21 January 2012
Saul feared David, since Yahweh was with him and had withdrawn from Saul.
Yahweh was with David, and that the whole House of Israel loved him
- Extracted from 1 Samuel, Chapter 18:
5 Wherever David was sent on a mission by Saul, he was successful, and Saul put him in command of the fighting men; all the people respected him and so did Saul's staff.
6 On their return, when David was coming back from killing the Philistine, the women came out of all the towns of Israel singing and dancing to meet King Saul, with tambourines, sistrums and cries of joy;
7 and as they danced the women sang: Saul has killed his thousands, and David his tens of thousands.
8 Saul was very angry; the incident displeased him. 'They have given David the tens of thousands,' he said, 'but me only the thousands; what more can he have, except the throne?'
9 And Saul watched David jealously from that day onwards.
10 The following day, an evil spirit from God seized on Saul and he fell into a frenzy while he was indoors. David played the harp as on other occasions; Saul had a spear in his hand.
11 Saul brandished the spear; he said, 'I will pin David to the wall!' David evaded him twice.
12 Saul feared David, since Yahweh was with him and had withdrawn from Saul.
13 So Saul removed him from his presence and appointed him commander of a thousand; he led the people on campaign.
14 In all his expeditions, David was successful and Yahweh was with him.
15 And Saul, seeing how very successful he was, was afraid of him.
16 All Israel and Judah loved David, however, since he was their leader on campaign.
17 Saul said to David, 'This is my elder daughter Merab; I shall give her to you in marriage; but you must serve me bravely and fight Yahweh's wars.' Saul thought, 'Better than strike the blow myself, let the Philistines do it!'
18 David replied to Saul, 'Who am I and what is my lineage - and my father's family - in Israel, for me to become the king's son-in-law?'
19 When the time came for Merab daughter of Saul to be given to David, she was given to Adriel of Meholah instead.
20 Now Michal daughter of Saul fell in love with David. When Saul heard this he was pleased.
21 He thought, 'Yes, I shall give her to him; she can be the snare for him, so that the Philistines will get him.' (On two occasions, Saul told David, 'Today, you shall be my son-in-law.')
22 Saul gave instructions to his servants, 'Have a private word with David and say, "Look, the king is fond of you and all his servants love you - why not be the king's son-in-law?" '
23 Saul's servants repeated these words in David's ear, to which David replied, 'Do you think that becoming the king's son-in-law is a trivial matter; I have neither wealth nor position.'
24 Saul's servants then reported back, 'This is what David said.'
25 Saul replied, 'Tell David this, "The king desires no bride-price except one hundred Philistine foreskins, in vengeance on the king's enemies." ' Saul was counting on getting David killed by the Philistines.
26 When his servants repeated this to David, David thought it would be a fine thing to be the king's son-in-law. And no time was lost
27 before David got up to go, he and his men, and killed two hundred of the Philistines. David brought their foreskins back and counted them out before the king, so that he could be the king's son-in-law. Saul then gave him his daughter Michal in marriage.
28 Saul could not but see that Yahweh was with David, and that the whole House of Israel loved him;
29 Saul became more afraid of David than ever, and became his inveterate enemy.
30 The Philistine chiefs kept mounting their campaigns but, whenever they did so, David proved more successful than any of Saul's staff; consequently he gained great renown.
Saul was deeply jealous of David, and went all out to kill him
– Extracted from 1 Samuel 19:1-17
1 Saul let his son Jonathan and all his servants know of his intention to kill David. But Jonathan, Saul's son, held David in great affection;
2 and Jonathan warned David, 'My father Saul is looking for a way to kill you, so be on your guard tomorrow morning; go into hiding, stay out of sight.
3 I shall go out and keep my father company in the countryside where you will be, and shall talk to my father about you; I shall see what the situation is and then tell you.'
4 Jonathan spoke highly of David to Saul his father and said, 'The king should not harm his servant David; far from harming you, what he has done has been greatly to your advantage.
5 He took his life in his hands, he killed the Philistine, and Yahweh brought about a great victory for all Israel. You saw for yourself. How pleased you were! Why then sin against innocent blood by killing David for no reason?'
6 Saul was impressed by Jonathan's words. Saul swore, 'As Yahweh lives, I will not kill him.'
7 Jonathan called David and told him all this. Jonathan then brought him to Saul, and David remained in attendance as before.
8 War broke out again and David sallied out to fight the Philistines; he inflicted a great defeat on them and they fled before him.
9 An evil spirit from Yahweh came over Saul while he was sitting in his house with his spear in his hand; David was playing the harp.
10 Saul tried to pin David to the wall with his spear, but he avoided Saul's thrust and the spear stuck in the wall. David fled and made good his escape. That same night
11 Saul sent agents to watch David's house, intending to kill him in the morning. But Michal, David's wife, warned him, 'If you do not escape tonight, you will be a dead man tomorrow!'
12 Michal then let David down through the window, and he made off, took to flight and so escaped.
13 Michal then took a domestic image, laid it on the bed, put a tress of goats' hair at the head of the bed and put a cover over it.
14 When Saul sent the agents to arrest David, she said, 'He is ill.'
15 Saul sent the agents back to see David, with the words, 'Bring him to me on his bed, for me to kill him!'
16 So in the agents went, and there in bed was the image, with the tress of goats' hair on its head!
17 Saul then said to Michal, 'Why have you deceived me like this and let my enemy go, and so make his escape?' Michal replied to Saul, 'He said, "Let me go, or I shall kill you!" '
When a man comes on his enemy, does he let him go unmolested? May Yahweh reward you for the good you have done me today! Now I know that you will indeed reign and that the sovereignty in Israel will pass into your hands.
–Extracted from 1 Samuel, Chapter 24:
3 Saul thereupon took three thousand men selected from all Israel and went in search of David and his men east of the Rocks of the Mountain Goats.
4 He came to the sheepfolds along the route, where there was a cave, and went in to cover his feet. Now David and his men were sitting in the recesses of the cave;
5 David's men said to him, 'Today is the day of which Yahweh said to you, "I shall deliver your enemy into your power; do what you like with him." ' David got up and, unobserved, cut off the border of Saul's cloak.
6 Afterwards David reproached himself for having cut off the border of Saul's cloak.
7 He said to his men, 'Yahweh preserve me from doing such a thing to my lord as to raise my hand against him, since he is Yahweh's anointed.'
8 By these words David restrained his men and would not let them attack Saul.
9 Saul then left the cave and went on his way. After this, David too left the cave and called after Saul, 'My lord king!' Saul looked behind him and David, bowing to the ground, prostrated himself.
10 David then said to Saul, 'Why do you listen to people who say, "David intends your ruin"?
11 This very day you have seen for yourself how Yahweh put you in my power in the cave and how, refusing to kill you, I spared you saying, "I will not raise my hand against my lord, since he is Yahweh's anointed."
12 Look, father, look at the border of your cloak in my hand. Since, although I cut the border off your cloak, I did not kill you, surely you realize that I intend neither mischief nor crime. I have not wronged you, and yet you hunt me down to take my life.
13 May Yahweh be judge between me and you, and may Yahweh avenge me on you; but I shall never lay a hand on you!
14 (As the old proverb says: Wickedness comes out of wicked people, but I shall never lay a hand on you!)
15 On whose trail is the king of Israel campaigning? Whom are you pursuing? On the trail of a dead dog, of a flea!
16 May Yahweh be the judge and decide between me and you; may he examine and defend my cause and give judgement for me by rescuing me from your clutches!'
17 When David had finished saying this to Saul, Saul said, 'Is that your voice, my son David?' And Saul began to weep aloud.
18 'You are upright and I am not,' he said to David, 'since you have behaved well to me, whereas I have behaved badly to you.
19 And today you have shown how well you have behaved to me, since Yahweh had put me in your power but you did not kill me.
20 When a man comes on his enemy, does he let him go unmolested? May Yahweh reward you for the good you have done me today!
21 Now I know that you will indeed reign and that the sovereignty in Israel will pass into your hands.
22 Now swear to me by Yahweh that you will not suppress my descendants once I am gone, or blot my name out of my family.'
23 This David swore to Saul, and Saul went home while David and his men went back to the stronghold.
David grew stronger and stronger as Yahweh God was with him
-Extracted from 2 Samuel, Chapter 5:
1 All the tribes of Israel then came to David at Hebron and said, 'Look, we are your own flesh and bone.
2 In days past when Saul was our king, it was you who led Israel on its campaigns, and to you it was that Yahweh promised, "You are to shepherd my people Israel and be leader of Israel." '
3 So all the elders of Israel came to the king at Hebron, and King David made a pact with them in Yahweh's presence at Hebron, and they anointed David as king of Israel.
4 David was thirty (30) years old when he became king, and he reigned for forty years.
5 In Hebron he reigned over Judah for seven years and six months; then he reigned in Jerusalem over all Israel and Judah for thirty-three years.
6 The king and his men then marched on Jerusalem, on the Jebusites living in the territory. These said to David, 'You will not get in here. The blind and the lame will hold you off.' (That is to say: David will never get in here.)
7 But David captured the citadel of Zion, that is, the City of David.
8 That day, David said, 'Whoever gets up the tunnel and kills a Jebusite . . .' As for the blind and the lame, David hated them with his whole being. (Hence the saying: the blind and the lame may not enter the Temple.)
9 David went to live in the citadel and called it the City of David. David then built a wall round it, from the Millo inwards.
10 David grew stronger and stronger, and Yahweh, God of Sabaoth, was with him.
Our Reflections: Through David’s life experiences, we learn how we can live in joy and peace, with abundant blessings from the Almighty God. In God, we choose our destinies; either good or bad, based on the daily choices that we make: to be life-giving or death-inflicting to others. The choice is ours.
21 January 2012