Evening Bible Study
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.
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.
Last week we
saw God’s first big work in David as he alone faced the giant Goliath.
I just received this yesterday from a news
source (Bradley Antolovich, For Zion’s Sake) -
Dr. Omar Ja’ara,
lecturer at Al-Najah University in Nablus specializing in Israeli affairs, said
on Fatah television on February 15 that Moses led the Muslims out of Egypt and
that the Exodus was the first instance of ‘Palestinian’ liberation through
armed struggle, reported the Palestinian Media Watch.
The fellow also
claims that it was Saul, not David, that killed Goliath and liberated
“Palestine” from the giants.
We saw last week that after David’s victory, the nation became quite fond of David. The women
danced and sang songs about David, exaggerating his victory in comparison to
Saul became quite
jealous of David, even trying to throw his javelin at David.
: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
:17 Here is my
older daughter Merab
Part of the reward for killing Goliath was supposed to be the marriage to
Saul’s daughter. Initially Saul plans on giving David his oldest daughter
:17 be valiant for
Saul thinks that if he sends David out to fight enough Philistines, that
eventually one of them will kill David and he won’t have to worry about David’s
: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?”
:18 Who am I
Even though David has won this great battle and is being exalted by the
people, he just doesn’t see himself as being worthy of marrying a king’s
Humility vs. Insecurity
It’s often hard to tell the difference between humility and insecurity –
they look and feel very similar.
It seems that the people God chooses to use have this strange mixture of
humility and insecurity.
When God asked Moses
to deliver the Israelites from Egyp:
(Ex 3:11 NKJV) But Moses said to God, “Who am I that I should go to
Pharaoh, and that I should bring the children of Israel out of Egypt?”
When God asked Gideon
to deliver the Israelites from Midian:
(Jdg 6:15 NKJV) So he said to Him, “O my Lord, how
can I save Israel? Indeed my clan is the weakest in Manasseh, and I am
the least in my father’s house.”
told Saul that he would become king:
(1 Sa 9:21 NKJV) And Saul answered and said, “Am I not a Benjamite, of the smallest of the
tribes of Israel, and my family the least of all the families of the tribe of
Benjamin? Why then do you speak like this to me?”
The trick is to be careful once you find yourself being used by God.
worked in Moses, he was known as the humblest man …
(Nu 12:3 NKJV) (Now the man Moses was very humble, more than all men who were
on the face of the earth.)
to become king.
(Jdg 8:23 NKJV) But Gideon said to them, “I will not rule over you, nor shall my
son rule over you; the Lord shall
rule over you.”
So Samuel said, “When you were little in your own
eyes, were you not head of the tribes of Israel? And did not the Lord anoint you king over Israel?
Now Saul is out to kill David.
That is a mark of insecurity.
Jesus gives us
At the Last Supper, Jesus surprised His disciples by washing their feet –
something that a servant was supposed to do.
3rose from supper and
laid aside His garments, took a towel and girded Himself. 5
(Jn 13:12–17 NKJV) —12
So when He had washed their feet, taken His garments, and sat down
again, He said to them, “Do you know what I have done to you? 13 You call Me
Teacher and Lord, and you say well, for so I am. 14 If I then, your Lord and Teacher,
have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. 15 For I have
given you an example, that you should do as I have done to you. 16 Most assuredly, I say to
you, a servant is not greater than his master; nor is he who is sent greater
than he who sent him. 17 If you know these
things, blessed are you if you do them.
Not only do we start with humility, we need to cultivate
and grow in humility.
We do that by serving one another.
: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.
Saul changes his mind since David seems to be wavering about Merab, and Saul
gives Merab to someone else.
:20 Now Michal, Saul’s daughter, loved David. And they told Saul, and the
thing pleased him.
– ‘ahab – to love; human love for
There’s a bit
of a romance blooming.
: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.”
:21 that she may be
a snare to him
That’s a lousy reason to get married. Sometimes it’s hard to decide who to
: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?”
:23 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
:25 one hundred
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 …”
Sounds like a used car salesman, “this offer is only good for the next 30
: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
: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 loves him as well. And
don’t forget that Jonathan also loves David.
And now, with marrying his daughter, David even has an outside sort of
claim to the throne as well.
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.
I think the
answer to insecurity is confidence in God.
Confidence in ourselves leads to pride, and that stinks.
Confidence in God brings security.
Look at some of the songs of David. Look where his confidence is:
18:1–2 NKJV) —1 I will
love You, O Lord, my strength.2 The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my
deliverer; My God, my strength, in whom I will trust; My shield and the horn of
my salvation, my stronghold.
Some trust in chariots, and some in horses; But we
will remember the name of the Lord
In You, O Lord,
I put my trust; Let me never be ashamed; Deliver me in Your righteousness.
Blessed is that man who makes the Lord his trust, And does not respect
the proud, nor such as turn aside to lies.
I think that more than “self-confidence”, we need “God-confidence”
:1 Now Saul spoke to Jonathan his son and to all his servants, that they
should kill David; but Jonathan, Saul’s son, delighted greatly in David.
:1 that they should
Saul now openly commands that David be put to death. He’s not going to hide
his hatred any more. He’s acting like a mafia
boss ordering a “hit”.
This gives us a little insight into the concept of what the Jews considered
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.
And Samuel said, “How
can I go? If Saul hears it, he will kill me.”
:2 So Jonathan
told David, saying, “My father Saul seeks to kill you. Therefore please be on
your guard until morning, and stay in a secret place and hide.
:3 And I will go out and stand beside my father in the field where you are,
and I will speak with my father about you. Then what I observe, I will tell
Jonathan promises to talk to his father and find out why Saul wants to kill
David. Apparently Jonathan wants to wait until he is alone with his father
instead of questioning Saul in front of Saul’s other servants.
:4 Thus Jonathan spoke well of David to Saul his father, and said to him,
“Let not the king sin against his servant, against David, because he has not
sinned against you, and because his works have been very good toward
:5 For he took his life in his hands and killed the Philistine, and the Lord brought about a great deliverance
for all Israel. You saw it and rejoiced. Why then will you sin against
innocent blood, to kill David without a cause?”
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.
But Saul isn’t being very rational.
:6 So Saul heeded the voice of Jonathan, and Saul swore, “As the Lord lives, he shall not be killed.”
:7 Then Jonathan called David, and Jonathan told him all these things. So
Jonathan brought David to Saul, and he was in his presence as in times past.
:7 he was in his
presence as in times past
God uses Jonathan, and Saul actually listens to reason. For the time being,
there is peace.
(Mt 5:9 NKJV) Blessed are
the peacemakers, For they shall be called sons of God.
Can you spot the “peacemaker”? (it’s the fellow that points out that Oliver
(Ro 12:18 NKJV) If it is possible, as much as depends
on you, live peaceably with all men.
Keep in mind that it is not always possible to be at peace
There will be a time when David and Saul will not be able
to patch things up.
But while we can, 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 And there
was war again; and David went out and fought with the Philistines, and struck
them with a mighty blow, and they fled from him.
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
:9 Now the distressing spirit from the Lord
came upon Saul as he sat in his house with his spear in his hand. And David was
playing music with his hand.
:9 the distressing
spirit …came upon Saul
As David has another victory, Saul finds himself tormented again. Is this a
Fleshly footholds part 2
Last week when
Saul heard that the people were cheering David for his great victory, he got
very jealous and angry.
8So Saul eyed David
from that day forward.
(1 Sa 18:10 NKJV) And it
happened on the next day that the distressing spirit from God came upon Saul,
and he prophesied inside the house. So David played music with his hand,
as at other times; but there was a spear in Saul’s hand.
So now that David has another victory, is it a surprise that Saul is once
again “tormented” by this “distressing spirit”?
(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.
Saul has given the devil a “place” in his life – a foothold.
Saul’s real trouble is his own flesh nature.
It starts in our own sin nature.
A DEA officer
stops at a ranch in Texas, and talks with an old rancher. He tells the rancher,
“I need to inspect your ranch for illegally grown drugs.” The rancher says, “Okay,
but do not go in that field over there,” as he points out the location. The DEA
officer verbally explodes saying, “Mister, I have the authority of the Federal
Government with me.” Reaching into his rear pants pocket, he removes his badge
and proudly displays it to the rancher. “See this badge? This badge means I am allowed to
go wherever I wish.... On any land. No questions asked or answers given. Have I
made myself clear? Do you understand? “The rancher nods politely, apologizes,
and goes about his chores. A short time later, the old rancher hears loud
screams and sees the DEA officer running for his life chased close behind by the rancher’s prize
bull. With every step the bull is gaining ground on the officer, and it seems
likely that he’ll get “Horned” before he reaches safety. The officer is clearly
terrified. The rancher throws down his tools, runs to the fence and yells at
the top of his lungs: “Your badge! Show him your BADGE!!!”
There is no reasoning with an angry bull.
When we allow anger or jealousy to hang out in our heart, it’s like we’re
jumping into the field with that bull.
Waving your “badge” or your reasons aren’t going to help.
You’re simply heading into trouble.
:10 Then Saul
sought to pin David to the wall with the spear, but he slipped away from Saul’s
presence; and he drove the spear into the wall. So David fled and escaped that
:11 Saul also sent messengers to David’s house to watch him and to kill him
in the morning. And Michal, David’s wife, told him, saying, “If you do not save
your life tonight, tomorrow you will be killed.”
Remember that David is married to Saul’s daughter, Michal. When she is
aware of her father’s desire to have David killed, she tells him that he needs
to leave before her daddy kills him. It’s her idea that David leave.
:12 So Michal let David down through a window. And he went and fled and
:13 And Michal took an image and laid it in the bed, put a cover of
goats’ hair for his head, and covered it with clothes.
This is the old
“make them think he’s still in bed” trick.
:14 So when
Saul sent messengers to take David, she said, “He is sick.”
Michal stalls the messengers and sends them away with an excuse to give
David more time to get away.
:15 Then Saul sent the messengers back to see David, saying, “Bring
him up to me in the bed, that I may kill him.”
Saul commands the messengers to bring David with his whole bed if
There is no doubt what Saul wants. He wants David dead.
:16 And when the messengers had come in, there was the image in the bed,
with a cover of goats’ hair for his head.
:17 Then Saul said to Michal, “Why have you deceived me like this, and sent
my enemy away, so that he has escaped?” And Michal answered Saul, “He said to
me, ‘Let me go! Why should I kill you?’ ”
Michal lies to her father. David hadn’t threatened her at all.
If she tells Saul the truth that it was her idea for David to escape, Saul
might kill Michal.
:18 So David fled and escaped, and went to Samuel at Ramah, and told him
all that Saul had done to him. And he and Samuel went and stayed in Naioth.
See map. 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. So David runs
to Samuel for help.
:18 David fled and
It is at this occasion that David writes a song.
(Ps 59 NKJV) — To the
Chief Musician. Set to “Do Not Destroy.” a Michtam of David When Saul Sent Men,
and They Watched the House in Order to Kill Him. 1 Deliver me
from my enemies, O my God; Defend me from those who rise up against me. 2 Deliver me
from the workers of iniquity, And save me from bloodthirsty men. 3 For look,
they lie in wait for my life; The mighty gather against me, Not for my
transgression nor for my sin, O Lord.
4 They run
and prepare themselves through no fault of mine. Awake to help me, and behold!
therefore, O Lord God of hosts,
the God of Israel, Awake to punish all the nations; Do not be merciful to any
wicked transgressors. Selah
David is crying out to God for help.
6 At evening
they return, They growl like a dog, And go all around the city. 7 Indeed,
they belch with their mouth; Swords are in their lips; For they say,
“Who hears?” 8
But You, O Lord,
shall laugh at them; You shall have all the nations in derision. 9 I will
wait for You, O You his Strength; For God is my defense. 10 My God of
mercy shall come to meet me; God shall let me see my desire on my
enemies. 11 Do not
slay them, lest my people forget; Scatter them by Your 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 the cursing and lying which
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 rules in Jacob To the ends of the earth. Selah 14 And at
evening they return, They growl like a dog, And go all around the city. 15 They
wander up and down for food, And howl if they are not satisfied. 16 But I will
sing of Your power; Yes, I will sing aloud of Your mercy in the morning; For
You have been my defense And refuge in the day of my trouble. 17 To You, O
my Strength, I will sing praises; For God is my defense, My God of
Even though God is his defense, David still ran away from the murderers.
Yet ultimately, David is putting his life in God’s hand.
19:19-24 David in
:19 Now it was told Saul, saying, “Take note, David is at Naioth in
This appears to be a place in Ramah (vs.19). It seems that Samuel has established a
“school of the prophets” here. He has been raising up another generation of
prophets (vs.20). One of the Jewish Targums (paraphrase) has “house of
Run to the Lord
When David is running to Samuel, he is running to the Lord.
There are a lot of David’s songs that talk about trusting in the Lord
during times when things are not going so well.
Whether they were written at this particular time, they give us insight
into the kinds of things going on in David’s heart.
(Ps 56:3 NKJV) Whenever I am afraid, I will trust in You.
Truly my soul
silently waits for God; From Him comes my salvation. 25He only is my
rock and my salvation; He is my defense; I shall not be moved. 7Surely men of low
degree are a vapor, Men of high degree are a lie; If they are
weighed on the scales, They are altogether lighter than vapor. 10God has spoken once,
Twice I have heard this: That power belongs to God. 12
:20 Then Saul
sent messengers to take David. And when they saw the group of prophets
prophesying, and Samuel standing as leader over them, the Spirit of God
came upon the messengers of Saul, and they also prophesied.
:20 the group of
Here are some of Samuel’s students. The Jewish Targum (an Aramaic
translation) says they were “praising”.
:20 they also
prophesied – naba’ – to
prophesy; under influence of the divine spirit; or, of false prophets.
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
One of the ideas of “prophecy” is that the word comes from a word (naba)
meaning “bubble up”
or “pour out” (Gesenius). With this idea, the sense is that the Spirit would
come on a prophet and the words would “bubble up” from him.
And it happened on the next day that the distressing spirit
from God came upon Saul, and he prophesied inside the house.
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.
He only is my
rock and my salvation; He is my defense; I shall not be moved.
:21 And when
Saul was told, he sent other messengers, and they prophesied likewise. Then
Saul sent messengers again the third time, and they prophesied also.
:22 Then he also went to Ramah, and came to the great well that is
at Sechu. So he asked, and said, “Where are Samuel and David?” And someone
said, “Indeed they are at Naioth in Ramah.”
:22 Sechu – “the watch-tower”
Saul gets to thinking that he can’t trust any of his servants. Good help is
hard to find. If you want something done, you have to go and do it yourself.
:23 So he went there to Naioth in Ramah. Then the Spirit of God was upon
him also, and he went on and prophesied until he came to Naioth in Ramah.
:23 the Spirit of
God was upon him also
This isn’t the first time this has happened to Saul.
In perhaps the very same place, at the beginning of his career, Samuel had
told him that he would meet a group of prophets and be filled with the Holy
After that you shall come to the hill of God where the
Philistine garrison is. And it will happen, when you have come there to
the city, that you will meet a group of prophets coming down from the high
place with a stringed instrument, a tambourine, a flute, and a harp before
them; and they will be prophesying. 6
And that’s what happened:
10:10 NKJV) When they came there to the hill, there was a group of prophets to
meet him; then the Spirit of God came upon him, and he prophesied among them.
:24 And he also
stripped off his clothes and prophesied before Samuel in like manner, and lay
down naked all that day and all that night. Therefore they say, “Is Saul
also among the prophets?”
:24 he also
stripped off his clothes
It’s possible that Saul is totally naked. It’s also possible that he’s just taken off his
outer royal robes.
This reminds me
of what happened to Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon.
He had reached a point in his life of extreme pride.
him so that he acted like a cow for a season of time, until he realized that
there is a God in heaven, and old Neb isn’t Him.
NKJV) And at the
end of the time I, Nebuchadnezzar, lifted my eyes to heaven, and my
understanding returned to me; and I blessed the Most High and praised and
honored Him who lives forever: For His dominion is an everlasting
dominion, And His kingdom is from generation to generation.
This also reminds me of Samuel’s last time with Saul, when Saul had
disobeyed God and lost the kingdom:
15:27–28 NKJV) —27
And as Samuel turned around to go away, Saul seized the edge
of his robe, and it tore. 28 So Samuel said to
him, “The Lord has torn the
kingdom of Israel from you today, and has given it to a neighbor of yours, who
is better than you.
Now Saul’s royal robes are removed.
In a way this
is a sense of judgment, that God is humiliating Saul.
In another way,
there is a sense of grace here – that God is giving Saul one more chance to
taste of His Spirit and possibly walk with God.
:24 Is Saul
also among the prophets?
This is what the people said the last time that Saul encountered the Spirit
10:11 NKJV) …the people said to one another, “What is this that
has come upon the son of Kish? Is Saul also among the prophets?”
It would seem that since that time and this, Saul has not had a reputation
of being a “Spirit-filled” man.
Always Spirit Filled
God’s desire is not that we be occasionally filled with the Spirit.
God wants us to live our whole lives being filled with the Spirit.
NKJV) And do not
be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit,
This is a “command”. It is a present tense, carrying the idea of
“continually be filled” with the Spirit.
How can I be filled with the Spirit?
Paul also wrote,
(Ga 5:16 NKJV) I say
then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh.
How do we “walk” in the Spirit. Take lots of steps. One after another.
I hope it’s not a surprise to others when I’m