By now, you probably know the drill. If you are new to this, this series, as you may have deciphered, is an outline of the entire Bible, book by good ol’ book. You can follow this link to read all of the current portions to date, if you want to truly know your King!
Previously in 1 Samuel…The life and fall of Eli, the high priest, and his household happened just as the Lord provided new leadership through Samuel and his household. During Samuel’s time, the Israelites came to a huge shifting point when they demanded a king, which was a desire fostered by their observance of other nations. This was a blatant rejection of the Lord as their King, but He was gracious and merciful to grant their request. So, a man named Saul was crowned “King” of Israel, and his anointing brought the time of the Judges to an end. Saul was clearly infused by the power of the Spirit, and the Lord used him to deliver the Israelites from the Philistines. However, we start to see a slow fade in Saul, and his dependence and trust in the Lord slowly turned into to trust in men and his own wisdom! This ended in the Lord “regretting” that He had made Saul King, and He promised to raise another in his place.
BEFORE READING MORE – It would be ideal if you read the chapters to be discussed prior to looking through the outline! This week we are covering 1 Samuel 16 – 20.
1 SAMUEL – The first book of Samuel details the life of major biblical characters such as Hannah, Samuel, Saul, Jonathan, and David. At the end of Ruth we learned that Ruth and Boaz had a boy named Obed, who was the father of Jesse, and Jesse was the father of David whose line would eventually lead to Jesus Christ. 1 Samuel describes an important shift from the time of the Judges over Israel to the time of Kings, and although that shift was an indication of the wayward heart of the Israelites, we still see God’s perfect will played out in a wonderful way through many characters and events. But of all the things that happened throughout the book, it was the life of David that is of particular importance.
- 1 Samuel 16 | The new king, David, is appointed, and he ironically becomes a servant to Saul: After Saul’s meteoric downfall, Samuel was tasked with anointing the new King from the children of a man named Jesse. Because this could technically fall under the realm of treason, Samuel was a little hesitant due to what Saul might do, if he were to find out. However, the Lord told him to go under the premise of offering a sacrifice. The Lord instructed him to say “I have come to sacrifice to the Lord” to invite Jesse so that he could anoint the designated one! Portions like this always throw me for a loop because there is a certain amount of holy deception that takes place directly from the Lord, ha! Anyways, Samuel did as the Lord said, and when he saw Eliab, he immediately thought that “surely the Lord’s anointed is before Him”. However the Lord rejects Eliab and 6 more sons because:
But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look at his appearance or at the height of his stature, because I have rejected him; for God sees not as man sees, for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” | 1 Samuel 16:7
So Jesse brought in his very last son, David, who was out tending to the sheep, and the Lord quickly approved of the rugged fellow. Samuel anointed him, “and the spirit of the Lord came mightily upon David from that day forward.” Unfortunately, the very next verse documents that “the Spirit of the Lord departed from Saul, and an evil spirit from the Lord terrorized him.” I am not entirely sure what to make of the evil spirit from the Lord (maybe it just means the Lord allowed an evil spirit), but this burden caused Saul and his servants to seek out a man who was skilled at playing the harp, which would soothe his spirit. Ironically (or maybe intentionally), the perfect man for the job was none other than David! So, David, the new King would come into Saul’s presence whenever the evil spirit came upon him, and he would refresh the rejected king by playing his harp.
- 1 Samuel 17 | David defeats the “mighty” Goliath, Saul finally notices David?: During the reign of Saul, the Israelites constantly battled the Philistines. In chapter 17, a ginormous Philistine named Goliath stood as the champion of his people. While the two nations were camped on either side of a valley, Goliath called out to the Israelites and challenged any one of them to face him.
Again the Philistine said, “I defy the ranks of Israel this day; give me a man that we may fight together.” | 1 Samuel 17:10
Unfortunately, Saul and all of Israel did not respond with confidence in the blessed nation that they were, instead “they were dismayed and greatly afraid.” But David, who came to the battlefield to bring provisions for his brothers, saw past the physical form of this Philistine, and he readied himself to fight the man. Ironically, Saul tried to convince him otherwise, but David had complete confidence in the living God.
Then Saul said to David, “You are not able to go against this Philistine to fight with him; for you are but a youth while he has been a warrior from his youth.” | 1 Samuel 17:33
And this is how David responded:
“Your servant has killed both the lion and the bear; and this uncircumcised Philistine will be like one of them, since he has taunted the armies of the living God.” | 1 Samuel 17:36
David then proceeded to vanquish the Philistine Giant, Goliath, with only a sling and a riverstone. After this huge victory before all of Israel, we read of the most startling thing. Although we read of the young man David playing his heart for the troubled Saul in chapter 16, it seems as though Saul recognized David for the very first time at the end of chapter 17! He asks his general who the young man is, although the young man had been soothing the evil spirit away from him. Unfortunately, it seems as though Saul was blind to the Lord’s working until it was clearly spelled out for him on a big screen. His curiosity caused Abner, his general, to bring David into Saul’s presence, and Saul asked the young man who he is.
- 1 Samuel 18-19 | David and Jonathan are knit together, Saul is intimidated by David, and he seeks to kill him to no avail: These chapters clearly establish he Lord’s foreknowledge, wisdom, and provision despite adverse circumstances. As soon as Saul and David are done interacting at the end of chapter 17, David’s soul was knit to that of Jonathan’s, Saul’s son, and “Jonathan loved him as himself” and made a covenant with David. Saul established David as part of his army, and as they return to Israel after defeating Goliath, the people praised David more than they did Saul.
The women sang as they played, and said, “Saul has slain his thousands, And David his ten thousands” | 1 Samuel 18:7
This created a rift between Saul and David from that day onwards, but the fact that David’s favor was established in Jonathan before the rift was established with Saul is a testament to the sovereignty of the Lord. From that day onwards, Saul attempted to kill David in many ways, but David constantly beat the odds. An evil spirit came upon Saul causing him to hurl a spear at David, but he evaded. He set him against the Philistines for his daughter’s hand in marriage with the hopes that he would die in battle, but David conquered twice as many men as Saul tasked him to do. After successfully defeating them, David was given Saul’s daughter, Michal, as a wife, and Saul’s fear grew because all of his servants and even his daughter loved David.
Then the commanders of the Philistines went out to battle, and it happened as often as they went out, that David behaved himself more wisely than all the servants of Saul. So his name was highly esteemed. | 1 Samuel 18:30
At this point, Saul divulged his desire to put David to death to his son Jonathan, and Jonathan convinced him that it was a sin because David was innocent! Saul listened and vowed not to put him to death “as the Lord lives”, and David returned to his presence as before. But again, an evil spirit from the Lord came upon him, and he again attempted to hurl a spear at David. David fled to Samuel with the help of his wife, Michal, Saul’s own daughter, and he revealed all that Saul had done. Saul sent men after him, but these men ended up prophesying instead of taking David. Saul sent more men, and they prophesied as well. Then, he sent more men, and they prophesied as well. Finally, he, himself, went, and he ended up prophesying as well! His desire to kill David was clearly a lost cause!
- 1 Samuel 20 | Jonathan greatly favors David, and he reveal’s Saul’s ill content before David flees for good: David confronted Jonathan about his father, and Jonathan was determined to find out. In order to keep David safe, they concoct an elaborate method of Jonathan telling David wether or not Saul actually wanted him dead. Essentially, David would hide in a field, and Jonathan would shoot arrows. The location of the arrows would dictate whether or not David should come back or flee. They made a covenant and parted ways.
If it please my father to do you harm, may the Lord do so to Jonathan and more also, if I do not make it known to you and send you away, that you may go in safety. And may the Lord be with you as He has been with my father. If I am still alive, will you not show me the lovingkindness of the Lord, that I may not die? You shall not cut off your lovingkindness from my house forever, not even when the Lord cuts off every one of the enemies of David from the face of the earth.” | 1 Samuel 20:13-15
Jonathan went before Saul and told him that David had gone home to be with his brothers, and Saul immediately reveals his intent. Saul even tries to kill Jonathan with a spear because of his favor for David. So Jonathan went out to reveal to David that he should flee, but instead of just shooting the arrows, they are overwhelmed with love for each other that they ended up just meeting in the field and weeping together before David departed. Before leaving, David reiterated his love for Jonathan by saying “The Lord will be between me and you, and my descendants and your descendants forever.”