1 Samuel 18:10-30
10 The next day an evil spirit from God came forcefully on Saul. He was prophesying in his house, while David was playing the lyre, as he usually did. Saul had a spear in his hand 11 and he hurled it, saying to himself, “I’ll pin David to the wall.” But David eluded him twice. 12 Saul was afraid of David, because the Lord was with David but had departed from Saul. 13 So he sent David away from him and gave him command over a thousand men, and David led the troops in their campaigns. 14 In everything he did he had great success, because the Lord was with him. 15 When Saul saw how successful he was, he was afraid of him. 16 But all Israel and Judah loved David, because he led them in their campaigns. 17 Saul said to David, “Here is my older daughter Merab. I will give her to you in marriage; only serve me bravely and fight the battles of the Lord.” For Saul said to himself, “I will not raise a hand against him. Let the Philistines do that!” 18 But David said to Saul, “Who am I, and what is my family or my clan in Israel, that I should become the king’s son-in-law?” 19 So[b] when the time came for Merab, Saul’s daughter, to be given to David, she was given in marriage to Adriel of Meholah. 20 Now Saul’s daughter Michal was in love with David, and when they told Saul about it, he was pleased. 21 “I will give her to him,” he thought, “so that she may be a snare to him and so that the hand of the Philistines may be against him.” So Saul said to David, “Now you have a second opportunity to become my son-in-law.” 22 Then Saul ordered his attendants: “Speak to David privately and say, ‘Look, the king likes you, and his attendants all love you; now become his son-in-law.’” 23 They repeated these words to David. But David said, “Do you think it is a small matter to become the king’s son-in-law? I’m only a poor man and little known.” 24 When Saul’s servants told him what David had said, 25 Saul replied, “Say to David, ‘The king wants no other price for the bride than a hundred Philistine foreskins, to take revenge on his enemies.’” Saul’s plan was to have David fall by the hands of the Philistines. 26 When the attendants told David these things, he was pleased to become the king’s son-in-law. So before the allotted time elapsed, 27 David took his men with him and went out and killed two hundred Philistines and brought back their foreskins. They counted out the full number to the king so that David might become the king’s son-in-law. Then Saul gave him his daughter Michal in marriage. 28 When Saul realized that the Lord was with David and that his daughter Michal loved David, 29 Saul became still more afraid of him, and he remained his enemy the rest of his days. 30 The Philistine commanders continued to go out to battle, and as often as they did, David met with more success than the rest of Saul’s officers, and his name became well known.
How confused must David have felt. God had used him to defeat the giant, had placed him in the trusted special position of the king’s armour bearer and given him the ability to calm the king through his music. But now that very king was trying to kill him. He had been very nearly killed by the king using him as target practice, and then inexplicably he was sent to lead 1000 men. It was enough to make your average young man afraid, but David loyally served his king. These situations could have generated anger or fear in David, however his behaviour was characterised by humility and service.
What a contrast to Saul – full of fear, jealousy and paranoia.
David knew God was with him, so he continued to honour Saul. I am reminded of God’s promise of protection in Isaiah 43 v 2 – “When you pass through the waters I will be with you, and when you pass through the rivers they will not sweep over you, when you walk through the fire you will not be burned, the flames will not set you ablaze.”
Was the key to David’s response humility (verses 18 and 23)? David was right to think himself special, but God had blessed him with a humble heart, which made him trust God and not his own achievements. God achieved great things through David as a result.
I need a humble heart to shape me into a vessel God can use. A heart that means I can see the needs of others and be available to serve, not expecting to be served; to give, not expecting to receive; to walk alongside others, even when my energy seems completely exhausted. Humility is so far removed from weakness.
Dear Lord Jesus, your servant David walked in your steps of humility and service, in submission to our Father God. Give me a servant heart I pray. Amen
Written by Claire Moore