ENOUGH IS ENOUGH
“All praise to Thee, my God, this night, For all the blessings of the light. Keep me, O keep me, king of kings, Beneath thine own almighty wings”. Hymn by Thomas Ken, 1637-1711.
Read 1 SAMUEL 19
Saul Tries to Kill David
19 Saul told his son Jonathan and all the attendants to kill David. But Jonathan had taken a great liking to David 2 and warned him, “My father Saul is looking for a chance to kill you. Be on your guard tomorrow morning; go into hiding and stay there. 3 I will go out and stand with my father in the field where you are. I’ll speak to him about you and will tell you what I find out.”
4 Jonathan spoke well of David to Saul his father and said to him, “Let not the king do wrong to his servant David; he has not wronged you, and what he has done has benefited you greatly. 5 He took his life in his hands when he killed the Philistine. The Lord won a great victory for all Israel, and you saw it and were glad. Why then would you do wrong to an innocent man like David by killing him for no reason?”
6 Saul listened to Jonathan and took this oath: “As surely as the Lord lives, David will not be put to death.”
7 So Jonathan called David and told him the whole conversation. He brought him to Saul, and David was with Saul as before.
8 Once more war broke out, and David went out and fought the Philistines. He struck them with such force that they fled before him.
9 But an evil[a] spirit from the Lord came on Saul as he was sitting in his house with his spear in his hand. While David was playing the lyre, 10 Saul tried to pin him to the wall with his spear, but David eluded him as Saul drove the spear into the wall. That night David made good his escape.
11 Saul sent men to David’s house to watch it and to kill him in the morning. But Michal, David’s wife, warned him, “If you don’t run for your life tonight, tomorrow you’ll be killed.” 12 So Michal let David down through a window, and he fled and escaped. 13 Then Michal took an idol and laid it on the bed, covering it with a garment and putting some goats’ hair at the head.
14 When Saul sent the men to capture David, Michal said, “He is ill.”
15 Then Saul sent the men back to see David and told them, “Bring him up to me in his bed so that I may kill him.” 16 But when the men entered, there was the idol in the bed, and at the head was some goats’ hair.
17 Saul said to Michal, “Why did you deceive me like this and send my enemy away so that he escaped?”
Michal told him, “He said to me, ‘Let me get away. Why should I kill you?’”
18 When David had fled and made his escape, he went to Samuel at Ramah and told him all that Saul had done to him. Then he and Samuel went to Naioth and stayed there. 19 Word came to Saul: “David is in Naioth at Ramah”; 20 so he sent men to capture him. But when they saw a group of prophets prophesying, with Samuel standing there as their leader, the Spirit of God came on Saul’s men, and they also prophesied. 21 Saul was told about it, and he sent more men, and they prophesied too. Saul sent men a third time, and they also prophesied. 22 Finally, he himself left for Ramah and went to the great cistern at Seku. And he asked, “Where are Samuel and David?”
“Over in Naioth at Ramah,” they said.
23 So Saul went to Naioth at Ramah. But the Spirit of God came even on him, and he walked along prophesying until he came to Naioth. 24 He stripped off his garments, and he too prophesied in Samuel’s presence. He lay naked all that day and all that night. This is why people say, “Is Saul also among the prophets?”
- 1 Samuel 19:9 Or But a harmful
New International Version (NIV)Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectRemembering God’s action for us in the past builds trust for the present. Think of a time when God resolved a difficult situation for you.
Saul’s hatred of David is now open (v 1). Despite all that David has done for him, Saul wants him killed – he tries eight times in this passage (vs 1,10,11,15,20,21a,21b,22)! Although the ‘evil spirit from the Lord’ (v 9) may sound strange to us, other translations helpfully suggest that this was about Saul’s mood – ‘tormenting spirit’ (NLT), ‘harmful spirit’ (ESV), ‘a black mood from God’ (The Message). Remarkably Saul’s family is loyal to David – Jonathan and Michal both saved David’s life (vs 2,12,13).
David fled to see Samuel in Ramah (v 18), the start of ten years of exile. Going to trusted friends when you’re in trouble is a wise thing to do. Often there are certain people we turn to instinctively. Who are your go-to friends in tough times?
God’s rescue of David came in a remarkable way. Three waves of Saul’s men, followed by the king himself, instead of capturing him started to prophesy (vs 20-24)! Rather than speaking God’s word, however, they were probably in some kind of spirit-induced trance.* Sometimes God’s ways are mysterious!
Read Psalm 59, which David wrote in response to the events of this chapter. Which verses seem particularly relevant to you today? How can you use those verses as you pray?
Gracious One, my world is often filled with change, periodic upheaval, and chaos. I ask for your stabilizing presence and the assurance of your sovereignty in my life and world.
*DF Payne, 1 and 2 Samuel. In DA Carson, RT France, JA Motyer, & GJ Wenham (Eds.), New Bible Commentary: 21st Century Edition (4th ed., p315), Leicester, England; Downers Grove, IL, Inter-Varsity Press
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