Read 1 Samuel 19

Highlights:

Saul seeks to kill David; Jonathan's covenant with David; David flees to Achish, king of Gath.

And Saul spake to Jonathan his son, and to all his servants, that they should kill David (I Sam. 19:1).

Following David's victory over Goliath, he became very popular with the people. As David gained prestige in the nation, King Saul became obsessed with jealousy. He set out to destroy David at any cost.

Saul manipulated the circumstances of David's life to expose him to the Philistines, hoping that they would kill him. Over a period of time, everyone in Israel became aware that King Saul was seeking to destroy David. But, as time progressed, it also became clear that God continued to guide David, even using two of Saul's children, his son Jonathan and his daughter Michal, to protect him.

After Saul had hurled a javelin at David's heart on a second occasion, David fled to his home where he was pursued by Saul's officers and was saved only by the strategy of his loving wife, Michal, who let David down through a window (19:12).

Saul had become so obsessed with jealousy that he tried to involve his son, David's closest friend, to murder him. But, Jonathan spake good of David unto Saul his father, and said unto him, Let not the king sin against his servant, against David; because he hath not sinned against thee, and because his works have been to thee-ward very good: For he did put his life in his hand, and slew the Philistine, and the Lord wrought a great salvation for all Israel: thou sawest it, and didst rejoice: wherefore then wilt thou sin against innocent blood, to slay David without a cause? (19:4-5).

Saul eventually confessed that David was chosen of God (24:20). But, blinded by self-interest, he was driven from one desperate act to another. Saul faced the fierce and powerful Philistine armies without the skillful ability of David and without the blessings of God. The ultimate end of his obsession to destroy David ended in his suicide after he was wounded in battle.

Like Saul many have brought about their own downfall while attempting to destroy another. When we are controlled by pride, we no longer recognize the sovereign right of God to arrange the affairs of earth and to rule the heart of every man.

But He giveth more grace. Wherefore He saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble (James 4:6).

Thought for Today:

To some people, worldly popularity and power appear as a dazzling giant prize to gain at any price.

Christ Portrayed:

By David, who, as a servant of Saul, suffered at the hands of the one whom he served (I Sam. 19:1,10-11). Jesus suffered at the hands of the ones He came to serve and to save. From that time forth began Jesus to shew unto His disciples, how that He must . . . suffer many things of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised again the third day (Matt. 16:21).

Word Studies:

19:9 played with his hand, played music on the harp; 19:13 bolster, headrest; 20:2 but that he will shew it me, without first telling me; 20:12 sounded, questioned; 20:26 not clean, ceremonially defiled (Lev. 15; Num. 19:11); 20:30 confusion, dishonor, shame; 20:33 javelin,  spear; 21:4 hallowed bread, Showbread, sacrificial bread to be eaten only by priests (Ex. 25:30; Matt. 12:3-4).

Prayer Needs:

Pray for Government Officials: Rep. Robert A. Brady (PA), Gov. Edmund Gerald "Jerry" Brown, Jr. (CA), and Gov. Mitch Elias Daniels (IN) • Country: Armenia (3.8 million) southwest Transcaucasia between Europe and Asia • Major languages: Armenian and Russian • Religious freedom • 78.5% Armenian Apostolic Church; 3.3% Muslim; .05% Protestant; 17.7% Atheist/Agnostic • Prayer Suggestion: Pray for those who are in adverse circumstances (Heb. 13:3).

Optional Reading: Acts 8

Memory Verse for the Week: Ephesians 3:20