THE BOOK OF 1 SAMUEL

The Crucible of Preparation

1 Samuel 19 SCC 2/8/15

Saul spent his entire life as king hunting down David and even though he swore to God and promised David he would stop hunting him he never quit until David hid and began to live in Gath. For four years, Saul hunted David until he entered Gath. The next four years Davidís life was constantly threatened after he entered Ziklag until Saul's death. Why does God take so much time to prepare his servants for their calling? To increase dependence by shredding independence. Your heavenly Father wants you perpetually vulnerable and dependent. If God were to allow success, it would seal your damnation, for the path from God is independence; the path to God is dependence. God uses chaos to teach people their need of him. We may be ashamed to admit it, but we feel more dependent upon God when things are not going well than when they are.

 

PERSON††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††PREPARATION††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††††††PURSUIT††††††††††††††† †††††††††††††††††††††††††† †††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††

Moses for 40 years

To lead Israel to Promised Land

40 years on the run for his life

Paul for 10 years

To suffer bringing gospel to gentiles

Not trustedóthen persecuted

David for 8+ years

To reign in Israel as King

Life threatened and on the run

 

Many of the psalms correspond with events in the life of David:

         Psalm 59, when Saul sent men to watch Davidís house and kill him (1 Samuel 19:11)

         Psalm 56, when David fled to Gath (1 Samuel 21:10)

         Psalm 34, when David pretended to be insane (1 Samuel 21:13)

         Psalm 142, when David escaped to the cave of Adullam (1 Samuel 22:1)

         Psalm 52, when Doeg the Edomite informed Saul where David was (1 Samuel 22:9)

         Psalm 54, when the Ziphites betrayed David to Saul (1 Samuel 23:19)

         Psalm 57, when David was hiding from Saul in a cave (1 Samuel 24:1)

         Psalm 18, when David spared Saul (1 Samuel 24:11Ė12)

 

REASONABLE ATTEMPTS TO SOOTH RAGE MAY BRING TEMPORARY REPRIEVE: JONATHANíS ATTEMPT TO PROTECT DAVID FROM SAUL 1-7

Saul now abandoned pretense and ordered Jonathan and his servants to put David to death v 1. He ďwent publicĒ with his attacks against David feeling driven to more desperate measures. This created a conflict of loyalties for Jonathan who needed to honor his father and king, but who also loved David v 2-3. Jonathan chose to tell David what Saulís intentions were, but he also tried to honor his father by urging him not to kill David since it was in Saulís best interest to let David live v 4. He also reminded Saul that David was the Lordís instrument who had defeated Israelís enemies and that Saul had rejoiced in his success making Davidís death unwarranted v 5. Jonathanís words echo Saulís own statement when he had freed Jabesh-gilead earlier in his reign. Jonathanís appeal was successful, at least temporarily, and resulted in Saul solemnly vowing not to kill David v 6, which vow he broke shortly v 10. His appeal resulted in Davidís restoration to the court and his continuing ministry to the king v 7.

 

EVENTUALLY JEALOUS RAGE EXECUTES PLANS TO DESTROY RIVALS: DAVIDíS CONTINUING SUCCESS AND SAULíS RENEWED JEALOUSY 8-10

David was successful once again v 8. This is the third reference to an evil spirit afflicting Saul v 9. It was a demonic, satanic instrument (Job 1:12; 2:6; 1 Kings 22:19-22). With the departure of the Spirit of God, Saul became tormented by an evil spirit, which God permitted to come. This influence overcame Saulís good intentions and resulted in his breaking his vow to God. Here we see how thoroughly Saul wanted to do away with his rival. Now David had to ďflee and escape.Ē This phrase occurs three times in this chapter v 10, 12, and 18. This section records Saulís fourth attempt to kill David. From now on David was no longer able to stay in Saulís presence. Davidís days as an outlaw would continue until Saul died.

NB: Davidís experience is typical of that of all people who choose to commit themselves to following God faithfully. Because God favors them and others benefit from it those people appreciate them. However others who want favor for themselves but are not willing to do what is necessary despise them.

 

THOSE PLANS TO DESTROY INCREASINGLY INTENSIFY IF THWARTED: MICHALíS ATTEMPT TO PROTECT DAVID FROM SAULíS RAGE 11-17

Saul reactivated his mission of putting David to death, this time by using his servants. Michal told David what Saul was planning v 11. Then she aided his escape, first by helping him flee from a window, and then by fashioning a dummy from a figurine in his bed to serve as a decoy concocting a story that he was sick to buy time v 12-14. Saul expected more loyalty from his daughter than he received v 15-17.

 

Michal seems to have considered her lie justifiable. Michal acted in a very desperate manner as she tried to save the life of David, her husband. During that night and the day after, she said and did various things that were clearly untrue.

(1) First, she prepared carefully so that she could tell a lie to Saulís men.

(2) Then, when the men entered the house, she lied to them. She pretended that David was ill.

(3) Afterwards, when Saul became very angry with her, she told another lie. So Michal was lying to Saul in order to protect herself.

We know that God does not need anyoneís lies in order to save his people. It is Saulís terrible cruelty that we see most strongly in this passage. Saul expresses the intention that he himself will murder David. Saul proposes to kill a man who is too ill even to get out of bed. We also know he kills all of the priests of Nob later. He is on a rampage. Saulís daughter, as well as his son, was protecting David from death. Godís care for David resulted in the breaking of strong loyalties. God overcame what was natural to protect His anointed and faithful servant.

 

When Saul offered David Michal as a wife it seems that Saul knew the flaws of his daughter and wanted to unload her onto David so she would cause him trouble a type of Delilah: Saul thought, ďI will give her to him that she may become a snare to himĒ (18:21). Obviously Saul knew something about his daughterís charms that would cause David trouble. Unlike David, Michal was an idolater and had a life size idol in her Davidís house. Why David would allow his wife to do this is a puzzle as much as it was a warning. His son Solomon was led away from God via his pagan wives. The word here for Michalís Idol was the same word Samuel used against Saul: ďFor rebellion is as the sin of divination, and insubordination is as iniquity and idolatry. Because you have rejected the word of the LORD, He has also rejected you from being kingĒ (15:23).

 

Rich, good looking and spoiled ďbad-girlĒ Michal couldnít help but love the pure and honest David. This brought even more terror upon Saul. ďWhen Saul saw and knew that the LORD was with David, and that Michal, Saulís daughter, loved him, then Saul was even more afraid of David. Thus Saul was Davidís enemy continuallyĒ (18:28Ė29). Solomonís idolatrous ďhottieĒ wives who looked good on the outside but were spiritual death on the inside swayed him. Tragically, these pagan wives trained Solomonís children planting seeds of idolatry in the next generation of Israelís leaders. 19 kings of the north were evil. 19 kings of the south were mostly evil. Michal returns with vengeance later.

 

GOD MIRACULOUSLY INTERVENES TO PROTECT THE FAITHFUL FROM DESTRUCTIVE RAGE: GODíS DELIVERANCE IN RAMAH 18-24

How natural it was for David to seek refuge with the faithful prophet Samuel v 18. Naioth was evidently a compound within Ramah where Samuel headed a school of prophetís v 19. God here rescued David, not by any human intermediary but directly by the overpowering influence of His Spirit v 20-23. Saulís three groups of messengers, and even the king himself, ended up serving God rather than opposing Him v 24. The Holy Spirit overrode the kingís authority. This means that they fell into a trance or an ecstatic state, a condition, which immobilized them and made them incapable of accomplishing their evil intentions.

 

By lying down naked Saul was divested of his armor and outer robesóin a state of trance. Thus God, in making the wrath of man to praise Him, preserved the lives of all the prophets, frustrated all the purposes of Saul, and preserved the life of His servant. It is significant that this chapter closes with the repetition of the saying, ďIs Saul also among the prophets?Ē This derogatory saying brackets the story of Saulís contacts with Samuel and with the Holy Spirit. It reminds the reader that Saul had the potential and resources to be a great king because of Samuel and the Spiritís resources that were available to him.

 

So What?

1. Rage deprives one of good judgment. It results from frustration that comes from ones inability to control events so they lose control of their emotions. If unchecked it will destroy you and others.

2. When you are the brunt of someoneís irrational jealous rage God is using that to shape your character and increase your dependence upon Him.

3. You have no way of knowing the details of Godís purpose for experiencing anotherís jealous rage but God is capable of protecting and delivering you.

4. Here we see mans responsibility and Godís sovereignty. Saul makes decisions. Jonathan makes decisions. David makes decisions. Michal makes decisions. God makes sovereign decisions. Both decisions are genuine and personal and both make a difference.