Read 1 Samuel 19
Saul Tries to Kill David
1 Saul told his son Jonathan and all the attendants to kill David. But Jonathan had taken a great liking to David 2 and warned him, “My father Saul is looking for a chance to kill you. Be on your guard tomorrow morning; go into hiding and stay there. 3 I will go out and stand with my father in the field where you are. I’ll speak to him about you and will tell you what I find out.”
4 Jonathan spoke well of David to Saul his father and said to him, “Let not the king do wrong to his servant David; he has not wronged you, and what he has done has benefited you greatly. 5 He took his life in his hands when he killed the Philistine. The Lord won a great victory for all Israel, and you saw it and were glad. Why then would you do wrong to an innocent man like David by killing him for no reason?”
6 Saul listened to Jonathan and took this oath: “As surely as the Lord lives, David will not be put to death.”
7 So Jonathan called David and told him the whole conversation. He brought him to Saul, and David was with Saul as before.
8 Once more war broke out, and David went out and fought the Philistines. He struck them with such force that they fled before him.
9 But an evil spirit from the Lord came on Saul as he was sitting in his house with his spear in his hand. While David was playing the lyre, 10 Saul tried to pin him to the wall with his spear, but David eluded him as Saul drove the spear into the wall. That night David made good his escape.
11 Saul sent men to David’s house to watch it and to kill him in the morning. But Michal, David’s wife, warned him, “If you don’t run for your life tonight, tomorrow you’ll be killed.” 12 So Michal let David down through a window, and he fled and escaped. 13 Then Michal took an idol and laid it on the bed, covering it with a garment and putting some goats’ hair at the head.
14 When Saul sent the men to capture David, Michal said, “He is ill.”
15 Then Saul sent the men back to see David and told them, “Bring him up to me in his bed so that I may kill him.” 16 But when the men entered, there was the idol in the bed, and at the head was some goats’ hair.
17 Saul said to Michal, “Why did you deceive me like this and send my enemy away so that he escaped?”
Michal told him, “He said to me, ‘Let me get away. Why should I kill you?’”
18 When David had fled and made his escape, he went to Samuel at Ramah and told him all that Saul had done to him. Then he and Samuel went to Naioth and stayed there. 19 Word came to Saul: “David is in Naioth at Ramah”; 20 so he sent men to capture him. But when they saw a group of prophets prophesying, with Samuel standing there as their leader, the Spirit of God came on Saul’s men, and they also prophesied. 21 Saul was told about it, and he sent more men, and they prophesied too. Saul sent men a third time, and they also prophesied. 22 Finally, he himself left for Ramah and went to the great cistern at Seku. And he asked, “Where are Samuel and David?”
“Over in Naioth at Ramah,” they said.
23 So Saul went to Naioth at Ramah. But the Spirit of God came even on him, and he walked along prophesying until he came to Naioth. 24 He stripped off his garments, and he too prophesied in Samuel’s presence. He lay naked all that day and all that night. This is why people say, “Is Saul also among the prophets?”
We see from yesterday and today’s readings that Saul has become completely overtaken with jealousy and anger towards David’s success, even though it is meant to and has benefitted Saul’s kingdom. This jealousy and anger led Saul to both try to kill David himself, as well as order his attendants, servants, and son to kill David.
But, God. Thankfully, His plan cannot be thwarted. We know from Scripture that God had a plan to use David for His glory, but we cannot overlook that God also had a plan to put David in the right place and among the right people for his protection. David was given an unlikely ally in Jonathan, the king’s son, who was willing to risk his own life and gave up his own birthright to protect David. Verses 11-17 reveal that Michal, David’s wife and Saul’s daughter, also protected David from the jealous king. And finally, David finds protection in the presence of Samuel, his longtime, faithful friend.
God used His people as provision for David. Thankfully, He can and will do the same for us. Think about a time you’ve received a phone call or a note at just the right moment. Maybe someone has shown up at your door at the exact time you needed a friend. Perhaps it’s some type of provision you didn’t even know occurred, like a friend defending your name or honor when you weren’t even aware.
Make no mistake, this did not mean life was easy or perfect for David. This is a man who dodged a spear multiple times and was running for his life. Psalm 59 reveals David’s state of mind as he tried to escape that fateful night: David was scared and desperate and begging God to protect him. And how did God do that? In large part, through His people.
We all want and need a friend like Jonathan. But, sometimes we need to be Jonathan. Jonathan was so committed to his friend that he gave up the right to be king and all that came with that position. Are we willing to do something like that to be used by God? God wants to use us, His people, to provide for each other. Whether you need a friend, or need to be a friend, today–ask God what your role is in His plan and be willing and brave enough to follow through.
- Think of a time when a friend was used by God to encourage, protect, or provide for you. Say a prayer and thank God for that provision.
- Reach out to your friend and thank them for being willing to be used by God for your benefit.
- Ask God to reveal how you can be used to help someone else in need, then follow through. God wants to use us to provide for each other. Don’t miss out on the blessing of being used by God.
By The Way
Read Psalm 59 to see David’s state of mind while Saul was hunting for him– as Jonathan and Michal did their best to protect David and give him time to run for his life.
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2 thoughts on “1 Samuel 19”
As I read today’s text I’m thinking of a quote attributed to the late Ravi Zaccharias: “Sin will take you farther than you want to go, keep you longer than you want to stay, and cost you more than you want to pay.” Saul’s anger & jealousy left him irrational and vulnerable to attack. King Saul, the 1st king of Israel, “collapses and lies naked all day and night prophesying” at the close of this chapter. What a crazy story! My takeaway for today is that sin left unchecked in my heart will be my undoing, instead I will practice this: “We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the true knowledge of God, and we take every thought captive unto the obedience of Christ (2 Corinthians 10:5).
I’m curious why it states in verse 9 that “an evil spirit from the Lord came on Saul…”. I wonder if this happened because the wrath of God was upon Saul for turning away from the Lord just like it says in the Book of John. “He who believes in the Son has everlasting life; and he who does not believe the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him.””
John 3:36 NKJV
I’m just trying to put together the pieces here. Why would God send an evil spirit to Saul that would then cause him to throw a spear at David. It seemed like because Saul’s kingdom was being stripped from him, the wrath of God was upon him due to his disobedience. I wonder how all of this would have played out if Saul would have sought the Lord regarding his actions rather than being impulsive out of anger and jealousy. I wonder if Saul’s life would have ended differently.