1 Samuel 19:8-17
8 Once more war broke out, and David went out and fought the Philistines. He struck them with such force that they fled before him. 9 But an evil[a] 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, 10 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. 11 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.” 12 So Michal let David down through a window, and he fled and escaped. 13 Then Michal took an idol and laid it on the bed, covering it with a garment and putting some goats’ hair at the head. 14 When Saul sent the men to capture David, Michal said, “He is ill.” 15 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.” 16 But when the men entered, there was the idol in the bed, and at the head was some goats’ hair. 17 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?’”
Here, we have a great warrior in David, serving his King with courage and boldness. And we have this King, King Saul, plotting in jealous envy and with evil intent to destroy this courageous young warrior.
And we have Michal, Saul’s daughter – saying one thing to David, her husband (“escape or they’ll kill you”) and another thing to Saul her father (“David threatened me, so I let him go”).
I’ve got hung up so many times on vs 9. But Michal sheds new light on this story. Everyone has heard the cultural proverb, “what walks in fathers runs in sons (and daughters)”. Here, Michals deception gives me insight into what walked in her father, Saul, and possibly led to his twisted and distressing approach to being King.
Evil does not start with the murderous intent towards David. It starts with the lack of integrity which says – in order to preserve my life and relationship, I will say what is safe, rather than what is true. This self and other deception is a slippery slope.
The challenge for me is this – don’t just look for the big flaws in me. Be sensitive to the little things I do that lack integrity. These are the slippery slopes that can lead to much more distressing (and evil) fruit if left unchecked before the Lord.
Lord, help me walk in integrity in the little things, for it is the little things that building into big things in this life. Amen.
Written by Ps. Rob Waugh