Call to Worship August 22 2021

Expository Thoughts on 1 Samuel 18

It seems like some relationships were never meant to last. Kim Kardashian and Kris Humphries were married for 72 days, which is quite lengthy compared to Jason Alexander and Britney Spears. Their marriage lasted a whopping 55 hours.[1] Well, the fawning and fondness between Saul and David probably lasted somewhere in between the length of those two marriages. After the smashing success of Goliath’s fall, the travels back home were filled with parades and singing. Then, as the scripture says, “It happened.” This usually indicates a momentous turn and more often a seeming turn for the worse. “It happened” to Joseph at Potiphar’s house and to David on several occasions.

It happened that joy turned toward jealousy. After David had been sent out by Saul and prospered as a warrior and commander, the people of the cities rejoiced in the defeat of Israel’s enemies. So much so that women were singing songs of victory. Specifically, the songs declared that Saul had “slain his thousands, and David his ten thousands” (vs. 7). After this Saul became angry, and his anger turned to suspicion and jealousy. Then jealousy led to constant fear of David.

The scripture speaks plainly concerning these sinful emotions, desires, and attitudes of Saul (8, 9, 12, 15, & 29). Not only does the scripture identify these sinful desires and thoughts in language, but it describes them with historic illustration. Saul made plans, according to his anger, jealousy and fear, to have David killed. First, he tried this simply by continually sending him out to battle. Second, he attempted to have him murdered by using his daughters. The scripture’s recording of the giving of the daughters in marriage established how vindictive Saul was at this point. Merab was his first try, but it did not go according to plan (17-19).

Michal was the best opportunity for Saul, as he knew David loved her. Although David showed deference to the King in recognition of his own humble estate and family, Saul attempted to use David’s thoughtfulness against him (20-25). David was sent out to earn the dowry price for Michal and this was acceptable to David. His motive was to be faithful to this important step of marriage into the King’s family (26). Saul’s slimy strategy was for David’s luck to eventually run out at the hands of the Philistines (25).

Recognize the difference between these two men. David was trusting in the Lord with a proper fear of God’s sovereignty in his life. Saul was living with anger and jealousy toward David with no proper fear of God. The difference is that one man had the Spirit of God and the other had it removed. David was God’s child by God’s grace. Saul was his own man by sinful human will.

Saul was so estranged from God due to an unrepentant heart that he fought against God’s servant, even to the point of attempted murder. Saul’s sin had hardened him. He had not genuinely gone before the Lord in repentance and learned to fear God more than man. He had feared the people concerning the Amalekites (15:24). Then he feared the success of David (8). Saul would not submit to the consequences of his sin. He continued to indulge his sin of the fear of man. He should not have lived and ruled with anger against the Amalekites or David. He should have lived and ruled according to the holiness, judgement, fear, commands, and the grace of God. Let us remember that anger and jealousy are often conjoined twins. They will lead us to go against God and His people. They never lead us to trust and follow the one living covenant God. Soli Deo Gloria!