1Samuel 17-18

Thursday Evening Bible Study

March 29, 2012


Do people see Jesus? Is the gospel preached? Does it speak to the broken hearted? Does it build up the church? Milk – Meat – Manna Preach for a decision

We’ve seen the nation transition from the time of the judges, when God used men like Samuel to guide the nation, to the time of the kings.

Saul was anointed to be the first king, but through Saul’s continued disobedience to God’s commands, God has told Saul that he will no longer king.  Samuel snuck off and anointed a young man named David to be king.

17:1-58 David and Goliath

:1 Now the Philistines gathered their armies together to battle, and were gathered at Sochoh, which belongs to Judah; they encamped between Sochoh and Azekah, in Ephes Dammim.

:2 And Saul and the men of Israel were gathered together, and they encamped in the Valley of Elah, and drew up in battle array against the Philistines.

:3 The Philistines stood on a mountain on one side, and Israel stood on a mountain on the other side, with a valley between them.

:1 the Philistines gathered

The Philistines have now had quite a few wars with the Israelites.

Samson and Samuel both led wars against the Philistines.

Jonathan and his armor bearer started an important battle, which led to a major victory over the Philistines at Michmash (1Sam. 14), which was something like 27 years before our current time.

The first major confrontation with the Philistines came during the time of Samson (Judges 13-16).  Though Samson had some victories over the Philistines, the Philistines were still pretty much in control.
The next time the Israelites faced the Philistines was in Samuel’s time, when they fought in Aphek.  This was when Israel lost the Ark, and the Philistines learned about hemorrhoids (1Sam. 4-5).
When Samuel led the nation in repentance, God gave them their first major victory over the Philistines at the battle of Mizpeh (1Sam. 6).
The next confrontation with the Philistines took place under Saul’s reign, when Jonathan attacked the garrison of the Philistines (1Sam. 13:3), at first ending with the nation running for cover, but when Jonathan and his armor bearer took on the Philistines at Michmash by themselves (1Sam. 14), God gave Israel their second major victory over the Philistines.

The Philistines are ready to take on Israel again.

It looks like they’ve drafted some exciting players for their team …

:1 Sochoh … Azekah … Ephes Dammim

This is an area about 15 miles west of Bethlehem, David’s home town.

Play Valley of Elah map video

There’s a little stream that runs down the valley between the hill.  The stream only has water in the rainy season, the rest of the year it’s dry with plenty of smooth stones in it.

:4 And a champion went out from the camp of the Philistines, named Goliath, from Gath, whose height was six cubits and a span.

:5 He had a bronze helmet on his head, and he was armed with a coat of mail, and the weight of the coat was five thousand shekels of bronze.

:6 And he had bronze armor on his legs and a bronze javelin between his shoulders.

:7 Now the staff of his spear was like a weaver’s beam, and his iron spearhead weighed six hundred shekels; and a shield-bearer went before him.

:4 champion – literally, “a man between two armies”. 

This was a person who was willing to fight to represent the entire army.

:4 GoliathGolyath – “splendor”

:4 Gath

See map.  One of the five main Philistine cities.  About eight miles west of Sochoh.

:4 six cubits and a span – or, nine feet nine inches tall.

He’s HUGE.  Andrew Bynum is 7’ tall. Goliath is 2’ 9” taller than Bynum.

:5 five thousand shekels of bronze

Goliath’s armor alone weighed 125 pounds.

:6 bronze javelin

Josephus records (Antiquities, 6:9:171) that, “His spear was also such as was not carried like a light thing in his right hand, but he carried it as lying on his shoulders.”

:7 iron spearhead weighed six hundred shekels

The head of the spear weighed about 15 pounds.  Think of the weight of a heavy bowling ball, shaped into the head of a spear.

:8 Then he stood and cried out to the armies of Israel, and said to them, “Why have you come out to line up for battle? Am I not a Philistine, and you the servants of Saul? Choose a man for yourselves, and let him come down to me.

:9 If he is able to fight with me and kill me, then we will be your servants. But if I prevail against him and kill him, then you shall be our servants and serve us.”

It’s winner take all.  Whoever wins in this contest will determine which army will win.  The losers become slaves.

It sounds great, as long as you win, and as long as the other side really keeps the agreement.

:10 And the Philistine said, “I defy the armies of Israel this day; give me a man, that we may fight together.”

:11 When Saul and all Israel heard these words of the Philistine, they were dismayed and greatly afraid.

:12 Now David was the son of that Ephrathite of Bethlehem Judah, whose name was Jesse, and who had eight sons. And the man was old, advanced in years, in the days of Saul.

:12 DavidDavid – “beloved”

:12 Ephrathite – a person from Ephrath, another name for Bethelehem (Gen. 35:19).

:13 The three oldest sons of Jesse had gone to follow Saul to the battle. The names of his three sons who went to the battle were Eliab the firstborn, next to him Abinadab, and the third Shammah.

:14 David was the youngest. And the three oldest followed Saul.

:15 But David occasionally went and returned from Saul to feed his father’s sheep at Bethlehem.

Last week we saw how David had been useful to Saul to play his harp and calm Saul’s troubled spirit.

David had even taken the role as Saul’s armorbearer.

Yet he still has chores to take care of at home from time to time.

:16 And the Philistine drew near and presented himself forty days, morning and evening.

Every morning and evening Goliath came out.  Day after day for forty days.

:17 Then Jesse said to his son David, “Take now for your brothers an ephah of this dried grain and these ten loaves, and run to your brothers at the camp.

:18 And carry these ten cheeses to the captain of their thousand, and see how your brothers fare, and bring back news of them.”

:17 ephah … loaves … cheeses

David has the additional duty of bringing food to feed his brothers out on the front lines.

:18 bring back news‘arubbah – pledge, token

The idea was to bring home something like a lock of hair or a piece of nail to show that the boys were still alive and in good health.

Jesse is simply asking his youngest to run errands. 

It’s a good thing he sent him.  Jesse’s “baby” has something important to do.

:19 Now Saul and they and all the men of Israel were in the Valley of Elah, fighting with the Philistines.

:20 So David rose early in the morning, left the sheep with a keeper, and took the things and went as Jesse had commanded him.

It would be about a fifteen mile walk to get from Bethlehem to the battle in Elah.

And he came to the camp as the army was going out to the fight and shouting for the battle.

:21 For Israel and the Philistines had drawn up in battle array, army against army.

:22 And David left his supplies in the hand of the supply keeper, ran to the army, and came and greeted his brothers.

:23 Then as he talked with them, there was the champion, the Philistine of Gath, Goliath by name, coming up from the armies of the Philistines; and he spoke according to the same words. So David heard them.

:24 And all the men of Israel, when they saw the man, fled from him and were dreadfully afraid.

:25 So the men of Israel said, “Have you seen this man who has come up? Surely he has come up to defy Israel; and it shall be that the man who kills him the king will enrich with great riches, will give him his daughter, and give his father’s house exemption from taxes in Israel.”

:25 riches … daughter … exemption

There will be great rewards for killing Goliath, including wealth, a girl, and no taxes.

Keep in mind that it’s the entire family that will become tax exempt.  That’s important later on in the story.

It seems that this announcement is being made to the entire army, a general announcement that was probably repeated each time Goliath issued his challenge.

:26 Then David spoke to the men who stood by him, saying, “What shall be done for the man who kills this Philistine and takes away the reproach from Israel? For who is this uncircumcised Philistine, that he should defy the armies of the living God?”

:26 the armies of the living God

To Goliath, the Israelite army was made up of the “servants to Saul” (vs.8).

To David, they were the “armies of the living God”.


Bigger than Saul

Perhaps David’s victory over Goliath comes in part because he saw the nation of Israel as more than just Saul’s servants.
He saw the army as part of something bigger than just Saul.
He saw the army as part of God’s kingdom.
Perhaps we get ourselves into trouble when we limit our vision to just the human side of things and ignore the spiritual.

:27 And the people answered him in this manner, saying, “So shall it be done for the man who kills him.”

The victor will get wealth, a girl, and tax exemption.

:28 Now Eliab his oldest brother heard when he spoke to the men; and Eliab’s anger was aroused against David, and he said, “Why did you come down here? And with whom have you left those few sheep in the wilderness? I know your pride and the insolence of your heart, for you have come down to see the battle.”

:28 I know your pride …

Just like an older brother.

It could be that Eliab is just out to protect his little brother.  Perhaps he truly feels that David doesn’t belong there.
It could be that David was a little brash.  After all, he was a kid who could pick fights and have seven older brothers come to his rescue.


Over protective

Jesus’ own family didn’t seem to understand Him.
(Jn 7:5 NKJV) For even His brothers did not believe in Him.
When the crowds around Jesus got too big …

(Mk 3:21 NLT) When his family heard what was happening, they tried to take him away. “He’s out of his mind,” they said.

Sometimes some very good, loving people will try to keep you out of the battle.
Sometimes we can be those well-meaning people who might keep anointed people from their ministry.  It’s hard as a parent to allow your kids to take steps of maturity.

:29 And David said, “What have I done now? Is there not a cause?”

:30 Then he turned from him toward another and said the same thing; and these people answered him as the first ones did.

:31 Now when the words which David spoke were heard, they reported them to Saul; and he sent for him.

:32 Then David said to Saul, “Let no man’s heart fail because of him; your servant will go and fight with this Philistine.”

:32 your servant will go

David is not a stranger to Saul.  Saul knows David.

He has already worked for Saul for a little while as Saul’s armor-bearer and personal musician.
Saul already has developed a love for David (1Sam. 16:21).

:33 And Saul said to David, “You are not able to go against this Philistine to fight with him; for you are a youth, and he a man of war from his youth.”

:34 But David said to Saul, “Your servant used to keep his father’s sheep, and when a lion or a bear came and took a lamb out of the flock,

:35 I went out after it and struck it, and delivered the lamb from its mouth; and when it arose against me, I caught it by its beard, and struck and killed it.

:36 Your servant has killed both lion and bear; and this uncircumcised Philistine will be like one of them, seeing he has defied the armies of the living God.”

:37 Moreover David said, “The Lord, who delivered me from the paw of the lion and from the paw of the bear, He will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine.” And Saul said to David, “Go, and the Lord be with you!”

:37 He will deliver me


Training for Victory

Don’t think that the victory over a lion and a bear were “small victories”.  Anyone here want to take on a lion or a bear with just a sling and a club?
God had been training David, getting him ready for this challenge by Goliath.
David will write,
(Ps 144:1 NKJV) Blessed be the Lord my Rock, Who trains my hands for war, And my fingers for battle—
We certainly don’t like going through trials and battles.
With each battle, we kind of hope that it will be the last battle we’ll have to face.
But sometimes it’s just the “bear” that we’re facing, and we’ve got Goliath up ahead of us.
It’s important that we learn how to fight.  We ought to grow in our abilities.
I was thinking the other day about some of the conflicts I’ve faced and how I handle conflict a little differently now.
In the past I tended to handle conflict a little more poorly than I do now, overreacting to things, acting out of “hurt”.
I’m trying to learn to be more patient and gracious.  And sometimes because I restrained my lips from saying harsh things, the “battles” aren’t as difficult.
I especially like how David doesn’t express his confidence in himself (though he apparently has some measure of confidence).  His confidence is in God.

:38 So Saul clothed David with his armor, and he put a bronze helmet on his head; he also clothed him with a coat of mail.

:39 David fastened his sword to his armor and tried to walk, for he had not tested them. And David said to Saul, “I cannot walk with these, for I have not tested them.” So David took them off.

:39 I have not tested them

We often get the picture that David is this little boy trying on a large man’s full suit of medieval armor, and that the little boy is lost in the huge suit.  I think this is a little exaggerated.

David is probably about 16-17 years old or so at this time.


Be yourself

Keep in mind, David knows how to fight.
He’s killed lions and bears.
He’s also got a reputation as a “warrior”.  Before he got the job as musician in Saul’s court, his “bio” read like this:

(1 Sa 16:18 NKJV) …who is skillful in playing, a mighty man of valor, a man of war, prudent in speech, and a handsome person; and the Lord is with him.”

David also knows Saul’s armor – he’s been Saul’s armor bearer.

He knows how the stuff works, but he hasn’t used it for himself.

He hasn’t put in the training time with Saul’s sword.

The point is that David is not Saul.  Saul’s armor is made for Saul.
Don’t try to be someone else. 

What works for someone else may not work for you.

David doesn’t know how to use Saul’s sword, but he does know how to use a sling and a stone.

Sunday morning we talked about learning to sing our own “song”, not others.

:40 Then he took his staff in his hand; and he chose for himself five smooth stones from the brook, and put them in a shepherd’s bag, in a pouch which he had, and his sling was in his hand. And he drew near to the Philistine.

:40 five smooth stones

There is a dry creek bed that runs through the Valley of Elah.  It’s a great place for finding smooth stones.

Smooth stones come out of a sling better. 

Why five?  Goliath has four brothers.

Timothy and I visited the Valley of Elah five years ago on a trip to Israel.  The video starts with us walking out into the valley along the dried up creek.

PlayElah” video

:41 So the Philistine came, and began drawing near to David, and the man who bore the shield went before him.

:42 And when the Philistine looked about and saw David, he disdained him; for he was only a youth, ruddy and good-looking.

:42 disdained himbazah – to despise, hold in contempt, disdain

Goliath thinks this is ridiculous – facing a young shepherd. 

:43 So the Philistine said to David, “Am I a dog, that you come to me with sticks?” And the Philistine cursed David by his gods.

:43 sticks – David doesn’t just have a sling, but he took his “staff” as well.

:44 And the Philistine said to David, “Come to me, and I will give your flesh to the birds of the air and the beasts of the field!”

:45 Then David said to the Philistine, “You come to me with a sword, with a spear, and with a javelin. But I come to you in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied.

:45 I come to you in the name of the Lord of hosts

In David’s mind, the name of Yahweh was more powerful than Goliath’s sword, spear, and javelin.

We talked Sunday about the name of Yahweh and its power.

The 144,000 witnesses will be “sealed” and protected because they have the name of the Father on their foreheads.
(Re 9:4 NKJV) —4 They were commanded not to harm the grass of the earth, or any green thing, or any tree, but only those men who do not have the seal of God on their foreheads.
(Re 14:1 NKJV) —1 Then I looked, and behold, a Lamb standing on Mount Zion, and with Him one hundred and forty-four thousand, having His Father’s name written on their foreheads.
David’s son would write,
(Pr 18:10 NKJV) The name of the Lord is a strong tower; The righteous run to it and are safe.

:46 This day the Lord will deliver you into my hand, and I will strike you and take your head from you. And this day I will give the carcasses of the camp of the Philistines to the birds of the air and the wild beasts of the earth, that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel.

While Goliath threatened to feed David’s carcass to the birds, David threatened to feed the entire Philistine army to the birds.

:47 Then all this assembly shall know that the Lord does not save with sword and spear; for the battle is the Lord’s, and He will give you into our hands.”

:48 So it was, when the Philistine arose and came and drew near to meet David, that David hurried and ran toward the army to meet the Philistine.

:49 Then David put his hand in his bag and took out a stone; and he slung it and struck the Philistine in his forehead, so that the stone sank into his forehead, and he fell on his face to the earth.

:50 So David prevailed over the Philistine with a sling and a stone, and struck the Philistine and killed him. But there was no sword in the hand of David.

:51 Therefore David ran and stood over the Philistine, took his sword and drew it out of its sheath and killed him, and cut off his head with it. And when the Philistines saw that their champion was dead, they fled.

:51 and killed him


Facing the giant

The giants in our lives are those problems that seem just too impossible.
Sometimes the thing that hurts us the most when we are facing a “giant” is the fear.
A certain man was troubled with dizzy spells. He went from one doctor to another and none could tell him what the problem was. He tried everything, it seemed. Finally, it was bothering him so much he started to lose weight, and he couldn’t sleep at night. He became a nervous wreck and his health began to deteriorate. He had lost hope that he would ever recover. So he decided to prepare for the worst. He made out his will, bought a cemetery plot, and even made arrangements with the local undertaker for what he was convinced was his soon demise. He even decided to buy a new suit of clothes to be buried in. When he went into the haberdasher’s he was measured for everything and picked out shoes, socks, coat, pants—and he asked for a size 14 shirt as well. The clerk said, “But, sir, you need a size 15 1/2 shirt, not 14.” But the man insisted he wore a size 14. Finally, in exasperation the clerk said, “But if you wear a size 14 you’ll get dizzy spells.”
When the Israelites first sent spies into the Promised Land, the thing that kept them from going in to the Promised Land was their lack of faith  (Heb. 3:19)
(Heb 3:19 NKJV) So we see that they could not enter in because of unbelief.
Their lack of faith was cultivated by their fears.
(Nu 13:32 NKJV) And they gave the children of Israel a bad report of the land which they had spied out, saying, “The land through which we have gone as spies is a land that devours its inhabitants, and all the people whom we saw in it are men of great stature.
Joshua and Caleb had the right idea, they tried to encourage the people…
(Nu 14:8–9 NKJV) —8 If the Lord delights in us, then He will bring us into this land and give it to us, ‘a land which flows with milk and honey.’ 9 Only do not rebel against the Lord, nor fear the people of the land, for they are our bread; their protection has departed from them, and the Lord is with us. Do not fear them.”

It would be Caleb would be the first to take on the giants, as he was given the city of Hebron to conquer.  He was in his eighties when he did it.

If you want to face your “giants”, you need someone bigger than you to help.
You need a big God.
Play “Elah Zoom” video. 
I like to think that when David faced Goliath, he had a better perspective on the reality of the problem.  Goliath may have been big, but God is bigger.  I think it helps to put your problem in perspective to just how big God is.
Our God is the One who is big enough to hold the whole world in His hands.
(Is 40:12 NKJV) Who has measured the waters in the hollow of His hand, Measured heaven with a span And calculated the dust of the earth in a measure? Weighed the mountains in scales And the hills in a balance?
13 Who has directed the Spirit of the Lord, Or as His counselor has taught Him? 14 With whom did He take counsel, and who instructed Him, And taught Him in the path of justice? Who taught Him knowledge, And showed Him the way of understanding? 15 Behold, the nations are as a drop in a bucket, And are counted as the small dust on the scales; Look, He lifts up the isles as a very little thing. 16 And Lebanon is not sufficient to burn, Nor its beasts sufficient for a burnt offering. 17 All nations before Him are as nothing, And they are counted by Him less than nothing and worthless.
Can you trust God?  Is He big enough to handle your problem?

:52 Now the men of Israel and Judah arose and shouted, and pursued the Philistines as far as the entrance of the valley and to the gates of Ekron. And the wounded of the Philistines fell along the road to Shaaraim, even as far as Gath and Ekron.

Play Map to Ekron clip

They sent the Philistines home to their main cities.  It is about a seven mile run to Ekron.

:53 Then the children of Israel returned from chasing the Philistines, and they plundered their tents.

They came back to the camp of the Philistines that they had abandoned at Shochoh, and took all of the Philistines’ stuff.

:54 And David took the head of the Philistine and brought it to Jerusalem, but he put his armor in his tent.

:55 When Saul saw David going out against the Philistine, he said to Abner, the commander of the army, “Abner, whose son is this youth?” And Abner said, “As your soul lives, O king, I do not know.”

:56 So the king said, “Inquire whose son this young man is.

:55 whose son is this youth?

This will sound confusing at first.  It sounds as if Saul doesn’t know who David is.  And this doesn’t make sense if David has been Saul’s armor-bearer and the one who plays the harp for Saul.

But pay attention to the actual question Saul is asking.  Saul is wanting to know who David’s father is.  Why does he want to know the name of David’s father?

Because David’s whole family is now going to be able to live “tax-free” in Israel.  Remember the reward promised for killing Goliath:
(1 Sa 17:25 NKJV) …it shall be that the man who kills him the king will enrich with great riches, will give him his daughter, and give his father’s house exemption from taxes in Israel.”
Even though Saul knows who David is, he can’t remember the name of David’s father.

:57 Then, as David returned from the slaughter of the Philistine, Abner took him and brought him before Saul with the head of the Philistine in his hand.

It seems that David keeps Goliath’s head as a sort of trophy.  I wonder what his mom said when he brought that thing home after being sent to take bread and cheese to his brothers.

:58 And Saul said to him, “Whose son are you, young man?” So David answered, “I am the son of your servant Jesse the Bethlehemite.”

18:1-16 Saul’s Jealousy

:1 Now when he had finished speaking to Saul, the soul of Jonathan was knit to the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as his own soul.

:1 Jonathan loved him

There is nothing impure here.  The homosexual community likes to point to this verse, but this is so far from the truth it’s not even funny.

Can you understand why Jonathan would love David?

David is just like Jonathan, but younger.


Good friends

I think it’s a great thing to have a friend who not only loves you, but with whom you can do “exploits” for the Lord together.
Friends who will challenge you to be brave for the Lord.  Friends who will challenge you to go farther with the Lord.  Friends who will encourage you to serve the Lord.

:2 Saul took him that day, and would not let him go home to his father’s house anymore.

He’s in the army now.

:3 Then Jonathan and David made a covenant, because he loved him as his own soul.

:4 And Jonathan took off the robe that was on him and gave it to David, with his armor, even to his sword and his bow and his belt.

:4 took off the robe …gave it to David

At one time, Saul and Jonathan were the only two who own swords in all of Israel (1Sam. 13:22).  Though there may be more swords now that they’ve had some victories over the Philistines, Jonathan has just given his away.


Humility and giving

I think there are a couple of things going on.
Jonathan is demonstrating his love for David by sharing his own honor with him.  Jonathan is the crown prince of Israel, yet he has no problem with giving his own robe to this young man.
David is also a poor shepherd boy and was ill-equipped for what was ahead of him.  Jonathan is equipping David for being a military leader.

:5 So David went out wherever Saul sent him, and behaved wisely. And Saul set him over the men of war, and he was accepted in the sight of all the people and also in the sight of Saul’s servants.

:5 he was accepted

There’s something likeable about this kid.  Even though Saul puts him over the army, they don’t seem to have a problem with that.  Hey, he’s a giant killer.

:6 Now it had happened as they were coming home, when David was returning from the slaughter of the Philistine, that the women had come out of all the cities of Israel, singing and dancing, to meet King Saul, with tambourines, with joy, and with musical instruments.

:7 So the women sang as they danced, and said: “Saul has slain his thousands, And David his ten thousands.”

:7 Saul has slain his thousands

This became one of the “top forty” tunes of the day.  One of the top downloads from iTunes.

Saul was known for killing “thousands”, but David was known for killing “ten thousands”.

In reality, this was a bit of a stretch.  Scripture doesn’t say how many Philistines were killed, though Josephus tells us that there were 30,000 killed.  Yet if you include Saul’s wars on the Ammonites, the Philistines, and the Amalekites, Saul has been responsible for killing far more than this.
How do you respond when people say things about you that aren’t true and others are exalted over you?

:8 Then Saul was very angry, and the saying displeased him; and he said, “They have ascribed to David ten thousands, and to me they have ascribed only thousands. Now what more can he have but the kingdom?”

:8 Saul was very angry



How do you feel when God blesses … someone else?
John the Baptist had been used by God to impact lots of people.  But there came a day when the crowds began to follow someone else.
(Jn 3:25–30 NKJV) —25 Then there arose a dispute between some of John’s disciples and the Jews about purification. 26 And they came to John and said to him, “Rabbi, He who was with you beyond the Jordan, to whom you have testified—behold, He is baptizing, and all are coming to Him!” 27 John answered and said, “A man can receive nothing unless it has been given to him from heaven. 28 You yourselves bear me witness, that I said, ‘I am not the Christ,’ but, ‘I have been sent before Him.’ 29 He who has the bride is the bridegroom; but the friend of the bridegroom, who stands and hears him, rejoices greatly because of the bridegroom’s voice. Therefore this joy of mine is fulfilled. 30 He must increase, but I must decrease.
In reality, we need to be in the place where the good of God’s kingdom is what’s important to us.
If God begins to work in the life of someone else, we need to be glad for them, not jealous.

(1 Co 13:4 NKJV) …love does not envy…

(Ro 12:15 NKJV) Rejoice with those who rejoice…

We need to be willing to be more like Jonathan, and load the other person up with whatever we can to help, rather than be like Saul and stand in the back and throw javelins.
Saul seems to have boatloads of insecurity.
He is developing resentment against David, and that resentment is going to bubble over into all sorts of bad things.
Learn to deal with resentment.  Learn to recognize it.

:9 So Saul eyed David from that day forward.

:10 And it happened on the next day that the distressing spirit from God came upon Saul, and he prophesied inside the house.

:10 distressing spirit … he prophesied

One of the ancient concepts of prophecy is to “bubble over”, the idea that God’s Spirit just “bubbles” out with words.  Here it seems that it’s an evil spirit that starts to “bubble” out of Saul.

(1 Sa 18:10 NLT) The very next day a tormenting spirit from God overwhelmed Saul, and he began to rave in his house like a madman.

So David played music with his hand, as at other times; but there was a spear in Saul’s hand.

David responds to this evil spirit by playing his harp like he has done in the past.

:11 And Saul cast the spear, for he said, “I will pin David to the wall!” But David escaped his presence twice.

:11 Saul cast the spear


Fleshly footholds

I think that when we allow certain fleshly, sinful attitudes to take hold in our life, we can open up a door for the enemy to influence us.  We give Satan a “foothold” in our lives, something to grab onto and push us.
Here we see the influence of fleshly jealousy.  Before, Saul would simply go nutty when he was troubled by this spirit, but now there is a new focus, now Saul is trying to kill David.  Why focus on David?  Because of jealousy.
I think we can see a similar thing happen in the New Testament.
In the very beginning of the church, people were overcome with love for each other and were moved by God to sell pieces of property and give the proceeds to the church so the church could in turn meet the needs of others in the church.  It seems that these acts of charity brought recognition to those who were giving to the church.  One couple took note of this recognition and decided they wanted some.  In a sense, they were “jealous” for recognition.

(Ac 5:1–4 NLT) —1 But there was a certain man named Ananias who, with his wife, Sapphira, sold some property. 2 He brought part of the money to the apostles, claiming it was the full amount. With his wife’s consent, he kept the rest. 3 Then Peter said, “Ananias, why have you let Satan fill your heart? You lied to the Holy Spirit, and you kept some of the money for yourself. 4 The property was yours to sell or not sell, as you wished. And after selling it, the money was also yours to give away. How could you do a thing like this? You weren’t lying to us but to God!”

Their sin wasn’t in keeping back some of the money for themselves.  Their sin was in pretending to give everything to the church when in fact they weren’t.  Satan used this desire for recognition to “fill their heart” and lie.

Another area to be careful of seems to be anger.
(Eph 4:26–27 NKJV) —26 “Be angry, and do not sin”: do not let the sun go down on your wrath, 27 nor give place to the devil.

When we hold on to our anger, we give a foothold, a “place” for the devil to work in our lives.

:12 Now Saul was afraid of David, because the Lord was with him, but had departed from Saul.

:13 Therefore Saul removed him from his presence, and made him his captain over a thousand; and he went out and came in before the people.

Going out and coming in speaks of taking his troops out and returning from the city.

Because Saul was afraid of David, he puts him in a position to get him away from Saul.

Why does Saul seem to “promote” David and not just fire him?  Because the people all love David.

:14 And David behaved wisely in all his ways, and the Lord was with him.

:15 Therefore, when Saul saw that he behaved very wisely, he was afraid of him.

:16 But all Israel and Judah loved David, because he went out and came in before them.

18:17-30 David marries Michal

:17 Then Saul said to David, “Here is my older daughter Merab; I will give her to you as a wife. Only be valiant for me, and fight the Lord’s battles.” For Saul thought, “Let my hand not be against him, but let the hand of the Philistines be against him.”

:17 Here is my older daughter Merab

Part of the reward for killing Goliath was supposed to be the marriage to Saul’s daughter.  Saul now decides that he could use this to his advantage and work things around so that the Philistines kill David.

:18 So David said to Saul, “Who am I, and what is my life or my father’s family in Israel, that I should be son-in-law to the king?”

Even though David is being exalted by the people, and Saul is now intensely jealous of David, David doesn’t see himself as being worthy of marrying a king’s daughter.


:19 But it happened at the time when Merab, Saul’s daughter, should have been given to David, that she was given to Adriel the Meholathite as a wife.

At the last minute, Saul gives Merab to someone else.

:20 Now Michal, Saul’s daughter, loved David. And they told Saul, and the thing pleased him.

:21 So Saul said, “I will give her to him, that she may be a snare to him, and that the hand of the Philistines may be against him.” Therefore Saul said to David a second time, “You shall be my son-in-law today.”

:22 And Saul commanded his servants, “Communicate with David secretly, and say, ‘Look, the king has delight in you, and all his servants love you. Now therefore, become the king’s son-in-law.’ ”

:23 So Saul’s servants spoke those words in the hearing of David. And David said, “Does it seem to you a light thing to be a king’s son-in-law, seeing I am a poor and lightly esteemed man?”

David does not have the money to pay a proper dowry to marry the daughter of a king.

A dowry was money paid to the father-in-law in case the marriage doesn’t work out.  It’s kind of like alimony in advance.

:24 And the servants of Saul told him, saying, “In this manner David spoke.”

:25 Then Saul said, “Thus you shall say to David: ‘The king does not desire any dowry but one hundred foreskins of the Philistines, to take vengeance on the king’s enemies.’ ” But Saul thought to make David fall by the hand of the Philistines.

:25 one hundred foreskins

There are only two ways this could happen.  Either a Philistine would need to willingly be circumcised (which ain’t gonna happen), or he would have to be killed.  Saul is hoping that along the way one of the Philistines will succeed in killing David instead.

:26 So when his servants told David these words, it pleased David well to become the king’s son-in-law. Now the days had not expired;

There must have been some sort of a time limit on this proposition, such as, “As long as you bring me a hundred foreskins in the next two months …”

:27 therefore David arose and went, he and his men, and killed two hundred men of the Philistines. And David brought their foreskins, and they gave them in full count to the king, that he might become the king’s son-in-law. Then Saul gave him Michal his daughter as a wife.

:27 two hundred

David wasn’t satisfied to just meet the minimum requirement.  He brought twice as much.

Not only will this show that David is serious about marrying Michal, but it is also going to leave no room for Saul to back out.

:28 Thus Saul saw and knew that the Lord was with David, and that Michal, Saul’s daughter, loved him;

:29 and Saul was still more afraid of David. So Saul became David’s enemy continually.

:30 Then the princes of the Philistines went out to war. And so it was, whenever they went out, that David behaved more wisely than all the servants of Saul, so that his name became highly esteemed.

:29 Saul was still more afraid of David

Not only is God with David, but Saul’s own daughter (and son, Jonathan) love him as well.  And now, with marrying his daughter, David even has an outside sort of claim to the throne as well.


Insecurity stinks

I’m not sure how this all works, but it seems to me that I’m tempted to do some pretty stupid things because of my own insecurity.
When you’re insecure, you do stupid things to get people to like you.
When you’re insecure, you lash out at people that you feel are a threat.