Let’s turn now to I Samuel 17.
Now the Philistines gathered together their armies to battle, and they were gathered together at Shochoh, which belongs to Judah, and they pitched between Shochoh and Azekah, in Ephesdammim. And Saul and the men of Israel were gathered together, and pitched by the valley of Elah, and set the battle in array against the Philistines. And the Philistines stood on one mountain on the one side, and Israel stood on a mountain on the other side: and there was a valley between them. And there went out a champion out of the camp of the Philistines, named Goliath, of Gath, whose height was [9 feet tall.]
A cubit is about 18 inches, and a span is about 6 inches. You measure a cubit from the elbow to the tip of the finger. Without Stanley retractable rulers, this was a good alternative to building a house. If you were to say that you want my room measuring a cubic from the elbow to the tip of the finger, you will get just about 18 inches. So the man was nine feet tall. Think of all the money he could have made together as a basketball player. Man, slam dunk!
He had an helmet of brass upon his head, and he was armed with a coat of mail; [this was overlapping pieces of metal protecting against a spear or arrow] and the weight of the coat of mail was five thousand shekels of brass. [Or, about 150 pounds. That, to me, would be a little cumbersome, trying to fight with a 150 pounds of brass on you.] And he had greaves of brass upon his legs, and a target of brass between his shoulders. [Sort of a chest protector over his heart.] And the staff of his spear was like a weaver’s beam; and his spear’s head weighed six hundred shekels of iron: [about 20 pounds] and he had an armor bearer carrying his shield that went before him. And he stood and cried to the armies of Israel, and said to them, Why are you come out to set your battle in array? am not I a Philistine, and you servants to Saul? choose you a man for you, and let him come down to me. If he is able to fight with me, and to kill me, then we will be your servants: but if I prevail against him, and kill him, then you shall be our servants, and serve us. And the Philistines said, I defy the armies of Israel this day; give me a man, that we may fight together.
You, that have been to Israel, can now close your eyes and get a mental picture of the Elah valley. For the rest of you, we will try to give you a word picture of the Elah valley. There are hillsides on each side of the valley. The little stream close down the valley itself. The stream, for the most part, is dry except during the rains. Interestingly enough, I’ve never seen a little stream with so many smooth stones. Our guide teases us every time we go there because people are always picking up stones out of the stream. He said, “Don’t worry, we had a truck dump a fresh load of stones last night. So there will be stones for you to pick up.”
Evidently, as they were fighting, neither army was capable of mounting a full offensive against the opposing army that could carry them up the hill on the other side. The advantage was always to the fellow on the higher ground. It’s always easier to run down the hill at the enemy than to run up the hill. It is always easier to throw stones down the hill than up it. So they had a stand off, as far as the armies go. Neither side could mount a full offensive that could carry them up the hill against the other.
So this fellow, Goliath, was offering this fight with winner take all. In other words, ‘Set your champion against me, and the two of us will fight. The loser becomes the servants for the other side. Winner take all.’ He defied the armies of God.
So when Saul and all the others heard those words of the Philistine, they were dismayed, and greatly afraid.
He, no doubt, intended to throw fear in their hearts. Most of the armor was for that purpose. You come out there with a huge coat of armor and a spear. It was too big to be practical in battle, but it must have been awesome to look at. To see this guy lift up this spear, with a shaft on it like a weaver’s beam, and a twenty pound spear head would inspire fear. It was working. They were greatly afraid.
Meanwhile David the son of the son of that Ephrathite of Bethlehem-judah, whose name was Jesse; and who had eight sons: and a man among them for an old man in the days of Saul. [Jesse was getting old.] The three eldest sons of Jesse followed Saul to battle: the names of the three sons were Eliab the firstborn, and next to him Abinadab, and Shammah. And David was the youngest: [of the eight sons] and the three oldest sons followed Saul. But David [after he had ministered to Saul, being brought in to play the harp to soothe Saul’s troubled spirit] returned from Saul to feed his father’s sheep at Bethlehem.
David was a simple little shepherd boy. It is an interesting thing in going over to Israel today: you can go back four thousand years in technology. Today you can see little boys and their flocks of sheep. When the sheep start to roam, the little kids would pick up sheep and bring them back into the herd again. It is reminiscent of the time of David. It is like going back to history, looking at scenes from the past. So David was just a simple shepherd boy.
David decided to build a temple for the LORD: ‘I’ve decided to build a house for the LORD. I live in a palace and God lives in a tent. That is not fair. I am going to build the LORD a house.’ God had to reject David’s desire because he was a man of war. He had shed so much blood. God told the prophet, Nathan, ‘Go back and tell David that he can’t build me a house, because he is a bloody man. Tell him that I am going to build him a house. Tell David that I took him from following after sheep, and I made him king.’ That’s quite a thing to have a little boy following sheep on the hillside of Bethlehem, and he has become the king over God’s people. What God had done to elevate David.
That’s not all: from David will come the Messiah. David got wiped out from this news. He realized that God’s grace was so great, he knew that God had been too good to him. He was nothing, and God made him king. When God spoke about the things to come of the Messiah, David could not say anything. He was brought to a place of silent worship before God.
In all of history, I know of no man who was more articulate to his praises to the LORD. Read the Psalms. Whenever I am looking for a more effective way of praising God, I refer to the Psalms. David was just so articulate in his praises unto the LORD. (Here, he messed up and blew it. He had taken Bathsheba and done all of these horrible things.) Yet, God speaks to him and says, ‘From you, the Messiah is going to come.’ The grace of God just absolutely wiped David out. Just as the grace of God wipes me out. There are times when I find that, what can you say? “God, you are so gracious and forgiving. God you are so good. I don’t deserve it. I am not worthy. LORD, what can I say?” And David is wiped out before the grace of God.
Here is David following the sheep. Just a young boy, out there in the hillside in Bethlehem.
And the Philistine drew near every morning and evening, and presented himself for forty days. [This is getting rather repetitive, twice a day for forty days. Here is this guy bellowing out his challenge, defying the armies of Israel.] And Jesse said to David his son, I want you to take this ephah of parched corn for your brothers, and these ten loaves of bread, and run to the camp of your brothers; and carry also these ten cheeses for their captain, and take their pledge. [Find out how they are doing.] Now Saul, and all the men of Israel, were in the valley of Elah, fighting with the Philistines. And David rose up early in the morning, and left the sheep with a keeper, and took, and went, as Jesse had commended him; and he came to the trench, as the host was going forth to the fight, and shouted for battle. [The guys were psyching themselves out to go out to the battle against the Philistines.]
Bethlehem is probably nine miles from the Elah valley. David, it would appear, had a good start; probably waking up quite early. He got there just about the time the guys were psyching themselves up to go to fight for Israel. And the Philistines had put the battle in array. The guys were getting lined up, getting ready to go at it again in their daily battle.
David left his carriage in the hand of the keeper of the carriage, and ran into the army, and came and saluted his brothers. And as he talked with them, behold, there came up the champion, this Philistine of Gath, Goliath by name, out of the armies of the Philistines, and he spoke according to the same words: and David heard them. And all of the men of Israel, when they saw the man, fled from him, and were sore afraid. [He was terrifying the armies of God. They were fleeing back to their tents. They were all psyching themselves up-then this guy comes up, and the psyche is gone.] And the men of Israel said to David, have you seen this man that is come up? surely to defy Israel is he come up: and it shall be, that the man who kills him, the king will enrich him with great riches, and will give him his daughter, and make his father’s house tax-free in Israel. And David spoke to the men that stood by him, saying, What will the king do for the man that will kill this Philistine, and take away the reproach from Israel? for who is this uncircumcised Philistine, that he should defy the armies of the living God? And the people answered him, This is what’s going to be done for the man who kills him. And Eliab who was the eldest brother heard David speaking to the men; and he was angry with David, and he said, Why have come down here? who did you leave those few sheep with? I know your pride, and the naughtiness of your heart; you’ve come down that you might see the battle. [“Why have you come down here? You just came down to get into mischief. Who did you leave your sheep with? You better get out of here, you better get home. You’re going to get in trouble, David.”]
Evidently, David was a brash little kid, and his brothers knew that he was one of those kinds. Of course, a lot of times the youngest son has seven older brothers so he can pick fights with guys and the older brothers are always there to help him out. The youngest oftentimes becomes very brash, and brave, you know, because he always knows he’s got his big brothers behind him. My youngest brother was that way. He never worried about getting in fights cause he always had his big brothers around. He was seven years younger than my younger brother, so, I mean, you know, he had his big brothers. And David was probably brash, so Eliab got angry with him: “Who did you leave your sheep with? You came down here for mischief. I know the naughtiness of your heart.” Angry with David.
And David said, Hey, what have I done, man? Is there not a cause? And he turned from his brother, [and he said: “What did the king say he would do? What will he give a guy that will wipe out this Philistine?”] And so they told David again. So when they heard David speaking of [you know, ‘Hey, I’ll go fight this guy’] they ran and told king Saul: [‘Hey Saul, we got a volunteer to fight the giant’] David said, Don’t let any man’s heart fail; [‘Don’t be afraid, fellas, because of him’] for your servant will go out and fight this Philistine. [‘Don’t be afraid guys, I’ll go fight him!’ Oh man! And so they brought David before Saul.] Saul said to David, You are not able to go against this Philistine to fight against him: for you are but a youth, and he is a man of war from his youth. And David said to Saul, Your servant was keeping his father’s sheep, and there came a lion, and a bear, and took a lamb out of the flock: and I went out after them, and I smote them, and delivered it out of his mouth: and when he arose against me, I caught him by his beard, and I killed him. And your servant killed both the lion and the bear: and this uncircumcised Philistine shall be as one of them, seeing that he has defied the armies of the living God.
Now David saw things in the proper perspective. Many times we are so overwhelmed by the enemies, we are so overwhelmed by our problems, that we lose true perspective. And when we lose the true perspective, fear grips our hearts. And, hey, we are just open for defeat. David saw the thing in the true perspective: ‘It isn’t me against this giant, it is this giant against the great God that I serve.’ So it isn’t, ‘Poor me, I’m facing this giant of a man: it’s poor giant, he’s facing the eternal God of Israel.’ And seeing it in that light, David saw it as, “This man is defying the armies of the living God.” ‘He doesn’t have a chance.’
And so David said, God who delivered me out of the paw of the lion, and the paw of the bear, will deliver me from this uncircumcised Philistine. And Saul said to David, Go, and the LORD be with you. And so Saul armed David with his armour, he put on a helmet of brass on his head; and he armed him with his coat of mail. And David put on the sword upon his armour, and he tried to go out; but he had not proved it. And David said to Saul, I can’t go with these; for I have not proved them. And David put them off. And he took his staff [just his shepherd’s staff] in his hand, and he chose five smooth stones out of the brook, and put them in the little shepherd’s bag which he had, [which was a little leather pouch, like you would carry scripts; sort of a purse] and his sling was in his hand: and he drew near to the Philistine.
Now, in your mind-don’t picture a sling shot, it’s a sling. It’s a little leather pouch with two leather straps. And it isn’t a crouch that is made out of a fork of a limb of a tree with inner tubes. But it is a sling that you let go, one of the two leather bands, and you can fling the rocks. You can become quite accurate with that. There were 200 men from the tribe of Benjamin, at a hundred paces, could hit a hare’s breath with those things. And David probably used a sling to keep the sheep in line. And so, all day long he’s winging around with that sling, and throwing at rocks, and throwing at bushes, and throwing at the sheep. And so David picked up these smooth stones out of the creek bed, put them in his little bag, and he drew near to the Philistine.
And when the Philistine came close to David; the man who was bearing his shield was in front of him. And when he looked about, and saw David, he disdained him: for he was but a youth, and ruddy, and of fair countenance. [He was just a little red headed kid.] And the Philistine said unto David, Am I a dog, that you would come after me with a stick? [For David had his shepherd’s stave in his hand.] And the Philistine cursed David by his gods. And the Philistine said to David, Come on up here son, I will give your flesh to the birds of the air, and the beasts of the field. [Figured that he would scare the little kid off with the threats, ‘I’ll cut you up and feed you to the birds.’] And David said to the Philistine, You come to me with a sword, and with a spear, and with a shield: but I come to you in the name of the LORD of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, who you have defied. [David, again: the right perspective: “You come with a sword, and a shield: I come in the name of the LORD of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, that you have defied.”] This day will the LORD deliver you into my hand; and I will smite you, and I’m going to take your head off of you; and I’m going to give the carcases of your whole army to the fowls of the air, and to the wild beasts of the earth; [he didn’t scare David: threatening to cut him up and feed him to the birds. David said, ‘I’m going to cut up your whole army, man. Feed the whole army to the birds’] that all the [world, or, all the] earth may know that there is a God in Israel. [David saw that God was on his side.]
And as Paul the apostle tells us in Romans 8, “If God is for us, who can be against us?” And it is so important that we know that God is for us. You know, for so many years I thought God was against me. And it was a tough life when God is against you. You see, I thought God was sort of like Santa Clause: keeping a list, checking it twice: gonna find out who’s naughty and nice; and those that are naughty get sticks. And I was always expecting God to bash me one, I thought God was the champion basher of the universe and just waiting for me to step out of line, waiting for me to do something wrong, and then, whamo! I’ve had it, you know? And this is the concept I had of God. That God is just somehow waiting to bring fiery judgment down on my head the moment I stepped out of line. I knew so little of the grace of God. God is for me.
Paul asked a series of questions there in Romans 8, and they’re probably the most important series of questions in the Bible. And I’ll tell you, they set me free, they changed my life, they changed my relationship with God 180 degrees. As I began to study these questions in Romans 8, “If God be for us, who can be against us?” And suddenly I realized that God was for me: He wasn’t ready to bash me the moment I did something wrong; If I would stumble or fall, He was ready to pick me up; that God loved me, and He was wanting to help me.
When you’re teaching your little child to walk, encouraging it, holding it out, and standing it on its feet, and then gradually pulling your hands away: letting him/her get its balance. You say, “Now, okay. Come on, come on, come on..” And they take that step, and you’re so excited that you hug them, and all. Now, if they go to take a step and they fall, you don’t pick it up and wail it! You don’t say, “I told you to walk!!!” No, but if they stumble, you grab it, and you hug it, you hold it close, and you say, “Oh, that was great, honey. Now try it again, try it again.” And God doesn’t pick you up and wail on you every time you stumble and fall, or make a mistake. He’s not there to bring fiery judgment, He’s there to lift the fallen. God is for you.
“Who shall lay anything to the charge of God’s elect?” Who’s going to lay charges against you? Paul answers the question, “It is God who has justified.” In other words, God isn’t charging you. As David said, “Oh how blessed is the man to whom God does not impute iniquity.” God’s not keeping a list. God doesn’t impute iniquity against me. He’s not looking for every little flaw: “Whoa! Did you see that? Check that one off.” No, He doesn’t even keep a list against me. “Oh how happy, how blessed, is the man to whom God does not impute iniquity.” Paul was, of course, quoting from Psalm 32.
“Who is he that condemneth?,” Paul asked. Again, Jesus isn’t condemning me. For Paul said, “It is Jesus who died, yea rather, is risen again, and is even at the right hand of the Father, making intercession for me.” You see, God’s not laying anything to my charge; Jesus is not condemning me, he’s interceding for me.
And so the final question: “Who shall separate us from this love of God?” Oh, David realized, ‘Hey, God’s for me; I’m not afraid of the giant or anyone else.’ “If God is for us, who can be against us?:” and seeing the battle in the right perspective. And it’s important that as we look at the problems of life, and the battles that we face, it’s important we have that awareness and consciousness that God is for us. And God has made available to us His infinite resources. And He is there to help, He is there to strengthen, He is there to lift; and if we fall, He’s there to pick us up. God is for you.
–all the earth will know that there is a God in Israel. And all the assembly shall know that the LORD saves not with sword and spear: for the battle is the LORD’s, and he will give you into our hands.
The LORD doesn’t use conventional means to bring deliverance to His people, He uses supernatural means. You see, so often when I am faced with a problem, I am looking at natural ways, or conventional ways to solve my problems, to find the solution. I’m looking at some conventional way: God doesn’t use conventional ways, He uses unconventional ways many times. “God doesn’t save with sword or spear.” If I am looking for conventional ways, oftentimes I get discouraged; I despair because I can’t see any possible way out. I’ve tried to think of possible ways by which this situation might be resolved, and I can’t see it; and I worry because there is no conventional way. “God doesn’t save with sword or spear.” It’s His battle.
Now, Satan is always trying to draw us into that arena where we are in the flesh combating him. And if he can get you into the flesh, he can really give you a battle. I mean, he can wipe you out. The moment he can draw you into the flesh to battle against him with sword and spear, the battle against Satan in the flesh is just real folly, because he can just make a pretzel out of you. But, as Paul said, “The weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but they are mighty through God to the pulling down of the strongholds of the enemy.” And I mean, I can go into my closet and I can make a pretzel out of him. As I begin to use this weapon that God has given to me, prayer, (and the spiritual battle,) and I keep it in the spiritual realm, he doesn’t have a chance. “The LORD doesn’t save with sword or spear.” The battle is the LORD’s, and He will give us the victory if we remain in the spiritual realm.
So it came to pass, when the Philistine arose, and came and drew close to David, that David hastened, [I love it] and ran toward the army to meet the Philistine. [I mean, David’s running at this giant.] And he put his hand in his bag, and he took from there a stone, and he slang it, [that’s an old English word, isn’t it?] and he smote the Philistine in his forehead, that the stone sunk into his forehead; and he fell on his face to the earth. So David prevailed over the Philistine with a sling and with a stone, and he smote the Philistine, and slew him; but David didn’t have any sword in his hand. And so he ran, and stood upon the Philistine, and took his sword, and drew it out of the sheath, and he slew him, and he cut off his head with it. And when the Philistines saw their champion was dead, they fled. And the men of Israel and Judah arose, and shouted, and they pursued the Philistines, until you come to the valley, into the gates of Ekron. And the wounded of the Philistines fell down by the way to Shaaraim, even unto Gath, and to Ekron. And the children of Israel returned from chasing after the Philistines, and they spoiled their tents. [The Philistines had, of course, left their tents, so they went in and took all of the loot that was there: all of their armour, and everything.] And David took the head of the Philistine, and brought it to Jerusalem; but he put his armour in his tent. [So David carried this head around for a few days. As my little granddaughter would say, “Gross!”] And when Saul saw David go forth against the Philistine, he said to Abner, the captain of his host, Abner, whose son is this youth? And Abner said, As my soul liveth, O king, I can’t tell you. And so the king said, Inquire and find out whose son this stripling is. And as David returned from the slaughter of the Philistines, Abner took him, and brought him before Saul and he still had the head of the Philistine in his hand. [Probably holding him by the hair, I would imagine.] And Saul said to him, Whose son are you, young man? And David answered, I am the son of your servant Jesse from Bethlehem.
Now, David had before, you remember, been called by Saul to play the harp whenever Saul would have one of his fits of anger, to soothe Saul. And Saul knew who David was. I mean, he was this little kid that used to come in there and play the soothing harp when he would have his fits of anger. But he couldn’t remember who his family was. And, of course, he had promised that the family would be tax free. And so it wasn’t that he didn’t recognize, or know David, it’s just: ‘Who is your family, who is your dad?’ So David said, ‘You know, Jesse, the Bethlehemite.’
And so it came to pass, when he had made an end of speaking to Saul, [that is, David had finished] that the soul of Jonathan [the son of Saul] was knit with the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as his own soul. And Saul took him that day, and would not let him go to his home to his father’s house anymore. Then Jonathan and David made a covenant, because he loved him as his own soul.
And so here, the son of Saul, Jonathan, who also in his own right was a hero on the field of battle; he had been in charge of part of the army of Saul, over a thousand men, and he had done tremendous exploits on the fields of battle. But now he sees this young man, David. He saw him as he faced Goliath: he saw the faith, he saw the courage, he admired him, he loved him. “He loved him as his own soul.” The love was so great that they formed a love covenant, they made a covenant of love between them.
Now any suggestion that there was a homosexual relationship between David and Jonathan, is borderline blasphemy. The Hebrew language does not support that concept at all; that is a concept that has only lately been suggested by those from the homosexual community who are trying to somehow justify from the Scripture, their unscriptural deeds. The Bible says, that “David was a man after God’s own heart.” And if David were engaged in activities for which God brought judgment upon Sodom and Gomorra, and judgment upon the tribe of Benjamin, and God so clearly and distinctly forbids in Romans chapter 1, if David had been involved in such perverse activities, surely it could never be said that he was a man after God’s own heart. The Scripture does not even hint to that, it is only a suggestion of perverted minds. There was a bond of love, a camaraderie, a close kinship between these two fellas. There was a mutual admiration, and thus, they made the covenant of love.
And Jonathan stripped himself of the robe that was upon him, [this was the princely robe] and he gave it to David, along with the garment [that was worn under this princely robe leaving just his linen garment] he gave to David his sword, and his bow, and his girdle. [Which is not what you women think of when you think of girdles, just the sash that you tied around you.] And David went out wherever Saul would send him, and he behaved himself wisely: and Saul set him over the men of war, and he was accepted in the sight of all the people, and in the sight of Saul’s servants. [And so David was brought and made a captain in Saul’s army. He behaved himself very wisely and everybody began to admire David.] It came to pass as they came, when David was returned from the slaughter of the Philistine, that the women came out of all the cities of Israel, singing and dancing, to meet king Saul, with their tambourines, with joy, and with instruments of musick. [Or their little triangles.] And the women would sing [in antiphonal type of singing:] answering one another and as they played, they sang, Saul has slain his thousands, —
Now this was something that had become a practice. Earlier, you remember the story when Jonathan smote the Philistines with a great slaughter, and Saul blew the trumpet in Israel so the people heard that Saul had smitten the Philistines. I mean, Jonathan was out doing the work, wiping out the Philistines, Saul was going around taking the bows. And it became sort of a custom when Saul would come with his armies to a city, all the ladies come out with their tambourines, and their cymbals, and so forth. And they would get in their dances, and they had this one Israeli dance that was for the victorious Saul: “Saul has killed his thousands.” And he was sort of prideful over the thing: even though it was Jonathan that was doing most of the fighting, he was taking the credit and the glory, and he liked that. And so as Saul came in, and the gals came out with their tambourines, and all, singing, “Saul has killed his thousands,” –here he is.’ But they added a second verse: “David, his tens of thousands.” Bad news, Saul.
So Saul was very angry, the saying displeased him; and he said, They have ascribed to David ten thousands, and to me only thousands: what could he have more but the kingdom?
Now, you remember, it had been years earlier that Samuel said to him, “Because you have not allowed God to rule over you, God is taking the kingdom away from you, and He’s going to give it to another.” From that time, Saul probably was looking for someone. You know: “Who could it be? God’s going to give it to someone else.” And he was probably looking for someone who would be rising on the scene. And when he saw the response of the people: he saw how David was so brave in the field of battle, and he saw how the people were beginning to turn towards David, I think that he got an inkling at that point, ‘Hey, this must be the one that God’s planning to give the kingdom to.’ And thus, he, by force, from now on, will do his best to destroy David and to keep him from taking over the kingdom. So this begins Saul’s attempts on David’s life.
So Saul eyed David from that day forward [that is, he was constantly watching what he was doing, watching how things would go] It came to pass on the next day, that the evil spirit from God came upon Saul, —
We talked about this last week. God puts a protection around each of us: “He shall give his angels charge over thee.” And there is, as Satan complained concerning Job: ‘There is a hedge around him, I can’t get to him.’ And God puts protection around us. If that protection was not there, Satan would be on our case continually. Now we can do things whereby the guard is let down: we can open our hearts to attitudes, to spirits. There are many times when I must resist the devil. I must resist certain thoughts that are coming into my mind. I must refuse certain attitudes. And I have a battle sometimes with myself, “I have a right to be angry. I want to bust him.”
We had a situation coming home from Israel. There was a guy right behind us smoking a cigar. I knew that I dare not create something on the plane because, you know, you’re in confined quarters. But, I was determined when we got to LAX, I was going to bust that guy one. I was just sitting there, and every time this cigar smoke come wafting over me, I think, “Man, when we get to LAX, I am going to shove that cigar right down his throat. I don’t care.” And that was the old flesh, you see. And I was letting the guard down whenever I would think of that. And then the LORD would say to me, “Hey, you know, you’re a minister. And you got all these people around, and all.” But you can sort of coddle that kind of an idea, and if you do, you can let your guard down, you can give over to something like that. And Satan can take advantage of that. And so you have got to put that out of your mind. You can’t let that just dwell in your mind because you’re apt to just, almost responsively, –just belt them.
And so, you just got to put that out of your mind or you’re giving place to the devil. The Bible says, “Give no place to the devil. Resist the devil, he’ll flee from you.” And so if we’re not on guard, Satan can move in and draw us into this physical plane where we can really get worked over by him.
And so, Saul, giving in to this jealousy, Saul giving into this attitude. The guard was down, and so this evil spirit, allowed by the LORD; God’s not protecting him now: ‘You want to have that attitude,’ God takes the protection away. ‘Okay, you want that? Go ahead.’
And so this evil spirit allowed by God came upon Saul, and he prophesied in the midst of the house: —
Now, this word “prophesied” in Hebrew, is “Hithaphel:” and it is never used for true prophecy. It’s just used for babbling. You just begin to scream, you just begin to utter words without sense, you just begin to talk in a babble kind of a way. The word that is used for true prophecy in the Scripture always is, ‘Nabi’ in the Hebrew. This word is used always for false prophecy; just for a babbling. And so it was not a true prophecy. He was just so mad, he started raving. And that would probably be a better translation, ‘He just started raving in anger.’
And so David began to play with his hand, at other times: but there was a javelin in Saul’s hand. And Saul cast the javelin; for he said, I’m going to smite him to the wall with it. And David dodged it twice. And Saul was afraid of David, because the LORD was with him, and he was departed from Saul. [The Spirit of God had departed from Saul, and it was upon David-and obvious.] Therefore Saul removed him from him, and made him his captain over a thousand; and he went out and came in before the people. And David behaved himself wisely in all of his ways; and the LORD was with him. Wherefore when Saul saw that he behaved himself very wisely, he became afraid of David. But all Israel and Judah loved David, because he went out and came in before them. [And so the sun is setting for Saul, but the star is rising for David.]
Now, in the beginning, Saul, when he was first called to be king over Israel, you remember, he was just a humble guy. When Samuel said, “Behold, the man for whom all of Israel is looking.” He said, ‘Not me, man. I’m just a Benjamite, the least of the tribes. And my dad’s the least; I mean, it can’t be me.’ He was a very humble guy. But unfortunately, through the years, this bit of pride got hold of the guy and changed him completely. And now he’s trying to fight for something that is no longer his.
Saul said to David, Behold my elder daughter Merab, I will give you her for your wife: only be valiant for me, and fight the LORD’s battles. [In other words, ‘Go and wipe out some Philistines.’ He’s hoping David will get wiped out in war. And so, ‘Here, go out and be valiant for the LORD,’ but hoping that David would get wiped out in the battle.] For Saul said, Let not my hand be upon him, let the hand of the Philistines be upon him. [“I don’t want to kill him, but let the Philistines kill him.” And so he’s pushing David into fights with the Philistines, hoping that David will get killed in battle because Saul didn’t want to kill him himself.] David said to Saul, Who am I? and what is my life, or my father’s family in Israel, that I should be son in law to the king? [‘Come on king, who am I that I should be your son in law?’] But it came to pass at the time when Merab Saul’s daughter should have been given to David, she was given to Adriel the Meholathite to wife.
Evidently, this guy came along with a healthy dowry, and so Merab, who was supposed to be David’s wife, because the king had promised whoever killed the Philistine, one of the things would be that he would get the king’s daughter for his wife. You know, that was part of the reward. However, as a general rule, a man would pay a healthy dowry for a wife. And of course, if you’re going to marry a princess, you know, one of the daughters of the king, you’d really have to pay a healthy dowry. And David says, ‘Hey, we don’t have that kind of money. And who am I that I should take her for my wife?’
Now Michal Saul’s daughter [another daughter. It’s actually Saul’s other daughter so that there are only two daughters to Saul] Michal Saul’s daughter loved David: and they told Saul the thing, and it pleased him. And Saul said, I will give him her, that she may be [and a great motive, dad] she may be a snare to him, [you know, ‘she’ll be a trap.’ Quite a way to look at your daughter. It could be that Michal was a pretty spunky little gal, and that she could handle him] and she’ll be a snare to him, and the hand of the Philistines may be against him. Wherefore Saul said to David, You shall this day be my son in law in the one of the other. [Indicating that he had just two daughters.] And Saul commanded his servants, saying, Commune with David secretly, and say, Behold, the king has delight in you, and all of his servants love you: now therefore go ahead and be the king’s son in law. And Saul’s servants spoke these words to David. And David said, [Hey man,] do you think it’s a light thing to be the king’s son in law, seeing that I am a poor man, and lightly esteemed? [‘Man, I can’t be the king’s son in law. I’m a poor man, I don’t have any dowry to pay.’] And the servants of Saul told Saul, saying, This is what David said. And Saul said, Go out and say to David, The king doesn’t desire any dowry, but a hundred foreskins of the Philistines, to be avenged of the king’s enemies. And Saul thought that David would surely fall by the hand of the Philistines. [‘Go out in a raid like this, and they’ll wipe him out.’] And when his servants told David these words, it pleased David well to be the king’s son in law: and the days were not expired. Therefore David arose and he went, with his men, and he slew of the Philistines two hundred men; and David brought in their foreskins, [and so forth to the king. As my granddaughter would say, “Gross, grandpa.”] And Saul gave him Michal his daughter to wife. And Saul saw and knew that the LORD was with David, and that Michal Saul’s daughter loved him. And Saul was yet the more afraid of David; and Saul became David’s enemy continually. Then the princes of the Philistines went forth: and it came to pass, after they went forth, that David behaved himself even more wisely than all of the servants of Saul; so that his name was much set by. [They really began to talk more and more about David.]
Now Saul became David’s enemy continually.
Here is an interesting thing: and in the next chapter it will be pointed out, and we’ll get to that, -in the beginning of Saul’s reign, in the beginning of his career, the Bible says, “And there went with him a company of men, whose hearts God had touched.” When we were discussing that, we were showing that this verse is so fraught with potential. Get a bunch of guys whose hearts have been touched by God, and man, you’ve got an exciting, explosive situation. And that’s the kind of men that God surrounded Saul with: men whose hearts had been touched by God.
Now, of all of the men that God brought into Saul’s life, there probably was not a more godly, brave man than David. David loved the LORD. It doesn’t mean that he wasn’t without mistakes, he had many mistakes. But he loved God. And he loved Saul. And of all of the servants of Saul, David was probably the most devoted and faithful. A godly man, devoted and faithful to his master; and yet, this is the man that Saul turned against and became an enemy of David -continually.
Whenever a man turns away from his godly friends, for any reason, or for any cause, and those men that he was surrounded with who loved the LORD, and were godly influences, and godly friends, when a man turns away from his godly friends, that man is playing the fool. He’s on the road down. God surrounds us with good, godly companionship. A man is a fool to turn from that kind of companionship, from those kind of friends: to make enemies of those kinds of people. And a lot of times when a person is turning away from the LORD, and his godly friends come along and say, “Hey man, what’s happening? You shouldn’t be doing that,” they get upset, and they get angry, and they begin to turn against their godly friends. Dangerous position to be in: when your once godly companions have become your enemies, you are in dangerous ground.
And so we see the things slipping away with Saul, the whole thing is slipping out of his hands as he is going down. Really, he is sort of now beginning to drop into the pit: he’s begun a gradual decline; but as so often, they accelerate, and he’s going down fast. And we are going to watch, unfortunately, the demise and the fall of Saul as we move into these next few chapters. But oh, what lessons there are for us to learn.
Let’s pray. Father, we thank You for this opportunity of studying the Word that we might learn and grow thereby. And LORD, we so appreciate Your grace towards us. We thank you, God, that we can put our trust and our confidence in You. And though we’re faced with giants, though there are frightening giants before us, LORD, we thank You that You are on our side. “And if God is for us, who can be against us?” And so, LORD, help us to realize that the battle is the LORD’s, and to Him belongs the victory. And He shall cause us to triumph over every giant, over every foe, over every problem; and we shall come forth victorious in the power of the name of Jesus. LORD, too long the enemy has held us down, too long has the enemy tried to keep us in defeat. In the name of our LORD, we shall rise and we shall be victorious. We thank You, LORD, the battle is Yours: and You go before us, and You cause the enemies, the giants, to fall before us that we might experience Your victory. Thank You, Father: in Jesus’ name, Amen.
Edited & Highlighted from “The Word For Today” Transcription, Pastor Chuck Smith, Tape #7085