Monday, March 27, 2006

David Plays For Saul

1st Samuel 18 to 1 Samuel 19

Saul and David, and the whole army returned home triumphant after the defeat of the Philistines. The women of Israel as they passed along came out of the cities to meet them with dances and songs of joy.

They danced and played on instruments singing "Saul has slain his thousands, but David his ten thousands!”

Saul was very displeased because they were giving more honor to David than they did to their king. From that day he began to treat David with jealousy and distrust.

From the time Saul had sinned against God as to cause Him to give the kingdom of Israel after his death to another, he had become liable to fits of sadness and severe gloom. God had withdrawn His Spirit from him, and he was miserable, almost mad. His servants, who were anxious to comfort him, thought that music would soothe the distressed mind of the king. David played skillfully upon the harp and they decided to have him play before Saul.

Whenever David played Saul was refreshed, and became cheerful again. He had grown envious of David's fame and when David was playing before him, he threw a spear at him to kill him. David, however, escaped unhurt. Saul then tried in various ways to destroy him by means of his enemies the Philistines, setting him on duties that seemed as if they must cost him his life.

God preserved David from the Philistines, and from Saul's own servant, whom the wicked king had commanded to put him to death. Jonathan, Saul's son, having sent David, whom he loved, to a place of safety, pleaded with his father for him, reminding Saul how faithful David had been to him, and what good service he had done the kingdom by killing the Philistine who had so frightened them all. Saul gave in to the pleading of his son, and promised that he would do David no harm.

David returned and served Saul as before.

War soon broke out again between the Israelites and the Philistines, and David again defeated them with great slaughter. This roused all Saul's ill-will against him. Saul was in one of his fits of gloom and David was trying to cheer him with his harp, rose and threw a spear at him with such force that, as David slipped aside, it stuck fast in the wall.

That night David escaped and never returned.

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