SAUL IS JEALOUS OF DAVID
Romans 8:28a, ESV
And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good...
1 SAMUEL 18:1-5, NIrV
1 David finished talking with Saul. After that, Jonathan and David became close friends. Jonathan loved David just as he loved himself. 2 From that time on, Saul kept David with him. He didn’t let him return home to his family. 3 Jonathan made a covenant with David because he loved him just as he loved himself. 4 Jonathan took off the robe he was wearing and gave it to David. He also gave him his military clothes. He even gave him his sword, his bow and his belt.
5 David did everything Saul sent him to do. He did it so well that Saul gave him a high rank in the army. That pleased Saul’s whole army, including his officers.
After David's shocking defeat of the gigantic Goliath, Saul did not let the young man return home. Why? Because any time Saul gave David a job to do, the kid did it perfectly. David surely missed home, but in Saul's house he met the closest friend he ever had: Jonathan, the king's son. As a sign of how much he cared for him, Jonathan gave David a gift of great honor: Jonathan's own royal robe, armor, belt, sword, and bow. But Jonathan wasn’t the only one who was a big fan of David. Because God gave him success in everything he did, David quickly became the most famous man in Israel!
+ What things did Jonathan give to David? (vs. 4)
+ Why was David so successful at everything he did?
1 SAMUEL 18:6-7, NIrV
6 After David had killed Goliath, the men of Israel returned home. The women came out of all the towns of Israel to meet King Saul. They danced and sang joyful songs. They played harps and tambourines. 7 As they danced, they sang,
“Saul has killed thousands of men.
David has killed tens of thousands.”
After David bravely slayed Goliath with a single stone from his slingshot, the Israelites were in a mood to celebrate! The women of Israel played musical instruments and danced as they sang a song of victory. They sang about how King Saul had slain (or killed) thousands of enemies in his battles. And they sang about how David had slain tens of thousands in his battles. If you were keeping score, you probably noticed that David's number of soldiers slain in the song was a lot larger than Saul's. There was someone in the crowd who noticed that, too, and you can probably guess who it was!
+ What musical instruments did the women play as they sang? (vs. 6)
+ Who do you guess is the person in the crowd who didn’t like the song?
1 SAMUEL 18:8-9, NIrV
8 That song made Saul very angry. It really upset him. He said to himself, “They are saying David has killed tens of thousands of men. But they are saying I’ve killed only thousands. The only thing left for him to get is the kingdom itself.” 9 From that time on, Saul watched David closely.
If you guessed that King Saul was the one who didn’t like the victory song the women of Israel sang, you’d be right! He didn’t like that they bragged about David defeating ten times as many enemies as him! So why was David more popular with the people than even the king himself? Because David was the only man brave enough to face Goliath, the gigantic Philistine super-soldier. Like the rest of his men, King Saul had been too afraid to fight. And now, with David’s fame spreading all through Israel, King Saul had a brand new fear: “What if the people want him as their king instead of me?”
+ Why was Saul so upset with the victory song the women of Israel sang? (vs. 8)
+ Verse 9 says Saul kept a close eye on David. Why do you think he did that?
1 SAMUEL 18:10-11, NIRV
10 The next day an evil spirit sent by God came powerfully on Saul. Saul began to prophesy in his house. At that same time David began to play the harp, just as he usually did. Saul was holding a spear. 11 He threw it at David. As he did, he said to himself, “I’ll pin David to the wall.” But David got away from him twice.
David was the most famous warrior in Israel, but he also had another job: playing music for Saul. The king had been bothered for quite some time by an evil spirit. Whenever David played his harp, it soothed Saul’s troubled mind. But on this day, the evil spirit was too powerful and Saul was too upset about the victory song the women sang. Saul thought, “Famous Dave can’t steal my kingdom if I kill him first!” So while David played his harp, Saul sent a spear soaring his way! Somehow, David escaped. The crazy king even tried a second time to pin David to the wall, but David dodged it again.
+ Why was David playing his harp for King Saul?
+ What evil thought did King Saul have? (vs. 11)
1 SAMUEL 18:12-16, 28-30, NIRV
12 The Lord had left Saul and was with David. So Saul was afraid of David. 13 He sent David away. He put him in command of 1,000 men. David led the troops in battle. 14 In everything he did, he was very successful. That’s because the Lord was with him. 15 When Saul saw how successful David was, he became afraid of him. 16 But all the troops of Israel and Judah loved David. That’s because he led them in battle.
28 Saul realized that the Lord was with David. He also realized that his daughter Michal loved David. 29 So Saul became even more afraid of him. As long as Saul lived, he remained David’s enemy.
30 The Philistine commanders kept on going out to battle. Every time they did, David had more success against them than the rest of Saul’s officers. So his name became well known.
Normally, when you do a good job, your boss is pleased. And no matter what King Saul asked David to do, God gave the young man success. But it seemed like the better David did, the angrier the king grew. The Bible tells us exactly why: Saul was afraid of David! He was afraid of how much the people seemed to love the guy. He was afraid because God’s Spirit was with David and no longer with him. And he was afraid that his kingdom would be snatched from his grasp and handed over to David. Saul’s fear and jealousy drove him to treat his most trusted servant David like his greatest enemy!
+ Why was Saul afraid of David? (vs. 12)
+ Why was David successful at everything he did? (vs. 14)
LUKE 4:28-30, NIRV
28 All the people in the synagogue were very angry when they heard that. 29 They got up and ran Jesus out of town. They took him to the edge of the hill on which the town was built. They planned to throw him off the cliff. 30 But Jesus walked right through the crowd and went on his way.
Jesus was the Messiah (or Christ), the promised savior sent to earth with a mission to save us from our sins. He finished that mission when he died on a cross to pay our punishment. Because we were saved by his death, we spend a lot of time talking about the cross. However, we very rarely talk about another time when a huge crowd of people tried to kill him... and he didn’t die!
In this story, Jesus was in Nazareth, his home town. He said some things that made the men there very angry. They were so angry, a whole mob of them chased Jesus out of town and tried to toss him off a cliff!
So how did Jesus escape? Did he zap the crowd with lightning or strike them with blindness? Nope! He walked right through the middle of these angry cliff-throwers and no one was able to lay a finger on him! The crowd failed to kill Jesus because it wasn’t time for him to die yet. He still had more work to do before the cross. And God was going to keep his Son perfectly safe and sound until Jesus’ work was complete.
This week, we’ve read about Saul’s jealousy of David. The more successful David was, the more the people loved him. And the more the people loved David, the more Saul hated him. The jealous king was afraid that David would become king in his place. His fear and jealousy drove him to try to pin David to a wall with a spear two times!
Just as Jesus escaped from an angry mob of cliff-throwers, David escaped from an angry spear-thrower. God kept David safe from Saul’s spears because he had chosen David to be the next king of Israel. So it didn’t matter if Saul threw two spears, ten spears, or even somehow built a spear-chucking robot! Every spear would miss its target. Why? Because God had decided to make David king. And when God makes a plan, there’s absolutely nothing anybody can do to stop him!
That’s good news for people like you and me, who believe that Jesus died for our sins and rose from the dead. Why? Because God has plans for us, too. He plans to send his Son Jesus back to earth one day. He plans to raise us all from the dead and give us perfect bodies that can never become sick or die. He plans to make a brand new heaven and earth for us to live on with Jesus forever. And like we said, when God makes a plan, there’s absolutely nothing anybody can do to stop him!
+ How did Jesus manage to escape from the angry crowd? (vs. 30)
+ Why did God keep Jesus safe from the angry mob?