I Samuel 19

God always raises up a friend for us in time of need.
Envy allowed its way becomes murderous.
Cut the claws of the tiger pup,
lest it become a full grown tiger,
when it is too late.

1 And Saul spake to Jonathan his son, and to all his servants, that they should kill David.

2 But Jonathan Saul’s son delighted much in David: and Jonathan told David, saying, Saul my father seeketh to kill thee: now therefore, I pray thee, take heed to thyself until the morning, and abide in a secret place, and hide thyself:

3 And I will go out and stand beside my father in the field where thou art, and I will commune with my father of thee; and what I see, that I will tell thee.

4 ¶ 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:

5 For he did put his life in his hand, and slew the Philistine, and the LORD wrought a great salvation for all Israel: thou sawest it, and didst rejoice: wherefore then wilt thou sin against innocent blood, to slay David without a cause?

6 And Saul hearkened unto the voice of Jonathan: and Saul sware, As the LORD liveth, he shall not be slain.

7 And Jonathan called David, and Jonathan shewed him all those things. And Jonathan brought David to Saul, and he was in his presence, as in times past.

8 ¶ And there was war again: and David went out, and fought with the Philistines, and slew them with a great slaughter; and they fled from him.

9 And the evil spirit from the LORD was upon Saul, as he sat in his house with his javelin in his hand: and David played with his hand.

10 And Saul sought to smite David even to the wall with the javelin; but he slipped away out of Saul’s presence, and he smote the javelin into the wall: and David fled, and escaped that night.

11 Saul also sent messengers unto David’s house, to watch him, and to slay him in the morning: and Michal David’s wife told him, saying, If thou save not thy life to night, to morrow thou shalt be slain.

12 ¶ So Michal let David down through a window: and he went, and fled, and escaped.

13 And Michal took an image, and laid it in the bed, and put a pillow of goats’ hair for his bolster, and covered it with a cloth.

14 And when Saul sent messengers to take David, she said, He is sick.

15 And Saul sent the messengers again to see David, saying, Bring him up to me in the bed, that I may slay him.

16 And when the messengers were come in, behold, there was an image in the bed, with a pillow of goats’ hair for his bolster.

17 And Saul said unto Michal, Why hast thou deceived me so, and sent away mine enemy, that he is escaped? And Michal answered Saul, He said unto me, Let me go; why should I kill thee?

18 ¶ So David fled, and escaped, and came to Samuel to Ramah, and told him all that Saul had done to him. And he and Samuel went and dwelt in Naioth.

19 And it was told Saul, saying, Behold, David is at Naioth in Ramah.

20 And Saul sent messengers to take David: and when they saw the company of the prophets prophesying, and Samuel standing as appointed over them, the Spirit of God was upon the messengers of Saul, and they also prophesied.

21 And when it was told Saul, he sent other messengers, and they prophesied likewise. And Saul sent messengers again the third time, and they prophesied also.

22 Then went he also to Ramah, and came to a great well that is in Sechu: and he asked and said, Where are Samuel and David? And one said, Behold, they be at Naioth in Ramah.

23 And he went thither to Naioth in Ramah: and the Spirit of God was upon him also, and he went on, and prophesied, until he came to Naioth in Ramah.

24 And he stripped off his clothes also, and prophesied before Samuel in like manner, and lay down naked all that day and all that night. Wherefore they say, Is Saul also among the prophets?

1 Samuel 19:1-12 – Noble Intercession; Implacable Hate

   Not content with exchanging his dress and weapons with his friend, Jonathan pleaded David’s cause at court. He had the royal ear and spoke as David’s daysman. As he touched upon his brother-in-law’s devotion, modesty and courage, the father’s heart relented. We must not, however, take Jonathan’s interposition as illustrating our Lord’s, because Jesus stands for us in the presence of One whose love requires no argument. But learn to abide in “the secret place of the most High” (Psalm 91:1), and hide thyself, until thou hast learned what thou should do, I Samuel 19:2.
   While Saul’s troops were watching the house on the outside, the psalmist was appealing to God as his strength, and hiding in Him as his strong tower. See Psalm 59:9, 17. Wait on God during the hours when your enemy is waiting for you. We must not only pray for God’s help, but expect and look out for it. All true waiting must be combined with singing. Sing, persecuted soul, in sure confidence that the glorious deliverance awaiting you is near at hand! Notice that Holy Scripture never conceals and never palliates wrong-doing. It does not excuse “lies of necessity.” See Leviticus 19:11; Colossians 3:9.

I Samuel 19:6—And Saul hearkened unto the voice of Jonathan.

   It was a noble act of Jonathan. He might have withdrawn from his friendship with David when it threatened his relations with his father; but, instead, be stopped into the breach, and pleaded for his friend, endeavoring to eradicate the false and ungenerous conceptions of which Saul had become possessed. It is an example we do well to study and copy. For his love’s sake, as well as for his father’s, he was extremely eager to effect reconciliation between him to whom he owed allegiance of son and subject, and this fair shepherd minstrel warrior, who had so recently cast a sunny gleam upon his life.
   Men often misconceive of one another. Jealousy and envy distort behavior and actions which are in themselves as beautiful as possible. Misrepresentation will blind us to the true excellences of one another’s characters. Wrong constructions are often put on the most innocent incidents. We cannot help these things, they are part of the sad heritage of the Fall; but we may often take up the cause of a misunderstood man, and at the risk of losing our own reputation, and diverting to ourselves some of the odium which attaches to him, we may stand as his sponsors.
   Even if we dislike another, as Saul did David, let us give scope to the good Spirit to plead his cause at the bar of our hearts, as Jonathan did for his friend. Let us consider all the kind and loving things that may be said of him; let us put ourselves in his position; let us be willing to believe and hope all things. Let us plead for others, since this is a work in which Christ’s followers most closely approximate to Him who ever liveth to intercede.

1 Samuel 19:13-24 – Saul Checked by the Spirit of God

   David hastened to apprise Samuel of the turn that events were taking, and of his grave suspicions that Saul was attempting on his life. For greater security the prophet led him to a cluster of booths, woven probably of osiers (hence the name Naioth), where a number of young men were being trained for the prophetic office. This gives us an insight into the constructive work in which Samuel was engaged during the later years of his life. They were living in an atmosphere which seemed charged with spiritual electricity. Into this sacred assembly Saul forced three successive bands of messengers to arrest David—and finally went himself. 
   Before he reached the place he, also, was overcome, and lay on the ground in a trance which lasted all that day and night. Such scenes were not uncommon in the days of Wesley and Jonathan Edwards. But there was a vast gulf separating Saul from David in this matter. Between David and the prophetic Spirit there was a real affinity. In purity and simplicity he had yielded himself to God. Saul was another man for the time, but not a new man. The Spirit was on, but not in him. He had gifts, but not grace. There was no root, and the plant withered away.