Success Inspires Friends, and Induces Foes (1 Samuel 18)

Saul Vs. David

Scripture reading – 1 Samuel 18

  • This is a bonus devotional for Friday, July 2, 2021.

1 Samuel 18 presented us with one of the great and enduring friendships that we find in the Scriptures, that of David and his friendship with Jonathan, the son of King Saul (18:1-4). David had proven himself in battles with the Philistines, and was beloved by the men he led in battle. He had slain the champion of the Philistines, and Jonathan had seen in him the faith, and courage of one with whom he established a lifetime bond. We read, “Jonathan and David made a covenant, because he loved him as his own soul” (18:3). In a display of humility, and patriotic fervor, “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” (18:4).

The shepherd of Bethlehem, was no longer a shepherd, or a mere a court musician. He was the intimate friend of the prince of Israel, and was numbered among the king’s inner circle. With the Spirit of the LORD upon him, David’s valor on the battlefield inspired songs of praise in Israel, and provoked Saul to not only envy him, but to seek his death (18:5-12). Yet, in spite of the growing animosity of the king, “David behaved himself wisely in all his ways; and the Lord was with him. 15Wherefore when Saul saw that he behaved himself very wisely, he was afraid of him. 16But all Israel and Judah loved David, because he went out and came in before them” (18:14-16).

Remembering his promise to give a daughter to be the wife of the man who slew Goliath (17:25), the king feigned friendship with David, and offered his eldest daughter to be his wife (18:17-19). That offer failed, perhaps because David realized he lacked the resources to honor the king with a dowry worthy of the royal family (18:18). Later, when Saul understood his second daughter, Michal “loved David” (18:20), the sly king renewed his scheme, hoping David might be slain, when he required the deaths of a hundred Philistines as his gift to the king (18:25).

David, accepted the bloody proposal (18:25-26), and promptly slew two hundred Philistines (18:27), and “Saul gave him Michal his daughter to wife” (18:27b).

I close, inviting you to consider David’s integrity. He “behaved himself more wisely than all the servants of Saul; so that his name was much set by” (18:30). It is my prayer that Heart of a Shepherd readers would determine to be like David: Men and women of godly character, whose integrity remains constant in the midst of promotions, or unfair demotions.

Copyright 2021 – Travis D. Smith