1 Samuel 18-20
Saul and David finished their conversation. After that , Saul’s son Jonathan was deeply attracted to David and came to love him as much as he loved himself.
Saul kept David with him from that day on and did not let him go back home. Jonathan swore eternal friendship with David because of his deep affection for him. He took off the robe he was wearing and a gave it to David, together with his armor and also his sword, bow , and belt. David was successful in all the missions on which Saul sent him, and so Saul mad him an officer in his army. This pleased all of Saul’s officers and men.
As David was returning after killing Goliath and as the soldiers were coming back home, women from every town in Israel came out to meet King Saul. They were singing joyful songs, dancing, and playing tambourines and lyres. In their celebration the women sang, “Saul had killed thousands, but David tens of thousands.” Saul did not like this, and he became very angry. He said, “ For David they claim ten of thousands, but only thousands for me. They will be making him king next!” And so he was jealous and suspicious of David from that day on.
The next day an evil sprit from God suddenly took control of Saul, and he raved in his house like a madman. David was playing the harp, as he did every day, and Saul was holding a spear. “I’ll pin him to the wall,” Saul said to himself, and he threw the spear at him twice; but David dodged each time.
Saul was afraid of David because the LORD was with David but ad abandoned him. So Saul sent him away and put him in command of a thousand men. David led his men in battle and was successful in all he did, because the LORD was with him.
Saul noticed David’s success and became even more afraid of him.
But everyone in Israel and Judah loved David because he was such a successful leader.
Then Saul said to David, “Here is my older daughter Merab. I will give her to your as your wife on condition that your serve me as a brave and loyal soldier, and fight the LORD’s battles.” (Saul was thinking that in this way the Philistines would kill David, and he would not have to do it himself.)
David answered, “Who am I and what is my family that I should become the king’s son-in-law?” But when the time came for Merab to be given to David, she was given instead to a man named Adriel from Meholah.
Saul’s daughter Michal, however, fell in love with David, and when Saul heard of this, he was pleased. He said to himself, “I will give Michal to David; I will use her to trap him, and he will be killed by the Philistines.”
So for the second time Saul said to David, “You will be my son-in-law.”
He ordered his officials to speak privately with David and tell him, “The king is pleased with you and all his officials like you now is a good time for you to marry his daughter.”
So they told this to David, and he answered, “It’s a great honor to become the king’s son-in-law, too great for someone poor and insignificant like me.”
The officials told Saul what David had said, and Saul ordered them to tell David: “All the king want from you as payment for the bride are the foreskins of a hundred dead Philistines, as revenge on his enemies.” (This was how Saul planned to have David killed by the Philistines.)
Saul’s officials reported to David what Saul had said, and David was delighted with the thought of becoming the king’s son-in-law. Before the day set for the wedding, David and his men went and killed tow hundred Philistines. He took their foreskins to the king and counted them all out to him, so that he might become his son-in-law. So Saul had to give his daughter Michal in marriage to David.
Saul realized clearly that the LORD was with David and also that his daughter Michal loved him. So he became even more afraid of David and was his enemy as long as he lived.
The Philistine armies would come and fight, but in every battle David was more successful than any of Saul’s other officers. As a result David became very famous.
Saul told his son Jonathan and all his officials that he planned to kill David. But Jonathan was very found of David, and so he told him, “My father is trying to kill you. Please be careful tomorrow morning; hide in some secret place and stay there. I will go and stand by my father in the field where you are hiding, and I will speak to him about you. If I fin out anything, I will let you know.”
Jonathan praised David to Saul and said, “Sir, don’t do wrong to your servant David. He has never done you any wrong; on the contrary, everything he has done has been a great help to you. He risked his life when he killed Goliath, and the LORD won a great victory for Israel. When you saw it, you were glad. Why, then, do you now want to do wrong to an innocent man and kill David for no reason at all?”
Saul was convinced by what Jonathan said and made a vow in the LORD’s name that the would not kill David. So Jonathan called David and told him everything; then he took him to Saul, and David served th king as he had before.
War with the Philistines broke out again. David attacked them and defeated them so thoroughly that they fled.
One day an evil sprit from the LORD took control of Saul. He was sitting in his house with his spear in his hand, and David was there, playing his harp. Saul tired to pin David to the wall with his spear, but David dodged, and the spear struck in the wall. David ran away and escaped.
That same night Saul sent some men to watch David’s house and kill him the next morning. Michal, David’s wife, warned him, “If you don’t get away tonight, tomorrow you will be dead.” She let him down from a window, and he ran away and escaped. Then she took the household idol, laid it on, the bed, put a pillow made of goats’ hair at its head, and put a cover over it. When Saul’s men came to get David, Michal told them that he was sick. But Saul sent them back to see David for themselves. He ordered them, “Carry him here in his bed, and I will kill him.”
They went inside and found the household idol in the bed and the goat’s hair pillow at its head. Saul asked Michal, “Why have you tricked me like this and let my enemy escape?”
She answered, “He said he would kill me if I didn’t help him escape.”
David escaped and went to Samuel in Ramah and told him everything that Saul had done to him. Then he and Samuel went to Naioth and stayed there. Saul was told that David was in Naioth in Ramah, so he sent some men to arrest him. They saw the group of prophets dancing and shouting, with Samuel as their leader. Then the sprit of God took control of Saul’s men, and they also began to dance and shout. When Saul heard of this, he sent more messengers, and they also began to dance and shout. He sent messengers the third time, and the same thing happened to them. Then he himself started out to Ramah. When he came to the large well in Secu, he asked where Samuel and David were and was told that they were at Naioth.
As he was going there, the spirit of god took control of him also, and he danced and shouted all the way to Naioth. He took off his clothes and danced and shouted in Samuel’s presence, and lay naked all that day and all that night. ( This is how the saying originated, “Has even Saul become a prophet?”)
Then David fled from Naioth in Ramah and went to Jonathan. “What have I done?” he asked. “What crime have I committed? What wrong have I done to your father to make him want to kill me?”
Jonathan answered, “God forbid that you should die! My father tells me everything he does, important or not, and he would not hide this from me. It just isn’t so!”
But David answered, “Your father knows very well how much you like me, and he has decided no to let you know what he plans to do, because you would be deeply hurt. I swear to you by the living LORD that I am only a step away from death!”
Jonathan said, “I’ll do anything you want.”
“Tomorrow is the New Moon Festival, “ David replied, “and I am supposed to eat with the king. But if it’s al right with you, I will go and hide in the field until the evening of the day after tomorrow. If your father notices that I am not at the table, tell him that I begged your permission to hurry home to Bethlehem, since it’s the time for the annual sacrifice there for my whole family. If he says, ‘All right, ‘ I will be safe; but if he becomes angry, you will know that he is determined to harm me. Please do me this favor, and keep the sacred promise you made to me. But if I’m guilty, kill me yourself! Why take me to your father to be killed?”
“Don’t even think such a thing!” Jonathan answered. “If I knew for sure that my father was determined to harm you, wouldn’t I tell you?”
David then asked, “Who will let me know if your father answers you angrily?”
“Let’s go out to the fields,” Jonathan answered. So they went, and Jonathan said to David, “May the LORD God of Israel be our witness! At this time tomorrow and on th following day I will question my father, If his attitude toward you is good, I will send you word. If he intends to harm you, may the LORD strike me dead if I don’t let you know about it and get you safely away. May the LORD be with you as he was with my father! And if I remain alive, please keep your sacred promise and be loyal to me; but if I die, show the same kind of loyalty to my family forever. And when the LORD has completely destroyed all your enemies, may our promise to each other till be unbroken. If it is broken, the LORD will punish you.”
Once again Jonathan made David promise to love him, for Jonathan loved David as much as he loved himself.
Then Jonathan said to him, “Since tomorrow is the New Moon Festival, your absence will be noticed if you aren’t at the meal. The day after tomorrow your absence will be noticed even more; so go to the place where you hid yourself the other time, and hide behind the pile of stones there. I will then shoot three arrows at it, as though it were a target. Then I will tell my servant to go and find them, And if I tell him, ‘Look, the arrows are on this side of you; get them, ‘ that means that you are safe and can come out. I swear by the living LORD that you will be in no danger. But if I tell him, ‘The arrows are on the other side of you, ‘ then leave, because the LORD is sending you away. As for the promise we have made to each other, the LORD will make sure that we will keep it forever.”
So David hid in the field. At the New Moon Festival, King Saul came to the meal and sat in his usual place by the wall. Abner sat next to him, and Jonathan sat across the table from him. David’s place was empty, but Saul said nothing that day, because he thought, “Something has happened to him, and he is not ritually pure.” On the following day, the day after the New Moon Festival, David’s place was still empty, and Saul asked Jonathan, “Why didn’t David come to the meal either yesterday or today?”
Jonathan answered, “He begged me to let him go to Bethlehem.”
‘Please let me go, ‘ he said, ‘because our family is celebrating the sacrificial fest in town, and my brother ordered me to be there. So then, if you are my friend, let me go and see my relatives. ‘ That is why he isn’t in his place at your table.”
Saul became furious with Jonathan and said to him, “How rebellious and faithless your mother was! Now I know you are taking sides with David and are disgracing yourself and that mother of yours! Don’t you realize that as long as David is alive, you will never be king of this country? Now go and bring him here—he must die!”
“Why should he die?” Jonathan replied. “What has he done?”
At that, Saul threw his spear at Jonathan to kill him, and Jonathan realized that his father was really determined to kill David. Jonathan got up from the table in a rage and ate nothing that day—the second day of the New Moon Festival. He was deeply distressed about David, because Saul had insulted him.
The following morning Jonathan went to the field to meet David, as they had agreed.
He took a young boy with him and said to him, “Run and find the arrows I’m going to shoot.” The boy ran, and Jonathan shot an arrow beyond him. When the boy reached the place where the arrow had fallen, the place where the arrow had fallen, Jonathan shouted to him, “The arrow is farther on! Don’t just stand there! Hurry up!” The boy picked up the arrow and returned to his master, not knowing what it all meant; only Jonathan and David knew. Jonathan gave his weapons to the boy and told him to take them back to town.
After the boy had left, David got up from behind the pile of stones, fell on his knees and bowed with his face to the ground three times. Both he and Jonathan were crying as they kissed each other; David’s grief was even greater than Jonathan’s.
Then Jonathan said to David, “God be with you. The LORD will make sure that you and I, and your descendants and mine, will forever keep the sacred promise we have made to each other.” Then David left, and Jonathan went back to the town.
Friend, can you not draw encouragement and teaching from thess men of God?
God has a place for you; He has a work for you. Are you in that place, and are you doing that work?
If not, will you not listen to the still small voice of God's Spirit in
your heart? Will you not now listen to His Word and look to the Lord
Jesus Christ for salvation?
May God help you to go forward in the way of faith as did David and Jonathan.