1 Samuel 17:28-18:30 - Skip Heitzig
Calvary Church is dedicated to doctrine. And we want you to experience the life change that comes from knowing God's word and applying it to your life. So we explain the Bible verse by verse, every chapter, every book. This is Expound.
Would you turn in your Bibles to [NON-ENGLISH], the first Samuel, 1 Samuel in your Old Testament. First Samuel, chapter 17. We didn't finish chapter 17. It's a long chapter. You are not surprised that we didn't finish chapter 17, not just because it's a long chapter, but often happens. Let's have a word of prayer.
Father, we want to calm our hearts now before you. And as we do, open them up fully and completely to your Holy Spirit who penetrates and knows everything about us-- every thought that we think, every imagination that we entertain. You know our lives so well. And we pray that your Spirit would search us, like David asked. Search me, O Lord, and try me, and see if there's anything displeasing. And lead me in the way everlasting.
We pray, Lord, that your word would be that sword of the Spirit that divides between that which is spiritual and that which is soulish and would bring healing, would bring comfort, would bring conviction, and we would grow up in all things in Christ because of our exposure and application to the truth. Thank you, Father, for this time together, in Jesus' name, Amen.
I'm fairly confident that if we could vote, and by our vote, eliminate pain and painful experiences from the human experience, it would be a unanimous vote. If we could just say, yeah, all the hardships, heartaches, and painful stuff that's a part of life, it'd be nice not to have that. Most people would opt not to have painful experiences.
However, one thing we know from experience and certainly from scripture is that all things work together for good to those who love God and that pain is purposeful, so much so that James said, count it, all joy, when you fall into various trials, knowing that the trial of your faith produces patience. And then he said, so let patience have its perfect work, that you might be complete entire, lacking nothing. Pain has a purpose.
David will discover, as we started to see from last week, that God is going to use the painful experiences that he will have as a young man, through his mid years, all the way into his latter years, how God will use that. And we will be the better for it. I'll explain that in a moment.
If you think about David's early life, it was a peaceful life. It was a tranquil life. There's not much stress in being a shepherd. You're alone. You're out with the sheep. Yeah, they run away. Yeah, they have their issues, but they're a whole lot easier than people. Just being out there in the wilderness, you're just out there with the Lord. You can sing your songs. You can write songs. You can bring those sheep to different places. Pretty no-stress life.
But then one day somebody walked into his life that changed all that forever. His name was the prophet Samuel. Samuel took some oil and anointed David, marked David out by God for special use. And from that day onward, because he was anointed for God to use, he would become a special target of the enemy, a special target that would be maligned, mistreated, mishandled by family, by friends, by colleagues, and certainly by the enemies of Israel.
And I'm honestly glad that David went through all those horrible experiences. Now you're hearing that and go, oh, Skip, how cruel. Well, you are too. I'm confident that you've read through the Book of Psalms. I'm confident that you've gone through some of those expressions, many written by David out of the most painful experiences in his life, and you have derived comfort. So really, you are also glad that he went through those difficult times, because you and I have been greatly helped by the Psalms and the songs that David produced.
It was Charles Haddon Spurgeon who said something along these lines. The songs of the sanctuary are produced by the trials of the saints. And if you look at the great hymns throughout church history, they too were written by men and women of God who had deep, deep dark struggles. So we are grateful for that. We get ministered to by finding out how people go through it and how they apply God's truth to their lives.
In the early days of golf, the golf ball was perfectly round. And then they started discovering that if you roughened up the surface and dimpled the surface, the ball would go further than if it were just perfectly smooth. If your life was always smooth, you wouldn't go as far and have as much an impact as you would if there were some rough spots in your life. So God knows how to dimple up your life, how to scar up the surface a bit to get distance and impact out of your life. So it is with David.
Now, chapter 17 we started. We read a good portion of it. But as I said, it's a long chapter. So we kind of left right in the middle of the battle. Right? It's a historic battle. It's a battle in the Valley of Elah, which is an S-shaped valley in Southern Judah. If you come with us to Israel, we'll point it out. We'll get out. We'll let you pick up a few smooth stones out of the brook. And you can get the whole battle array in your mind firsthand.
But until then, we'll just-- as we started last time, we'll just read through it and get the description. It was really this battle, the battle of the Philistines in the Valley of Elah-- though we don't know it as the Philistine battle in the Valley of Elah. We know it as the battle between David and Goliath. That's the famous characters in the battle.
It was because of this particular skirmish that David gets launched into public life, that people understand who David is. He becomes a hero because of this battle. His name is up in lights, so to speak. You'll see it in the very next chapter. And it's because of the outcome of this battle that he really wasn't a part of-- he wasn't in the army of Saul. He was back home keeping sheep until one day his Father decided to send him with a gift of food for his brothers, who were conscripted into Saul's army-- they were a part of the battle, or they were supposed to be in the battle. It really wasn't much of a battle yet. Nobody was fighting. They were just yelling at each other. It was really a standoff.
So David goes and he overhears what Goliath is saying. He hears the threats. He sees what is going on-- basically a stalemate. And this chapter will give the evidence of what happened in the previous chapter. Let me just remind you of that. In the previous chapter, David was anointed privately by Samuel.
Chapter 17 will give evidence that this man is anointed by God. This guy can do anything, because he trusts in the power of the Spirit of God. He's unafraid. And he shows himself a capable leader.
Now, let me just remind you. I said the battle wasn't much of a battle. Each was perched on a hillside with a valley about a mile wide in between. The armies would go down into the valley. They would yell at each other. Then they would go back to camp.
And then, finally, this really humongous dude named Goliath of Gath starts coming into the Valley and coming up the other side challenging a battle to ensue. And he asks for a representative-- a single representative. He says, give me a man who will fight me. We'll just have a one-on-one fight, mano a mano. And whoever wins that battle, winner take all, will be the victor of the entire skirmish. So if I win, the Philistines win, and you become our subjects. If you choose a man and he defeats me, then we'll be your servants.
So there really wasn't a battle yet. Goliath says, give me a man. Give me a representative. No man went forward. David will be that man. He's a young boy. He's growing up, maybe an adolescent, maybe a teenager, maybe in his early 20s. Don't know. But he's much smaller than Goliath.
But God is going to give the victory to David. It's not going to be what the children of Israel do. They're doing nothing. It's going to be the singular work of one man, David, who conquers the enemy.
Now, we could go through the entire chapter. We don't have time to make all the comparisons. But I want to make a couple comparisons. This story, this chapter, this battle, is in one sense historic and in another sense prophetic. Of course it is historic. It did happen. But it's also prophetic, just like David, who single-handedly won the battle.
So there is coming in history the son of David, the greater son of David, who single-handedly will fight a battle that will bring us victory. We will enjoy the spoils of his victory. We won't fight for it. He will do all the fighting. It's not the work the children of Israel did. It's the work David did. It's not the work we do. It's the work Jesus did, single-handedly.
So what David effects, all of the followers, all of the army, all of the people of Israel will also have, in effect. David will have triumph. They will have triumph. What the Philistines will have in terms of losing the battle, what will happen to Goliath-- defeat-- will also happen to the Philistines-- defeat.
All those who follow Jesus will have victory. All those who follow the enemy, Satan, will have death and defeat. What happens to him will happen to them. What happens to Jesus will happen to us. It's incredibly parallel, these chapters, with what Jesus came to do.
Well, I'm going to I'm going to pick it up in verse 28. So David comes into the battle. He brings the food for the brothers. Now Eliab, his oldest brother, heard when he spoke to the men. And Eliab's anger was roused against David. And he said, why did you come down here? And with whom have you left those few sheep in the wilderness? He's rubbing in the fact, we're on the battlefield, you're just a lowly shepherd. All you do is keep sheep-- and not very many sheep, just a few of them. So who did you leave those few sheep with out there in the middle of nowhere?
I know your pride and the insolence of your heart, for you have come down to see the battle. Ha. I would say, if I were David, what battle? You guys are wimps. None of you is taking up the challenge of this overgrown midget, Goliath. He has you cowering. There's no battle. But Eliab is accusing him of wrong motivation, saying, you've just come to spy the battle.
And David said, what have I done now? Is there not a cause? Then he turned from him toward another and said the same thing. And these people answered him as the first ones did.
So David comes to the camp. He comes to his brethren, his brothers. His brothers reject him. Now, remember what it says of Jesus in the New Testament? He came unto his own, and his own received him not. Stephen will say in the Book of Acts clearly, his own brothers rejected him.
Jesus' own physical brothers rejected him, we find in the Gospel of Mark. They all said, he is beside himself. He's crazy. He's nuts. The people of Israel rejected him. So he came unto his own. His own received him not.
Eliab, the oldest, as I mentioned last week, meant that Eliab was first in line the day that all the brothers were rejected and David was chosen to be anointed. The very first one to be rejected was Eliab. I don't think he's gotten over it. He sees David, the one that was anointed by God, had oil poured over him. He probably didn't know what that meant yet, but he didn't like David much anyway. I don't think anybody in the family liked him much anyway. He's just out keeping the sheep. And when Jesse said, bring all your boys in, he brought everybody but David.
But more than that, because David comes with such faith to this battle-- and everybody's coward, everybody's afraid of Goliath-- because David comes in with such confidence and such faith, like, who does this uncircumcised Philistine think he is? I think that kind of faith is intimidating to people who don't have that kind of faith. Anybody who has that kind of simple, I trust God, kind of faith-- people who are weak in their faith they don't like to be around those stalwart, spiritual type of people. They find them intimidating.
I remember in high school, before I was saved, when Dave McCacron showed up with a Bible in his hand and started preaching the gospel and was very confident and very sure of spiritual things. And Dave, I knew him since kindergarten, but all of a sudden, I didn't like being around him. I knew what he was saying was true. Deep in my heart, it was convicting. And so when I saw him come on campus with his Bible, I just walked the other way. I didn't want to hear what he had to say. I knew what he had to say. And I think that is the effect here with Eliab and the other brothers when David came into the camp.
Now verse 31. Now, when the words which David spoke were heard, they reported them to Saul. And he sent for him. Then David said to Saul, let no man's heart fail because of him. Your servant, pointing to himself, will go and fight with this Philistine.
I imagine Saul just went, hmm-- just a laugh of dismissal. A little shepherd boy coming and just with great faith saying, oh, I'll take him on. I'll be the guy. And Saul said to David, you are not able to go against this Philistine to fight with him, for you are a youth, and he is a man of war from his youth.
But David said to Saul, your servant used to keep his father's sheep. And when a lion or a bear came and took a lamb out of the flock, I went out after it and struck it and delivered the lamb from its mouth. And when it arose against me, I caught it by its beard and struck it and killed it. I like this guy. Those predators came. I went after the predators. I hunted the hunters down.
Your servant has killed both lion and bear. And this uncircumcised Philistine will be like one of them, seeing that he has defied the armies of the living God. Moreover, David said, the Lord, who delivered me from the paw of the lion and the paw of the bear, he will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine. And Saul said to David, go, and the Lord be with you.
Now, I don't think that Saul meant that in any great spiritual sense, like, oh, the Lord be with you, my son. I think it's like, OK, I'm not going to talk you out of it, and God have mercy on your soul-- kind of one of those kind of things.
Now, here's what I love about David. He is basing his present faith on his past victory. I've seen the Lord move in my life, King Saul. I've watched God before. He delivered me out of some pretty nasty situations with a lion and a bear, predatory animals. So I've watched those enemies get vanquished. And because they were vanquished, this enemy can also be vanquished.
Now listen-- your faith gets developed in small battles. The Lord knows what you can take. And he knows how much to give you. And he knows that too much is too much. He knows when that threshold is. You don't. You think, oh, this is too much. It's overwhelming. No. Actually, it's not. It's just right.
He knows what you can take. And if you think it's overwhelming, look at it on the bright side. This is God's confidence that you're able to handle this. Otherwise, he wouldn't have laid it on you. There is no temptation taken you but such is common to man. And God is faithful who will not allow you to be tempted above that which you are able to endure.
So a lion comes your way. A bear comes your way. Take it on. Face it in faith, because all of that is training you for the giants coming your way. Oh, they're coming. And you'll be ready for them. But it's when you-- see, if you fail at lion 101 and bear 101, you're going to fail in giants 101. If you flunk the smaller tests, you'll be dead meat later on.
So if you pass-- if you can handle lions and bears 101, you'll be fine in giants 101. No problem. You'll pass the test. But you're being trained right now. And I'd like to say, boy, as the Christian life goes on, it just gets so much easier. It doesn't. But you get better at fighting the battles.
And so you're not disturbed by them. Yep, another one. Another battle. Another letdown. Another person does this. Another trial. You get better at spotting them, and you become more equipped.
And the faith that got you through those small battles that you look back and go, oh, well those were little things-- the same faith will get you through the big stuff, the Giants that are coming your way. So it's all-- you're in training for giants 101. That's coming.
So verse 38. Saul clothed David with his armor. Now, remember, Saul was head and shoulders above everybody. David was a diminutive, youthful person. So it's like, you know, Saul's 52 long. David's, like, 38 regular. And he put his armor on David. You know what that would look like. It's like giving your toddler your suit coat, men. Most men today don't wear suit coats. So maybe that's an outdated illustration.
So Saul clothed David with his armor. And he put a bronze helmet on his head. He also clothed him with a coat of mail. David fastened his sword to his armor and tried to walk-- it must have looked comical-- for he had not tested them. And David said to Saul, I cannot walk with these, for I have not tested them. So David took them off.
Then he took his staff in his hand-- just his little stick, shepherd stick-- and he chose for himself five smooth stones from the brook and put them in a shepherd's bag in a pouch which he had, and his sling was in his hand. And he drew near to the Philistine.
The question has been posed by some-- why did he need five smooth stones if he was so confident, and he was accurate? If all he needed was one, were the other four just a lack of faith? Well, there's probably a lot of ways to look at it. But let me give you a fun way to look at it. Later on, we discover that Goliath has four brothers. Maybe one stone with each of their names on it. Just a fun thought.
So the Philistine came and began drawing near to David, and the man who bore the shield went before him. So David tries on Saul's armor. Saul's armor is cumbersome. He can't move around in it. David had his own assets. His own assets were not that he knows how to work with cumbersome coats of mail and swords and spears and javelins and all the stuff that comes with the accouterments of battle. His assets were his youth and agility. He was fast. And he was a sharpshooter with a sling. So he took it off.
And he went in the strength of his own assets. Listen-- God made you a certain way. And what works for one person doesn't always work for another person. So a method or a style or a way that you do things isn't how somebody else has to do them. And you are liberated the day you discover that you don't have to wear anybody else's armor to fight a battle.
You can be who God made you. You can go out there with-- you're better with a slingshot than with a sword. So take the slingshot. Forget the sword. I need the sword though, man. This is a big battle. Yeah. But you're really good just moving around fast. Take out the sling. That's your armor. The Lord will be your strength and the gifts that he has given you to be you and be your best you.
And when the Philistine looked about and saw David, he disdained him, for he was only a youth. He looked like an insult. This little kid. I said give me a man. You're sending me a little runt. For he was a youth, ruddy and good-looking. Now, remember, ruddy is a word that means red. And so people have thought that David, perhaps, was a red-headed kid. That's even how some Bible translations will translate it. He was red-headed.
But another way to look at it is simply that David was an outdoors kid. He was an outdoorsman. He was a shepherd. And being exposed to the elements, his skin would have borne the weathering of the sun and the wind. And so he would have had a ruddy look.
So Goliath looked down and disdained him, because he was just a kid, ruddy, and good-looking. You know, here's a handsome kid choosing me on. Here am I, a big ugly oaf, looking at a good-looking kid. And it's like an insult. You know? You send me Mr. America over here, and I'm a giant.
So the Philistines said to David, am I a dog that you come to me with sticks? Shows you how they treated their dogs. And the Philistine curse David by his gods. And the Philistine said to David, come to me, and I will give your flesh to the birds of the air and the beasts of the field. Now most people would go, wah, lions and tigers and bears, on my!
And it had worked. Everybody in Israel was cowering because of these threats. Then David said to the Philistine, you come to me with a sword, with a spear, and with a javelin. Remember, that's what Saul wanted David himself to carry. And he didn't. He said, well, you come to me with all these-- a sword, a spear, a javelin. But I come to you in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied.
Man, I love this kid. He looks up. OK, Goliath. Let's compare assets. You have size. You have strength. You have a sword. So I actually feel sorry for you, because you have greatly bummed out the Lord, God. You're cursing me by false gods. I come to you in the name of the God of Israel, who you have defied.
Now, here is the problem. And here is the solution. The problem is the armies of Israel looked out, and they saw giant, and they compared the size of Goliath to their size. Remember I said the average Israeli around this age dating was about 5' 3". So you look out and you see Goliath and you look at yourself and your buddies. And if you compare Goliath's size to your size, you get scared. That's the problem.
The solution that David comes with is he compares Goliath's size to God's size. That's king-size. And he thinks of God's size, who measures the universe by the span of his hand. And then he looks at Goliath, and he's probably thinking thoughts like, I actually feel sorry for you, Goliath. You're going down. You're going down, because I have the right perspective. You're nothing. OK. You're bigger than I am. It just means you're going to fall really hard today.
You may remember that little poem. You may have heard it in high school or college. Two men looked out from prison bars. One saw mud. The other saw stars. How about this? Two men looked out on the valley one day. One saw his victim. The other saw his prey.
He saw Goliath. Goliath was a victim. He knew that Goliath was going to lose this battle. There's no fear at all. There's no equivocation at all in David's mind. He who comes in the name of the living God. And as I reminded you last week, Martin Luther said, with God, one is always a majority. So David is approaching the battle with that mindset.
Verse 46. This day, the Lord will deliver you into my hand. And I will strike you and take your head from you, which is very common to do in an ancient battle like this. This day I will give the carcasses of the camp of the Philistines to the birds of the air and the wild beasts of the Earth, that all the Earth may know that there is a God in Israel.
Pretty confident talk for a little ruddy, good-looking shepherd. Then all this assembly shall know that the Lord does not save with sword and spear, for the battle is the Lord's. And He will give you into our hands. So it was when the Philistine arose and drew near to meet David, David-- I love this again-- hurried and ran toward the army to meet the Philistine.
Do you read any fear at all in that? Just like he ran after the bear and ran after the lion, there's Goliath. I'm going to run after you, which might have made Goliath even like, whoa, this kid's crazy but confident.
And David put his hand in his bag and took out a stone. Now, the stone-- don't picture a tiny little pebble. Archaeology has done us great service in uncovering antiquities from different ages, including this age. And they have actually found sling stones from this age in many of the digs around the Middle East. And they've discovered that they're pretty hefty-sized stones. They're about the size of a billiard ball or a tennis ball.
And if you sling it just right-- and I've seen some of these kids with these slings and shepherds with slings. They're pretty formidable. A stone this size out of a fully-executed sling will travel over 60 miles an hour-- about 60 to 65 miles an hour. Something the size of a billiard ball or tennis ball made out of pure rock-- yeah, you get just the right strike, it's lights out.
So he took out a stone, and he slung it and struck the Philistine in his forehead-- bullseye-- so that the stone sank into his forehead. And he fell on his face to the Earth.
I'm going to just throw something else in there for fun. Do you mind? Now, David was a shepherd, and he did use the stone. He was accurate with it. And that was his style. But there's also perhaps something to be said for David's knowledge of the laws of the Old Testament when it comes to blasphemy.
According to Leviticus 24 and Deuteronomy 17, there is only one execution method for blasphemy-- stoning. You shall take him outside the camp, and you shall stone him until he is dead, says the Lord. So David's thinking, all right, I just need one stone. I'll get the job done, because by David's own language, you're defiling and defying the armies of the living God. You've angered God. David saw it as an act of blasphemy.
So verse 50. And really, verse 50 is a summary verse. So David prevailed over the Philistine with a sling and a stone, struck the Philistine and killed him. But there was no sword in the hand of David. Therefore, David ran and stood over the Philistine and took his sword, drew it out of its sheath, and killed him.
Now, this could indicate that the stone disabled him and laid him out but that he still wasn't dead until David used the sword to kill him. Took it out of its sheath and killed him and cut off his head with it. And when the Philistines saw that their champion was dead, they ran away. They fled.
Now, the men of Israel and Judah arose and shouted and pursued the Philistines as far as the entrance of the Valley into the gates of Ekron. And the wounded of the Philistines fell along the road to Shaaraim as far as Gath and Ekron.
Now, at this point, David's private life is over. He will never enjoy anonymity again after this. OK. He loved hanging out with the sheep. He could just go out there and write songs and pray to God and all that great stuff. Those days are over. Now he is a national hero. Now he is thrust into public life. He becomes a public figure. Everybody knows who he is from this day till the day of his death.
And because of this battle, he has shown that he is superior as a leader to the leader, King Saul. Now, Goliath was tall. Who was the tallest in the army of Israel? Saul-- head and shoulders above everybody else. So if you have a tall enemy calling for a man-- give me a man to fight-- I'm sure the army kind of all looked at Saul and said, you the man.
But he wasn't the man. He was scared like everybody else. So little David comes. And he the man. He did it. And he shows himself as the superior leader to all the people of Israel.
Then the children of Israel returned from chasing the Philistines, and they plundered their tents. And David-- he cut Goliath's head off, so it says, David took the head of the Philistine and brought it to Jerusalem. But he put his armor in his tent.
Now, I've been from the Valley of Elah to Jerusalem in a car and in a bus. And it takes a while. David didn't have a car. David didn't have a bus. David is on foot, presumably, carrying a head-- carrying a head from the Valley of Elah all the way up to Jerusalem.
And when Saul saw David going out against the Philistine, he said to Abner, the commander of the army, Abner, whose son is this youth? And Abner said, as your soul lives, O king, I do not know. So the king said, inquire whose son this young man is.
Now, this puzzles some people who read this. They go, wait a minute. Saul and David were introduced in the last chapter. Certainly Saul would remember who David was. David came in and played music before Saul.
A couple of things-- time could have elapsed. He could have certainly, as the king, forgotten about that incident, number one. Number two, Saul is mentally unstable. So his ability to lay hold of facts wasn't at its peak. And number three, the question really was, tell me about his Father. Who is his Father? Tell me where he comes from, because Saul had made a promise that the family of the one who defeats the Philistine will be tax exempt. So I need to know name and address, family estate, so I can fulfill the promise. That could be simply that as an explanation. Inquire whose son this young man is.
So it says, then David returned from the slaughter of the Philistine. Abner took him and brought him before Saul with the head of the Philistine in his hand. So he still is holding on to that head. He really wanted to get ahead in life. And he has one in his hand.
And Saul said to him, whose son are you, young man? So David answered, I am the son of your servant Jesse the Bethlehemite. Now, when he had finished speaking to Saul, the soul of Jonathan was knit to the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as his own soul. Jonathan, the son of King Saul. Jonathan, the one who is heir apparent to the King of Israel. Jonathan, the crown Prince who would one day be, because of dynastic succession, the next king. That's how people knew the thing worked.
But it says the soul of Jonathan was knit to the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as his own soul. Saul took him that day and would not let him go home to his father's house anymore. Then Jonathan and David made a covenant, because he loved him as his own soul. And Jonathan took off the robe that was on him and gave it to David with his armor, even to his sword and his bow and his belt.
I love this little paragraph. And because I love this little paragraph and I love the tender love between David and Jonathan, the unique and special bond that the Bible says existed, I have been particularly insulted by the gay community, the homosexual community, who has through the years decided that chapter 18 is describing a homosexual relation between David and Jonathan, because it says he loved him like he loved his own soul. So that must infer a gay relationship.
And they point to this for one reason only-- to bring credence to their lifestyle. So they can say, see, it's in the Bible. It goes all the way back to David and Jonathan. There is nothing remotely in the text that would even give a hint of that suggestion. You have to try to impose that interpretation.
And if you do impose that interpretation, it's not an exegesis. It's an eisegesis. It's not letting the text speak for itself. It's you speaking for the text something the text never intended to say.
How do I know that? Because I know-- not much-- but I know a little bit of Hebrew. And the Hebrew word for "love" is "ahava." Ahava or ahev. "Ahev" means he loved. And it speaks of love like you and I know love. When the Bible wants to describe a sexual relationship in the Old Testament, and when it wants to describe a same-sex relationship, like in Sodom and Gomorrah, it will use the Hebrew word "to know--" translated "to know."
Like, he knew him. Or he wanted to know him, because sexual relations is the deepest, most intimate form of knowledge between two human beings. So it doesn't use the word "ahava." It uses the word "to know." So the text itself gives you no clue that it is a same-sex relationship at all. But I wanted you to be aware that the gay community will use that. They'll point to this text, but only because they're doing their best to normalize what is not normal.
So David went out wherever Saul sent him and behaved wisely. And Saul set him over the men of war. And he was accepted in the sight of all the people and also in the sight of Saul's servants. Now it happened as they were coming home when David was returning from the slaughter of the Philistine that the women had come out of all the cities of Israel singing and dancing to meet King Saul with tambourines, with joy, and with musical instruments.
So the women sang as they danced and said, Saul has slain his thousands and David his 10,000s. Let me refresh your memory. You know this. You already remember this. But remember back in chapter 13? It says that Jonathan went out and smote the Philistines, attacked the Philistines, and won the battle. So he attacked the Philistines. Then it says, but Saul blew the trumpet.
So it became standard operating procedure that whenever there was a battle, because Saul blows the trumpet, and he likes to hear the adulation as the vector, that people would come say, Saul is awesome! He's slain his thousands, even though Saul, even in this battle, did nothing. He was sort of twiddling his thumbs, saying to David, God be with you. But he did nothing.
So, like before, there's a victory song. The young gals come out. The pretty girls come out. They've got their tambourines. They're singing. Saul knows what's coming. These are folk songs that are typically sung after a battle. And he loved the first verse. Saul has slain his thousands. Oh, yes. It's like all the other times they have sung that beautiful song. I love it.
But by this time, they've added verse two. And that's so bothersome to King Saul's ego. Saul has slain his thousands and David his tens of thousands. Oh. This folk song became very popular. It was top of the charts probably very, very shortly thereafter.
Now, keep in mind, David never asked for this. He was anointed as king. He went right back to shepherding. He wasn't trying to win a battle, wasn't trying to be noticed. He was happy to stay in the background. But he is the anointed of God. And so David has slain his tens of thousands.
Then verse 8-- then Saul was very angry. And the saying displeased him. And he said, they've ascribed to David 10,000s. And to me, they've described only thousands. What a little pouty baby. Now what more can he have but the kingdom?
Now let me refresh your memory again. Remember in chapter 15, after he disobeyed with the Amalekite battle? And Samuel said, I'm leaving. I'm turning around. He started walking away. Saul grabbed his garment and ripped the prophet's garment, grabbed it, ripped a piece. Samuel turned around and said, God's going to rip the kingdom out of your hands and give it to a neighbor of yours who's better than you.
Ding. Little light went off in his head. From that day onward, he's looking around at people. Is this the guy? Is this the guy? Who's the guy who's going to take my place? Who's the neighbor better than me? Now he knows. Now it sort of dawns on him. This kid, this giant slayer, this personal mp3 player that I've been listening to, this harpist, this Spotify kid-- you know, I've been listening to his music. All this time, he's the guy.
So he goes, what more can he have except the kingdom? Saul was insecure. This is pretty evident by reading this. Insecure people feel threatened by capable people. So if you have an insecure husband, he might be very threatened by a very professional, capable, smart wife. If you have a boss, the boss may feel threatened by a very capable employee. And so the story goes. So goes life. Right?
So insecure people often, because they feel threatened, will do things to protect themselves and to put other people down. Social media is built on this premise. For the most part, that's what it is built on. I could-- I'm not going to even go there. I've done it enough times.
So verse 9. Saul eyed David-- eyed David-- from that day forward. And it happened on the next day that the distressing Spirit from God-- we've already covered that-- came upon Saul. And he prophesied inside of his house. That word prophesied doesn't mean by the Spirit of God. It just means he talked. He probably ranted and he raved. And he just said all sorts of dumb things that dumb people like him say when they feel threatened.
So he's saying stuff in his house. David played music with his hand, as at other times. But there was a spear in Saul's hand. Notice the juxtaposition. Notice the purposeful point of contrast between what's in one guy's hand versus the other guy's hand. In one guy's hand is a musical instrument to praise God. In the other guy's hand, he's filing, he's sharpening his sword, his spear. He has a weapon.
What's in your hand? What do you keep in your hand? Some of you keep spears in your hand, and you-- I want to make a point here. With that person, you always want to make your point and throw a spear. The best thing to keep in your hand is something to worship God. Worship him. Praise him. Thank the Lord. Set your mind on things above, not on things of the Earth. Be that person.
So there's the spear in Saul's hand. And Saul cast the spear, for he said, I will pin David to the wall. But David escaped his presence twice. Now, Saul was afraid of David because the Lord was with him, but he had departed from Saul. Well, that's one way to get rid of your worship leader, but I would not advise anybody to do that.
Now, I got to say this. Of all the people in Saul's life, David was his most loyal, trustworthy friend. All through his life, as the months and years go on, David will refuse to take vengeance, saying, I'm not going to raise a hand against God's anointed. I'm going to be loyal to the one God has placed as king. I'm not going to lift my hand. Of all the people in Saul's life, David was the guy he should have trusted in and turned to.
But when a person begins to turn away from God, they also abandon the best people in their lives. They turn away from the Godliest council, the Godliest people in their lives, to their own detriment. And the reason they turn away from them is, to be around them reminds them of what they used to be, what they used to have, what they've lost. They don't want the reminder.
That's why you find when people backslide, they don't want to be around Christians. They don't want to go to church. They don't want to be reminded of that. It indicates not that they've left church or they've left friendships. They've left God. That's the sorest point.
Therefore, Saul removed him from his presence and made him captain over 1,000 and went out and came before the people. And David behaved wisely in all his ways. And the Lord was with him. Therefore, when Saul saw that he behaved very wisely, he was afraid of him. But all Israel and Judah loved David, because he went out and came in before them.
Question-- if he wanted to kill David, if he was so mad at David and afraid of David, why did he promote him to be over all these men? Easy answer. Get him out to battlefield, because if he's a young kid and he's really not battle-tested and he is over these troops, he'll probably get killed in some of these skirmishes. That was his intent. Get him killed.
Then Saul said to David, here is my oldest daughter Merab. I will give her to you as wife. Only be valiant for me and fight the Lord's battles, for Saul thought, let my hand not be against him but let the hand of the Philistines be against him. So David said to Saul, who am I? And what is my life or my father's family in Israel that I should be a son-in-law to the king? Look, I'm not rich. I'm poor. I don't have money for a dowry, especially a dowry for the daughter of a king.
But it happened at that time, when Merab, Saul's daughter, should have been given to David, that she was given to Adriel, the Meholathite, as a wife. Now, Michal-- we often call her Michael, but it's Michal-- Saul's daughter, loved David. And they told Saul. And the thing pleased him. Oh, my other daughter loves him.
So Saul said, I will give her to him that she may be a snare to him and that the hand of the Philistines may be against him. Therefore, Saul said to David a second time, you shall be my son-in-law today. Boy, it tells you what he thinks of his daughters. Great. Marry the guy I hate. And you'll be a snare to him. Using his daughter as a pawn to get a David.
But it says Michael loved David now-- or Michal loved David. Call her whatever you'd like. I'll probably call her both. I'm not sure that David loved her, however, as I read the story. She loved him. I'm not sure that he loved her. And I think that will be borne out as we keep reading, because she's going to figure it out and eventually turn against him.
And Saul commanded his servants communicate with David secretly and say, look, the king is delight in you, and all his servants love you. Now, therefore, become the king's son-in-law. So Saul's servants spoke these words in the hearing of David. And David said, does it seem to you a light thing to be a king's son-in-law, seeing that I am a poor and lightly esteemed man?
And the servants of Saul told him, saying in this manner David spoke. And Saul said, thus you shall say to David, the king does not desire any dowry but 100 foreskins of the Philistines to take vengeance on the king's enemies. But Saul thought to make David fall by the hand of the Philistines.
I don't think I need to explain this in depth. I think you understand what this is. This is sort of like the equivalent of an ancient scalp. The reason that 100 foreskins of Philistines would be proof is because the Israelites were already circumcised. So the only way to bring back 100 foreskins of people would be of the uncircumcised. And the only uncircumcised people in the land were the Philistines. So Saul was thinking, there's no way this kid's going to kill hundreds Philistines and bring evidence back.
So when his servants told David these words, it pleased David well to become the king's son-in-law. So he goes, challenge on. Now the day had not expired. Therefore, David arose and went, he and his men, and killed 200 men of the Philistines. So he doubled the ante. And David brought their foreskins. And they gave them in full count to the king. Now that's just-- I'm sorry. That's just gross. Being the guy counting-- one, 185. And then being King Saul, just having-- really? But I digress. So he counted them all out.
Verse 27. Then Saul gave him Michal, his daughter, as wife. Thus Saul saw anew the Lord was with David and that Michal-- Michael-- Saul's daughter loved him. And Saul was still more afraid of David. So Saul became David's enemy continually. Then the princes of the Philistines went out to war. And so it was whenever they went out that David behaved more wisely than all the servants of Saul so that his name became highly esteemed.
Saul has only one solution left, one trick left in his bag. Sending him out to battle doesn't work. Giving his daughter to be a snare doesn't work. Doing the foreskin thing doesn't work. So now he's just going to order a hit, an assassination directly on David's life. And that takes us to the next chapter.
So the chapter opens up. And we'll read how that assassination attempt takes place. And we're going to notice a Psalm that David wrote as the direct result of facing an assassination attempt. So we'll be able to read a Psalm along with this. And it's a great way to go through it to find out, like Spurgeon said, that it is the trials of the saints that produce the songs of the sanctuary. So that's one of them. We'll look at one of them in Psalm 59.
Father, thank you for the opportunity to gather as your people, to read the word together, to consider it together, to be built up on the most Holy faith. And thank you, Lord, for a church that loves to study your word-- not just a Psalm or a proverb and a little quotation out of the Gospel of Matthew, but all through the Scripture, from Genesis to Revelation. Lord, you said you are a rewarder of those who diligently seek you. I pray that you will reward those who have sought you in this manner.
Give them your favor. Give them answers to their prayers. Lead them in the way of everlasting. Strengthen them as they go out the rest of this week. May they face the giants that they are experiencing with the same kind of confidence and faith. And may you do wonders in their life. In Jesus' name, Amen.
For more resources from Calvary Church and Skip Heitzig, visit calvarynm.church. Thank you for joining us from this teaching in our series, "Expound."