April 12, 1 Samuel 18-20, Psalm 11, 59

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18 When David had finished speaking with Saul, Jonathan was bound to David in close friendship,[a] and loved him as much as he loved himself. Saul kept David with him from that day on and did not let him return to his father’s house.Jonathan made a covenant with David because he loved him as much as himself. Then Jonathan removed the robe he was wearing and gave it to David, along with his military tunic, his sword, his bow, and his belt.David marched out with the army and was successful in everything Saul sent him to do. Saul put him in command of the fighting men, which pleased all the people and Saul’s servants as well.As the troops were coming back, when David was returning from killing the Philistine, the women came out from all the cities of Israel to meet King Saul, singing and dancing with tambourines, with shouts of joy, and with three-stringed instruments. As they danced, the women sang:Saul has killed his thousands,
but David his tens of thousands.Saul was furious and resented this song.[b] “They credited tens of thousands to David,” he complained, “but they only credited me with thousands. What more can he have but the kingdom?” So Saul watched David jealously from that day forward.

Saul Attempts to Kill David

10 The next day an evil spirit sent from God came powerfully on Saul, and he began to rave[c] inside the palace. David was playing the lyre as usual, but Saul was holding a spear, 11 and he threw it, thinking, “I’ll pin David to the wall.” But David got away from him twice.12 Saul was afraid of David, because the Lord was with David but had left Saul. 13 Therefore, Saul sent David away from him and made him commander over a thousand men. David led the troops 14 and continued to be successful in all his activities because the Lord was with him. 15 When Saul observed that David was very successful, he dreaded him. 16 But all Israel and Judah loved David because he was leading their troops. 17 Saul told David, “Here is my oldest daughter Merab. I’ll give her to you as a wife, if you will be a warrior for me and fight the Lord’s battles.” But Saul was thinking, “I don’t need to raise a hand against him; let the hand of the Philistines be against him.”18 Then David responded, “Who am I, and what is my family or my father’s clan in Israel that I should become the king’s son-in-law?” 19 When it was time to give Saul’s daughter Merab to David, she was given to Adriel the Meholathite as a wife.

David’s Marriage to Michal

20 Now Saul’s daughter Michal loved David, and when it was reported to Saul, it pleased him.[d21 “I’ll give her to him,” Saul thought. “She’ll be a trap for him, and the hand of the Philistines will be against him.” So Saul said to David a second time, “You can now be my son-in-law.”22 Saul then ordered his servants, “Speak to David in private and tell him, ‘Look, the king is pleased with you, and all his servants love you. Therefore, you should become the king’s son-in-law.’”23 Saul’s servants reported these words directly to David,[e] but he replied, “Is it trivial in your sight to become the king’s son-in-law? I am a poor commoner.”24 The servants reported back to Saul, “These are the words David spoke.”25 Then Saul replied, “Say this to David: ‘The king desires no other bride-price except a hundred Philistine foreskins, to take revenge on his enemies.’” Actually, Saul intended to cause David’s death at the hands of the Philistines.26 When the servants reported these terms to David, he was pleased[f] to become the king’s son-in-law. Before the wedding day arrived,[g27 David and his men went out and killed two hundred[h] Philistines. He brought their foreskins and presented them as full payment to the king to become his son-in-law. Then Saul gave his daughter Michal to David as his wife. 28 Saul realized[i] that the Lord was with David and that his daughter Michal loved him, 29 and he became even more afraid of David. As a result, Saul was David’s enemy from then on.30 Every time the Philistine commanders came out to fight, David was more successful than all of Saul’s officers. So his name became well known.

David Delivered from Saul

19 Saul ordered his son Jonathan and all his servants to kill David. But Saul’s son Jonathan liked David very much, so he told him: “My father Saul intends to kill you. Be on your guard in the morning and hide in a secret place and stay there. I’ll go out and stand beside my father in the field where you are and talk to him about you. When I see what he says, I’ll tell you.”Jonathan spoke well of David to his father Saul. He said to him: “The king should not sin against his servant David. He hasn’t sinned against you; in fact, his actions have been a great advantage to you. He took his life in his hands when he struck down the Philistine, and the Lord brought about a great victory for all Israel. You saw it and rejoiced, so why would you sin against innocent blood by killing David for no reason?”Saul listened to Jonathan’s advice and swore an oath: “As surely as the Lord lives, David will not be killed.” So Jonathan summoned David and told him all these words. Then Jonathan brought David to Saul, and he served him as he did before.When war broke out again, David went out and fought against the Philistines. He defeated them with such great force that they fled from him.Now an evil spirit sent from the Lord came on Saul as he was sitting in his palace holding a spear. David was playing the lyre, 10 and Saul tried to pin David to the wall with the spear. As the spear struck the wall, David eluded Saul, ran away, and escaped that night. 11 Saul sent agents to David’s house to watch for him and kill him in the morning. But his wife Michal warned David, “If you don’t escape tonight, you will be dead tomorrow!” 12 So she lowered David from the window, and he fled and escaped. 13 Then Michal took the household idol and put it on the bed, placed some goat hair on its head, and covered it with a garment. 14 When Saul sent agents to seize David, Michal said, “He’s sick.”15 Saul sent the agents back to see David and said, “Bring him on his bed so I can kill him.” 16 When the agents arrived, to their surprise, the household idol was on the bed with some goat hair on its head.17 Saul asked Michal, “Why did you deceive me like this? You sent my enemy away, and he has escaped!”She answered him, “He said to me, ‘Let me go! Why should I kill you?’”18 So David fled and escaped and went to Samuel at Ramah and told him everything Saul had done to him. Then he and Samuel left and stayed at Naioth.19 When it was reported to Saul that David was at Naioth in Ramah, 20 he sent agents to seize David. However, when they saw the group of prophets prophesying with Samuel leading them, the Spirit of God came on Saul’s agents, and they also started prophesying. 21 When they reported to Saul, he sent other agents, and they also began prophesying. So Saul tried again and sent a third group of agents, and even they began prophesying. 22 Then Saul himself went to Ramah. He came to the large cistern at Secu and asked, “Where are Samuel and David?”“At Naioth in Ramah,” someone said.23 So he went to Naioth in Ramah. The Spirit of God also came on him, and as he walked along, he prophesied until he entered Naioth in Ramah. 24 Saul then removed his clothes and also prophesied before Samuel; he collapsed and lay naked all that day and all that night. That is why they say, “Is Saul also among the prophets?”

Jonathan Protects David

20 David fled from Naioth in Ramah and came to Jonathan and asked, “What have I done? What did I do wrong? How have I sinned against your father so that he wants to take my life?”Jonathan said to him, “No, you won’t die. Listen, my father doesn’t do anything, great or small, without telling me.[j] So why would he hide this matter from me? This can’t be true.”But David said, “Your father certainly knows that I have found favor with you. He has said, ‘Jonathan must not know of this, or else he will be grieved.’” David also swore, “As surely as the Lord lives and as you yourself live, there is but a step between me and death.”Jonathan said to David, “Whatever you say, I will do for you.”So David told him, “Look, tomorrow is the New Moon, and I’m supposed to sit down and eat with the king. Instead, let me go, and I’ll hide in the countryside for the next two nights.[kIf your father misses me at all, say, ‘David urgently requested my permission to go quickly to his hometown Bethlehem for an annual sacrifice there involving the whole clan.’ If he says, ‘Good,’ then your servant is safe, but if he becomes angry, you will know he has evil intentions. Deal kindly with[l] your servant, for you have brought me into a covenant with you before the Lord. If I have done anything wrong, then kill me yourself; why take me to your father?”“No!” Jonathan responded. “If I ever find out my father has evil intentions against you, wouldn’t I tell you about it?”10 So David asked Jonathan, “Who will tell me if your father answers you harshly?”11 He answered David, “Come on, let’s go out to the countryside.” So both of them went out to the countryside. 12 “By the Lord, the God of Israel, I will sound out my father by this time tomorrow or the next day. If I find out that he is favorable toward you, will I not send for you and tell you?[m13 If my father intends to bring evil on you, may the Lord punish Jonathan and do so severely if I do not tell you[n] and send you away so you may leave safely. May the Lord be with you, just as he was with my father. 14 If I continue to live, show me kindness[o] from the Lord, but if I die, 15 don’t ever withdraw your kindness from my household—not even when the Lord cuts off every one of David’s enemies from the face of the earth.” 16 Then Jonathan made a covenant with the house of David, saying, “May the Lord hold David’s enemies accountable.”[p17 Jonathan once again swore to David[q] in his love for him, because he loved him as he loved himself.18 Then Jonathan said to him, “Tomorrow is the New Moon; you’ll be missed because your seat will be empty. 19 The following day hurry down and go to the place where you hid on the day this incident began and stay beside the rock Ezel. 20 I will shoot three arrows beside it as if I’m aiming at a target. 21 Then I will send a servant and say, ‘Go and find the arrows!’ Now, if I expressly say to the servant, ‘Look, the arrows are on this side of you—get them,’ then come, because as the Lord lives, it is safe for you and there is no problem. 22 But if I say this to the youth, ‘Look, the arrows are beyond you!’ then go, for the Lord is sending you away. 23 As for the matter you and I have spoken about, the Lord will be a witness[r] between you and me forever.” 24 So David hid in the countryside.At the New Moon, the king sat down to eat the meal. 25 He sat at his usual place on the seat by the wall. Jonathan sat facing him[s] and Abner took his place beside Saul, but David’s place was empty. 26 Saul did not say anything that day because he thought, “Something unexpected has happened; he must be ceremonially unclean—yes, that’s it, he is unclean.”27 However, the day after the New Moon, the second day, David’s place was still empty, and Saul asked his son Jonathan, “Why didn’t Jesse’s son come to the meal either yesterday or today?”28 Jonathan answered, “David asked for my permission to go to Bethlehem. 29 He said, ‘Please let me go because our clan is holding a sacrifice in the town, and my brother has told me to be there. So now, if I have found favor with you, let me go so I can see my brothers.’ That’s why he didn’t come to the king’s table.”30 Then Saul became angry with Jonathan and shouted, “You son of a perverse and rebellious woman! Don’t I know that you are siding with Jesse’s son to your own shame and to the disgrace of your mother?[t31 Every day Jesse’s son lives on earth you and your kingship are not secure. Now send for him and bring him to me—he must die!”32 Jonathan answered his father back: “Why is he to be killed? What has he done?”33 Then Saul threw his spear at Jonathan to kill him, so he knew that his father was determined to kill David. 34 He got up from the table fiercely angry and did not eat any food that second day of the New Moon, for he was grieved because of his father’s shameful behavior toward David.35 In the morning Jonathan went out to the countryside for the appointed meeting with David. A young servant was with him. 36 He said to the servant, “Run and find the arrows I’m shooting.” As the servant ran, Jonathan shot an arrow beyond him. 37 He came to the location of the arrow that Jonathan had shot, but Jonathan called to him and said, “The arrow is beyond you, isn’t it?” 38 Then Jonathan called to him, “Hurry up and don’t stop!” Jonathan’s servant picked up the arrow and returned to his master. 39 He did not know anything; only Jonathan and David knew the arrangement. 40 Then Jonathan gave his equipment to the servant who was with him and said, “Go, take it back to the city.”41 When the servant had gone, David got up from the south side of the stone Ezel, fell facedown to the ground, and paid homage three times. Then he and Jonathan kissed each other and wept with each other, though David wept more.42 Jonathan then said to David, “Go in the assurance the two of us pledged in the name of the Lord when we said: The Lord will be a witness between you and me and between my offspring and your offspring forever.” Then David left, and Jonathan went into the city.

Psalm 11

I have taken refuge in the Lord.
How can you say to me,
“Escape to the mountains[a] like a bird!
For look, the wicked string bows;
they put their arrows on bowstrings
to shoot from the shadows at the upright in heart.
When the foundations are destroyed,
what can the righteous do?”The Lord is in his holy temple;
the Lord—his throne is in heaven.
His eyes watch;
his gaze[b] examines everyone.[c]
The Lord examines the righteous,
but he hates the wicked
and[d] those who love violence.
Let him rain burning coals[e] and sulfur on the wicked;
let a scorching wind be the portion in their cup.
For the Lord is righteous; he loves righteous deeds.
The upright will see his face.

Psalm 59

Rescue me from my enemies, my God;
protect me from those who rise up against me.
Rescue me from those who practice sin,
and save me from men of bloodshed.
Because look, Lord, they set an ambush for me.
Powerful men attack me,
but not because of any sin or rebellion of mine.
For no fault of mine,
they run and take up a position.
Awake to help me, and take notice.
Lord God of Armies, you are the God of Israel.
Rise up to punish all the nations;
do not show favor to any wicked traitors.SelahThey return at evening, snarling like dogs
and prowling around the city.
Look, they spew from their mouths—
sharp words from[a] their lips.
“For who,” they say, “will hear?”
But you laugh at them, Lord;
you ridicule all the nations.
I will keep watch for you, my[b] strength,
because God is my stronghold.
10 My faithful God[c] will come to meet me;
God will let me look down on my adversaries.11 Do not kill them; otherwise, my people will forget.
By your power, make them homeless wanderers
and bring them down,
Lord, our shield.
12 For the sin of their mouths and the words of their lips,
let them be caught in their pride.
They utter curses and lies.
13 Consume them in rage;
consume them until they are gone.
Then people will know throughout[d] the earth
that God rules over Jacob.Selah14 And they return at evening, snarling like dogs
and prowling around the city.
15 They scavenge for food;
they growl if they are not satisfied.16 But I will sing of your strength
and will joyfully proclaim
your faithful love in the morning.
For you have been a stronghold for me,
a refuge in my day of trouble.
17 To you, my strength, I sing praises,
because God is my stronghold—
my faithful God.

I love David’s words in Psalm 59. He asks God to deliver him and take care of him, never once by David’s might or for David’s greatness. David wants God to do it in God’s power and timing. 

There is no selfishness in David’s plea to God.

Don’t come to God asking Him to do something for your own personal gain. Come to God asking Him to be God in your situation.

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