Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. 2 Tim. 2:15

King James AV1611


First Samuel

First Samuel was taught by Dr. James Modlish


Chapter Eighteen


David is the 'long-shot' that wins the Kentucky Derby. He's the rookie actor who got his first big break in a starring role, and brings home an Academy Award. David is a tremendous study in how God brings about His plan in a man's life through circumstances. David is immediately accepted and proven. Saul is not sure how to react. Compare the character of these two men.







Much has already been said in the previous material entitled "Introduction to Jonathan", about the model friendship these two men possessed. There is, I'm sure, no greater example of human friendship in the Word of God." "Jonathan loved him as his own soul" (vs. 1) .... (1 Sam. 20:17). The second great commandment is "love thy neighbor as thyself...." Paul said to the Ephesians, "no man ever yet hated his own flesh." The truth and biblical fact of the matter is, that we are to strive to do for others what we would, in any given situation, do for yourself.

Saul himself is impressed with David and decided to keep the boy around, he might be very valuable some day (see 14:52).

We would say, "he'd be willing to give you the shirt off his back." That's just what Jonathan did! To confirm or seal the covenant of verse three, Jonathan gives David his robe and battle ear as a sign and seal of their friendship ? (vs. 4)



We have stopped often and pondered the sins of Saul. Here in chapter eighteen we see the "coup de gras," Saul's envy and jealousy. It is kindled in classic style. Craving the praises and attention of the female of the species (vs. 7), Saul is upstaged by the young, wet behind the ears, David. How many wars have been fought, and how many men have died, seeking the attention of a certain female?

The scripture says, "David behaved himself wisely" (vss. 5,14,15,30). It is interesting to to note that the sin that hurt David so much in II Samuel 11, his adulterous affair with Bathsheba, seems to be well under control at this point of his life. It is true that certain sins that we have 'cultivated' in our youth will plague us all of our lives, yet, let us not drop our guard in areas that have not damaged us in the past. What any one of us would do in any given situation must be considered carefully and controlled by the grace of God.

"...He was accepted in the sight of all the people." To be accepted and acceptable in the role of leadership, one must prove himself. Responsibility and authority are things one must earn (vs. 5).

" ...The women ... said..." (vs. 7). Do you think Saul ever considered what the women thought or said? Like any great male chauvinist ... no. The women weren't consulted in financial matters, military or political affairs. But here's one time he listened! Saul was not too happy with the lyrics of the number one song on the hit parade. Saul, who was once a humble man (9:21), unfortunately has begun to believe all the things he has heard about himself. When a humble man realizes he's humble, he 'ain't'!

"...What can he have more but the Kingdom?" (vs. 8). A little blown out of proportion I'd say, but another great characteristic of human nature. The context is vaguely reminiscent of Ahab, Jezebel and Naboth's vineyard. "...and Saul eyed David...."

"...The evil spirit from God..." (vs. 10). See (1 Sam. 16:14; 19:9,23). "He prophesied...", I wonder what he said? See (1 Ki. 18:29), not everyone that prophesies, prophesies by the Spirit of God.

We say, "nail him to the wall," the idea is found in (vs. 11). Envy and jealousy are deceitful corrupting sins. Like covetousness and greed, they are stepping stones to sins of greater wickedness. Envy leads to murder as does Ahab's covetousness and David's adultery.



David was anointed to be king by Samuel under the direction of the Lord (16:13). David put his trust in the Lord that He would work out all the details. It would have been the human and immature thing for the young man to attempt to wrestle authority and control from Saul, or for that matter to simply sow discord and undermine his authority. But "David behaved himself wisely." If God was in this, and David knew He was, then the Lord would simply have to work out all the details, David himself had determined simply to do right.

Saul gives his 'hand' away in that he's afraid of David because the Lord is with him. This illustrates why two Christians cannot get along very well and/or feel comfortable with each other, when one is out of fellowship with God.

"...All Israel loved David, because he went out and came in before them." David is in the public eye. He's active with and before the people. Apparently, Saul has somewhat cloistered himself. Absalom uses this principle to steal the hearts of the people from David in (2 Sam. 15:1-6). People respond to active leadership. They must be able to identify wit the man in charge. Saul surrounds himself wit a maze of administrative details, a company of representatives and advisors, and never leaves his desk. He loses touch with the "little guy." He's soon only a name, a figurehead. "Out of sight, out of mind." But David is the Mac Arthur or Patton of World War II, fighting in the trenches with the troops. He steals the heart of the people, only through Saul's sin and ignorance.



Saul's pious speech of (vs. 17) is a trick that David remembered and used later in his own life. Under the pretense of trusting David to fight "the Lord's battles," the battle really is within Saul himself. "I'll give you my daughter Merab!" It's a set up! ?vs. 25). Saul hopes that David will get in the way of a Philistine arrow or spear.

When offered the hand of Merab, to add insult to injury, David deems himself not worthy. "Saul, don't you feel like a blank fool"? Without explanation, Saul gives Merab away to another How to lose friends and 'defluence' people.

Saul has another in the nest that needs her MRS degree and she loved David (20), yet, Saul's purpose again is that "she may be a snare to him." By the way she was - later! (2 Sam. 6:20-23).

As David plotted against Uriah, so Saul conspires to kill David. More innocent people are dragged into the debauchery. Sin is a cancer, others now share the guilt in Saul's devious intentions. The challenge is given to David (25), he accepts, Saul is elated. Yet in classic manner, again adding insult to injury, David returns humbly and victoriously with double the tale of Philistine foreskins. David goes above and beyond the call of duty earning himself a "Silver Star."



Saul has a way of acquiring enemies (14:24). He's a classic example of a man who "had it made" and brought all his problems upon himself. Unfortunately like most men and women, he didn't recognize the real enemy, himself. All this time David simply did what was expected of him, behaved himself wisely, and God directed to him the human responsibility and recognition due to him. " that his name was much set by" (30).

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