Loving and Loathing
Who do you struggle to get along with? Pray that God will be with you as you work to build relationships.
Read 1 Samuel 19:1-24
 Saul told his son Jonathan and all the attendants to kill David. But Jonathan had taken a great liking to David  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.  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.”  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.  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?”  Saul listened to Jonathan and took this oath: “As surely as the LORD lives, David will not be put to death.”  So Jonathan called David and told him the whole conversation. He brought him to Saul, and David was with Saul as before.  Once more war broke out, and David went out and fought the Philistines. He struck them with such force that they fled before him.  But an evil 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,  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.  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.”  So Michal let David down through a window, and he fled and escaped.  Then Michal took an idol and laid it on the bed, covering it with a garment and putting some goats’ hair at the head.  When Saul sent the men to capture David, Michal said, “He is ill.”  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.”  But when the men entered, there was the idol in the bed, and at the head was some goats’ hair.  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?'”  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.  Word came to Saul: “David is in Naioth at Ramah”;  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.  Saul was told about it, and he sent more men, and they prophesied too. Saul sent men a third time, and they also prophesied.  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.  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.  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?” Scripture taken from the THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION, NIV Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectHow does David escape from Saul?
King Saul has been growing in jealousy of David, and it all comes to a head with a declaration that David must be killed (1). Saul swings from recognizing David as a friend and ally to seeing him as an enemy and wanting him dead (1,6,10,15). But as Saul flips from loving David to loathing him, God puts others in place to help David. Saul’s son Jonathan pleads successfully for David’s life (4,5). Saul’s daughter Michal is in the right place and offers the right advice to help David escape (12). God’s prophet Samuel offers refuge (18). And God himself intervenes, using Saul as a vehicle for his words (23). Saul seems to blow hot and cold, both in his relationship with David and in his relationship with God. He’s a lot like the people all of us have in our lives who are unstable and prickly. Whatever the reasons we have for struggling in our relationships with others, God is looking out for us. He calls on us to offer loyalty to those who are worthy of it and always to remain faithful to him.
What can you do today to respond wisely to an inconsistent friend? And to be a consistent friend to others?
Guide me and protect me, Lord, in tricky relationships when I don’t always know where I stand with others.
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