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Saul Resents David (1 Samuel 18) November 2

Jonathan, the son of Saul, immediately recognized in David the qualities he most admired. For, indeed, Jonathan was as courageous as David was. (It would be helpful to go back and review the exploits of Jonathan in chapter 14, and compare them to the exploits of David, to better grasp the tremendous camaraderie that developed between them). Jonathan and David were "kindred spirits." They made a covenant pledge to always be loyal to one another (verse 3). Later, under adverse conditions, we will see them renew this friendship covenant.

David's victory over Goliath and his newfound popularity, especially with the women, would soon inflame Saul's immature jealousy. David's ongoing successes will further expose the deteriorating character of Saul (verses 6-9). The more Saul gives vent to his rage, the more unstable his mental state becomes—and the more susceptible he is to the evil spirit troubling him (16:14). Indeed, we open ourselves up to satanic influence if we do not control our anger (Ephesians 4:26-27). Saul becomes homicidal and twice tries to run David through with his spear, but David evades him. Realizing God was with David and not with him, Saul has a pathological fear of David. Not able to kill David, he gives him a responsibility that will keep him away (verses 12-13).

Samuel had anointed David to be king, but had not given David any kind of timetable. David knows to bide his time, conduct himself properly and wait on God. Even David's quiet conduct enrages Saul and causes him to fear David even more (verse 15). Saul then hatches a plot to have David killed. He stoops to using his daughter as bait to trap David, never expecting David to survive the seemingly impossible ordeal proposed to him (verse 21).

In his own eyes David considers himself to be "lightly esteemed" (verses 18-23). Though he is destined to be king of Israel, in his innate meekness David cannot see himself in Saul's royal circle. (Here is another lesson for us to emulate—to remain humble despite the awesome divine kingship to which God has destined us.)

Saul's plot fails with David surviving and succeeding twice over. Amazingly, though Saul acknowledges that God is with David, he becomes even more the enemy of David! (verses 28-30). We will continue to see how God works out every situation to fulfill His plan for David.

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