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.
It is always nice to have you back with us at Daily Bread! Well,
we've been getting to know Samuel in our recent stories, and it's
easy to see that he was a man of integrity and well favored by the
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 dispute.
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.
Let 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 would happen.
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
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
It looks like we're in for some interesting stories ahead, doesn't
it?! I'll be here waiting to share the next one with you, just as
soon as you can make it back ... Right here at Daily Bread. See you
The First Book of Samuel
So nice to have you back again for more Daily Bread. At this point in
our story, we're about to meet the man that becomes the first king of
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.
18 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
19 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.
As 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 Samuel:
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.
So, 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?
Remember why 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
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 come back soon and see what happens next,
right here at Daily Bread!
The First Book of Samuel
So glad to have you back to share in more Daily Bread today. 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 was and 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 Saul anointed 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 new king.
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.
Join in again soon, and we'll find out what happens at the beginning
of Saul's reign as king of Israel, right here at Daily Bread.
The First Book of Samuel
Always a pleasure to have you here to share our Daily Bread together.
Well, we're about half way through our study of 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,
Do you remember any significant events involving the children of
Ammon? How about when Moses was leading the children of Israel to the
26 And I sent messengers out of the wilderness of Kedemoth
unto Sihon king of Heshbon with words of peace, saying,
27 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.
28 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;
29 (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.
30 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
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:
20 (That also was accounted a land of giants: giants dwelt
therein in old time; and the Ammonites call them Zamzummims;
21 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:
In addition, Israel was commanded not to meddle with the Ammonites,
way back in Moses' day:
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.
And 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.
3 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:
4 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
Now 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.
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.
Why? Well, aside from just being plain cruel, it was a strategy. A
soldier carried his shield in his left hand so that he could fight
with his right hand. (Of which most were predominantly right handed.)
And with only the left eye functioning, it was interfered with by the
shield, therefore rendering the soldier practically helpless.
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.
They sent 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 oxen.
As you 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
So Samuel called all the people together, and a second time
pronounced Saul king before the Lord in Gilgal, with sacrifices,
offerings and rejoicing.
Come on back soon for more Daily Bread!
The First Book of Samuel
Splendid to have you here at Daily Bread to continue our study of 1
Samuel. Our study ended last time 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
5 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.
6 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
7 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
8 And what nation is there so great, that hath statutes
and judgments so righteous as all this law, which I set before you
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 to do.
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., 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
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.
Another argument 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 Chapter
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.
Samuel addresses 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
24 Only fear the Lord, and serve him in truth with all
your heart: for consider how great things he hath done for you.
25 But if ye shall still do wickedly, ye shall be
consumed, both ye and your king.
Hurry on back and we'll continue our study of 1 Samuel and find out
what's next for the children of Israel and their new king Saul, right
here at Daily Bread.
The First Book of Samuel
Great to have you here once again to share more Daily Bread together.
In our study 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
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 the story of King Saul.
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 had.
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
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
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.
55 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.
56 Moreover it shall come to pass, that I shall do unto
you, as I thought to do unto them.
... 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.
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 Saul himself.
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
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
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
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 fear.
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
Well, 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 have waited.
So, 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.
How do 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 left.
"Your kingdom won't continue."
What 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.
Now, 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
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
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? Well then hurry back for more
The First Book of Samuel
Greetings! I knew you'd be anxious to return to Daily Bread and see
what's in store next in our story. 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 son of Saul) 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 of Israel. Well, don't be too downhearted because the Lord is
about to give 'em a break.
But first, a little Daily Bread Crumb ... 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 up.
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! Come on 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.
When 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.
When the 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
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 willingly.
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
More adventures that happened during Saul's reign, in the next Daily
Bread ... See you then!
The First Book of Samuel
Get ready for another great day of adventure here at Daily Bread!
Let's go back a smidgen, 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?
8 Then came Amalek, and fought with Israel in Rephidim.
9 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.
10 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.
11 And it came to pass, when Moses held up his hand, that
Israel prevailed: and when he let down his hand, Amalek prevailed.
12 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.
13 And Joshua discomfited Amalek and his people with the
edge of the sword.
14 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.
15 And Moses built an altar, and called the name of it
16 For he said, Because the Lord hath sworn that the Lord
will have war with Amalek from generation to generation.
17 Remember what Amalek did unto thee by the way, when ye
were come forth out of Egypt;
18 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.
19 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.
Well folks, it looks like the time of reckoning has arrived because
Samuel informed Saul that the Lord had a mission for him concerning
1 Samuel 15:3
Now go and smite Amalek, and utterly destroy all that they
have, and spare them not; but slay both man and woman, infant and
suckling, ox and sheep, camel and ass.
So, 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.
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?
Saul 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
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 the Lord?
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
worshiping 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? Come back soon and see,
right here at Daily Bread!
The First Book of Samuel
Nice to have you back again to share more Daily Bread. This story is
one of the great ones of Bible history. Let's see, where did we leave
Samuel and Saul when we last shared?
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.
So, 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 Saul.
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.
1 Samuel 16:7
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.
So 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? 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 Saul?
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
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, right here at Daily Bread!
The First Book of Samuel
It is always nice to have you back with us at Daily Bread! Today 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 worshiped 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
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 sheep.
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
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.
Apparently, there were enough giants still in Joshua's time, that 400
years (or approximately 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 taunted 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 were terrified.
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
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
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
David, being 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's in it 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.
(Imagine David's oldest brother now, hearing his baby brother
bragging to his fellow soldiers that he's gonna go eat this giant for
lunch! Heh heh heh!)
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.
Seeing the 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 Goliath's head.
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
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 Bethlehemite.
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
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.
Another possibility 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
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 come back soon and we'll share more
The First Book of Samuel
Greetings and great to be with you again to share more Daily Bread.
As you recall, the last time we met, 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
1 Samuel 18:3
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 ...
1 Samuel 20:42
... 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 litttttle 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 thousands ...
... 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
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 battlefield.
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.
An interesting 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 ...
1 Samuel 17:25
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:
1 Samuel 18:18
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
1 Samuel 9:21
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 kingship to 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? Well, hurry back and we'll break more Daily
The First Book of Samuel
It's a pleasure to have you here to share more Daily Bread! We have
quite a story unfolding about 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.
About 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.
Shortly thereafter 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
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.
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 left off!
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
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 reason.
So, Saul listened to Jonathan and promised ...
So, Jonathan 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.
Well, 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
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 out Psalm
59 which 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 prophesy.
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, so hurry
back and we'll share another great slice of Daily Bread together!
Our King Saul story continues at the link below:
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