1 Samuel 19:1-17

1 Samuel 19:1-17

1 Samuel 19:1-10 In these verses we learn of the fifth attempt by Saul to kill David. This particular attempt was counteracted by Jonathan’s close friendship with David. Saul now publicly ordered the killing of David, charging his own son Jonathan and all his attendants to assassinate David. Up to this point, Saul’s attempts had not been publicly known. Every attempt had failed, and Saul’s fear of David’s threat to his throne totally consumed him.

Saul had acted this way for so long that he was now beyond repentance or changing (1 Samuel 18:29). Saul’s jealousy causes him to give the explicit order to his son Jonathan and to all his attendants: kill David. But Jonathan warns David of the assassination plot.

Jonathan and David had earlier made a permanent covenant of friendship, loyalty and help in meeting each other’s needs and looking after each other’s welfare. Jonathan revealed the actual time of the assassination attempt and suggested a way for David to escape. He assured David he would intervene, pleading David’s case before his father.

Jonathan urged his father Saul to end his conspiracy to kill David by pleading for David’s innocence, he reminded his father of the service David had already performed for the king and the nation. It was David who had killed Goliath and motivated the Israel to defeat the Philistines (1 Samuel 17:55-58). Moreover there was the clear, undeniable fact that King Saul knew: the God was with David, and Saul would be committing evil if he killed David shedding innocent blood.

Saul listened to the logical reasoning of Jonathan, and agreed, and promised not to kill David. Jonathan rushed to inform David of the reconciliation and brought David before Saul and the relationship was restored, at least temporarily. It is an important lesson how important it is to development deep friendships. If two people are close friends, they can help and encourage one another and help to meet the needs of each other when facing trials or temptations.

This is the kind of world God wants us to have: families, communities that are closely bound together in friendship and brotherly love. In 1 Samuel 19:8-10 here we have the sixth attempt by Saul to kill David, an assault aroused by his jealousy. Note the contrast between the character of David and Saul in this passage. David’s character is seen in his spirit of responsibility and loyalty to both Saul and the nation.

Once more war broke out, and David was again victorious in battle against the Philistines. Apparently, he gained a quick and significant victory against them, for Scripture says that he struck them with such force that they were routed and fled for their lives. Saul’s character is revealed by the evil spirit that again came upon him. Most likely it was David’s victory over the Philistines that disturbed Saul, arousing his spirit of jealousy and paranoia in his heart.

David was playing the harp for him during this episode of insanity just as he had done earlier. Saul is sitting there holding a spear in his hand; when Saul suddenly hurls the spear at David, attempting to kill him.  But just as before, David dodged out of the way. That night, David eludes Saul and escapes out of the city, fleeing for his life.

1 Samuel 19:11-17 In these verses we have the seventh attempt to kill David, and this attempt caused strife and division between Saul and his daughter. Saul sent some men to watch David’s house throughout the night so that he could not escape out of the city. The men were ordered to kill David first thing in the morning.  But Michal’s love for her husband overrode her father’s plans.

Michal warned David and helped him escape through an unguarded window, and David was able to flee. Michal then put an idol under the bed coverings to deceive the assassins when they questioned her and in the morning claimed that David was ill and unable to get up. When they returned to Saul, he sent them back to arrest David, even if they had to bring him in his bed.

Saul’s was determined to kill David and eliminate this threat to his power and future. Michal’s deception was discovered and she was brought before King Saul. Michal was ordered to give an account why had she helped her father’s enemy, to escape? Michal’s response was probably the only response that could have saved her life: that David had threatened her, forcing her to deceive and lie to the assassins.

Saul’s pursuit of David and defiance of was destroying his family. In 1 Samuel 19:18-24 we see the eighth attempt by Saul to kill David makes it more clear of Saul’s repeated rebellion against God’s Spirit. Starting with these verses, David’s days as a fugitive fleeing for his life begins, and continues on until Saul’s death.

After David fled, he went to seek counsel from Samuel in the city of Ramah. David needed encouragement and guidance about what steps to do next. Samuel took him to Navith, which means dwellings. This was probably a complex of buildings in the city of Ramah that was the school for the prophets founded by Samuel. Saul gets word that David was with Samuel in Naioth at Ramah.

Saul sends his soldiers to capture and arrest him. But when they arrive a strange thing happens. They saw a group of prophets prophesying under Samuel’s leadership, and immediately, they too were stricken by the Spirit of God and began to prophesy, behaving and speaking in a manner like modern charismatics. But Saul was resolved to kill David and sends a second and third group of men to capture and arrest David.

But they too were stricken by God’s Spirit and began to prophesy, acting and speaking in the same way. Finally, more determined than ever to kill David, Saul himself heads to Ramah. When he reached the outskirts of the city, he stopped at a famous cistern to ask where Samuel and David were. While on his way the Spirit of God came upon him. And Saul began prophesying as he walked along.

With great power, the Spirit of God forced Saul to strip off his robes and to prophesy in Samuel’s presence, lying on the ground in the same state as his soldiers all that day and night. This was a clear symbol of God’s Spirit stripping Saul’s claim to the throne of Israel. God’s Spirit demonstrated that Saul was rejected as king and stripped of his royal power. We see here the consequences of rebellion against God.

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