1 Samuel 18:12-16 - Result of Jealousy, Envy & Fear
Last week we seen Saul’s first attempt to kill David by throwing a spear at him twice (18:10-11). Here is the second attempt of Saul to kill David through a plot. Saul's jealousy and suspicious nature aroused within his heart a deep-seated fear of David. Because of his fear he wanted David out of his presence, nowhere around. And if possible, he wanted David dead in order to remove him as a threat against his throne. Note why: because the Lord was with David but had abandoned Saul. In Saul's mind, David was a threat to Saul's claim to the throne and to the dynasty he hoped to establish through Jonathan. Therefore, Saul used a tactic in an attempt to kill David: he made David the commander of 1000 troops, sending him out to fight risky battles, hoping that David would lose and be discredited by the people or else be killed in battle (1 Samuel 18:13, 17).
But note the result: David succeeded in every battle and in everything else he did because the Lord was with him (1 Samuel 18:14-16). And David's success only made Saul fear him even more. On the other hand, David's success in military campaigns stirred the people to love him more and more.
A. Saul’s Second Attempt to Kill David (v.12-16).
1. Saul was afraid of David (v.12a).
a) The Lord was with David (v.12b).
(1) In seemingly bad times, remember that the Lord is with us.
(2) The Lord was with the men of Cyprus & Cyrene (Acts 11:19-21).
b) The Lord was with Joseph (Genesis 39:2-5, 21, 23).
(1) The experiences of Joseph show how God prepares a believer to be the person he should be and to do the work he has been called to do (Romans 8:28).
(2) Jacob (Joseph’s father) had tried to shield Joseph from the responsibilities of work, but God knew that Joseph could never be a ruler until first he was a servant:
Jesus gave a parable saying "Well done, good and faithful slave. You were faithful with a few things, I will put you in charge of many things; enter into the joy of your master.’ (Matthew 25:21, NASB95)
(3) God used three disciplines in Joseph’s life to prepare him to be the second ruler of Egypt:
(a) The discipline of service (v.39:1-6). God forced him to learn how to work hard. Because Joseph was faithful in the small things, God promoted him to greater things:
The writer of proverbs says "Do you see a man skilled in his work? He will stand before kings; He will not stand before obscure men." (Proverbs 22:29, NASB95)
Don’t be lazy "The hand of the diligent will rule, But the slack hand will be put to forced labor.” (Proverbs 12:24, NASB95)
(b) The discipline of self-control (v.7-18). If Joseph could not control himself as a servant, he could never control others as a ruler.
Listen to what Paul says "Make no provision for the flesh in regard to its lusts." (Romans 13:14, NASB95)… Joseph may have lost his coat but he kept his character.
Proverbs says that "He who is slow to anger is better than the mighty, And he who rules his spirit, than he who captures a city.” (Proverbs 16:32, NASB95)
He goes on to say "Like a city that is broken into and without walls Is a man who has no control over his spirit." (Proverbs 25:28, NASB95)
(c) The discipline of suffering (v.19-23). All of this suffering helped make a man out of Joseph. Anyone who avoids suffering will have a hard time developing character.
c) The Lord will be with us.
(1) Moses giving his last counsel (Deut.13:1-8)
(2) The Lord speaking directly to Joshua (Joshua 1:1-9).
(3) David speaking to his son Solomon (1 Chron.28:20), & Azariah speaking to King Asa (2Chron.15:1-2).
(4) The writer of Hebrews speaking in (Hebrews 13:5).
(a) God “He Himself has said” – intensive in the Greek (the Lord is personally making this promise). “Leave” is not from the usual Greek word which means to “to leave,” but from a word which means “to uphold” or sustain.”
(b) Before the word “leave” there are 2 negatives. These double negatives present a very strong negation. Therefore, the promise would read, “I will not, I will not cease to uphold or sustain you!”
(c) The word “forsake” is composed of 3 word, “to leave,” “down,” and “in.”
(i) The first “to leave” has the concept of forsaking one.
(ii) The second “down” suggests rejection, defeat, helplessness.
(d) The third “in” brings the idea of some place or circumstance where a person would find himself/herself helpless or forsaken.
(e) Therefore, this word comes to mean leaving and forsaking a person down in a state of defeat or helplessness in the midst of hostile circumstances. In its totality, it should be rendered, “to abandon, to desert, to leave in straits, to leave helpless, to leave destitute, to leave in the lurch, to let one down.”
(f) There are 3 negatives before this word give us a wonderful triple assurance. We then get “I will not, will not, will not forsake you.”
(g) Not do we have the assurance of God’s all-sufficient sustaining power, but we also have the promise that He will never abandon us, never desert us, never leave us in straits. He will come to meet all our needs and never leave us out in the lurch but will see to it that we are rescued from the difficulties that we sometimes find ourselves in.
d) The Lord had departed from Saul (v.12c).
(1) God took His Spirit from Saul back in (1Sam.16:14). It is interesting that before God took His Spirit from Saul that God gave His Spirit to David. God will always have someone to replace us if need be! God had been preparing David while Saul was disobedient.
(2) From now on when Saul inquires of the Lord, He does not answer Saul (1Sam14:37; 28:6).
(3) Saul will even go as far as looking to “necromancy” to get an answer which is an abomination to God (Deut.18:10-11; 28:7, 15).
(4) But David, when he sinned against God, repented, crying out to God that He would not take His Spirit from Him (Ps.51:11). That is the proper conviction to have.
(5) God departed from Saul, David did not want God’s Spirit taken from him. However, in that final day the Lord will say to some, “depart from Me” (Matt.25:41; Matt.7:23).
2. Saul made David captain over a thousand (v.13).
a) Saul hoped that David would die in battle.
(1) By Saul removing David from his presence (v.13), was in actuality trying to remove God from His presence, because the Lord was with David. Saul appears to have placed David in a more vulnerable position, hoping perhaps that he would die in combat.
(2) This same tactic was later used by David to get rid of Uriah (2 Sam. 11:14-21).
(3) But nothing Saul does can prevent the people from loving David all the more, making matters worse for Saul.
b) The Result: David succeeded in everything (v.14-16).
(1) Later, David is anointed King over all Israel (2Sam.5:1-4)
(2) Solomon asked God to show him how to lead his people (1 Kings 3:3-9)
B. Saul’s Third Attempt to Kill David (v.17-19).
1. The deceptive promise & purpose of Saul (v.17a).
a) The Promise of Saul: to give his daughter to David if he proved himself in battle (v.17a).
(1) Saul’s lies & jealousy are caused by deception. Saul himself is deceived and is now using this to try and deceive others.
b) The major weapon in Satan’s arsenal is deception.
(1) Satan, Jesus declared, is “a liar and the father of lies” (John 8:44), who “disguises himself as an angel of light” (2 Cor. 11:14) to deceive people.
(2) From his first appearance on earth in the Garden of Eden (Gen. 3:2–6) until his final appearance at the end of the Millennium (Rev. 20:7–8), Satan is a liar and a deceiver.
(3) He constantly seeks to confuse people, “blind[ing] the minds of the unbelieving so that they might not see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God” (2 Cor. 4:4).
The deceit of riches: "“And the one on whom seed was sown among the thorns, this is the man who hears the word, and the worry of the world and the deceitfulness of wealth choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful (Matthew 13:22, NASB95)
The deceit of sin: "for sin, taking an opportunity through the commandment, deceived me and through it killed me (Romans 7:11)…"But encourage one another day after day, as long as it is still called “Today,” so that none of you will be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin (Hebrews 3:13, NASB95)
The old man: "that, in reference to your former manner of life, you lay aside the old self, which is being corrupted in accordance with the lusts of deceit, " (Ephesians 4:22, NASB95)
The Antichrist: "Then that lawless one will be revealed whom the Lord will slay with the breath of His mouth and bring to an end by the appearance of His coming; that is, the one whose coming is in accord with the activity of Satan, with all power and signs and false wonders, and with all the deception of wickedness for those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth so as to be saved. For this reason God will send upon them a deluding influence so that they will believe what is false, in order that they all may be judged who did not believe the truth, but took pleasure in wickedness.(2 Thessalonians 2:8-12, NASB95)
During the tribulation the Antichrist "performs great signs, so that he even makes fire come down out of heaven to the earth in the presence of men. And he deceives those who dwell on the earth because of the signs which it was given him to perform in the presence of the beast, telling those who dwell on the earth to make an image to the beast who had the wound of the sword and has come to life. And it was given to him to give breath to the image of the beast, so that the image of the beast would even speak and cause as many as do not worship the image of the beast to be killed. And he causes all, the small and the great, and the rich and the poor, and the free men and the slaves, to be given a mark on their right hand or on their forehead, and he provides that no one will be able to buy or to sell, except the one who has the mark, either the name of the beast or the number of his name. (Revelation 13:13-17, NASB95)
c) The Purpose of Saul: to expose David to armed conflict so he might be killed (v.17b).
(1) Our flesh likes to expose people that they might be killed by words. But the Scriptures say that “love covers a multitude of sins” (Prov.10:12; 1Pet.4:8).
d) The Response of David: humility & meekness (v.18).
(1) He was not worthy of such honor, of being a part of the king's family (v.18).
e) The Broken Promise of Saul-for the second time (v.19).
(1) He gave his daughter Merab in marriage to Adriel (v.19)
(2) He promised to whomever killed Goliath, they would have his daughter (1 Samuel 17:25).
(3) Girls aren’t you glad you did not live back then. Could you imagine if you dad said something like, “whoever fixes my car, will have my daughter in marriage.”
C. Saul’s Fourth Attempt to Kill David (v.20-30).
1. The seductive plot of Saul (v.20-22).
a) Plotted to use his younger daughter's love for David as a snare (v.20-21).
(1) By having her seduce and corrupt David spiritually (v.21a). Saul hoped that Michal would corrupt David with her idolatrous worship and false gods (1 Samuel 19:13). This happened to David’s son Solomon (1King 11:1-14).
(2) The result: God's protection would be removed (v.21a). If David began to engage in idolatry and false worship, the judgment of God would fall upon him. David's success would begin to decline and he would begin to lose popularity with the people and perhaps even be killed in battle.
b) Satan wants to “snare us” as well:
(1) We must stand against all seduction and evil influence and associations that might corrupt us. God's Word is clear: we live in the world, but we must not be a part of the world. Spiritually, we are to be separated from the world and its evil influences and associations.
Jesus said "“Be on guard, so that your hearts will not be weighted down with dissipation and drunkenness and the worries of life, and that day will not come on you suddenly like a trap; " (Luke 21:34, NASB95)
Speaking of money, Paul said "But those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a snare and many foolish and harmful desires which plunge men into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all sorts of evil, and some by longing for it have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs. (1 Timothy 6:9-10, NASB95)
Paul said to Timothy "The Lord’s bond-servant must not be quarrelsome, but be kind to all, able to teach, patient when wronged, with gentleness correcting those who are in opposition, if perhaps God may grant them repentance leading to the knowledge of the truth, and they may come to their senses and escape from the snare of the devil, having been held captive by him to do his will." (2 Timothy 2:24-26, NASB95)