1 Samuel 18:1-20:42 Comments by Stephen Ricker
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Jonathan's Wonderful Friednship
Comments for Study 9

1 Samuel 18:1-20:42
Memory Verse: 20:42a


I. David Was Loved By All His People (18:1-5)

>1. Find who loved David in 1-3, 16, 20, 28; 13:14; and 16:21-22.

* 1 Samuel 18:1-3 "After David had finished talking with Saul, Jonathan became one in spirit with David, and he loved him as himself. From that day Saul kept David with him and did not let him return to his father's house. And Jonathan made a covenant with David because he loved him as himself."

* 1 Samuel 18:16 "But all Israel and Judah loved David, because he led them in their campaigns."

* 1 Samuel 18:20 "Now Saul's daughter Michal was in love with David, and when they told Saul about it, he was pleased."

* 1 Samuel 18:28 "When Saul realized that the Lord was with David and that his daughter Michal loved David,"

* 1 Samuel 13:14 "But now your kingdom will not endure; the Lord has sought out a man after his own heart and appointed him leader of his people, because you have not kept the Lord's command."

* 1 Samuel 16:21 "David came to Saul and entered his service. Saul liked him very much, and David became one of his armor-bearers. Then Saul sent word to Jesse, saying, "Allow David to remain in my service, for I am pleased with him."

* "talking with Saul" -We can assume that they talked about the three rewards that Saul had promised.

* "Jonathan became one in spirit with David" -Jonathan and David had acted in faith in the Lord and were blessed. The Lord brought them together, uniting them as the body of Christ is united together.

* "he loved him as himself" -Jesus taught, "A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another." (John 13:34-35) 1 Peter 3:8 states, "Finally, all of you, live in harmony with one another; be sympathetic, love as brothers, be compassionate and humble.'

* "From that day Saul kept David with him and did not let him return to his father's house" -Saul was being selfish for David had responsibilities at home, to his father and family. The seldom mentioned great temptation for leaders (civil or spiritual) is to draw people to themselves to build up their work and plans as opposed to the work of the Lord. Apostle Paul, a tent making missionary is a better example than Saul.

* David's older brothers had given him a very hard time. Jonathan's father was going mad. Both of them found in the other what they could not find in their family, a love for the Lord and his ways. The love of the Lord Jesus binds and builds up his people. 2 Corinthians 13:14 states, "May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all."

>How did Jonathan first show his love for David? (18:4)

* 1 Samuel 18:4 "Jonathan took off the robe he was wearing and gave it to David, along with his tunic, and even his sword, his bow and his belt."

* "Jonathan made a covenant with David" -A covenant is an agreement between two parties.

* "Jonathan took off the robe he was wearing and gave it to David" -Putting the robe on David signifies that Jonathan sees David as himself and he is thus giving himself to David.

* "along with his tunic" -The tunic was the loose-fitting, knee length garment worn next to the skin.

* "even his sword, his bow and his belt" -Jonathan may have recognized that David would be the next king as these acts seem to portray. Jonathan, being Saul's oldest was the first in line to being king. Jonathan would give up the role to David.

* Jonathan's humility and love is a great example to us. Jonathan never regretting handing the throne to a man who was after God's own heart. What did Saul, his family, and Jonathan's peers think of Jonathan's actions? Put him in today's world he would be shunned and mocked.

* People like Jonathan are rare in human history, yet the blessing that they give are felt for generations after them.

* Jonathan's family was rich and so he could give a lot of material possessions. David's family was poor and he was the youngest. So David could give nothing. Similarly Jesus gives us and we have nothing to give him except obedience and honor in love and adoration.

>Why did so many seem to love David? (17:36-37; 17:57-18:1; 18:5, 16)

* 1 Samuel 18:5 "Whatever Saul sent him to do, David did it so successfully that Saul gave him a high rank in the army. This pleased all the people, and Saul's officers as well."

* 1 Samuel 18:16 "But all Israel and Judah loved David, because he led them in their campaigns."

* 1 Samuel 17:36-37 "Your servant has killed both the lion and the bear; this uncircumcised Philistine will be like one of them, because he has defied the armies of the living God. The Lord who delivered me from the paw of the lion and the paw of the bear will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine." Saul said to David, "Go, and the Lord be with you."

* 1 Samuel 17:57-18:1 "As soon as David returned from killing the Philistine, Abner took him and brought him before Saul, with David still holding the Philistine's head. "Whose son are you, young man?" Saul asked him. David said, "I am the son of your servant Jesse of Bethlehem." After David had finished talking with Saul, Jonathan became one in spirit with David, and he loved him as himself."

* "Whatever Saul sent him to do" -Saul gave David responsibility hoping he would fail and/or die.

* "David did it so successfully" -The Lord Jesus will accomplish his will no matter what and how.

* "Saul gave him a high rank in the army" -Saul gave David the position that Jonathan had. Jonathan would stay at the house or be under David. Saul may have reacted to Jonathan's covenant with David.

* "This pleased all the people" -Saul worked against David. Yet no matter what he did the Lord worked against Saul and for David.

* "and Saul's officers as well" -David won the hearts of the people and the hearts of Saul's officers. Disobeying and rejecting the Lord brings troubles that are meant to lead us to repentance. In Saul's case it lead to more resistance and trouble. We cannot override or change the Lord's plans. He has a universe. What does man have?

* David was anointed king. Yet he waited patiently for his crown. His waiting on the Lord's timing is a good example to us. Also, his humility was shown in his accepting everything that Saul gave him, even dangerous jobs. David lived by faith in God's leading hand. Similarly, Jesus is the coming King of kings and Lord of lords. Yet he waits patiently for his coming to claim that which is rightfully his. Satan is now prince of the world as Saul was in David's day. Soon Jesus will come and replace Satan as the new King. "Repent for the kingdom of God is near."

II. Saul's Hate For David (18:6-19:24)

>2. What sparked Saul's jealousy? (18:6-9)

* 1 Samuel 18:6-9 "When the men were returning home after David had killed the Philistine, the women came out from all the towns of Israel to meet King Saul with singing and dancing, with joyful songs and with tambourines and lutes. As they danced, they sang: "Saul has slain his thousands, and David his tens of thousands." Saul was very angry; this refrain galled him. "They have credited David with tens of thousands," he thought, "but me with only thousands. What more can he get but the kingdom?" And from that time on Saul kept a jealous eye on David."

* "after David had killed the Philistine" -Goliath.

* "the women came out from all the towns of Israel" -Women respect and love men that protect and provide for them.

* "to meet King Saul with singing and dancing" -The impression is of festive sport and play. Saul must have experienced this many times in the past. A man should protect his heart that he does nor forget the Lord when people honor and thank him.

* "Saul was very angry" -Anger linked with jealousy is the same as murder. I know what it is like to have a man over me that has hidden anger linked with jealousy. (Matt. 5:21-22) One never knows what evil the person will do against the object of his jealousy.

* "tambourines and lutes" -The timbrel or tambourine (Hebrew toph, often symbolic of gladness, Gen 21:27), cymbals, bells (presumably metal jingles without clappers; see Ex. 28:33-34; 39:25-26 where they are attached to the high priest's robe, one recently found at the temple mount), and a rattle-type noise-maker translated variously as castanets, rattles, sistrums, cymbals, or clappers (2 Sam. 6:5). Chief among “flutes” and pipes,” woodwinds generally associated with secular usages, was the “khalil,” the most popular wind instrument in the Ancient Near East and principle among the biblical wind instruments. Perhaps better described as a primitive clarinet, the “khalil” (NAS, flute or KJV,” pipe) was an instrument consisting of two separate pipes made of reed, metal, or ivory; each pipe having a mouthpiece with single or double reeds. Used in the expression of joy (1 Kings 1:39-40) or mourning (Jer. 48:36; Matt. 9:23), the khalil was primarily a secular instrument that could be played at funerals or feasts. (Holman Bible Dictionary)

* "this refrain galled him" -Jealousy left unchecked only eats at the person who nurses it. The words gives the ideal of leather continually rubbing against the skin until it is raw and red; even bleeding. This is why Ephesians 4:25-27 states, "Therefore each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to his neighbor, for we are all members of one body. 'In your anger do not sin': Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold."

* "What more can he get but the kingdom?" -People tend to sense when a person is a leader. Even Saul had a sense that David was a man the Lord had gifted with leadership talents.

* "Saul kept a jealous eye on David" -Saul should have been concerned about the nation of Israel, God's chosen nation. He should have been working to drive out all the nations that the Lord had originally told Israel to remove from the promised land. Yet he was occupied with maintaining his positions; much like the politicians today. Saul's evil reign is coming to an end.

* We should not pay attention to how God is using others. Rather, we need to keep our eyes on God and what he wants us to do. Hebrews 12:2-3 states, "Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart."

>What problem was Saul having? (16:14)

* 1 Samuel 16:14 "Now the Spirit of the Lord had departed from Saul, and an evil spirit from the Lord tormented him."

* "the Spirit of the Lord had departed from Saul" -The age of the Old Testament Israel the Holy Spirit's ministry was different than the age we are now in. The Spirit came on only a few and seldom for a person's whole life. The Spirit mainly came on some kings, prophets, and priests. Today is different. John 16:7-11 "But I tell you the truth: It is for your good that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Counselor will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you. When he comes, he will convict the world of guilt in regard to sin and righteousness and judgment: in regard to sin, because men do not believe in me; in regard to righteousness, because I am going to the Father, where you can see me no longer; and in regard to judgment, because the prince of this world now stands condemned."

* "an evil spirit from the Lord tormented him" -The evil spirit only tormented him. Many Christians today seem either ashamed that the Bible describes evil spirits or they don't believe in them. When a person has a problem they never see it as an evil spirit problem. Not every problem is the result of an evil spirit, yet they are real and active non-the-less. Jesus taught, "When an evil spirit comes out of a man, it goes through arid places seeking rest and does not find it. Then it says, 'I will return to the house I left.' When it arrives, it finds the house unoccupied, swept clean and put in order. Then it goes and takes with it seven other spirits more wicked than itself, and they go in and live there. And the final condition of that man is worse than the first. That is how it will be with this wicked generation." (Matthew 12:43-45) Mark 5:2-8 states, "When Jesus got out of the boat, a man with an evil spirit came from the tombs to meet him. This man lived in the tombs, and no one could bind him any more, not even with a chain. For he had often been chained hand and foot, but he tore the chains apart and broke the irons on his feet. No one was strong enough to subdue him. Night and day among the tombs and in the hills he would cry out and cut himself with stones. When he saw Jesus from a distance, he ran and fell on his knees in front of him. He shouted at the top of his voice, "What do you want with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? Swear to God that you won't torture me!" For Jesus had said to him, "Come out of this man, you evil spirit!"

* Evil spirits were active at the time that Israel changed from the age of judges to the age of kings. Evil spirits were also active during the time of Jesus' ministry and at the beginning of the church age. Once again there is a sharp increase of evil spirit activity in and through people.

>What did he do? (18:10-11)

* 1 Samuel 18:10-11 "The next day an evil spirit from God came forcefully upon Saul. He was prophesying in his house, while David was playing the harp, as he usually did. Saul had a spear in his hand and he hurled it, saying to himself, "I'll pin David to the wall." But David eluded him twice."

* "came forcefully upon Saul" -The spirit took control of Saul through pain and agony much like what is described during the time of Jesus' ministry. How does a person make himself susceptible to an evil spirit? The more a person denies God, rejecting his love and leading, the more the person is susceptible to demon's controlling and tormenting them.

* "He was prophesying in his house" -Saul is the "he" here. Saul wasn't lead by the Spirit of God. Therefore, his prophesying (naba in Hebrew) though perhaps using and/or reading the word of God is not the same as the prophets who did have the Spirit of God working through them. The Hebrew "naba" is sometimes used to indicate uncontrolled ecstatic behavior as the follower of Baal were known for (1 Kings 18:29). Saul's religious ecstatic prophetic actions are best understood in a false religious sense. Some today who claim to be "slain in the spirit" may in fact be slain by an evil spirit. Remember, the fruit of the Holy Spirit is gentleness and self-control. (Gal. 5:22-23)

* "while David was playing the harp" -David wrote many of the psalms which were songs that he song. One is in 2 Samuel 22.

* "Saul had a spear in his hand and he hurled it" -Saul's scepter is a javelin, a spear just as the anti-Christ will rule with the threat and use of war. Jesus' scepter shows us love. "Your rod and your staff, they comfort me." (Ps. 23:4b)

* "saying to himself, 'I'll pin David to the wall.'" -Jealousy is the same as killing. A person who does not accept God's love is jealous when someone else willingly receives God's love and the blessings that flow from it. A person cannot expect to receive blessing when they reject God's love.

* "But David eluded him twice" -Dr. Livingston came out of the African jungle after being attacked by a lion, nearly dead. When recovered he reentered the jungle. Someone asked, "Aren't you afraid of attack and death all alone in the jungle. He responded, "A man of God will not die before his time, before his service on this earth is done."

Saul Attempts the Life of David

* See a wood engraving by Gustave Dore (1832-1883) to the right depicting Saul's attempt to take the life of David. Dore's drawings were in Bibles that are now in public domain. This one was scanned in by creationism.org.

>What can we learn from this?

* Jesus taught, "Blessed are you when men hate you, when they exclude you and insult you and reject your name as evil, because of the Son of Man. Rejoice in that day and leap for joy, because great is your reward in heaven. For that is how their fathers treated the prophets." (Luke 6:22-23)

* Jesus taught, "Brother will betray brother to death, and a father his child; children will rebel against their parents and have them put to death. All men will hate you because of me, but he who stands firm to the end will be saved. When you are persecuted in one place, flee to another. I tell you the truth, you will not finish going through the cities of Israel before the Son of Man comes." (Matthew 10:21-23)

* 1 Peter 4:12-19 "Dear friends, do not be surprised at the painful trial you are suffering, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice that you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed. If you are insulted because of the name of Christ, you are blessed, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you. If you suffer, it should not be as a murderer or thief or any other kind of criminal, or even as a meddler. However, if you suffer as a Christian, do not be ashamed, but praise God that you bear that name. For it is time for judgment to begin with the family of God; and if it begins with us, what will the outcome be for those who do not obey the gospel of God? And, "If it is hard for the righteous to be saved, what will become of the ungodly and the sinner?" So then, those who suffer according to God's will should commit themselves to their faithful Creator and continue to do good."

* 1 John 3:11-15 "This is the message you heard from the beginning: We should love one another. Do not be like Cain, who belonged to the evil one and murdered his brother. And why did he murder him? Because his own actions were evil and his brother's were righteous. Do not be surprised, my brothers, if the world hates you. We know that we have passed from death to life, because we love our brothers. Anyone who does not love remains in death. Anyone who hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life in him."

>3. Why was Saul afraid of David? (12-15, 28-29)

* 1 Samuel 18:12 "Saul was afraid of David, because the Lord was with David but had left Saul. So he sent David away from him and gave him command over a thousand men, and David led the troops in their campaigns. In everything he did he had great success, because the Lord was with him. When Saul saw how successful he was, he was afraid of him."

* 1 Samuel 18:28-29 "When Saul realized that the Lord was with David and that his daughter Michal loved David, Saul became still more afraid of him, and he remained his enemy the rest of his days."

* "the Lord was with David but had left Saul" -The world cannot stand the fact that God is with us. They want the blessing without the cross.

* "So he sent David away from him" -Saul couldn't stand David in his presence. Since he couldn't get rid of him by killing him he tried all he could to get him out of his life. Don't be surprised when religious people but dead to Christ shun you. Yet, just because a person or group is shunned does not mean they are of Christ.

* "gave him command over a thousand men" -David took Jonathan and/or Saul's place as a commander of one thousand, the highest rank in Israel's army at the time.

* "In everything he did he had great success" -The Lord's blessing to David could not be denies, and yet Saul still tried to kill him. The religious but ungodly draw a blind eye to the truth. The Pharisees and teachers of the law did the same to Jesus. Religious hypocrites do the most attacking against God's work and God's people. Jesus' parable of the mustard seed contains birds that eat the seeds

* "because the Lord was with him" -To God all the glory should be. A person's success is always the Lord's doing and all honor should be to him.

* "When Saul saw how successful he was" -Beware when God blesses you for Satan will take notice and try to destroy you. Study Job's life too. Yet, all is done according to God's plan. Satan hates Jesus and is doing all he can to change and stop Jesus' coming. Daniel 7:25 states, "(The anti-christ) will speak against the Most High and oppress his saints and try to change the set times and the laws. The saints will be handed over to him for a time, times and half a time."

>What evil thought did Saul nurse? (17-19)

* 1 Samuel 18:17-19 "Saul said to David, 'Here is my older daughter Merab. I will give her to you in marriage; only serve me bravely and fight the battles of the Lord.' For Saul said to himself, 'I will not raise a hand against him. Let the Philistines do that!' But David said to Saul, 'Who am I, and what is my family or my father's clan in Israel, that I should become the king's son-in-law?' So when the time came for Merab, Saul's daughter, to be given to David, she was given in marriage to Adriel of Meholah."

* "only serve me bravely and fight the battles of the Lord" -Saul never did give Merab to David, as he had stated he would do to the man who killed Goliath. Instead he seem to imply that the contract was for more than the death of Goliath, but all Philistines. He gave David and the Lord the same type of lip service that the religious leaders gave Jesus. How could David stand before the man, his king who tried to kill him twice? I know of a man who stood among several who were considered elders and shepherds that tried to kill him several times. He too was delivered.

* "I will not raise a hand against him. Let the Philistines do that!" Saul knew that David's popularity would work against him even more if he were to kill David himself. So he tried indirect means to tear down David.

* "Who am I" -David remained humble. He respected the position of king, while understanding the man now in the seat of the king was evil and against him. A man who is like David is a true man of faith in God's sovereignty.

* "that I should become the king's son-in-law?" -David did not seek to be king in this way, even though he had been anointed as the next king.

* "Adriel of Meholah" -2 Sam. 21:8-9.

>How did he plot his destruction? (20-25)

* 1 Samuel 18:20-25 "Now Saul's daughter Michal was in love with David, and when they told Saul about it, he was pleased. "I will give her to him," he thought, "so that she may be a snare to him and so that the hand of the Philistines may be against him." So Saul said to David, "Now you have a second opportunity to become my son-in-law." Then Saul ordered his attendants: "Speak to David privately and say, 'Look, the king is pleased with you, and his attendants all like you; now become his son-in-law.'" They repeated these words to David. But David said, "Do you think it is a small matter to become the king's son-in-law? I'm only a poor man and little known." When Saul's servants told him what David had said, Saul replied, "Say to David, 'The king wants no other price for the bride than a hundred Philistine foreskins, to take revenge on his enemies.'" Saul's plan was to have David fall by the hands of the Philistines."

* "she may be a snare to him and so that the hand of the Philistines may be against him" -A woman who does not worship the Lord can draw a man from the Lord. 2 Corinthians 6:14-16 states, "Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness? What harmony is there between Christ and Belial? What does a believer have in common with an unbeliever? What agreement is there between the temple of God and idols? For we are the temple of the living God. As God has said: 'I will live with them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they will be my people.'"

* "Then Saul ordered his attendants" -Just because a man commands people does not make them a commander of God.

* "I'm only a poor man and little known." -David was humble. He knew he would be able to pay the high price for dowry, and Saul must not have given him the promised wealth for killing Goliath. He remembered his past. He did not let his new surroundings cloud his heart. He was not ambitious for positions of honor and greatness. The world does not understand and believe that such men exist. They don't know what to do with such men and are baffled by them.

* "no other price for the bride than a hundred Philistine foreskins, to take revenge on his enemies" -Jacob had to serve seven years for his wives to a man similar to Saul. (Gen. 29:20) Saul's price was a very strange price that in one sense seems noble, but in reality is deception. A sinful selfish father seeks selfish stange dowries. Jesus paid in his blood for his bride, us.

* "Saul's plan was to have David fall by the hands of the Philistines." -A man cannot stop a train by standing on the tracks even if he stretches his hands out in front of him.

>How did his plot backfire? (26-30)

* 1 Samuel 18:26-30 "When the attendants told David these things, he was pleased to become the king's son-in-law. So before the allotted time elapsed, David and his men went out and killed two hundred Philistines. He brought their foreskins and presented the full number to the king so that he might become the king's son-in-law. Then Saul gave him his daughter Michal in marriage. When Saul realized that the Lord was with David and that his daughter Michal loved David, Saul became still more afraid of him, and he remained his enemy the rest of his days. The Philistine commanders continued to go out to battle, and as often as they did, David met with more success than the rest of Saul's officers, and his name became well known."

* "his name became well known" -We should never allow popularity to twist our perception of our own importance. Its easy to be humble when not in the center of the stage, but how will a person react when in the center? God judges the heart. Man judges incorrectly.

* "still more afraid of him" -Saul by now knew that David was going to be his replacement. He tried to stop it. No one can stop God's plans. Repent and maybe he will in mercy delay his plans.

* Isaiah 1:19-20 "If you are willing and obedient, you will eat the best from the land; but if you resist and rebel, you will be devoured by the sword." For the mouth of the Lord has spoken."

* Acts 7:51 "You stiff-necked people, with uncircumcised hearts and ears! You are just like your fathers: You always resist the Holy Spirit!"

* "Saul might as well have hoped to stop the sun in its course as to end David's life until God's time came. A "hedge" (Job 1:10) is set around God's children, and neither can touch them unless God permits." (1&2 Samuel, A self-Study Guide, Irving L. Jensen)

>4. When Saul directly ordered David killed, how did Jonathan defend and protect him? (19:1-3)

* 1 Samuel 19:1-3 "Saul told his son Jonathan and all the attendants to kill David. But Jonathan was very fond of David 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. 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."

* Jonathan did not obey his father as the law teaches. (Eph. 6:1-3) Yet in this case the son was not outside the law of God for his father's requested was to not only break the law of God, but to kill the next anointed king. Acts 4:19 records Peter and John replying to the elders of the Jews, "Judge for yourselves whether it is right in God's sight to obey you rather than God.'

* Jonathan risk his life for David. Jonathan was a rare soul indeed.

* John 15:13 "Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends."

* Romans 5:7 "Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous man, though for a good man someone might possibly dare to die."

* Jonathan love for David grew from love for what he did (Goliath) to who he was. Our love for Jesus should mature from what he did (Golgotha) to who he is.

* A true friend like Jonathan is not afraid to speak on behalf of his friend to the enemy. Jesus said, "Whoever acknowledges me before men, I will also acknowledge him before my Father in heaven. But whoever disowns me before men, I will disown him before my Father in heaven. Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I have come to turn "'a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law-- a man's enemies will be the members of his own household.'" (Matthew 10:32-36)

>With what result? (19:4-7)

* 1 Samuel 19:4-7 "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. 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?" Saul listened to Jonathan and took this oath: "As surely as the Lord lives, David will not be put to death." So Jonathan called David and told him the whole conversation. He brought him to Saul, and David was with Saul as before."

* "The Lord won a great victory for all Israel" -Saul's past words when he spared his detractors. (11:12-15)

* "what he has done has benefited you greatly" -David never acted selfishly, opposite to Saul.

* "As surely as the Lord lives" -Saul used the Lord name and yet did not obey the Lord.

>Who controlled Saul again? (8-10)

* 1 Samuel 19:8-10 "Once more war broke out, and David went out and fought the Philistines. He struck them with such force that they fled before him. But an evil spirit from the Lord came upon Saul as he was sitting in his house with his spear in his hand. While David was playing the harp, 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."

* "pin him to the wall" -Saul made a promise that he later did not keep. You cannot trust the promises of a selfish ungodly man.

* "That night David made good his escape" -Eventually David knew if he stayed in Saul's house he would die. He left God's people, the kingdom of God. A man of God sometimes needs to retreat. John 11:53-54 records Jesus withdrawing too. "So from that day on they plotted to take his life. Therefore Jesus no longer moved about publicly among the Jews. Instead he withdrew to a region near the desert, to a village called Ephraim, where he stayed with his disciples."

>Why was the Lord allowing this to happen?

* Three reasons:
    1) Judgement -The woes of judgement for sin are not fleeting. Saul and Israel (for asking for a king) were to reap years, not just days, of judgement.
    2) Training and Preparation -David was to learn by experience some of the strong disciples needed for a successful term of leadership (20:22) Also, the people themselves needed to be prepared for the next monarch.
    3) Exposure -Every page of the narrative exposes the exceeding wretchedness of sin and, in bright contrast, the glory of righteousness. We today must see this on the printed page, even as God wanted His people of that day to witness it in person.

* The above taken from 1&2 Samuel, A self-Study Guide, Irving L. Jensen.

* Another is to foreshadow the time of the end.

>5. How did Michal help David escape? (11-12)

* 1 Samuel 19:11-12 "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." So Michal let David down through a window, and he fled and escaped."

* All agreed that David was not safe in Saul's house.

Escape of David Through a Window

* See a wood engraving by Gustave Dore (1832-1883) to the right depicting David's escape through a window with Michal's help. Dore's drawings were in Bibles that are now in public domain. This one was scanned in by creationism.org.

>What did she use as a disguise and what does this say of her?

* 1 Samuel 19:13 "Then Michal took an idol and laid it on the bed, covering it with a garment and putting some goats' hair at the head."

* "Then Michal took an idol" -Rachel, because she was also barren took an idol of fertility from her father. (Gen. 31:19)

* David married his first wife because Saul wanted it to happen. Actually, Saul did all he could to stop David from marrying his daughters until he saw personal benefit. David had little choice, marrying by faith as all his decisions thus far was by faith in the Lord. A man of God that marries a godly woman of faith has truly found favor of the Lord for few in history have done so. "A wife of noble character who can find? She is worth far more than rubies.' (Proverbs 31:10)

>How and why did she renege? (14-17)

* 1 Samuel 19:14-17 "When Saul sent the men to capture David, Michal said, "He is ill." 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." But when the men entered, there was the idol in the bed, and at the head was some goats' hair. 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?'"

* Michal feared her father too. She lied and betrayed David. Yet, her words did not change Saul, who already hated David. In the end all she did was ruin her own life.

* Michal could have left her father's palace to be with David. However, she found the comfort of this world greater than her love for David. She never when out to him. Surely she had chances to leave.

* 2 Samuel 3:13-14 "Good," said David. "I will make an agreement with you. But I demand one thing of you: Do not come into my presence unless you bring Michal daughter of Saul when you come to see me." Then David sent messengers to Ish-Bosheth son of Saul, demanding, "Give me my wife Michal, whom I betrothed to myself for the price of a hundred Philistine foreskins."

* 2 Samuel 6:16 "As the ark of the Lord was entering the City of David, Michal daughter of Saul watched from a window. And when she saw King David leaping and dancing before the Lord, she despised him in her heart."

* 2 Samuel 6:23 "And Michal daughter of Saul had no children to the day of her death."

>6. To whom did David go when he fled from Saul and why?

* 1 Samuel 19:18 "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."

* David sought refuge with a man of God, the man that anointed David and Saul.

* Samuel had lost influence in the life of Saul. Yet the Lord was with Samuel and would still use him. Samuel was willing to risk his life by hiding David from the evil hand of Saul. Men such as Samuel deserve special recognition, not because of the name, but because they acted in the spirit of Samuel, the prophet, a man who stopped Saul from doing harm to David.

* "Naioth" -The name refers either to a building or district in the city of Ramah which housed the prophetic school Samuel led.

* Ramah was less than an hours walk from Saul's fortress home, Gibeah.

David the Refugee

* See maps to the right for Daivd's initual excape from Saul.

>What happened to the people whom came to arrest him while he was there and why?

* 1 Samuel 19:19-24 "Word came to Saul: "David is in Naioth at Ramah"; 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 upon Saul's men and they also prophesied. Saul was told about it, and he sent more men, and they prophesied too. Saul sent men a third time, and they also prophesied. Finally, he himself left for Ramah and went to the great cistern at Secu. And he asked, "Where are Samuel and David?" "Over in Naioth at Ramah," they said. So Saul went to Naioth at Ramah. But the Spirit of God came even upon him, and he walked along prophesying until he came to Naioth. He stripped off his robes and also prophesied in Samuel's presence. He lay that way all that day and night. This is why people say, "Is Saul also among the prophets?"

* "Ramah" -The place that Saul had been secretly anointed. Saul must have remembered his anointing, and now learned David was there with Samuel and the prophets.

* "a group of prophets prophesying" -Samuel was not a lone prophet doing nothing at his house in Ramah (17:7; Acts 3:24); Naioth. He had been busy raising up a group of prophets to succeed him. Before Israel was governed by kings, judges (in the line of Moses and Joshua) were anointed God's chosen Instrument to lead. They also sometimes acted as prophet who relayed God's word (Heb. 1:1). The book of Judges and the beginning of this book makes it clear that the word of God was rare, and so few if any prophets lived in Israel. Since Saul's anointing office of prophet and ruler were divided. So Samuel anointed the first two kings, and he raised up prophets too. (Heb. 11:32) The school of prophets grew until the time of Elijah and Elisha, when they were almost wiped out. Israel contained schools of prophets, yet Judah is not listed as having any such schools, perhaps because of the location of Jerusalem. After Malachi not prophet appeared for hundreds of years until John the Baptist. (Matt. 11:14; Mark 6:15) One of the callings and gifts of the Spirit in the age we are in now is prophecy (Acts 11:27, 13:1, 15:32; and 1 Cor. 12:28-29, 14:29-33; Eph. 3:5, 4:11) though some say it went away with the calling and gift of apostle.

* "the Spirit of God came upon Saul's men" -A rare case of the Holy Spirit coming on people who were not king, prophet, or priest. Thus, when Pentecost came it was easily accepted as possible for the lay and Gentiles to received the Spirit.

* "they prophesied too" -It was not David's time to die. When the chief priest sent men to arrest Jesus a similar thing happened. See verses below.

* John 7:30-32 "At this they tried to seize him, but no one laid a hand on him, because his time had not yet come. Still, many in the crowd put their faith in him. They said, "When the Christ comes, will he do more miraculous signs than this man?" The Pharisees heard the crowd whispering such things about him. Then the chief priests and the Pharisees sent temple guards to arrest him.'

* John 7:45-49 "Finally the temple guards went back to the chief priests and Pharisees, who asked them, "Why didn't you bring him in?" "No one ever spoke the way this man does," the guards declared. "You mean he has deceived you also?" the Pharisees retorted. "Has any of the rulers or of the Pharisees believed in him? No! But this mob that knows nothing of the law--there is a curse on them."

* "and (Saul) walked along prophesying" -1 John 4:1 teaches, "Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world.

* "Is Saul also among the prophets?" -People knew what a unspiritual man Saul normally was. They could not believe that it was the same man what twice they saw him with the prophets prophesying.

* Balaam, a false prophet was hired to curse Israel. Yet each time he spoke the Lord caused him to bless Israel. (Num. 22; Deut. 23:4-5; Josh. 13:22; and 2 Peter 2:15; Rev. 2:14)

David the Refugee

>What do these events tell us about Saul?

* Saul is now subject to the will of the evil spirit. A little sin left unchecked in a believer will grow and bring him to ruin. Jesus taught, "You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled by men." (Matthew 5:13)

III. Jonathan Keeps His Convent of Friendship (20:1-42)

>7. After seeking Samuel's spiritual help, where did David go for help in resolving his problem with Saul? (1-3)

* 1 Samuel 20:1-3 "Then David fled from Naioth at Ramah and went to Jonathan and asked, "What have I done? What is my crime? How have I wronged your father, that he is trying to take my life?" "Never!" Jonathan replied. "You are not going to die! Look, my father doesn't do anything, great or small, without confiding in me. Why would he hide this from me? It's not so!" But David took an oath and said, "Your father knows very well that I have found favor in your eyes, and he has said to himself, 'Jonathan must not know this or he will be grieved.' Yet as surely as the Lord lives and as you live, there is only a step between me and death."

* "What have I done?" -Did David really not understand what was happening? Perhaps. When trouble and persecution comes we often don't know the purpose behind it.

* "How have I wronged your father" -David says he is innocent. Saul calls David his enemy only to gain support and sympathy. David tells the truth and Saul is the liar; yet David is the one who has to run and hide.

* "Why would he hide this from me" -Often those closes to a guilty man, unfaithful to the Lord and his ways, do not see that which is obvious to others. Satan can look like an angle of light. (2 Cor. 11:14)

>What does this show about him?

* Jonathan was a friend to David to the point where David could trust him.

* Everyone needs to find friends in the Lord like David.

* Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 "Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work: If one falls down, his friend can help him up. But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up! Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm. But how can one keep warm alone? Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken."

>8. Who was Jonathan and what did he stand to lose by helping David? (14:49)

* 1 Samuel 14:49 "Saul's sons were Jonathan, Ishvi and Malki-Shua. The name of his older daughter was Merab, and that of the younger was Michal."

* Jonathan was the heir apparent. He was losing the honor to be the next king. Yet he was willing to give it to his friend for the knew the Lord had anointed David as the next king. Jonathan would never stand in the way of God's will.

* Jonathan risked being alienated by his father and family.

* Jonathan risked being killed by his father.

* Jonathan risked living in luxury and wealth to become a fugitive like David.

* Jesus taught, "Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I have come to turn "'a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law-- a man's enemies will be the members of his own household.' Anyone who loves his father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves his son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me; and anyone who does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me. Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it." (Matthew 10:34-39)

>What was his response to David's plea for help? (4)

* 1 Samuel 20:4 "Jonathan said to David, "Whatever you want me to do, I'll do for you."

* Jonathan and David's love is rare in the Old Testament and perhaps the greatest example of brotherly love outside of Jesus' love for us.

>9. What did David ask Jonathan to do for him? (5-10)

* 1 Samuel 20:5-10 "So David said, "Look, tomorrow is the New Moon festival, and I am supposed to dine with the king; but let me go and hide in the field until the evening of the day after tomorrow. If your father misses me at all, tell him, 'David earnestly asked my permission to hurry to Bethlehem, his hometown, because an annual sacrifice is being made there for his whole clan.' If he says, 'Very well,' then your servant is safe. But if he loses his temper, you can be sure that he is determined to harm me. As for you, show kindness to your servant, for you have brought him into a covenant with you before the Lord. If I am guilty, then kill me yourself! Why hand me over to your father?" "Never!" Jonathan said. "If I had the least inkling that my father was determined to harm you, wouldn't I tell you?" David asked, "Who will tell me if your father answers you harshly?"

* "New Moon festival" -Neighboring nations celebrated the full moon. Israel was instructed to celebrate on the new moon, awaiting the first sliver of the moon to appear. Numbers 28:11-15 states, "'On the first of every month, present to the Lord a burnt offering of two young bulls, one ram and seven male lambs a year old, all without defect. With each bull there is to be a grain offering of three-tenths of an ephah of fine flour mixed with oil; with the ram, a grain offering of two-tenths of an ephah of fine flour mixed with oil; and with each lamb, a grain offering of a tenth of an ephah of fine flour mixed with oil. This is for a burnt offering, a pleasing aroma, an offering made to the Lord by fire. With each bull there is to be a drink offering of half a hin of wine; with the ram, a third of a hin; and with each lamb, a quarter of a hin. This is the monthly burnt offering to be made at each new moon during the year. Besides the regular burnt offering with its drink offering, one male goat is to be presented to the Lord as a sin offering." See also Numbers 10:10 and Psalm 81:3 for the blare of trumpets too. 2 Kings 4:23 indicates religious instructions were also given. See also Lev. 23:24-25; Num. 29:1-6; Isa. 1:13; and Am. 8:5.

* "Bethlehem" -David's hometown was south of Saul's home.

* "an annual sacrifice" -David may have been referring to a need to be with his family for the Feast of Trumpets. The Feast of Trumpets is the only one to start on the first of the month. So it coincided with a New Moon festival for the seventh Hebrew calendar month. Or perhaps David might be referring to his family's special offering. Samuel's parents may have had a special family sacrifice too. (1:3)

* John 13:35 "By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another."

>What did Jonathan promise David? (11-13)

* 1 Samuel 20:11-13 (NIV) "'Come,' Jonathan said, 'let's go out into the field.' So they went there together. Then Jonathan said to David: 'By the Lord, the God of Israel, I will surely sound out my father by this time the day after tomorrow! If he is favorably disposed toward you, will I not send you word and let you know? But if my father is inclined to harm you, may the Lord deal with me, be it ever so severely, if I do not let you know and send you away safely. May the Lord be with you as he has been with my father.'"

* "may the Lord deal with me, be it ever so severely" -A common curse phrase of the time.

* "as he has been with my father" -Perhaps Jonathan could not recognize that the Spirit had departed from his father because of the false religion that Saul practice was similar to the kind of worship the Lord looks for. At the same time Jonathan recognizes that David is to be the next king of Israel and thus the Spirit had and will fall on David.

>What was the content of their covenant? (14-17)

* 1 Samuel 20:14-17 "But show me unfailing kindness like that of the Lord as long as I live, so that I may not be killed, 15 and do not ever cut off your kindness from my family--not even when the Lord has cut off every one of David's enemies from the face of the earth." 16 So Jonathan made a covenant with the house of David, saying, "May the Lord call David's enemies to account." 17 And Jonathan had David reaffirm his oath out of love for him, because he loved him as he loved himself."

* "so that I may not be killed" -In the ancient world when the dynasty changed the new king would kill on the former heir apparent, the family of the former dynasty. (1 Kings 15:29, 16:11; 2 Kings 10:7, 11:1)

* "do not every cut off your kindness from my family" -David and Jonathan had made a previous promise to do just this. (18:3)

* "May the Lord call David's enemies to account" -Jonathan aligns himself with David's dynasty, not his fathers. Jonathan did not like the type of leadership shown in Saul, who would. Saul reign changed to fear and intimidation. Saul used social, economic, and sometimes physical pressure and pains to cause them to submit to his rule. Jesus' kingdom is not based on these. Any congregation and/or elders that uses such tactic will not survive, their candle will be removed from Jesus' presence. (Rev. 1:19-20, 2:5)

>How was Jonathan to inform David of Saul's intentions?

* 1 Samuel 20:18-27 "Then Jonathan said to David: "Tomorrow is the New Moon festival. You will be missed, because your seat will be empty. 19 The day after tomorrow, toward evening, go to the place where you hid when this trouble began, and wait by the stone Ezel. 20 I will shoot three arrows to the side of it, as though I were shooting at a target. 21 Then I will send a boy and say, 'Go, find the arrows.' If I say to him, 'Look, the arrows are on this side of you; bring them here,' then come, because, as surely as the Lord lives, you are safe; there is no danger. 22 But if I say to the boy, 'Look, the arrows are beyond you,' then you must go, because the Lord has sent you away. 23 And about the matter you and I discussed--remember, the Lord is witness between you and me forever." 24 So David hid in the field, and when the New Moon festival came, the king sat down to eat. 25 He sat in his customary place by the wall, opposite Jonathan, and Abner sat next to Saul, but David's place was empty. 26 Saul said nothing that day, for he thought, "Something must have happened to David to make him ceremonially unclean--surely he is unclean." 27 But the next day, the second day of the month, David's place was empty again. Then Saul said to his son Jonathan, "Why hasn't the son of Jesse come to the meal, either yesterday or today?"

* "Abner" -Saul's cousin and the commander of his army. (14:50)

* "ceremonially unclean" -Israel was to cleanse herself before Mount Sinai by washing their bodies and clothes as a symbol of God's work. Cleansing by water was to be kept down through the generations. (Exodus 19:10; Lev. 15, 7:20-21; Num. 19:11-22) Jews call it a "mikveh". John the Baptist used water in the same way. (Matt. 3:6) Today we are cleaned through the Jesus' blood (1 John 1:7) and word (John 17:17).

* "the Lord has sent you away" -Isaac sent his son Jacob away, out of the promised land, because his brother bent on harming and even killing Jacob. This was God's will. Later, Jacob's sons sold his brother into slavery, sending him out of the promised land. This was God's will too. Jesus, as an toddler was brought out of the promised land by his parents to protect him from Herod's hand. This too was God's will. God's will is not always what we expect or plan.

* "in his customary place by the wall" -The place of honor was with the back to the wall, facing and farthest from the door for protection.

* "The next day, the second day of the month" -Since the appearing of the first sliver of the moon took two or three days, Saul had a feast every night until the moon appeared. (Note: Jewish days went from sunset to sunset.)

* "David's place was empty again" -The uncleanliness mentioned in Lev. 15:16-18 was for one day, "till evening".

David and Jonathan src=

* See a wood engraving by Gustave Dore (1832-1883) to the right depicting David and Jonathan upon David's escape from Saul. Dore's drawings were in Bibles that are now in public domain. This one was scanned in by creationism.org.

>10. What did Jonathan learn about his father's intentions toward David?

* 1 Samuel 20:28-31 "Jonathan answered, "David earnestly asked me for permission to go to Bethlehem. 29 He said, 'Let me go, because our family is observing a sacrifice in the town and my brother has ordered me to be there. If I have found favor in your eyes, let me get away to see my brothers.' That is why he has not come to the king's table." 30 Saul's anger flared up at Jonathan and he said to him, "You son of a perverse and rebellious woman! Don't I know that you have sided with the son of Jesse to your own shame and to the shame of the mother who bore you? 31 As long as the son of Jesse lives on this earth, neither you nor your kingdom will be established. Now send and bring him to me, for he must die!"

* "son of a perverse and rebellious women" -Saul is saying his son is acting like a son of the ignoble commoner, slave, and/or servant. Saul has come to see him and his family a step or more above the average person. Saul saw David Such is the case of any dynasty, whether civil or religious. The fallen man cannot lead himself. Privilege begets pride.

* "son of Jesse" -Saul could not say David's name, he hated him so.

* "neither you nor your kingdom will be established" -Saul knows for sure that David has been anointed king. He is thus convinced he can change that by killing David. Similarly, Jesus told a parable to explain the reason why the religious leaders wanted to kill him. They thought by doing so they could obtain the kingdom of God. (Matt. 21:38)

* "for he must die" -Saul is as delusional as a man can get by thinking, "Get rid of the anointed and I reign forever."

>When he tried to defend David, what happened?

* 1 Samuel 20:32-34 "Why should he be put to death? What has he done?" Jonathan asked his father. 33 But Saul hurled his spear at him to kill him. Then Jonathan knew that his father intended to kill David. 34 Jonathan got up from the table in fierce anger; on that second day of the month he did not eat, because he was grieved at his father's shameful treatment of David."

* "Saul hurled his spear to kill him" -Saul actions may give hint that his curse earlier to Jonathan concerning his mother could imply that Saul meant to have a replacement heir apparent, disowning Jonathan.

>Considering their parting, how could Jonathan and David have such a beautiful friendship? (35-42)

* 1 Samuel 20:35-42 "In the morning Jonathan went out to the field for his meeting with David. He had a small boy with him, 36 and he said to the boy, "Run and find the arrows I shoot." As the boy ran, he shot an arrow beyond him. 37 When the boy came to the place where Jonathan's arrow had fallen, Jonathan called out after him, "Isn't the arrow beyond you?" 38 Then he shouted, "Hurry! Go quickly! Don't stop!" The boy picked up the arrow and returned to his master. 39 (The boy knew nothing of all this; only Jonathan and David knew.) 40 Then Jonathan gave his weapons to the boy and said, "Go, carry them back to town." 41 After the boy had gone, David got up from the south side [of the stone] and bowed down before Jonathan three times, with his face to the ground. Then they kissed each other and wept together--but David wept the most. 42 Jonathan said to David, "Go in peace, for we have sworn friendship with each other in the name of the Lord, saying, 'The Lord is witness between you and me, and between your descendants and my descendants forever.'" Then David left, and Jonathan went back to the town."

* "three times" -A sign of submission.

* "in the name of the Lord" -Christians are bound in the name of the Lord Jesus christ too. (John 17)

* "Go in peace" -Jonathan and David leave on good terms.


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