1Samuel 19:1-24

Sunday Morning Bible Study

February 10, 2002


Saul had been the first king, but when he continued to disobey the things that God had asked him to do, God decided it was time to pick out a new king.  God picked a young shepherd boy named David.  The prophet Samuel anointed David with oil, and the Holy Spirit moved from being on Saul, to being on David.  It was after this that David killed the Philistine giant Goliath, and brought a great victory for Israel.  Jonathan, Saul’s son, had become very fond of David.  After all, they were both brave, daring men who trusted in the Lord.  When David returned from his victory over Goliath, the people wrote songs saying, “Saul hath slain his thousands, and David his ten thousands”.  When Saul heard this, he became angry, filled with jealousy.  Saul began to secretly devise ways of having David killed, first by sending him out to fight more Philistines, then requiring that David kill more Philistines for the privilege of marrying Saul’s daughter Michal.  Yet despite all these efforts to have David killed, David continued to prosper and only became more popular among the people.

We can sometimes think of David only as that “giant-killer”, who was able to experience a great victory.  But much of David’s preparation to become king of Israel came not from killing giants, but from the difficulties he had when being chased by Saul.  Much of the qualities that made David a “man after God’s own heart” don’t come out just by killing giants, but by how he handled hard times.

1Samuel 19

:1  And Saul spake to Jonathan … that they should kill David.

Saul now openly commands that David be put to death.  He’s not going to hide his hatred any more.  Not everyone loves a giant-killer.

This gives us a little insight into the concept of what the Jews considered a king.

Nobody for the moment asks Saul for a reason.  Nobody for the moment questions what Saul is asking.  Saul doesn’t seem to be accountable to anyone.  It seems that he has the ability to command that people be put to death.

This helps explain why the prophet Samuel had been reluctant to go and anoint David.

(1 Sam 16:2 KJV)  And Samuel said, How can I go? if Saul hear it, he will kill me.

:3  what I see, that I will tell thee.

Jonathan promises to talk to his father and find out why Saul is wanting to kill David.

:5  wilt thou sin against innocent blood


Irrational jealousy

Jealousy is not very rational.
In reality, David hasn’t done a single thing for Saul to be afraid of.  David had only done things that benefit Saul.  He’s only helped Saul.  Saul ought to be extremely thankful for David.
But Saul isn’t being very rational.  Jealousy isn’t rational.

:7  Jonathan brought David to Saul

God uses Jonathan, and Saul actually listens to reason.  For the time being, there is peace.



Jesus said,
(Mat 5:9 KJV)  Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.
Paul wrote,
(Rom 12:18 KJV)  If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men.

It is not always possible to be at peace with people, but we should be willing to do our part.

Though this “peace” would only last for a while, I think it was good that Jonathan pursued it.

:8 David went out, and fought with the Philistines


The enemy is a liar

When Goliath had made his challenge to Israel, he said,
(1 Sam 17:9 KJV)  If he be able to fight with me, and to kill me, then will we be your servants: but if I prevail against him, and kill him, then shall ye be our servants, and serve us.

Yet after David defeated Goliath, did the Philistines become Israel’s servants?  No.  In fact, now they’re back at war again.

Satan will often say to us while we’re being tempted, “Just give in this one last time, and you’ll never be bothered again …”  It’s a lie.  We can even think that if we have a victory over a temptation, that we’ll never be bothered again.  That too can be a lie.

:9 And the evil spirit from the LORD was upon Saul

As David has another victory, Saul’s jealousy rises up again and an evil spirit works.


The flesh opens a door to the enemy

Jealousy is not caused by a demon, but by our own sin nature, our “flesh”.
Yet Satan loves to get a “toe-hold” in our lives through things of the flesh that we want to hold on to.
(Eph 4:26-27 KJV)  Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath: {27} Neither give place to the devil.
placetopos – place, any portion or space marked off, as it were from surrounding space; metaph. opportunity, power, occasion for acting.

:9  David played with his hand.

playednagan – to play or strike strings, play a stringed instrument. David played his harp.

:10 And Saul sought to smite David even to the wall with the javelin


Jesus sets us free

In the past, David’s music has been a tool to bring soothing to Saul when he was troubled by this demon.
But this time (just like 1Sam. 18:10-11), the music doesn’t work.
There can be relief from the enemy by lots of different things.  Today people do all kinds of things to make them feel better.  Sometimes they work, sometimes they don’t.  I’ve known people who are not Christians, yet they experience a kind of peace when they listen to Christian music.
Only Jesus can truly set a person free.  Jesus said,
(John 8:36 KJV)  If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.
Jesus set us free by His death on the cross.
(Col 2:13-15 NLT)  You were dead because of your sins and because your sinful nature was not yet cut away. Then God made you alive with Christ. He forgave all our sins. {14} He canceled the record that contained the charges against us. He took it and destroyed it by nailing it to Christ's cross. {15} In this way, God disarmed the evil rulers and authorities. He shamed them publicly by his victory over them on the cross of Christ.
We receive this freedom when we open our hearts to Him.
(John 1:12 KJV)  But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:

:11  Michal David's wife …

David is married to Saul’s daughter, Michal.

:13 And Michal took an image … covered it with a cloth.

an imaget@raphiym – idolatry, idols, image(s), teraphim, family idol; a kind of idol used in household shrine or worship. Why does David have a “teraphim” in his house?  I think it’s possible that this “image” belongs to Michal.

bed – mittah – couch, bed, bier

pillowk@biyr   (something) netted, a quilt, fly net, pillow

This is the old “make them think he’s still in bed” trick.

:14 she said, He is sick.

She stalls the messengers and gives David more time to get away.

:15  Bring him up to me in the bed, that I may slay him.

Saul commands the messengers to bring the whole bed if necessary.  He doesn’t care if David has a cold, he wants to kill David.

:17  Michal answered Saul, He said unto me, Let me go …

She lies to her father.  David hadn’t threatened her at all.  It was her idea that David leave (vs. 11)

It is at this occasion that David writes a song.

(Psa 59 KJV)  To the chief Musician, Altaschith, Michtam of David; when Saul sent, and they watched the house to kill him. Deliver me from mine enemies, O my God: defend me from them that rise up against me. {2} Deliver me from the workers of iniquity, and save me from bloody men. {3} For, lo, they lie in wait for my soul: the mighty are gathered against me; not for my transgression, nor for my sin, O LORD. {4} They run and prepare themselves without my fault: awake to help me, and behold. {5} Thou therefore, O LORD God of hosts, the God of Israel, awake to visit all the heathen: be not merciful to any wicked transgressors. Selah.

David was crying out to God for help.

{6} They return at evening: they make a noise like a dog, and go round about the city. {7} Behold, they belch out with their mouth: swords are in their lips: for who, say they, doth hear? {8} But thou, O LORD, shalt laugh at them; thou shalt have all the heathen in derision. {9} Because of his strength will I wait upon thee: for God is my defence. {10} The God of my mercy shall prevent me: God shall let me see my desire upon mine enemies. {11} Slay them not, lest my people forget: scatter them by thy power; and bring them down, O Lord our shield. {12} For the sin of their mouth and the words of their lips let them even be taken in their pride: and for cursing and lying which they speak.

Apparently these guys weren’t just out to kill David, but they were out to slander him as well.  They were out to destroy David’s reputation.

{13} Consume them in wrath, consume them, that they may not be: and let them know that God ruleth in Jacob unto the ends of the earth. Selah. {14} And at evening let them return; and let them make a noise like a dog, and go round about the city. {15} Let them wander up and down for meat, and grudge if they be not satisfied. {16} But I will sing of thy power; yea, I will sing aloud of thy mercy in the morning: for thou hast been my defence and refuge in the day of my trouble. {17} Unto thee, O my strength, will I sing: for God is my defence, and the God of my mercy.

In this instance, even though God is his defense, David still ran away from the murderers.  Sometimes God is your strength, and you run away.


Ask God for help.

David’s escape started when he cried to God for help.

:18-24  David in Naioth

:18 So David fled, and escaped, and came to Samuel to Ramah

Ramah  If David has been in Gibeah with Saul, then Ramah is only about 2 miles away.

I wonder if David has this sense that Samuel is in some sense partly responsible for getting him in the mess that he is in this day.  David runs to Samuel for help.

:18  And he and Samuel went and dwelt in Naioth.

Naioth Naviyth (naw-veeth) – “habitations”.  This appears to be a place in Ramah (vs.19), where Samuel has established a “school of the prophets”.  He has been raising up another generation of prophets (vs.20).  One of the Jewish Targums (paraphrase) has “house of instruction” here.  David runs to a place where he’s going to hear more from God.


God’s Word in troubled times

Spurgeon has suggested that David might have possibly been the writer of Psalm 119, and if so, some of what he wrote may have been related to this incident at Naioth.
(Psa 119:23 KJV)  Princes also did sit and speak against me: but thy servant did meditate in thy statutes.
(Psa 119:51 KJV)  The proud have had me greatly in derision: yet have I not declined from thy law.
This Psalm also includes:
(Psa 119:50 NASB)  This is my comfort in my affliction, That Thy word has revived me.
(Psa 119:92 KJV)  Unless thy law had been my delights, I should then have perished in mine affliction.
(Psa 119:95 KJV)  The wicked have waited for me to destroy me: but I will consider thy testimonies.
(Psa 119:71 KJV)  It is good for me that I have been afflicted; that I might learn thy statutes.

Sometimes God allows us to go through difficult times to teach us lessons.  The best way to learn those lessons is to be sure to be immersed in God’s Word.

David runs to Naioth, the school of the prophets.


Songs from life

Some of you are songwriters.  Let God use the things in your life to sing to the world.  Let God teach you the lessons you need to learn, then put them into songs.

:20  the company of the prophets prophesying, and Samuel standing as appointed over them

This gives us the idea that Samuel had a sort of “school of the prophets”. The Jewish Targum says they were “praising”.

:20  the spirit of God was upon the messengers … they prophesied

prophesiednaba’ – to prophesy; under influence of divine spirit; or, of false prophets.  The exact derivation of this word has apparently been the subject of some discussion.

Some have suggested that it the main idea is to “speak for”.  With this idea, the Spirit comes on the prophet and he becomes the spokesman for God (or, a demon with a false prophet).

Others (Gesenius) have suggested that the word comes from a word (naba) meaning “bubble up” or “pour out”.  With this idea, the sense is that the Spirit (or demonic spirit) would come on a prophet and the words would “bubble up” from him. 

Here’s the picture – these armed guards are coming to capture David, but as they get close, God’s Spirit comes upon them and they find themselves bubbling up with praise to God.

David wrote,

(Psa 62:6 KJV)  He only is my rock and my salvation: he is my defence; I shall not be moved.

I love this.  These men aren’t destroyed, but they are blessed.  David is saved because God changes the enemy.

:22 Then went he also to Ramah

Saul gets to thinking that he can’t trust any of his servants.  Good help is hard to find.  He’ll have to go himself.

:22  a great well that is in Sechu

SechuSekuw – “the watch-tower”

:23  the spirit of God was upon him also, and he …prophesied

This isn’t the first time this has happened to Saul. It was possibly even in the very same place where God’s Spirit first came upon Saul and he prophesied (1Sam. 10:5-6, 10)

In perhaps the very same place, at the beginning of his career, Samuel had told him,

(1 Sam 10:5-6 KJV)  After that thou shalt come to the hill of God, where is the garrison of the Philistines: and it shall come to pass, when thou art come thither to the city, that thou shalt meet a company of prophets coming down from the high place with a psaltery, and a tabret, and a pipe, and a harp, before them; and they shall prophesy: {6} And the spirit of the LORD will come upon thee, and thou shalt prophesy with them, and shalt be turned into another man.
(1 Sam 10:10 KJV)  And when they came thither to the hill, behold, a company of prophets met him; and the spirit of God came upon him, and he prophesied among them.

:24 And he stripped off his clothes also, and prophesied before Samuel in like manner…

stripped offpashat – to strip, invade, strip off, make a dash, raid, spread out

clothesbeged – covering; treachery, deceit;  (CLBL) garment, clothing (used indiscriminately)

naked ‘arowm – naked, bare

(1 Sam 19:24 NIV)  He stripped off his robes and also prophesied in Samuel's presence. He lay that way all that day and night.

I know that people often want to know what the evidence of the work of the Holy Spirit is.  I don’t know of anyone who has ever used this verse.

:24  Wherefore they say, Is Saul also among the prophets?

This is what the people said the last time that Saul was struck by the Spirit of God. (1Sam. 10:11)

Over and over again we see David delivered from his enemies.

One time he is delivered because he runs away.

This time he is delivered because the power of God changes his enemies.


Saved by hope

(Psa 27 KJV)  A Psalm of David. The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? the LORD is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid? {2} When the wicked, even mine enemies and my foes, came upon me to eat up my flesh, they stumbled and fell. {3} Though an host should encamp against me, my heart shall not fear: though war should rise against me, in this will I be confident. {4} One thing have I desired of the LORD, that will I seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the LORD, and to inquire in his temple. {5} For in the time of trouble he shall hide me in his pavilion: in the secret of his tabernacle shall he hide me; he shall set me up upon a rock. {6} And now shall mine head be lifted up above mine enemies round about me: therefore will I offer in his tabernacle sacrifices of joy; I will sing, yea, I will sing praises unto the LORD. {7} Hear, O LORD, when I cry with my voice: have mercy also upon me, and answer me. {8} When thou saidst, Seek ye my face; my heart said unto thee, Thy face, LORD, will I seek. {9} Hide not thy face far from me; put not thy servant away in anger: thou hast been my help; leave me not, neither forsake me, O God of my salvation. {10} When my father and my mother forsake me, then the LORD will take me up. {11} Teach me thy way, O LORD, and lead me in a plain path, because of mine enemies. {12} Deliver me not over unto the will of mine enemies: for false witnesses are risen up against me, and such as breathe out cruelty. {13} I had fainted, unless I had believed to see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living. {14} Wait on the LORD: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the LORD.
David kept going because he had hope.  He had hope in the Lord.  He trusted that he would see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.
Paul writes,
(Rom 8:24-25 NIV)  For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what he already has? {25} But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently.