A Devoted Servant David’s Loyalty
1 Samuel Chapter 18-20
When we left off last week the Lord had removed a "giant" named Goliath from hindering the work of his servant David. In fact God had used this incident to make Israel aware that changes were beginning to take place again in Israel.
As the result of David’s victory over Goliath, David was given a permanent place in Saul’s court.
Up until this time David was only called in when King Saul was depressed by that evil spirit and Saul was so caught up in the music that he had not taken notice to the musician.
Saul had not paid much attention to the musician because it was the music that soothed his soul.
David will now get the full attention of King Saul because God will allow it to happen!
*****1Sa 17:58 And Saul said to him, Whose son art thou, thou young man? And David answered, I am the son of thy servant Jesse the Bethlehemite.
1Sa 18:1 And it came to pass, when he had made an end of speaking unto Saul, that the soul of Jonathan was knit with the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as his own soul.
Had Saul been obedient to the Lord, Jonathan would have been the next king of Israel and we not found a fault in Jonathan in the scriptures. We have not read a physical description of Jonathan. We have only witnessed his character and we have seen bravery, and cunning, and a warrior dedicated to Israel.
It seems Jonathan would have been a great king.
Jonathan would have been about 30 years old at this time with David nearing 20 years old. Jonathan had witnessed the courage of David because even as brave as he was, he had not challenged Goliath.
So Jonathan’s friendship for David began with an "admiration of David’s faith in the Almighty God"!
Jonathan "witnessed" David’s courage, and his patriotic duty not only to Israel but to the God of Israel!
The most priceless gift we have is salvation!
But, after salvation comes family but along that line we know that friendship also means a great deal to all of us in this world we live in.
The Bible teaches us with these words:
Pro 18:24 A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly: and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother.
The Lord Jesus uses the word "friend" eleven times in His teaching in the Gospels.
The Bible also says of friendship:
Jas 2:23 And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God.
When we love the Lord Jesus and believe upon Him (have faith), we are the "Friend of God"
But there is something else we need to know:
Jas 4:4 Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that "the friendship of the world is enmity with God"? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.
We see that we cannot be friends to this world and still be friends with The Lord Jesus Christ!
To be friends with the world is to be the "enemy of God"!
We see that Jonathan has decided to seek friendship with David.
This is our only function after we are saved!
"To reach out to the lost of this world and lead them to Jesus by our own example".
The way we live our lives must be a witness for Jesus!
Sadly but in this world we live in now, it is important to point out that Jonathan was not seeking some homosexual love or some homosexual relationship!
To those that have serve in the military can understand the closeness of comrades in arms and many of us have close friends that we love dearly.
Though they both remained loyal to their own families, this friendship could not be affected by the other things that changed their lives.
We should also not forget that David is on God’s training ground and God took as much time as needed to mold the character of David for at least 20 years before He placed him on the throne of Israel!
*****1Sa 18:2 And Saul took him that day, and would let him go no more home to his father’s house.
1Sa 18:3 Then Jonathan and David made a covenant, because he loved him as his own soul.
What is a covenant of friendship?
A covenant is a contract or an agreement between two people.
Friendship is more than good will toward another individual!
Friendship is different from a love for food or a love of objects.
This agreement between Jonathan and David was a solemn agreement, "to keep up and maintain a cordial respect for each other" and to support each other, even in separate interest in life and even after death!
And as God provided, David now had a true friend in Saul’s court, who would plead his cause, and could help to preserve the life of David.
*****1Sa 18:4 And Jonathan stripped himself of the robe that was upon him, and gave it to David, and his garments, even to his sword, and to his bow, and to his girdle.
Jonathan was a prince, next in line of the throne of Israel, yet he showed David that he was his equal. There was no better way to show David his favor toward him than to show David that he was also as a prince.
We know that David wore the clothes of a "shepherd" but now wore the clothes of a "prince" but also he wore the weapons and clothes of a "captain" of the army.
These things should remind us of the prophesy of Isaiah:
Isa 9:6 For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.
Isa 9:7 Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this.
Jesus Christ is the Good Shepherd.
Jesus Christ is the Prince of Peace.
Jesus Christ is the Captain of our lives.
Jesus Christ is the King of Kings and The Lord of Lords.
It is interesting to note another type of Christ in this scripture:
Php 2:6 Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God:
Php 2:7 But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:
Php 2:8 And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.
Just as Jonathan took of the robes of royalty, Our Lord humbled Himself when He took off His Heavenly garments and took on the role of a shepherd on this earth!
Jesus Christ is truly our friend because Jesus is truly Our Savior!
Jonathan was truly David’s "Friend"!
What did this covenant mean to these two men?
Listen to what Jonathan says in this verse:
*****1Sa 20:42 And Jonathan said to David, Go in peace, forasmuch as 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. And he arose and departed: and Jonathan went into the city.
This is probably the last day that these two friends had some time together.!
It had become too dangerous for these two men to be seen together by this time because they both knew that they had different paths to travel.
Some would say they had different destinies but these paths were chosen for them by the Lord and both of them were obedient to their calling even though Jonathan would go to an early grave because of his loyalty to his own father.
The Lord would be "Mediator" between these two families "Forever"!
The Lord is our "Mediator between us and the Almighty God in Heaven!
The love that David and Jonathan shared is a "type" of the love that each brother and sister in the Lord should have for each other!
This is our example of pure love for one another and not some lustful thing that has little or no meaning!
Jonathan had absolutely nothing to gain from his relationship with David except the knowledge that he had a close friend!
AND, The Lord had absolutely nothing to gain in coming to this world in order to save us "And That Is The Only Reason He Came"!
Joh 3:17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; "but that the world through him might be saved".
Let’s see how things got to this point:
*****1Sa 18:5 And David went out whithersoever Saul sent him, and behaved himself wisely: and Saul set him over the men of war, and he was accepted in the sight of all the people, and also in the sight of Saul’s servants.
This the theme of our lesson today!
David did not disappoint Saul nor his friend Jonathan but proved himself of the trust they had placed in him.
He did everything his king asked him to do!
David behaved himself wisely. In other words David took the role of a servant to his nation and to his king, and not to himself.
David became general in Saul’s army and the army accepted him though Abner was general over the entire army.
Abner would be included with those servants that took notice of David.
In fact all the people of Israel took notice of him including all of Saul’s servants.
David was prosperous and successful because the Lord was with him!
*****1Sa 18:6 And it came to pass as they came, when David was returned from the slaughter of the Philistine, that the women came out of all cities of Israel, singing and dancing, to meet king Saul, with tabrets, with joy, and with instruments of musick.
1Sa 18:7 And the women answered one another as they played, and said, Saul hath slain his thousands, and David his ten thousands.
David’s stunning victory over Goliath had made it possible for the entire army of Israel to conquer the Philistines.
David was the hero of the people!
Because of what David had done the army pursued and destroyed the Philistines on more than one occasion.
Up until the time of Goliath Saul had led the army of Israel into many battles but his contribution this day was meaningless, but to the people of Israel, but he was still their king.
As this victorious army returned to Israel from such a battle, David’s popularity reached it’s climax and Saul’s fragile self-confidence could take it no more!
*****1Sa 18:8 And Saul was very wroth, and the saying displeased him; and he said, They have ascribed unto David ten thousands, and to me they have ascribed but thousands: and what can he have more but the kingdom?
1Sa 18:9 And Saul eyed David from that day and forward.
The Bible teaches us:
Pro 27:4 Wrath is cruel, and anger is outrageous; but who is able to stand before envy?
If we want to see what happens to a man after the Spirit of God has departed, "then we have our example with Saul"!
Saul craved the praise of his people but that praise was going to David.
Saul became continually envious and suspicious from that day forward.
David the musician was now David his enemy and Saul’s jealousy could not be contained!
*****1Sa 18:10 And it came to pass on the morrow, that the evil spirit from God came upon Saul, and he prophesied in the midst of the house: and David played with his hand, as at other times: and there was a javelin in Saul’s hand.
1Sa 18:11 And Saul cast the javelin; for he said, I will smite David even to the wall with it. And David avoided out of his presence twice.
Saul now sought the death of David!
Samuel had provided an example to Saul in religious and governmental things but now David was showing Saul the art of a true leader.
David was showing Saul "what he should have been to Israel", instead of what he was!
But Saul’s anger was really directed toward God, because the Lord was with David and Saul could not reach David to cause him harm.
We must always remember that hedge of protection that the Lord provides!
The Bible says:
David did not forget to include this in some of his songs:
Psa 5:12 For thou, LORD, wilt bless the righteous; with favour wilt thou compass him as with a shield.
Psa 34:7 The angel of the LORD encampeth round about them that fear him, and delivereth them.
And Peter did not forget to teach those that love Jesus:
1Pe 1:5 Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.
It was David’s faith that brought him victory and it is that same "faith" that brings victory to all those that love Jesus Christ.
But we must always remember "we are in a battle" and also remember that in every fight there are some that go home with bloody noses and some with cuts and bruises.
David knew that his music was intended to soothe Saul at these times, so he just moved out of the way of that Javelin, which also proves to us that he also kept a keen eye on Saul.
We must also keep a keen eye on what Satan is doing in this world and be ready to dodge his methods!
*****1Sa 18:12 And Saul was afraid of David, because the LORD was with him, and was departed from Saul.
Why was Saul afraid of David?
He knew that the Lord was with David and was no longer with him!
Saul had been abandoned by the Holy Spirit, and Saul became a victim of this evil spirit.
*****1Sa 18:13 Therefore Saul removed him from him, and made him his captain over a thousand; and he went out and came in before the people.
Why was David given the authority over a thousand man army?
Saul was hoping that such a carelessly brave young soldier would die in battle!
David went out against the enemies of Israel and continued to come back from each battle in victory and the people noticed but Saul became the more enraged!
*****1Sa 18:14 And David behaved himself wisely in all his ways; and the LORD was with him.
1Sa 18:15 Wherefore when Saul saw that he behaved himself very wisely, he was afraid of him.
Why was Saul afraid of David?
Saul could see all his failures in the successes of David!
Saul had to realize that he was fighting a loosing battle because the Lord was on the side of David.
We should stop and realize that one of the major problems the unbelieving world has, is this fact the Lord is with His people!
We might not notice every victory that God has over the unbelieving world but they notice because the world is becoming more and more like Saul!
Satan knows he is fighting a loosing battle but he refuses to give in and like Saul tries to kill all those "that the Lord is with" every chance he gets!
If Satan cannot kill us, he then tries to ruin our testimony!
We must wear the "Armor Of God" and keep a keen eye on Satan!
Eph 6:16 Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.
*****1Sa 18:16 But all Israel and Judah loved David, because he went out and came in before them.
They might not have transferred their allegiance from King Saul to David but all of Israel and Judah are drawn to David as a military leader and they followed him into battle.
We should also see this separation of Israel and Judah as these things play out.
And let’s remember why Israel had wanted a king.
1Sa 8:20 That we also may be like all the nations; and that our king may judge us, and [go out before us, and fight our battles].
David was going out to fight their battles but Israel was not ready for him to be their judge!
*****1Sa 18:17 And Saul said to David, Behold my elder daughter Merab, her will I give thee to wife: only be thou valiant for me, and fight the LORD’S battles. For Saul said, Let not mine hand be upon him, but let the hand of the Philistines be upon him.
Saul has the "makings" of another plan to get rid of David for good.
We can see how devious he has become!
Saul had publicly committed to offer his daughter’s hand in marriage to the one that had killed Goliath.
But, David sensed that Saul was up to no good.
Being a son-n-law to the king would have even made David more of a trophy to the Philistines, if they could capture or kill him.
*****1Sa 18:18 And David said unto Saul, 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?
David is truly humbled to get this offer from King Saul but he did not refuse the offer.
David came from a poor family and was still more of a shepherd that he was worthy to be in the king’s family.
*****1Sa 18:19 But it came to pass at the time when Merab Saul’s daughter should have been given to David, that she was given unto Adriel the Meholathite to wife.
Saul then withdrew his offer as it seems that he really had no intention of making David a part of his family in hope that he would die fighting with the Philistines.
Saul gave his daughter instead to another man Adriel.
We know very little of this man.
We know that this man was the son of Barzilla.
We know that he was a Meholathite which signifies weakness or sickness.
But, this union brought forth 5 sons who were raised by Michal, Saul’s other daughter.
It seems that both these parents died at a young age shortly after their fifth son was born.
*****1Sa 18:20 And Michal Saul’s daughter loved David: and they told Saul, and the thing pleased him.
1Sa 18:21 And Saul said, I will give him her, that she may be a snare to him, and that the hand of the Philistines may be against him. Wherefore Saul said to David, Thou shalt this day be my son in law in the one of the twain.
Now Saul had another plan. If he could not make David mad enough to just leave then he would allow David to get close enough to keep an eye on him.
Michal would be Saul’s eyes on David and still David would be a greater target for the Philistines to try to capture of kill.
*****1Sa 18:22 And Saul commanded his servants, saying, Commune with David secretly, and say, Behold, the king hath delight in thee, and all his servants love thee: now therefore be the king’s son in law.
1Sa 18:23 And Saul’s servants spake those words in the ears of David. And David said, Seemeth it to you a light thing to be a king’s son in law, seeing that I am a poor man, and lightly esteemed?
Saul has become so devious that he is tempting David with a chance to get his throne.
Remember David had already been anointed by Samuel to be the next king of Israel and David did not yet know what circumstances would allow that to happen so being son-n-law to the king may just be how this thing would take place but this was a bad thought.
Spiritually we continue to see a "type" of sinner in the life of David at this time, knowing that none of us are worthy to be in the Lord’s house, the King of Kings!
But Saul was even more devious than it first seems, as he still thinks he can even keep this marriage from taking place.
*****1Sa 18:24 And the servants of Saul told him, saying, On this manner spake David.
1Sa 18:25 And Saul said, Thus shall ye say to David, The king desireth not any dowry, but an hundred foreskins of the Philistines, to be avenged of the king’s enemies. But Saul thought to make David fall by the hand of the Philistines.
1Sa 18:26 And when his servants told David these words, it pleased David well to be the king’s son in law: and the days were not expired.
A hundred men would have to die.
These men were not a part of the covenant with the Lord. (the covenant of circumcision given to Abraham)
The death of these men would bring a shame to their own families and make even greater enemies of the Philistines.
David himself would have to perform this task and David should have refused.
This was not being a true soldier and this not in the will of God!
God later told David about some of these things:
1Ch 22:8 But the word of the LORD came to me, saying, Thou hast shed blood abundantly, and hast made great wars: thou shalt not build an house unto my name, [because thou hast shed much blood upon the earth in my sight].
It is not sin to kill as a soldier because God has placed those leaders in place!
But it is great sin to any soldier who kills for "his own reasons" and maims and disfigured his enemy.
God is always watching!
*****1Sa 18:27 Wherefore David arose and went, he and his men, and slew of the Philistines two hundred men; and David brought their foreskins, and they gave them in full tale to the king, that he might be the king’s son in law. And Saul gave him Michal his daughter to wife.
1Sa 18:28 [And Saul saw and knew that the LORD was with David], and that Michal Saul’s daughter loved him.
1Sa 18:29 And Saul was yet the more afraid of David; and Saul became David’s enemy continually.
1Sa 18:30 Then the princes of the Philistines went forth: and it came to pass, after they went forth, that David behaved himself more wisely than all the servants of Saul; so that his name was much set by.
These things removed any doubt, if Saul had any, that the Lord was surely with David.!
David possessed traits of strength and courage appropriate for a king but he also had wisdom beyond his young years.
Saul was doing everything in his own fleshy power to try to hold on to being king, disregarding what God had said to him through Samuel.
King Saul gives us an example or a "type" of all future national rulers that oppose the Word of God!
Jealousy, rage, deceit, and making up the rules as they go are just a few of things bad leaders show!
We can see these things happening in our own nation!
Now Saul sinks even further, as he knows that Jonathan has a deep friendship with David and he ask even Jonathan to kill David.
*****1Sa 19:1 And Saul spake to Jonathan his son, and to all his servants, that they should kill David.
1Sa 19:2 But Jonathan Saul’s son delighted much in David: and Jonathan told David, saying, Saul my father seeketh to kill thee: now therefore, I pray thee, take heed to thyself until the morning, and abide in a secret place, and hide thyself:
1Sa 19:3 And I will go out and stand beside my father in the field where thou art, and I will commune with my father of thee; and what I see, that I will tell thee.
This plan of Saul’s also backfires because Jonathan is a true friend!
Five more times in chapter 19 there is a reference made to Saul’s intention to kill David.
Saul even tries to use his daughter Michal against David:
*****1Sa 19:17 And Saul said unto Michal, Why hast thou deceived me so, and sent away mine enemy, that he is escaped? And Michal answered Saul, He said unto me, Let me go; why should I kill thee?
1Sa 19:18 So David fled, and escaped, and came to Samuel to Ramah, and told him all that Saul had done to him. And he and Samuel went and dwelt in Naioth.
We can see that Michal had many traits of her father.
But, in all these things David never went against his king!
Spiritually we should see that God never insulates His Saints and His Chosen from trouble and danger.
But God will protect His Children!
David wrote many of the Psalms that prove to us that David realized that sometimes God must lead us through the dark times, in order to make us stronger and to make us aware that it is only He that could have brought us through these things.
Jesus Christ gives us these words to remind us:
Joh 16:33 These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.
Then Jesus ask His Father and our Father for something very special:
Joh 17:14 I have given them thy word; and the world hath hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.
Joh 17:15 I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, "but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil".
And Jesus adds that one day we should be with Him:
Joh 17:24 Father, I will that they also, whom thou hast given me, "be with me where I am"; that they may behold my glory, which thou hast given me: for thou lovedst me before the foundation of the world.
We know that God will surely answer this prayer of His beloved Son!
We can be absolutely sure that if we belong to Christ Jesus, through "faith", one day we will see Him in His Glory!
The Bible says:
Isa 33:17 Thine eyes shall see the king in his beauty: they shall behold the land that is very far off.