasis Bible Characters study program. This is our Life of King Saul study. The truth within this SON-derful Life of King Saul study will truly enhance your be-YOU-tiful Christian walk.
THE FIRST BOOK OF SAMUEL
In previous stories to the story of king Saul in the Bible, the story of Samuel
the Prophet and judge in Israel is told. We find that Samuel was a man of integrity and well
favored by the Lord.
As Samuel grew old, and because of his age, one can imagine it wasn't so easy to
travel around Israel judging matters among the people. I don't want you to
forget that being a judge over Israel, was just exactly what the title implies.
Not only did the judge rule the people, but settled matters whenever there were
disputes, not much different from a court of law in modern times, with a judge
presiding. People would bring their "case" to the judge, and the judge would
decide, based upon the Law of the Lord and divine inspiration, what was the best solution for the
So ... When Samuel became elderly, he made his sons, Joel and Abiah, judges over
Israel in Beersheba. But his sons didn't follow the righteous ways of Samuel.
They had a fondness for money and accepted bribes, so their judgment wasn't fair
among the people.
The elders understandably didn't like this one bit, so they paid Samuel a visit
in Ramah and said to him, Look, you're getting old, and your sons aren't like
you. So make us a king to judge us, like all the other nations have.
Now ... This thing irritated Samuel, so he prayed to the Lord about it, and the
Lord told Samuel, The people aren't rejecting you, they've rejected ME, they
don't want ME to rule them. Just like they've done since they day I brought them
up out of Egypt, until this very day ... Just as they have forsaken me, and
served other gods, they do the same also to you.
Does this remind you of what Jesus said, too?
If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you.
me take you back to the book of Deuteronomy for just a second, and let's
remember together, that the Lord in fact, (through Moses) predicted that this
When thou art come unto the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee, and
shalt possess it, and shalt dwell therein, and shalt say, I will set a
king over me, like as all the nations that are about me ...
So the Lord told Samuel to oblige the people of Israel and listen to their
request, but still, to warn them of the seriousness of their decision and to
tell them how the king will reign over them.
And Samuel did ... Speaking the Word of the Lord to the people of Israel that
asked for a king, Samuel said, This will be the manner of the king that shall
reign over you: He will take your sons and make them work for him, to drive his
chariots and be his horsemen, and some will run in front of his chariots and
they will make his weaponry and he will make them captains of his army. He will
make them plant his crops and harvest them. And your daughters will be his
bakers and cooks and candy makers. He will take your fields and vineyards and
olive yards, even the best of them, and one tenth of your seed and your
vineyards and give them to his servants and his officers. He will take your
servants, and make them work for him. He will take one tenth of your sheep, and
you will be his servants.
Samuel continued, And you will cry out when this happens, because of your king
which you will choose, and the Lord will not hear you in that day. But the
people refused to listen to Samuel ... They insisted to have a king and be like
all the other nations, to judge them and go and fight their battles. Samuel
listened to all the things that the people had to say, and repeated them to the Lord, and
the Lord said, Listen to them and make them a king. Samuel then sent the men of
Israel back to their homes.
If you've ever read the books of Samuel, and the books of Kings, you know that
there were a few righteous kings that didn't treat the children of Israel in the
manner that Samuel described, and a precious few that were very honorable, so we
know from this, that God, through Samuel, was giving His people a warning of how
kings in general would operate; Okay, so you want a king? This is what you're in
It looks like we're in for some interesting chapters ahead, doesn't it?!
THE FIRST BOOK OF SAMUEL
At this point in our story,
we're about to meet the man that becomes the first king of Israel.
Don't forget now, that Samuel is quite upset and offended by the whole business
of Israel choosing a king to replace judges in Israel. You may remember from the
beginning of the book of Judges, we learned that as long as a judge was alive
and overseeing the welfare of Israel as God guided, things went fine for them,
but when a judge died, then the people would always go astray.
you know, throughout history, God has shown mercy and forgiveness to people,
because man is but flesh and blood and Original Sin is inherited by everyone.
And even though the children of Israel, His chosen people, made a choice to ask
for a king over them instead of following God's plans, our Lord still, knowing
their character and yet loving them deeply, stepped in to assist them. God told
And when the LORD raised them up judges, then the LORD was with the judge,
and delivered them out of the hand of their enemies all the days of the
judge: for it repented the LORD because of their groanings by reason of
them that oppressed them and vexed them. And it came to pass, when the
judge was dead, that they returned, and corrupted themselves more than
their fathers, in following other gods to serve them, and to bow down unto
them; they ceased not from their own doings, nor from their stubborn way.
1 Samuel 9:16
To-morrow about this time I will send thee a man out of the land of
Benjamin, and thou shalt anoint him to be captain over my people Israel,
that he may save my people out of the hand of the Philistines: for I have
looked upon my people, because their cry is come unto me.
this man, who would be king of Israel, would essentially be chosen by God ...
But God gives everyone freedom of choice, and as with every human being that
ever lived, the decisions a person makes, whether chosen by God or not, are not
always the choices God wants.
Let's find out how this man learned that he would be king of Israel.
There was a man of the tribe of Benjamin named Kish, who was a "mighty man of
power." You can decide for yourself whether this means physically strong,
influential and respected, or rich. But at any rate, Kish had a son named Saul,
who was a fine young man and very tall, taller than any of the people.
One day the mules of Kish wandered off, so he sent Saul along with a servant to
go and find them. They searched far and wide for the animals but couldn't find
them, and finally Saul said to the servant, Let's go back home, or my father
will stop worrying about the mules, and instead worry about us. But the servant
convinced Saul to go on to a certain city because he had heard of a man of God
(Prophet) named Samuel, and thought perhaps he could guide them to the mules.
Saul was concerned because they had nothing to offer Samuel. They had eaten all
their bread, so how could they pay Samuel for his help? But the servant had a
fourth of a shekel of silver, so they decided to present that as their gift, and
they went on to the city. On their way, there were some young maidens going out
to draw water from a well, and they asked where they could find Samuel. The
maidens told them that there was a sacrifice and feast planned, and directed
them where to go.
Samuel, of course, knowing in advance because God had told him, was expecting
Saul, and when he came into sight, the Lord said to Samuel, This is the man I
told you about! He shall reign over my people.
Saul came near to
Samuel and asked where the house of the seer (Prophet) was. Samuel answered, I
am the seer, go up to the high place (a temple or altar, usually built on an
elevation, that the ancient Jewish people used for worship), you will eat with
me today and tomorrow I will tell you all you want to know, and you may go.
As for the mules
that went missing three days ago, don't worry about them, they're found ... And
the king that Israel desires, will be you.
Well, Saul thought that Samuel was joking with him, and he replied, I'm from the
smallest of the tribes of Israel, and my family is the smallest of all the families
of the tribe of Benjamin. Why do you make fun of me?
Benjamin was at that time the smallest of the tribes of Israel? It wasn't many
generations before that the entire tribe was destroyed, except for 600 men. You
can review that story in The Book of
Judges, Chapter 19-21.
Samuel took Saul and his servant and set them in the most honored place among
the guests that were invited. Samuel told the cook to bring a special portion to
Saul. So Saul did eat with Samuel that day. The next day, Samuel told Saul to
ask the servant to go on ahead of them, but for Saul to stay a while so that he
could show him the Word of God.
How does Samuel convince Saul that he's not
kidding about becoming king of Israel? Just gotta read on and see what happens
THE FIRST BOOK OF SAMUEL
Let's review what
happened last in our story about the first king of Israel, shall we?
Saul and his father's servant, being unsuccessful in finding his father's lost
mules, decide to go see Samuel the Prophet for help in finding them. The Lord
tells Samuel the day before Saul arrives that the man who would be king will
come to him tomorrow, so Samuel prepares a feast. When Saul arrives, Samuel
tells Saul not to worry because the mules had been found, and then gives him the
news about his very near future kingship. Saul thinks that Samuel is making fun
of him. Samuel sets Saul at the place of honor at the feast and Saul stays with
Samuel that evening.
The next morning, Saul prepares to return home. Now, remember, Saul thinks that
Samuel was just speaking in jest about being king, so Samuel tells him to send
his servant on ahead so he can tell him the Word of the Lord.
Then Samuel took a vial of oil, poured it on Saul's head and kissed him and told
him that the Lord had anointed him to be captain over His people. As a sign,
Samuel said, When you leave here you'll meet two men by Rachel's tomb, and
they'll tell you that the mules you went to search for are found and that your
father now worries what happened to you instead of the mules. Then when you leave there, you will
meet three men, one carrying three kid goats, another carrying three loaves of
bread and one carrying a bottle of wine. They'll greet you and give you two of
the loaves of bread.
Samuel continued, After that, you'll come to the hill of God where you'll meet a
group of Prophets, and they will prophecy, and the Spirit of the Lord will
overcome you, and you will be a changed man. When these signs come true, know
that the Lord is with you. Then go to Gilgal and I will be there in seven days
to make offerings and sacrifice and I'll tell you what to do then.
When Saul turned to leave Samuel, God gave him another heart, and all the signs
that Samuel spoke, came to pass that day.
So Samuel gathered all the people together and spoke the Word of the Lord to
them. I saved you from Egypt and from the hand of all that oppressed you, and
today, you reject your God who saved you out of all your troubles, and you have
said to Him, No, but give us a king. Now then, present yourselves before the
Lord by your tribes.
If you will recall the method by which they determined that Achan stole the
accursed thing from Ai, bringing all of Israel, first by tribes, then by
families, then by households, then man by man (this was probably done by casting
lots or perhaps by Urim and Thummim) until it was revealed that Achan had
committed the transgression. This was also how it was shown to the people that
Saul was the anointed one to be king of Israel. First the tribe of Benjamin was
chosen, then the family of Matri, then Saul, but Saul was nowhere to be found.
So they asked the Lord where he wasand were told that Saul had hidden himself
among the "stuff." (One might assume the stuff was baggage, since people had
come from all over Israel to sort of inaugurate their new king.)
Remember earlier in our story, the Bible said Saul was (to use the exact words)
"a choice young man, and a goodly: and there was not among the children of
Israel a goodlier person than he," so one might assume that he was humble, and
that was why he had hidden himself when all this "to do" was going on about the
Anyway, they went and found him and brought him before all the people. Don't
forget now, Saul was taller than anyone else, and Samuel said, See ye him whom
the LORD hath chosen, that there is none like him among all the people? And all
the people shouted, and said, God save the king.
Then Samuel wrote down in a book, what would happen in the kingdom, and sent all
the people home. Saul went to his home in Gibeah, along with a band of men whose
hearts God had touched, but there were wicked people who doubted in Saul and
despised him, but Saul humbly remained quiet about the matter.
THE FIRST BOOK OF SAMUEL
we're about half way through the book of 1 Samuel, and Saul has
just been announced king of Israel.
The first thing that Saul had to deal with was war with the Ammonites. Let's do
a little refreshing before we continue ahead with our study ... Who are the
Ammonites? They were the children of Ammon, who was the son of Lot. If you would
like to review the story of their origin, you will find it in
Genesis, Chapter 19.
Do you remember any significant events involving the children of Ammon? How
about when Moses was leading the children of Israel to the Promised Land?
And I sent messengers out of the wilderness of Kedemoth unto Sihon king of
Heshbon with words of peace, saying, Let me pass through thy land: I will
go along by the high way, I will neither turn unto the right hand nor to
the left. Thou shalt sell me meat for money, that I may eat; and give me
water for money, that I may drink: only I will pass through on my feet;
(As the children of Esau which dwell in Seir, and the Moabites which dwell
in Ar, did unto me;) until I shall pass over Jordan into the land which
the LORD our God giveth us. But Sihon king of Heshbon would not let us
pass by him: for the LORD thy God hardened his spirit, and made his heart
obstinate, that He might deliver him into thy hand, as appeareth this day.
Where is Ammon? It is the land that lies on the east side of the Jordan River.
We also know this about this particular region:
(That also was accounted a land of giants: giants dwelt therein in old
time; and the Ammonites call them Zamzummims; A people great, and many,
and tall, as the Anakims; but the LORD destroyed them before them; and
they succeeded them, and dwelt in their stead:
addition, Israel was commanded not to meddle with the Ammonites, way back in
And when thou comest nigh over against the children of Ammon, distress
them not, nor meddle with them: for I will not give thee of the land of
the children of Ammon any possession; because I have given it unto the
children of Lot for a possession.
Only unto the land of the children of Ammon thou camest not, nor unto any
place of the river Jabbok, nor unto the cities in the mountains, nor unto
whatsoever the LORD our God forbade us.
the Ammonites were forbidden to enter the congregation of the Lord because they
weren't hospitable to God's people when they were on their way to the Promised
Land from Egypt.
that we've got a refreshed memory about the children of Ammon ... On with the
story. The Ammonites, who were led by a king named Nahash, planned an attack
against Jabesh-Gilead. And what do you remember about Jebesh-Gilead? Well,
remember when the tribe of Benjamin had no wives ... Back when the children of
Israel destroyed all but 600 men of the tribe because of the woman who was
killed by the men of Gibeah (and her husband cut her into 12 pieces and sent one
to each tribe of Israel). You may remember that while Israel was repenting about
the ordeal, they made an oath that whoever didn't come to Mizpeh to participate
in making peace offerings would be put to death, and none from Jabesh-Gilead
attended, so they were all destroyed except for 400 chaste women whom they gave
to the Benjamites to marry.
An Ammonite or Moabite shall not enter into the congregation of the LORD;
even to their tenth generation shall they not enter into the congregation
of the LORD for ever: Because they met you not with bread and with water
in the way, when ye came forth out of Egypt; and because they hired
against thee Balaam the son of Beor of Pethor of Mesopotamia, to curse
So, now that we're familiar with who's who, let's continue, shall we? The men of
Jabesh-Gilead said to the king of Ammon, Make a deal with us, and we'll serve
you. Nahash answered, I'll make a deal with you if I may pluck out all your
right eyes. The elders of Jabesh said to him, Give us seven days to prepare and
then if there is no one to help us, we'll come out to fight with you.
messengers to Gibeah (where Saul lived) and explained their dilemma, and all the
people cried bitterly. When Saul heard the report of all this, the Spirit of God
came upon him and he was filled with anger. He took
a yoke of oxen and
cut them in pieces, sending them throughout all Israel with the message that
whoever didn't come and follow Saul and Samuel, the same would be done to their
can imagine, the fear of the Lord inspired them all to come out without
hesitation. Under Saul's command, they defeated Nahash and the Ammonites
victoriously. The people then suggested that those who questioned Saul's ability
to lead the children of Israel, be put to death, but Saul refused and gave the
Lord glory for saving Israel that day.
Samuel called all the people together, and a second time pronounced Saul king
before the Lord in Gilgal, with sacrifices, offerings and rejoicing.
THE FIRST BOOK OF SAMUEL
Our last chapter ended
with the congregation of Israel at Gilgal rejoicing over their victory
over Ammon and sort of a "renew"ing of the kingdom.
Here's something to
think about. When we think of the kings of the Bible, we tend to think of their
position as a holy thing, which, in a perfect world, it would be. What am I
getting at? Israel was God's chosen people. They were different. OTHER nations
had kings to govern them, and that's what Israel was seeking in a king ...
GOVERNment. Not a holy king to guide them in God's Law. But don't forget what
Behold, I have taught you statutes and judgments, even as the LORD my God
commanded me, that ye should do so in the land whither ye go to possess
it. Keep therefore and do them; for this is your wisdom and your
understanding in the sight of the nations, which shall hear all these
statutes, and say, Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding
people. For what nation is there so great, who hath God so nigh unto them,
as the LORD our God is in all things that we call upon him for? And what
nation is there so great, that hath statutes and judgments so righteous as
all this law, which I set before you this day?
They were a nation "so great" that God chose them for His own special people.
But even though they already had God's Law, which was divinely superior to any
other government that could possibly be implemented, it wasn't enough for them.
They weren't satisfied.
Let's talk about the "kings" and "government" topics a little more. In today's
era one would be hard pressed to say that people's incentive to elect any given
candidate is because of their likelihood to carry out God's will, but rather
because of the candidates probability of enforcing policies that would increase
the voters income level and comfort of living, and decrease the voters effort in
Now, for the past four to five hundred years since the Exodus, the children of
Israel had been living under the "government" of God the King. They knew full
well that whenever they (the children of Israel and their forefathers) turned
away from the Lord, things went awry ... Just like He promised. They also knew
full well that whenever they sought the Lord and turned to Him, things went
incredibly well. To have stuck with GOD as King would have been the "holy" thing
Another thing to be
mindful of is that its easy for one to wonder in retrospect, why the children of
Israel didn't see what they were doing. Well, not only was it told by God that
they would be stiff-necked and backsliding, etc., etc., but we tend to lose
sight that these stories happened over generations of time. One would think that
people would learn from the mistakes of their ancestors, but as silly as it
sounds, people want to make their own mistakes, claiming that one can only learn
from their OWN errors. Yes, I know how prideful that sounds, but most people, if
they heard a story about something that happened to their great grand-dad, would
think many things before learning any kind of lesson from it. For instance:
Times have changed; people have changed; the circumstances are different; etc.,
It's almost like
people think that their own mistakes are like part of their own unique
personality ... As if mistakes make up who they are. Some sick psychologist (I
believe) or some other genius, even came up with the idea that mistakes "build
character." Man, I never read anything in the Bible like that! Who do you think
is more respectable in God's eyes, who do you think He views as having more
"character" ... A person that strives not to make mistakes or a person who
believes mistakes are some kind of prerogative? At any rate, the children of
Israel were no different than people today in that sense, and they had thousands
of years less hindsight than we do today.
you may have with yourself is, "Wait a minute ... They had judges didn't they?
How much different could it be to have a king?" Well, you might answer this way:
In times of trouble, GOD decided when and who to send to judge (lead, protect
and guide) His people. That sure seems quite different than a king. Well ... You
remember all the things Samuel prophesied about the future kings back in
8. Quite different from any judges, wouldn't you agree? That's not to say that
there weren't any good kings. A king was as good as his faith in God. If he had
strong faith, the Lord blessed him.
It's no wonder that
Samuel (being a judge and all) was offended and upset at Israel's insistence on
having a king. Remember, Samuel's entire life was devoted to serving God, and
now he's old and overwhelmed with disappointment. At the same time, he loves
God's people. You would imagine this was a difficult time for him, and he
probably felt like his heart was being torn in two.
Israel at this celebration they're having, and testifies to them of his
integrity, which the people affirm. He reminds them of the Lord's saving Grace
since the Exodus despite the fact that they had forsaken God numerous times, and how
it was the Lord
that appointed all their deliverers up until king Nahash of Ammon threatened
them, and they demanded a king.
The prophet Samuel
told Israel, Fear the Lord and things will go well with you and your king, but
rebel against the Lord and His hand will be against you. As a sign I will call
to the Lord and He will send thunder and rain, so that you'll understand that
your wickedness is great in asking for a king.
And the Lord did indeed
send thunder and rain that day, and the people revered the Lord and Samuel.
Samuel assured the children of Israel that he would continue to pray for them
and teach them the good and right way.
1 Samuel 12:24-25
Only fear the LORD, and serve him in TRUTH with all your heart: for
consider how great things he hath done for you. But if ye shall still do
wickedly, ye shall be consumed, both ye and your king.
What's next for
the children of Israel and their new king Saul? Read on!
THE FIRST BOOK OF SAMUEL
In our study
so far of 1 Samuel, we
recently learned about Saul's first victory over Ammon, and then Samuel's
address to Israel. Let's pick up from there.
First, we must remember that way back when, things weren't like they are today.
In today's time, the leader of a nation is the commander in chief all right, but
they don't go out to battle with the rest of the military. Also, don't forget
that these soldiers of Israel have had no military training whatsoever ... And
those that are strong enough in faith to fight, are relying on the power of God
to be victorious.
Let's recall what's happened recently in our story. Saul's military history
began with a battle against the Ammonites. The army that was united for Israel
consisted of 330,000 soldiers. They were victorious and a great celebration was
So ... What do you suppose the army of Israel did between battles? Since the
conquest of Canaan was over, do you think they had military bases where they had
boot camps and target practice and military strategy lessons? Well, perhaps
precious few of the soldiers were that enthusiastic to protect and defend their
new inheritance, but probably, except for a few bodyguards of the king, it's
likely that most went home to their families.
Now, let me remind you of something that the Lord warned Israel about way back
even before they crossed the Jordan into the Promised Land.
And there it was HUNDREDS of years later, and Israel was still troubled by all
those that weren't driven out during the occupation of their inheritance. In
fact, it's NOW THOUSANDS of years later, and Israel is YET troubled by them.
But if ye will not drive out the inhabitants of the land from before you;
then it shall come to pass, that those which ye let remain of them shall
be pricks in your eyes, and thorns in your sides, and shall vex you in the
land wherein ye dwell. Moreover it shall come to pass, that I shall do
unto you, as I thought to do unto them.
Now, back to our story ... Let's look at a few different things that are
directly affecting what happens for Saul. As you may remember from the Book of
Judges, as long as the children of Israel followed the commandments of the Lord,
things went smoothly in their conquest of Canaan, but whenever they went
backsliding, the disaster that they imposed on their enemies was turned back
upon them. In this story, it wasn't the children of Israel that erred, it was
Let me give you the setting ... Saul has now reigned for two years over Israel,
with one victory over Ammon. Apparently there was some peace time after that,
and the only military that Saul kept at hand were three thousand soldiers. Two
thousand of these were with Saul in Michmash. Saul's son Jonathan was with the
other thousand in Gibeah, who successfully attacked a military post of the
Philistines in Geba. The proximities of these places is something like this,
with Gibeah and Gilgal being approximately 15 miles apart.
So Saul spread news of this victory to all of Israel, then combined all three
thousand troops together in Gilgal and declared war on the Philistines.
The Philistines then assembled a huge army of 30,000 chariots, 6,000 horsemen
and more soldiers than one could count. Just counting the chariots and horsemen
alone, it was twelve times the manpower that Saul had. Seeing this, many of the
soldiers of Israel were frightened and hid themselves in caves and forests and
such, and others went to the land of Gad and Gilead, east of the Jordan for
refuge. The remaining soldiers stayed with Saul, but even those trembled in
Now, Samuel had told Saul to wait for him, seven days, and he would come to
Gilgal and make offerings to the Lord before they went to battle. But when
Samuel was late in arriving, Saul grew impatient and made the offerings himself.
Just as Saul had finished making the burnt offering, Samuel arrived.
What have you done? Samuel asked Saul, and Saul explained that a number of his
troops had abandoned and the Philistines were gathered together. With Samuel's
absence, he was afraid that they would attack before offerings were made to the
Lord, so he took it upon himself to do it.
this was a mistake. How so? you may ask. Think back to the situation with
Abraham and Sarah, and when Sarah was impatient waiting for the child that the
Lord promised, and they took it upon themselves to have a surrogate ... You remember
that whole thing? But we're not just talking about impatience here, as you might
imagine, an offering as important as this was probably supposed to be performed
by a Levite priest, which Saul was not. I don't recall reading anything about
Samuel telling Saul, "In case I get stuck in traffic, go on ahead and start the
fire without me." God's timing isn't always our timing. How many times in our
own lives do we find it necessary to go on ahead with our own plans because
we're too impatient to wait on the Lord's plan? At any rate, Saul was told by
God's Prophet to wait for Samuel, and no matter what the circumstance, he should
Samuel said to Saul, You did a foolish thing and didn't obey the commandment of
the Lord. Your kingdom would have been established forever in Israel, but now,
your kingdom won't continue. You see, the Lord wants a man after His own heart
to be captain over His people.
you think Samuel was feeling about all of this? Remember, Samuel was annoyed
that the children of Israel chose to have a king in the first place, so one
might wonder what his perspective was. Well, one thing is certain, Samuel was a
Prophet of God, and he loved the people he served for the Lord. Even though
Samuel may not have been tickled pink about the prospect of having a human king
over Israel, he also knew that Saul didn't choose to be king either ... The
people wanted a king, and he was God's anointed, so one might assume that
Samuel, in the interest of the welfare of Israel, wished Saul prosperity, so
quite naturally, Samuel was disappointed at Saul, and he left Gilgal and went
home to Gibeah. Saul and Jonathan followed with the mere 600 soldiers that were
kingdom won't continue."
does that mean? Well, had Saul proved himself to be trustworthy to follow God's
Word, the throne would have passed on to his son Jonathan, and then Jonathan's
son after him, and so on, continuing in Saul's bloodline forever ... BUT
... Since Saul displayed dishonor in carrying out the Lord's commandment, he
lost the privilege.
the Philistines also had a camp in Michmash, and while Saul and Jonathan and
their small amount of soldiers remained in Gibeah because they knew they
couldn't defend the land, the Philistines raided the area in three companies, in
three different directions around Michmash. Obviously controlling the area, they
then prohibited the Hebrews from making any swords or spears ... And any farming
tools that they needed to have sharpened, had to be taken to the Philistines to
do it. So, when there was warfare, the Hebrews were weaponless, however, Saul
and Jonathan were both found possessing weapons ... Isn't that curious?
One might come to a few different conclusions about that, but consider this ...
Perhaps the Lord wanted to make the ultimate point, that weapons would not win
any battles for the children of Israel ... Only the power of God would.
Anxious to find out what happens next? Stay tuned!
THE FIRST BOOK OF SAMUEL
As you may recall, things aren't looking too
bright for Saul and the army of Israel. Israel is not only sorely outnumbered by
the army of the Philistines, but they (except for Saul and Jonathan, his son)
have no swords or spears to fight against their opponents with, so basically,
they're sitting idle, while the Philistines are gaining control of more and more
Well, don't be too downhearted because the Lord is about to give 'em a break.
But first, a little tidbit ... You see, the ammunition of those days
was quite bulky, as one might imagine ... Arrows, spears, swords ... It must
have been quite a burden to carry any amount of those things. Not to mention,
the armor itself that a soldier wore was quite heavy. So, while en route from
the camp to the battle site, a soldier had an armor bearer, who carried the
armor and weaponry so the soldier wouldn't be too tuckered out to fight once he
reached the battle.
It seems that one day, Jonathan had an idea. While Saul sat idle in the
outskirts of Gibeah with the six hundred (bless their hearts) soldiers that
remained steadfast for Israel, Jonathan secretly summoned his armor bearer to
sneak over with him to the Philistines camp to sort of stir things up a bit. He
also professed his faith to his armor bearer that there's no limit to what God
can do, and that He could save Israel with many soldiers ... Or with just a few.
Jonathan's armor bearer agreed to go along with anything Jonathan thought best.
Now, the Philistine's camp was up on a cliff and Jonathan said, We'll reveal
ourselves outright to them, and if they tell us to come on up to them, we'll
take it as a sign from the Lord that we'll prevail over them, but if they tell
us to wait and that they'll come down to us, then we'll stay put, and not go
So, up they go, climbing this cliff, which in itself must have been a feat, and
the Philistines spotted them. Don't forget now, even though the Philistines have
been gaining control of the area, they're probably still a mite scorned because
of the last time Jonathan attacked their camp in Geba, and Saul made sure the
whole land knew about it, so the Philistines beefed up their army, and ever
since, the Hebrews have been apprehensive to confront them.
"LOOK! The Hebrews are coming out of their hiding places! C'mon up ... We've got
something to show you!" ... They mocked.
Well, Jonathan accepted this invitation as a victory, and immediately continued
to ascend the cliff with his armor bearer following. The hand of the Lord was
definitely with them, because the Philistines fell before them, effortlessly.
The earth even quaked, and Saul's watchman from Gibeah could see the Philistines
fleeing their camp and even killing one another in panic.
Saul heard that the Philistine camp was in an uproar, he asked who it was that
caused all the commotion, so they did a count and discovered that Jonathan and
his armor bearer were missing. Saul then called for Ahiah the priest to bring
the ark of God. (To refresh your memory a bit, in the days of Joshua, the
children of Israel would bring the Ark of God to a battle site in hopes that it
would save them.) While Saul talked to Ahiah, the confusion among the
Philistines camp grew even louder so Saul took his men and when they came into
view of what was happening they saw the Philistines killing ... Each other! News
of this spread quickly throughout the land, and all the Hebrews that had
previously abandoned Saul and Jonathan rejoined with them in battle.
Here comes an interesting twist to the story. Saul, anxious to further avenge
himself on his enemies, solemnly commanded the people that if anyone stopped
fighting and tasted any food until the evening, they would be cursed. The
Hebrews, though they were weary, feared the curse so they obeyed ... But
Jonathan didn't hear Saul proclaim the curse, and as they entered a forest, he
ate a piece of an honeycomb and he gained virtue.
people realized that Jonathan ate, they told him about the curse that Saul
announced, and Jonathan said that Saul hadn't done well with this curse, because
if they had eaten some food, they would have had more strength for an even
greater slaughter of the Philistines.
The Hebrews continued to strike down the Philistines until the evening and they
were very faint. Late in the evening when the fear of the curse had ended, the
people took a great spoil of the Philistines camp, killing sheep and oxen and
calves and eating them with the blood, which was against the commandment of God.
When Saul heard of it, he ordered that a great stone be rolled into the middle
of them so they could kill their sacrifices on it and pour out the blood so that
it was acceptable to God. This was the first altar Saul built as king.
After this, Saul wanted to go back to pursuing the Philistines during the night
and attack until the morning until there wasn't a single one left. The people
agreed, so Saul asked the priest to ask God if he would deliver them into the
hand of Israel, but God didn't answer. Saul knew that God didn't refuse to
answer without good reason, and that there was sin that was concealed, which was
why God kept silent, so he gathered all the people to find out who had sinned.
Saul then swore that even if it proved to be Jonathan his son who had sinned, he
would surely die ... But when nobody confessed anything, he decided to reveal
the sinner by casting lots. When the lot fell on Jonathan, Saul asked what he
had done. Jonathan said, I only tasted a little honey, and now I must die. Saul
answered, God do so and more also: for thou shalt surely die, Jonathan.
Whew! Ya gotta know this was a terribly emotional situation! Saul swore to the
Lord that even though it was his son, he would have to die, and was ready to
stand by his word for God. Jonathan, just as honorable, offered himself
But the people interjected ... "Should Jonathan, the one who initiated this
great salvation in Israel, die? God forbid! As the Lord lives, there shall not
one hair of his head fall to the ground ... He worked with God today!"
So the people rescued Jonathan, and Saul returned home. He also fought against
the neighboring nations on every side. There was bitter war against the
Philistines all the days of Saul's reign, and whenever Saul saw a strong or
valiant man, he took him as part of his posse.
adventures that happened during Saul's reign, next!
BOOK OF SAMUEL
Let's go back a
smidgeon, shall we? Remember all the way back in the book of Exodus when the Amalekites attacked Israel as they were on their way to the Promised Land?
Then came Amalek, and fought with Israel in Rephidim. And Moses said unto
Joshua, Choose us out men, and go out, fight with Amalek: to morrow I will
stand on the top of the hill with the rod of God in mine hand. So Joshua
did as Moses had said to him, and fought with Amalek: and Moses, Aaron,
and Hur went up to the top of the hill. And it came to pass, when Moses
held up his hand, that Israel prevailed: and when he let down his hand,
Amalek prevailed. But Moses hands were heavy; and they took a stone, and
put it under him, and he sat thereon; and Aaron and Hur stayed up his
hands, the one on the one side, and the other on the other side; and his
hands were steady until the going down of the sun. And Joshua discomfited
Amalek and his people with the edge of the sword. And the LORD said unto
Moses, Write this for a memorial in a book, and rehearse it in the ears of
Joshua: for I will utterly put out the remembrance of Amalek from under
Heaven. And Moses built an altar, and called the name of it Jehovahnissi:
For he said, Because the LORD hath sworn that the LORD will have war with
Amalek from generation to generation.
Remember what Amalek did unto thee by the way, when ye were come forth out
of Egypt; How he met thee by the way, and smote the hindmost of thee, even
all that were feeble behind thee, when thou wast faint and weary; and he
feared not God. Therefore it shall be, when the LORD thy God hath given
thee rest from all thine enemies round about, in the land which the LORD
thy God giveth thee for an inheritance to possess it, that thou shalt blot
out the remembrance of Amalek from under Heaven; thou shalt not forget it.
folks, it looks like the time of reckoning has arrived because Samuel informed
Saul that the Lord had a mission for him concerning Amalek.
Saul gathered quite an army of over 200,000 strong, and they set up in ambush in
a city of Amalek, but first Saul alerted the Kenites to leave the area where
they lived in the vicinity, because they were kindred to Moses' father-in-law.
1 Samuel 15:3
Now go and smite Amalek, and
all that they have, and spare them not; but slay both man and woman,
infant and suckling, ox and sheep, camel and ass.
There was a
terrible slaughter of the Amalekites, but Saul spared one person alive and took
him prisoner, which was Agag, the king of the Amalekites. In addition, they kept
the best of the sheep, oxen, fatlings, lambs and all that they felt was worthy
of regard, but all else, they destroyed.
Uh oh ... Do you sense more trouble for Saul? Uh huh ... You're probably
thinking, Geez boy! Haven't you learned yet to obey the Lord completely who appointed you
king of His people!
Well ... The Lord sent Word to Samuel, saying, It makes me sorry that I made
Saul king ... He doesn't listen to me.
This grieved Samuel, and he cried to God all night. Bless old Samuel's heart ...
A lot like Moses, wasn't he? Even though he knew that the Lord was wronged, he
still loved the people so, that he prayed for them sincerely for God's Grace.
Now, Saul had gone home and when Samuel found him the next morning, Saul bragged
that he had been victorious in carrying out the Lord's bidding as if he had
obeyed the Word that the Lord sent through Samuel to the letter, when in TRUTH,
Saul merely did what he thought was best, and not what the Lord commanded him.
Samuel replied, Then why is it that I hear the bleating of sheep and the lowing
of oxen in my ears?
answered that the people spared the best of the sheep and oxen to sacrifice to
the Lord, but the rest, they utterly destroyed. Samuel said to Saul ... Listen
while I tell you what the Lord told me last night. When you were unworthy in
your own mind, weren't you made the head of the tribes of Israel, and the Lord
anointed you king over Israel? The Lord sent you on a mission to UTTERLY DESTROY
the sinners -- the Amalekites -- until they were consumed. Why didn't you obey the
voice of the Lord, but instead you reserved the best and did evil in the eyes of
Saul disagreed, Yes I have obeyed ... And have brought Agag the king of Amalek,
and have utterly destroyed the Amalekites. But the people took the sheep and
oxen and the choice things that should have been utterly destroyed to sacrifice
to God in Gilgal.
Samuel asked Saul ... Does the Lord delight in sacrifices as much as in
obedience to the voice of the Lord? To obey is better than sacrifice, and to
listen to Him is better than the fat of rams. Because you have rejected the Word
of the Lord, He has also rejected you from being king.
Finally, Saul confessed that he had disobeyed the commandment of the Lord and
the orders of His Prophet because he feared the people and obeyed their voice.
Saul asked Samuel to forgive him and go with him to worship the Lord, but Samuel
refused, saying, I will not ... You have rejected the Word of the Lord and he
has rejected you from being king over Israel.
As Samuel turned to walk away, Saul took hold of Samuel's coat and it tore. And
Samuel said to Saul, In the same way, the Lord has torn the kingdom of Israel
away from you today, and has given it to someone better than you. Samuel also
added that God wasn't kidding, and that He wouldn't change His mind.
Saul again admitted to his sin, and asked Samuel to accompany him in worshipping
God before Israel, so Samuel obliged him the favor.
Then Samuel ordered that Agag be brought to him, and Agag came cheerfully,
commenting that certainly the bitterness of death had past. Samuel answered him
... As your sword has made women childless, your mother shall also be childless
among women. And Samuel cut up Agag in pieces before the Lord in Gilgal.
Samuel went home to Ramah, and Saul went home to Gibeah ... And Samuel never
went to see Saul again, but Samuel mourned for Saul, and the Lord regretted that
He had made Saul king over Israel.
Sooooo, who will be the next king of Israel?
THE FIRST BOOK OF SAMUEL
story is one of the great ones of Bible history. Let's see, where did we leave
Samuel and Saul in the last chapter? Oh yes, the Lord told Samuel that the
kingdom of Israel would be taken away from Saul because he had rejected the Word
of the Lord by not utterly destroying the Amalekites, and that was just shortly
after being reprimanded for disregarding Samuel (the Lord's Prophet) when he
told Saul to wait for his arrival to make offerings before going to battle
against the Philistines.
Samuel was sad ... Probably for several reasons, mainly because he was a man
with a good heart, and though he disapproved of Saul's actions, he still grieved
for him. But don't forget what led up to all of this in the first place. Samuel
was getting very old and it was difficult for him to be sojourning through
Israel judging the matters of the people, so he put his two sons in charge, who
didn't have the best interests of Israel at heart, as Samuel did. The people
recognized this and asked for a king. Think Samuel didn't feel guilty and
frustrated, and probably a whole myriad of different emotions about
all of that? Certainly, he must have.
Now, remember, the
Lord told Samuel ... The people aren't rejecting you, they're rejecting ME. They
don't want ME to rule over them, so I will choose a king for them. Well, now it
looks as though this king isn't after the Lord's own heart, so Samuel ...
Possibly still feeling a bit responsible for the whole ordeal ... Lamented for
So the Lord said to
Samuel ... How long are you gonna pout about Saul? Fill your horn with oil and
go to Jesse in Bethlehem. I've chosen me a king from his sons. But Samuel was
afraid that Saul would kill him if he heard about it, so the Lord told Samuel to
say that he had gone there to sacrifice to the Lord.
When Samuel saw
Jesse's eldest son, he presumed that surely this was the Lord's chosen, because
of his appearance.
Jesse called five other of his sons to appear before Samuel, but Samuel told
Jesse, the Lord has not chosen these ... Are these all your sons?
But the LORD said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the
height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the LORD seeth not
as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the LORD
looketh on the heart.
Well, there's still
David, the youngest ... He's out tending the sheep.
So Samuel told
Jesse they couldn't go to the sacrifice until David came in from the fields.
David had a
beautiful countenance (appearance and manner), and the Lord said, Arise, anoint
him: for this is he.
Can you just
imagine the relief that Samuel felt? He took the horn of oil, and anointed him
in the midst of all his brothers (which must have caused some emotions of
jealousy to be
stirred within them), and the Spirit of the Lord was upon David from that day
forward. So Samuel went home to Ramah ... And what do you think happened to
Well, the Spirit of
the Lord was upon David now, so it departed from Saul, and instead, an evil
spirit from God troubled him. Saul's servants suggested that he find someone who
could play the harp, to soothe him and make him feel better, so Saul ordered
that they find someone to sort of "charm" the evil spirit out of him.
One of the servants
knew that David was skillful on the harp and smart and that the Lord was with
him, so Saul sent to Jesse requesting to take David from the flocks because he
had heard of his good character. So Jesse sent David with gifts to take to Saul,
and David served Saul, and Saul loved David greatly and made him his
So Saul sent to
Jesse and requested that David stay with him because he was so delighted in him,
and whenever the evil spirit was upon Saul, David played on the harp, the evil
spirit departed and Saul was refreshed.
And that's just the
beginning of David's story ... As you read through the history of king David,
remember that it was through his bloodline that Jesus was born.
Wait 'till you see what's next!
THE FIRST BOOK OF SAMUEL
Now we have a real treat. In case you never knew, David was very
beloved in the eyes of the Lord, and probably one of the major reasons for that
was that David trusted the Lord implicitly. This story is a perfect example.
The story of David and Goliath.
First, let's talk
about the Philistines for a moment.The Philistines lived in Canaan before the
Hebrews came up from Egypt to inherit it from the Lord, so naturally, they're a
bit miffed about these former slaves of Egypt claiming that suddenly their land
no longer belongs to them, because the Lord gave it to the children of
Israel.Now, how is one supposed to feel about this?Are you supposed to feel
sorry for them because if someone tried to evict you from your home that you
paid for and loved ... You'd be quite upset too? Perhaps some feel that way,
but God saw the people of Canaan as heathen because they worshipped other gods
and did many other despicable things in His eyes. So the diverse peoples of
Canaan that God originally gave this beautiful land of milk and honey to, lost
their privilege of keeping it by forsaking the Lord ... And our Lord can do
whatever He pleases!
... the LORD gave, and the LORD hath taken away; blessed be the name of
Now, many of the
Canaanites surrendered and left the Promised Land, knowing the power of the
Lord, having heard of the signs and miracles that he wrought in Egypt and during
the 40 years that the children of Israel were in the wilderness, but some
resisted and probably the most persistent resisters were the Philistines, who
continually organized armies that rose up against Israel to "reclaim" their
native land.And don't forget, as I frequently remind, that God warned they
would be a pain in the neck because the children of Israel didn't completely
destroy them back during the conquest of Canaan.Ha, did I say pain in the
neck?I meant thorn in the side.If you're really interested in history, and how
it affects the present times and the future, you probably wouldn't be surprised
at who the Philistines are today, and that they're still trying to "reclaim"
their native land ... Just as the Lord said they would.
Now, on with our
story.The Philistines again have gotten together an impressive army and have
gathered on top of a mountain to fight against Israel, so Saul and the army of
Israel pitched their camp on a mountain top not far away, with a valley in
between the two armies.Now, David's three oldest brothers were soldiers in
Saul's army and David, being just a youngster was back at home tending the
Right about now you
may be wondering ... Why, since David has already been anointed the next king of
Israel, is Saul still acting as reigning king? Actually, the Bible doesn't say
exactly why, but we might look at a possible answer. In those days, a king
reigned until his death, whereupon usually the eldest son of the king inherited
the throne. We know that God already told Saul that the kingdom would be taken
away from him, perhaps meaning that it wouldn't be passed down to anyone of his
bloodline, but that Saul was to reign until his own death. You'll discover soon
that David was very respectful of Saul's anointing, even though he was already
anointed to be the next king. Now, where were we ...
So, out of the
Philistine army, this great big Philistine named Goliath comes down to the
valley between the two armies heavily armored and with his armor bearer to
address the army of Israel. Goliath was a giant ... Nine feet nine inches tall!
What's up with that, you may ask. If you think back, the days of the judges
after Joshua died, lasted about 400 years, and during the time of Joshua there
were still giants in Gaza, Gath and Ashdod.
There was none of the Anakims (giants) left in the land of the children of
Israel: only in Gaza, in Gath, and in Ashdod, there remained.
were enough giants still in Joshua's time, that 400 years (or approx. 4 or 5 generations)
later, they still existed, if only few in number.
About this Goliath
fellow ... Obviously, he was like a hero to the Philistines, and he confronted
the Hebrews from the valley between them to send over a soldier to represent
Israel and fight against him one on one ... Goliath said: If he can fight with
me and kill me, then we'll be your servants, but if I kill him, then you'll be
our servants, and serve us. I challenge the army of Israel today ... Send me a
man so we can fight! Then Goliath returned to his camp at the top of the
mountain and this scared the army of Israel witless. Goliath returned to the
valley forty days running, speaking the same challenge, and Saul and his army
In the meantime,
Jesse sent David with a little care package for his sons and to find out how
they were faring. Now, it happened that the Philistines decided to fight army
against army instead of one on one, and right as David arrived and was greeting
his brothers, he heard Goliath come out from among the Philistine army and
deliver his challenge. You can imagine that this giant, clad in armor that alone
weighed hundreds of pounds, was a mite more terrifying close up than viewing him
from half a mountain away, and the soldiers of Israel fled at his presence.
The men of Israel
said, They've sent this man to shame Israel. Certainly the king will reward the
man who kills him with great riches and give him his daughter in marriage, and
reward his father's family too.
zealous for the Lord said to the men close by, Who does this Philistine think he
is, trying to shame the armies of the living God? And what will be done for the
man that kills him?
When David's oldest brother heard
David inquiring more about the whole situation, he grew angry and said, Why did
you come here? And who did you leave those sheep with in the wilderness? I know
you just came here to sneak a look at the battle. And David replied ... What
have I done wrong? Isn't that a good reason? And David continued
talking with the other soldiers.
When Saul was
informed that David was eager to fight against Goliath, he sent for him and
David said, Don't let any soldier of Israel lose heart because of this
Philistine ... I'll go and fight with him.
Saul replied, You
can't go against this giant ... You're just a boy, and he's a man of war since
he was a child.Then David told Saul that the Lord once saved him from a lion
and a bear, as he was tending the sheep. David said that he killed them both,
and this Philistine will be dead too, and that God would protect and assist him
since this Philistine had shamed the armies of the living God.
intensity of faith that David had of God's presence with him, Saul clothed David
with his armor but walking in armor is not like walking in regular clothing ...
One must learn how to maneuver in it. David said, I can't wear this, and he took
it off. Instead he took his staff in his hand, chose five smooth stones out of
the brook, and put them in his shepherd's bag, took his sling in his hand and
proceeded toward Goliath.
When Goliath saw
David approaching, he despised the fact that this child thought he could beat
him with weapons that are more appropriate for driving away a dog, and asked
David ... Am I a dog, that you come to me with sticks? Goliath also cursed David
by his gods and told him that he would feed him to the birds and beasts.
David replied to
Goliath, You come to me with a sword and a spear and a shield, but I come to you
in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have
shamed. Today the Lord will deliver you into my hand and I will kill you and
take your head off, and I'll give the carcasses of the army of the Philistines to the birds and beasts of the earth
today, that all may know that there is a
God in Israel. And all of Israel will know that the Lord doesn't save with sword
and spear ... The battle is the Lord's, and He will give you into our hands.
Now, you must
imagine, Goliath, confident that he would defeat David, who was just a child,
and not to mention, seemingly unarmed, began walking toward him, slowly, as a
person wearing armor certainly can't be swift in running. But David on the other
hand, ran toward Goliath, and reaching in his bag, took out a stone and slang
it.The stone sunk into Goliath's head, causing him to fall. Well, David had no sword
of his own, so he ran up on Goliath and borrowed his sword, cutting off
Seeing that their
champion was dead, the rest of the Philistines ran off, but the soldiers of
Israel and of Judah had a renewed attitude about fighting against them and they
chased them far away and looted their tents.
David took the head
of Goliath and brought it to Jerusalem, and Saul had David brought to him and
asked, Whose son are you? And David answered, I am the son of Jesse the
You may think this
is a little strange, seeing that in our last chapter Saul sent to Jesse and had
David brought to him, who played on his harp when the evil spirit from God was
upon him. It also says that Saul loved him greatly and sent to Jesse asking that
David remain with him ... But now he doesn't know who's son he is ... As if he
doesn't recognize him. Let's look at some possible explanations for this.
One possibility is
that God prevented Saul from recognizing David ... After all, how would Saul
feel, knowing that his replacement was about to be God's major player in saving
the army of Israel from the Philistines? Pride or jealousy or anger may have
caused him not to allow David to fight against Goliath.
is that Saul simply may not have recognized David. We don't know how much time
had elapsed from the time David stood before Saul as his armor-bearer and played
the harp for him, until this battle occurred. And though scripture says that
Saul loved David greatly, that doesn't necessarily mean that they had a close
friendship. What? Well, many people say that they love Barry Manilow, but
they've never even seen him. And as for David "standing before" Saul, that may
merely mean that he was a servant, of which the king had many, the same probably
being true of being his armor bearer.
Don't forget that
Saul was also troubled by an evil spirit from God, so he may have been so out of
his head during the time that David served him that it may have been difficult
to remember what he had for breakfast on any given day, let alone who a servant
boy's daddy was from ago.
Some more great stories ahead, so
let's carry on!
THE FIRST BOOK OF SAMUEL
As you recall,
in the last chapter we shared the story of David and Goliath, and because of the
strength of God in him, David was held in very high esteem of the children of
Israel, having saved them from the Philistines and Goliath, who the Philistines
where counting on to ascertain victory over Israel.
And as it happened,
at that time, Jonathan, Saul's son, met David and ...
Then Jonathan and David made a covenant, because he loved him as his own
They weren't just
pals ... They were the best of friends, and because Jonathan felt such an
immense bond with David, they made a covenant. Now, you won't find the words of
that covenant in Chapter 18, but I went ahead and cheated a little bit and read
further so that you could know what it was ...
... we have sworn both of us in the name of the LORD, saying, The LORD be
between me and thee, and between my seed and thy seed for ever.
Now what does that
mean ... In modern English, since the lingo of King James' era was a littttle
bit different than we talk today. It probably means something like, May the Lord
always keep our friendship together, and our children too, and forever after. Then Jonathan gave
David his coat, garments, sword, bow and belt. One might imagine that this
gesture showed that this covenant meant a lot to Jonathan, since he was a man of
valor and these things must have certainly been special to him. We'll talk more
about the covenant between David and Jonathan when we get to Chapter 20.
As you can tell,
the Spirit of the Lord was with David, and he won the respect of all Israel,
including the soldiers that Saul put him in charge of, and Saul's other servants
as well. When they returned from the battle where David slew Goliath, the women
of all the cities, in celebration, went to meet the king with music and singing
and dancing, and they chanted back and forth to one another saying ...
Saul has killed his thousands ...
And David his ten
... Which sparked a
considerable amount of jealousy in the king, since David was enjoying the thrill
of the victory and the attention and admiration of the people, and God's favor
... The only thing that David didn't have, in Saul's opinion ... Was the
kingdom. The Bible says ...
It's a pretty good
guess that "eyed" means that Saul was either jealous, suspicious, envious, or
all of the above. The next day, the evil spirit from God came upon Saul again.
David played the harp for him to calm him and there was a javelin in Saul's
hand, which he threw at David, intending to skewer him to the wall with it, but
David escaped it ... Twice!
Now as we said, the
Lord was with David, and had left Saul. Make no mistake ... Saul knew the power
of the Lord, having experienced first hand some pretty amazing stuff, so knowing
that the power of the Lord now rested with David, and that he was experiencing
evil spirits sent from God, it made Saul afraid of David. So, what do you think
Saul did next? He promoted David from being his harp player in his house and his
armor bearer, to being the captain over a thousand soldiers of the army of
Israel. A promotion? Perhaps ... But also a lot more dangerous of a job for
David than playing the harp, and for Saul a lot more security than having a
giant killer that you're afraid of, carrying your weapons. All in all, David's
demise was what Saul was scheming, which was far more likely with him on the
That wasn't the entire plan Saul
had to bringing David down. He then offered his elder daughter
to David for a wife if he would be strong and fight the Lord's battles. Of
course his ulterior motive was that the Philistines would kill David instead of
he himself killing him, and that way his name wouldn't be shamed.
thing to note is that if we go back to Chapter 17, you'll see that David
actually already won the daughter of the king, among other things, because he
killed Goliath ...
And the men of Israel said, Have ye seen this man that is come up? surely
to defy Israel is he come up: and it shall be, that the man who killeth
him, the king will enrich him with great riches, and will give him his
daughter, and make his father's house free in Israel.
But David, instead
of saying, UHHH, according to the fellas out on the battlefield, I already won
the wench ... Being an humble person, (just as Saul once was) said:
Who am I? and what is my life, or my father's family in Israel, that I
should be son in law to the king?
Remember? Saul said
a similar thing when Samuel told him he was gonna be king!
Am not I a Benjamite, of the smallest of the tribes of Israel? and my
family the least of all the families of the tribe of Benjamin? wherefore
then speakest thou so to me?
You've gotta know,
this was a weird predicament David was in. Being son-in-law to the king was sure
to have its perks ... But one may not be so anxious if the king has already
wielded his spear at ya a couple of times with no good reason known to you!
After all, you were just playin' a little jam on the harp to get his
simmer down and relax because obviously something was troubling him.
Well, it turns out
that Saul's eldest daughter was given to someone else to marry, but Saul's
daughter Michal loved David. This pleased Saul, hoping that she would be a trap
for David ... How so you ask?
In those days, a
dowry was required of a prospective groom. What is a dowry? In polite terms, it
is a gift from the groom to the parents of the bride ... In frank terms, it's a
price for a wife. Now, Saul told his servants to secretly tell David that the
king wanted him to be his son-in-law, and David replied, Is it no big deal to
you to be a king's son-in-law, since I'm a poor man? Well, the servants relayed
this back to Saul, who then told the servants to tell David that he didn't want
any dowry, but to kill one hundred uncircumcised Philistines to be avenged of
the king's enemies. Saul thought surely that David would be killed in an attempt
to do something so dangerous.
Well, David went
above and beyond the required dowry substitute and killed two hundred
Philistines, so Saul gave him Michal to be his wife. Saul recognized that the
Lord was with David and that Michal loved him, and this made Saul all the more
afraid of David and all the more his enemy. As for David, he conducted himself
more wisely than all of Saul's servants, and everyone knew it.
Wow! What a story!
Can't wait to find out what Saul has in store for David next, can you?
THE FIRST BOOK OF SAMUEL
We have quite a story
king Saul and David, haven't we? Let's just summarize a bit to kind of get it
all into perspective, shall we?
Let's just say
you're David ... Just a young lad, and you get called in from the sheep field
one day and this Prophet of God anoints you the next king of Israel ... You're
really like the king-elect because king Saul is still alive.
this time, king Saul is troubled by an evil spirit sent from God. Perhaps you've
read about people who are troubled by evil spirits ... You might call
them crazy or lunatic or possessed or ... Out of their mind! At any rate, you're
recommended to go and play your harp for the king to attempt to "refresh" him.
Lucky you! The king promotes you to being his armor-bearer.
the Philistines are threatening Israel once again, so king Saul sends you home
and gets an army together and they go set up camp. Your daddy sends you with a
care package of bread and corn and cheese out to your brothers who are soldiers
for Israel, and for their captain. This is when you observe a giant, humiliating
the army of your God and your homeland and the Lord gives you the wherewithal to
kill this big bully with a sling and a stone ... And the giants own sword!
Wait ... It goes on
... The multitude of your fellow Israelites think you're a hero, but the king is
a little less than thrilled with you when the ladies of the kingdom start
singing higher praises for you than for him. To the king, this is a threat to
his popularity, his valor, and his kingdom ... But you ... You're just trying to
be a good, humble, God-fearing fellow. The king promotes (?) you again to being
a captain of a thousand soldiers ... An extremely dangerous position (in hopes
that you'll be killed), then has another bout of evil-spirit-itis and when you
play your harp to calm him, he chunks a javelin at you a couple of times.
Where's the gratitude? you wonder.
The king offers you
his daughter in marriage if you'll kill a hundred of his Philistine enemies, not
so much because he doesn't want you to feel bad for not having a dowry, but more
so because the chances of your getting slain in the effort are very good ... Ha
... Excellent in fact. You, being assisted by God, instead, kill two hundred of
the Philistines instead of the mere one hundred required ... You rascal! You
marry the king's daughter Michal and the more the Israelites love you ... The
more king Saul hates you.
And that's where we
Now, Saul may have
an evil spirit haunting him, but he still has enough soundness of mind to plot
David's demise. So he speaks to all his servants AND his son Jonathan and
encourages them to kill David. This doesn't sit too well with Jonathan, seeing
that David is his bosom buddy, so Jonathan tells David about Saul's plan and
suggests that he (David) hides, while Jonathan tries to talk some sense into his
dad. Jonathan recounts to Saul all the good things David has done, putting his life at
stake and that through David, the Lord brought about a great deliverance from
the Philistines for Israel, adding that Saul saw it himself and rejoiced about
it. Jonathan asked Saul why he would sin against someone innocent without a
Sooooo ... Saul
listened to Jonathan and promised ...
repeated to David what Saul had said, and once again David served in Saul's
presence, like before.
And again there was
war with the Philistines, and David had an impressive victory ... And again
there was an evil spirit from the Lord upon Saul, and just like before, while
David played the harp for him, Saul tried to impale David with his javelin.
David escaped and went to his own house, and in turn, Saul sent messengers to
David's house to watch him and to kill him in the morning.
Michal (David's wife and Saul's daughter) loved David and recognized what Saul was about to have done, so she told
David and let him down through a window. He escaped while Michal prepared the
bed to appear that David was sleeping in it and told the messengers in
the morning that David was sick, and they relayed the message to Saul. But Saul
sent the messengers back to bring David to him in the bed so he could kill him.
Well, when they returned to get David, they found that nobody was in the bed
after all and that David had escaped. When Saul asked Michal why she helped
David escape, she lied to him saying that it was because David threatened to kill her, so she
let him go.
Be sure to check
Psalm 59which David wrote
about this very night!
So David went to
Samuel in Ramah and told him everything that Saul had done. They left Ramah
together and went to Naioth to stay and Saul got wind of it, so he sent
messengers there to take David, but when they arrived, the Lord caused them to
What in the world
does that mean?
Well, in this case,
it was to speak or to sing by inspiration of God, either predicting something or
simply stating something that the Lord wants known. It's important to know that
when this happens to some people, it takes a lot of their virtue (strength) and
they become very weak afterward.
So when Saul found
out that his messengers prophesied (and having experienced prophesying before
himself), he sent more messengers and the same thing happened to the second
group, so he sent even more messengers a third time and they prophesied as well.
Finally Saul went to Ramah himself and the Lord caused him to prophesy too,
right there with Samuel.
Now, wait a minute,
you may be saying ... I thought Samuel didn't see Saul ever again after Saul
kept Agag (the king of the Amalekites) alive when God commanded Saul to entirely
destroy all of the Amalekites. To put your mind at ease, the Bible says that
Samuel never again went to visit Saul, but not vice versa.
Well, it looks like
Saul isn't gonna back down from his animosity toward David, but don't forget God
is on David's side and at David's side. There's a lot more to come in this
historical story to share together!
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