Daily Devotional

October 8, 2017

Daybreak: 1 Samuel 19:1-17

“And Jonathan spake good of David unto Saul his father, and said unto him, Let not the king sin against his servant, against David; because he hath not sinned against thee, and because his works have been to thee-ward very good.” (1 Samuel 19:4)

Have you ever had a situation when you needed an intercessor — a time when your explanation would not be heard or accepted, but you thought maybe the words of someone else would get through?

Years ago, I worked with someone whose attitude indicated that I must have offended her in some way. Yet, no matter how much I thought about it, I could not think of what it might be. As I took the matter to the Lord in prayer, I considered apologizing. However, I was concerned that doing so would make the situation even more awkward. She was probably thinking that any hard feelings she had for me were completely hidden. Worse yet, maybe she had not even realized resentment was there! I did not know what to do, so I continued to pray with all my heart that God would show me, or that somehow the situation would change. 

Suddenly, and in a way I cannot account for, God answered that prayer. Her attitude changed seemingly overnight and I had a new friend. The only plausible explanation is that the ultimate Intercessor spoke on my behalf. Through the years since, I am still awed at how the Lord completely turned that situation around.

In our text, Jonathan was an intercessor to his father, King Saul, on behalf of his best friend, David. Saul was extremely jealous of David’s success in battle and his resulting popularity with the people (1 Samuel 18:6-7), so much so that he sought to kill David. In our focus verse, Jonathan reminded Saul that David had always been good to them and persuaded Saul to put aside his jealousy. 

It was not long, however, before Saul was once again seeking to take David’s life — just after the next battle in fact. The truth is that human intercession can only do so much good. It is only the influence of the ultimate Intercessor that can make remarkable and lasting changes in a life. If Saul had humbled himself before God, He would have turned Saul’s heart completely, as He did in my situation. However, because of Saul’s jealousy, the kingdom was taken from Saul and given to David, a man after God’s own heart (1 Samuel 13:14). David also learned many valuable lessons while running for his life, and we benefit today by his thoughts recorded in the Book of Psalms.

Do you need an intercessor today? Trust Jesus with the situation! He can work wonders in difficult places, and even if the situation does not work out as you would have liked, He always has your best interest at heart and will do what is ultimately best.

Background

In the previous chapter, when Saul failed on two occasions to take David’s life by throwing a javelin at him, he tried placing David in harm’s way during battle and through a cunning dowry price for his daughter, Michal. By the time the events in today’s text occurred, however, Saul was no longer trying to be discreet in his hatred, but openly commanded Jonathan and his other servants to kill David — despite the fact that David was now his son-in-law. Jonathan, being David’s best friend and seeing the error of his father’s ways, refused to do so. Instead, he warned David and interceded for him to Saul. That conversation calmed Saul, but only until David was once again successful in the next battle.

After that, Saul planned to have his men wait at David’s house through the night and kill him the next morning. Michal loved her husband and did not want her father to succeed in his wicked schemes. She, like her brother Jonathan, warned David of the threat to his life and encouraged him to flee. Their house was likely built on a wall, and she was able to help him escape through the window without Saul’s “messengers” knowing.

Michal then came up with her own cunning plan to buy David some time. The image she placed in David’s bed may have been a statue of a pagan household god. The Hebrew word used here, terapīm, is a synonym for idols and means, “the vanishing ones.” (The same word is used in Genesis 31:19 when Rachel stole her father’s two household idols.) It is unusual that such an idol would be life-size. It may have been a bust that she covered with a pillow of goats’ hair for the head. It is also possible that the word is used figuratively meaning a depiction of a human. Whatever the case, her creation of the appearance of a person sleeping was at least somewhat convincing, for it was not until Saul ordered the messengers to bring David up in his bed that they realized what Michal had done. When Saul confronted her with her deception, rather than use wise words to appease him as Jonathan had done, she simply lied to him, saying David had threatened to kill her if she did not help him escape.

Michal schemed, but David prayed. Psalm 59 records his thoughts and prayers during this time. This event marked the beginning of approximately ten years in which he was exiled and running for his life, always trusting God for his deliverance. 

Amplified Outline

(Hannah’s Bible Outlines - Used by permission per WORDsearch)
II.   The reign of Saul
      B.   The decline of King Saul and the rise of David
            1.   David in the court of Saul
                  c.   The separation of David from Saul
                        (3)   Saul’s attempts to kill David
                               (c)   His attempt to spear David again (19:1-17)
                                      [1]   Saul’s promise of safety (19:1-7)
                                      [2]   Saul’s attempt on David (19:8-10)
                                      [3]   Saul’s pursuit of David (19:11-17)

A Closer Look

  1. Why was Saul seeking to kill David?
     
  2. What do we learn about Jonathan’s character in this chapter?
     
  3. How did David’s wife, Michal, show her love and fidelity to her husband?
     
  4. What should a Christian do when a conflict arises with someone else?

Conclusion

David trusted God to be his ultimate Intercessor and Deliverer. Do the same in your life so that God can bless you as He did David!

Reference Materials