1 Samuel 18:17-30
17 Saul said to David, “Here is my older daughter Merab. I’ll give her to you to be your wife. Just serve me bravely and fight the Lord’s battles.” Saul said to himself, “I won’t have to lift my hand to strike him down. The Philistines will do that!” 18 But David said to Saul, “Who am I? Is anyone in my whole family that important in Israel? Am I worthy to become the king’s son-in-law?” 19 The time came for Saul to give his daughter Merab to David. Instead, Saul gave her to Adriel from Meholah to be his wife. 20 Saul’s daughter Michal was in love with David. When they told Saul about it, he was pleased. 21 “I’ll give her to David to be his wife,” Saul said to himself. “Then maybe she’ll trap him. And maybe the Philistines will strike him down.” So Saul said to David, “Now you have a second chance to become my son-in-law.” 22 Then Saul gave an order to his attendants. He said, “Speak to David in private. Tell him, ‘The king likes you. All his attendants love you. So become his son-in-law.’ ” 23 Saul’s attendants spoke those very words to David. But David said, “Do you think it’s a small thing to become the king’s son-in-law? I’m only a poor man. I’m not very well known.” 24 Saul’s attendants told him what David had said. 25 Saul said, “Tell David, ‘Here’s the price the king wants for the bride. He wants you to kill 100 Philistines. Then bring back the skins you cut off when you circumcise them. That’s how Saul will get even with his enemies.’ ” Saul hoped that the Philistines would strike David down. 26 Saul’s attendants also told David those things. Then David was pleased to become the king’s son-in-law. So before the wedding day, 27 David and his men went out and killed 200 Philistines. They circumcised the Philistines. Then David brought back all the skins. They counted out the full number and gave them to the king. By doing that, David could become the king’s son-in-law. So Saul gave David his daughter Michal to be his wife. 28 Saul realized that the Lord was with David. He also realized that his daughter Michal loved David. 29 So Saul became even more afraid of him. As long as Saul lived, he remained David’s enemy. 30 The Philistine commanders kept on going out to battle. Every time they did, David had more success against them than the rest of Saul’s officers. So his name became well known.
It’s interesting to watch how David and Saul behave and react in this story.
Saul thought he had a problem and he decides to solve it by getting rid of David. He planned to trick David and to let someone else do the dirty work. He didn’t just do it once, he tried on 3 different occasions and he roped in others to help him trick David as well as being comfortable with sending David into a battle so one of Israel’s enemies could kill him. So he decided to do something not in line with God’s view of what a king should do. It wasn’t just a spur of the moment thing, he kept at it for quite awhile.
On the other hand, David was offered the hand in marriage of Saul’s daughter not once but twice. Pretty big temptation. But he didn’t fall for it. He didn’t think more of himself than he should. You could say he was a bit naïve because he didn’t see through what Saul was doing. But you could also say he had integrity and stuck to God’s view of the world. He did what his king asked of him and did it to the best of his ability.
Its then interesting to compare David in this story with how David ended up later in life where he did the same thing as Saul – sent someone to their death so he could have a relationship with an already married woman.
It is easy for all of us to get sidetracked and start down a path that takes us to a bad place. We have a problem and instead of going to God to get help addressing it we try and figure out a solution of our own. If we haven’t walked closely with God, then it’s easy for our ideas for a solution to be unhelpful or even dangerous for us. We need to remember to seek God’s help.
Lord thanks that You are just waiting for us to ask for help. Please help us to remember to ask. Thanks that Your solutions work so much better than ours.
Written by Therese Manning