1 Samuel 18

David And Jonathan

Abner brought David to stand before King Saul to discover more about the youth who defeated a giant. During the exchange with Saul, David gained favor with Saul's son Jonathan, and they became the closest of friends. Jonathan loved David as he loved his own soul. Saul drafted David that very day and did not allow him to return to his father. Jonathan made a covenant with David and sealed it with his own robe, armor, sword, bow, and belt. David was successful in every mission that Saul gave him, and so he set David over the men of war. This move by Saul pleased the people, for David enjoyed great favor. 

A Giant Not Easily Killed

As the army returns home, and as the victors make their way home the women came to greet King Saul with singing and dancing. They sang of Saul's victories over thousands and then they sang of David's ten thousands. Saul was incensed by these songs, and his jealousy was triggered. Saul believed that this exaltation would ultimately catapult David to the throne itself. Saul did not look at David the same after that day, and he viewed him with suspicion. The following day an evil spirit rushed upon Saul and David would play to soothe Saul in his suffering. On two occasions when Saul was raving under the influence of the evil spirit, he tried to kill David with his spear. The monster of jealousy grew daily, and Saul was afraid of David because he knew God's Spirit had left him, but he was with David. Saul made him a commander and David left the court. David continued to enjoy favor with God and man, which only fueled Saul's resentment. 

A Duplicitous Marriage

Saul began to scheme and think of ways to have David killed. He offered him the hand of Merab, his oldest daughter if he would fight the Philistines. Saul thought that the Philistines would dispatch his perceived rival. David felt unworthy, but on the day Merab was to become David’s bride, Saul gave her to another which was intended to humiliate David. Saul’s daughter Michal loved David, and when the king discovered this, he was pleased and began to plot against his rival again. David was from a modest family, and he did not possess the kind of wealth needed for a dowry. Saul sent word that he thought it reasonable for David to bring him a hundred foreskins of slain Philistines as a dowry. This vulgar stipulation followed the custom of other peoples of the ancient Near East, but Saul was hoping that David would fall into the hands of Israel’s enemies. David accepted the terms and he along with his men slew two hundred Philistines and delivered the grotesque dowry. Saul kept his word, and Michal became his wife. Saul could see God's hand on David, and his fear and jealousy grew into a colossal giant. Saul was a ruthless enemy, but David continued to enjoy success after success because the hand of the Lord was with him. David proved that he possessed wisdom and tactical skills superior to Saul's officers, so his reputation grew.

Things To Consider:

  • What characterizes deep abiding friendships?
  • Do you have a friendship like that of David and Jonathan? Why do you think that is?
  • Why is jealousy so dangerous?
  • How does jealousy rob us of objectivity?
  • What do you see in David's faithful service to Saul?
  • Why do you think David continued to serve Saul after he tried to kill him?
  • How do you think David felt when Saul suggested marriage with Michal after the way he had treated him concerning Merab?
  • How do we manipulate circumstances to get what we want?
  • How do you think David felt about the dowry Saul requested?
  • Why do you think David's men helped him achieve his objective?
  • How do you fight jealousy?