1 Samuel 18


1 And when he had finished speaking to Saul, the soul of Jonathan was knit with the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as his own soul. 2 And Saul took him that day, and would not let him return to his father’s house. 3 Then Jonathan and David made a covenant because he loved him as his own soul. 4 Jonathan stripped himself of the robe that was on him, and gave it to David, and his garments, his armor, his sword, his bow, and his belt.


  • God has made a covenant with us—a covenant of faith.
  • The word testament means covenant. We have the Old Testament and New Testament.
  • Galatians 3:27 For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ.
  • Ephesians 6:11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.


5 David went wherever Saul sent him, and acted wisely: and Saul set him over the men of war, and it was good in the eyes of all the people, and also in the eyes of Saul’s servants. 6 And it happened as they came, as David returned from the striking of the Philistine, that the women came out of all cities of Israel, singing and dancing, to meet king Saul, with tambourine, with joy, and with three-stringed instruments. 7 And the women answered one another as they played, and said, Saul has killed his thousands, and David his ten thousands. 8 This made Saul furious, the saying was evil in his sight; he said, They have credited to David ten thousands, and to me they have credited only thousands: what more can he have but the kingdom? 9 And Saul kept a jealous eye on David from that day forward.



The LORD was with David but sent an evil spirit on Saul


10 And the next day an evil spirit from God rushed on Saul, and he prophesied in the midst of the house: and David played with his hand, as at other times: now there was a javelin in Saul’s hand. 11 And Saul cast the javelin; for he said, I will strike David to the wall with it. And David rushed out of his presence twice. 12 And Saul was afraid of David, because the LORD was with him, and had left Saul.


  • The record of Saul’s life showed that Saul was more concerned with what the people thought than what God thought (1 Samuel 13:11).
  • Saul put the position God had given him above God who gave it to him.
  • After Jesus died for the sins of mankind, God the Holy Spirit does not leave the sinner. He is grieved or quenched but still resides within us.
  • The Old Testament saints had to bring the designated sacrifice, place their hands on the head of the sacrifice confessing their sin. Then the Holy Spirit could return to them.
  • 1John 1:9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
  • Hebrews 13:5 Let your way of life be without covetousness; and be content with what you have: for he has said, I will never leave you, nor forsake you.


13 Therefore Saul removed him from his presence and made him captain over a thousand; and he went out and came in before the people. 14 And David acted wisely in all his ways; and the LORD was with him. 15 When Saul saw that he acted very wisely, he was afraid of him. 16 But all Israel and Judah loved David because he went out and came in before them (led their military campaigns).


  • Saul demoted David from head of Saul’s military to captain over 1,000 soldiers. But David was still the nations hero.


17 And Saul said to David, Behold my elder daughter Merab, I will give her to you for a wife: only be valiant for me, and fight the LORD’s battles. For Saul said, Do not let my hand be on him, but let the hand of the Philistines be upon him. 18 And David said to Saul, Who am I? What is my life, or my father’s family in Israel, that I should be son in law to the king? 19 But it came to pass at the time when Merab, Saul’s daughter, should have been given to David, she was given to Adriel the Meholathite as his wife.


  • Saul plotted David’s death at the hand of the enemy and justified it with righteous words, ‘fight the LORD’s battles.’
  • He blatantly withheld the promised wife.
  • Look at David’s humble heart. He doesn’t feel worthy to be son in law to the king of Israel.
  • James 4:10 Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he will lift you up.


20 Michal, Saul’s daughter, loved David: and they told Saul, and the thing was right in his sight. 21 And Saul said, I will give her to him so that she may be a snare to him, and the hand of the Philistines may be against him. Therefore Saul said to David a second time, You will my son-in-law today. 22 And Saul commanded his servants saying, Commune with David secretly and say, Behold, the king delights in you, and all his servants love you: so be the king’s son-in-law. 23 Saul’s servants spoke those words in the ears of David. And David said, Does it seem to you a little thing to be a king’s son-in-law, since I am a poor man, and lightly esteemed? 24 And Saul’s servants told him the words David had spoken. 25 And Saul said, Say this to David, The king desires no dowry, except a hundred foreskins of the Philistines, to be avenged of the king’s enemies. But Saul thought to make David fall by the hand of the Philistines. 26 And when his servants told David these words, it pleased David well to be the king’s son-in-law before the days had expired. 27 Therefore David arose and went, he and his men, and killed two hundred men; and David brought their foreskins, and they gave them in full count to the king, that he might be the king’s son-in-law. And Saul gave him Michal, his daughter, as his wife.


  • David brought twice as many foreskins as Saul required.
  • Remember circumcision was the sign of God’s covenant of faith. It began with Abraham in Genesis 17.
  • The Philistines were uncircumcised worshippers of idols, false gods.
  • Psalm 96:5 For all the gods of the nations are idols: but the LORD made the heavens.

28 And Saul saw and knew that the LORD was with David, and that Michal, Saul’s, daughter loved him. 29 And Saul was still more afraid of David; Saul hated David all the days. 30 Then the captains of the Philistines went out: and it happened, as often as they went out, that David acted more wisely than all the servants of Saul; so that his name was highly esteemed/precious.


  • Saul brought this on himself by his wrong choices.
  • God is the source of wisdom.
  • Job 38:36 Who has put wisdom in the inward parts? or who has given understanding to the heart?
  • Psalm 111:10 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: a good understanding have all they that do his commandments: his praise endures forever.


                                          1 Samuel 19


1 Then Saul told Jonathan his son and all his servants to kill David. 2 But Jonathan, Saul’s son, delighted greatly in David: and Jonathan told David saying, Saul my father seeks to kill you: please be careful, watch out for yourself until the morning. Stay in a secret place, hide yourself: 3 And I will go out and stand beside my father in the field where you are, and I will speak with my father about you; and I will tell you what I see.


  • Saul put David at the top of Israel’s most wanted list.
  • Saul was jealous of the nation’s love for David.
  • 1 Samuel 18 describes the incident that started a persecution of David that lasted until Saul’s death.
  • 2Timothy 3:12 all that will live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution.


4 And Jonathan spoke good of David to Saul his father and said to him, Do not let the king sin against his servant, against David; because he has not sinned against you, and because his works toward you have been very good: 5 He risked his life and killed the Philistine, and the LORD worked a great deliverance for all Israel: you saw it, and rejoiced: why will you sin against innocent blood, to kill David without a cause? 6 Saul listened to the voice of Jonathan: and Saul swore, As the LORD lives, he will not be killed. 7 And Jonathan called David, and Jonathan showed him all those things. And Jonathan brought David to Saul, and he was in his presence, as before.


  • Jonathan interceded with king Saul for David as Jesus Christ intercedes with God the Father, Maker of the universe on our behalf.
  • David was innocent. We are not.
  • Romans 8:34 Who is he that condemns? It is Christ that died, yes rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who makes intercession for us.


God commands the evil spirits


8 And there was war again: and David went out, and fought with the Philistines, and killed them with a great slaughter; and they ran from him. 9 And the evil spirit from the LORD was on Saul as he sat in his house with his javelin in his hand: and David played with his hand. 10 And Saul tried to strike David to the wall with the javelin; but he slipped away out of Saul’s presence, and he struck the javelin to the wall: David ran, and escaped that night.


  • 1Samuel 16:14 But the Spirit of the LORD departed from Saul, and an evil spirit from the LORD troubled him.
  • 1Samuel 16:23 And when the evil spirit from God was on Saul, David took a harp, and played with his hand: so Saul was refreshed, and was well, and the evil spirit departed from him.
  • Mark 5:8 For he said to him, Come out of the man, you unclean spirit.


11 Saul also sent messengers to David’s house, to watch him, and to kill him in the morning: and Michal, David’s wife, told him saying, If you don’t save your life tonight, tomorrow you will be killed. 12 So Michal let David down through a window: he left, and ran, and escaped. 13 And Michal took an image, and laid it in the bed, and put a quilt of goats’ hair at its head, and covered it with clothes. 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 kill him. 16 And when the messengers came in, behold, there was an image in the bed, with a quilt of goats’ hair at its head. 17 And Saul said to Michal, Why have you deceived me like this, and sent away my enemy, that he is escaped? And Michal answered Saul, He said to me, Let me go; why should I kill you?


  • She saved herself from the wrath of the king, her father, by lying. She said that David threatened to kill her if she didn’t let him escape.

18 So David fled, escaped, and came to Samuel at 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 on 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.


  • God put His Spirit on each squad of assassins as the came near David.
  • Prophesying is speaking the words of God (Exodus 10). These men were on a mission from the king to kill the king’s enemy.
  • God put His Holy Spirit on them and they all began speaking forth God’s word.
  • Amos 3:8 the Lord GOD has spoken, who can but prophesy?


22 Then he also went to Ramah, and came to a great well that is in Sechu: and he asked saying, Where are Samuel and David? And one said, Behold, they are at Naioth in Ramah. 23 And he went there to Naioth in Ramah: and the Spirit of God was on him also, and he went on, and prophesied, until he came to Naioth in Ramah. 24 He stripped off his clothes and prophesied before Samuel in the same way, and lay down naked all that day and all that night. So they say, Is Saul also among the prophets?


  • God kept David safe when the king and the military of his nation were out to kill him.
  • Psalm 46:1God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.
  • Romans 8:31If God is for us, who can be against us?



                                         1 Samuel 20


The LORD is between us


1 So David fled from Naioth in Ramah and came and said to Jonathan, What have I done? What is my iniquity? What is my sin before your father, that he seeks my life? 2 And he said to him, God forbid; you will not die: behold, my father does nothing great or small without revealing it to me: why should my father hide this thing from me? It is not so! 3 And David vowed again saying, Your father knows well that I have found grace in your eyes; and he said, Do not let Jonathan know this, lest he be grieved: but truly as the LORD lives, and as your soul lives, there is but a step between me and death.


  • After surviving the three hit squads that Saul sent after David in 1 Samuel 19, David went to see Jonathan.
  • 2Timothy 3:12 Yes, and all that live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution.

4 Then Jonathan said to David, Whatever your soul desires, I will do it for you.  5 And David said to Jonathan, Behold, tomorrow is the new moon, and I should not fail to sit with the king to eat: but let me go hide myself in the field until the third day at evening. 6 If your father looks for me, then say, David earnestly asked leave of me that he might run to Bethlehem, his city: for there is a yearly sacrifice there for all the family. 7 If he says, Good! Then peace will be to your servant: but if he is very angry, then be sure that evil is determined by him.


  • If Saul was going to keep his word and not try to kill David then he would not be angry if David didn’t come to the feast.


8 Therefore deal kindly with your servant; for you have brought your servant into a covenant of the LORD with you: however, if there is sin in me, kill me yourself; why should you bring me to your father? 9 And Jonathan said, Far be it from you: if I knew certainly that evil were determined by my father to come on you, would I not tell you? 10 Then said David to Jonathan, Who will tell me? What if your father answers you roughly? 11 And Jonathan said to David, Come, and let’s go out into the field. And both of them went out into the field. 12 And Jonathan said to David, O LORD God of Israel (be witness) when I sound out my father about this time tomorrow, or the third day, and behold, if there is good toward David, and I do not send and reveal it to you? 13 The LORD do so and much more to Jonathan: but if it pleases my father to do you evil, then I will show you, and send you away, that you may go in peace: and the LORD be with you, as he has been with my father.


  • God held people to the oaths that they made.
  • Jonathan promised David that he would find out the truth and then send David safely away.
  • This shows us how God is with us in all kinds of circumstances.
  • Hebrews 13:5 for he has said, I will never leave you, or forsake you.


14 And you will not only show me the kindness of the LORD while I still live, so that I die not: 15 But also you will not cut off your kindness from my house forever: no, not when the LORD has cut off every one of the enemies of David from the face of the earth. 16 So Jonathan made a covenant with the house of David saying, Let the LORD require it at the hand of David’s enemies. 17 And Jonathan caused David to swear again because he loved him: for he loved him as he loved his own soul.


  • Jonathan made David promise not to kill him or his family when he becomes king.
  • New kings often killed the families of their rivals. God is kind.
  • Psalm 103:2 Bless the LORD, O my soul, and do not forget all his benefits: 3 Who forgives all your iniquities; who heals all your diseases; 4 Who redeems your life from destruction; who crowns you with loving-kindness and tender mercies;


18 Then Jonathan said to David, Tomorrow is the new moon: and you will be missed because your seat will be empty. 19 When you have stayed three days, then go down quickly, and come to the place where you hid yourself when the business was in hand, and remain by the stone Ezel. 20 And I will shoot three arrows on the side of it, as though I shot at a mark. 21 And, behold, I will send a boy, saying, Go, find the arrows. If I expressly say to the boy, Behold, the arrows are on this side of you, take them; then come: for there is peace to you, and not hurt; as the LORD lives. 22 But if I say to the young man, Behold, the arrows are beyond you; go your way: for the LORD has sent you away. 23 And about the matter that you and I have spoken of, behold, the LORD be between you and me forever.


  • Could anything be more lovely than the Lord between all of us?
  • Notice how God guided all the circumstances of these events.
  • Psalm 23:1 The LORD is my shepherd; I will not lack anything. 2 He makes me lie down in green pastures: he leads me beside the still waters. 3 He restores my soul: he leads me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. 4 Yes, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for you are with me…


24 So David hid himself in the field: and when the new moon came, the king sat down to eat food. 25 And the king sat on his seat, as at other times on a seat by the wall: and Jonathan arose, and Abner sat by Saul’s side, and David’s place was empty. 26 But Saul said nothing that day: for he thought, It is an accident, he is not clean; surely he is not clean. 27 And the day after, which was the second day of the month, David’s place was empty: and Saul said to Jonathan his son, Why hasn’t the son of Jesse come to eat yesterday, or today 28 And Jonathan answered Saul, David earnestly asked leave of me to go to Bethlehem: 29 And he said, Please let me go; for our family has a sacrifice in the city; and my brother has ordered me to be there. Now, if I have found grace in your sight, please let me go see my brothers. That’s why he has not come to the king’s table.


  • Jonathan lied to protect David’s life.


30 Then Saul’s anger burned against Jonathan and he said to him, You son of perverse rebelliousness, I know that you have chosen the son of Jesse to your own shame, and to the shame of your mother’s nakedness? 31 For as long as the son of Jesse lives on the land, you will not be established, or your kingdom. Now send and bring him to me, for he will surely die. 32 And Jonathan answered Saul, his father and said to him, Why will he be killed? What has he done? 33 Then Saul hurled his spear at him to strike him: by this Jonathan knew that his father had determined to kill David.


  • Saul’s jealousy of David caused him to curse and try to kill his own son.


34 So Jonathan arose from the table in fierce anger and ate no food the second day of the month: for he was grieved for David, because his father had done him shame. 35 And in the morning Jonathan went out into the field at the time appointed with David, and a little boy with him. 36 And he said to his boy, Run, find the arrows that I shoot. And as the boy ran, he shot an arrow to pass over him. 37 And when the boy came to the place of the arrow that Jonathan had shot, Jonathan cried after the boy and said, Isn’t the arrow beyond you? 38 And Jonathan cried after the boy, Quick, hurry, do not stand. And Jonathan’s lad gathered up the arrows, and came to his master. 39 But the boy knew nothing: only Jonathan and David knew the matter. 40 And Jonathan gave his artillery to his boy and said to him, Go, carry them to the city. 41 And as soon as the boy was gone, David arose out of a place toward the south, fell on his face to the ground, and bowed himself three times: and they kissed one another, and wept one with another, but David more so. 42 And Jonathan said to David, Go in peace, for we have sworn both of us in the name of the LORD saying, The LORD is between me and you, and between my seed and your seed forever. And he arose and departed: and Jonathan went into the city.


  • Psalm 133:1 how good and how pleasant it is for brothers to dwell together in unity!
  • John 17:22 the glory that You gave me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one: 23 I in them, and You in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that You have sent me, and have loved them, as You have loved me.




SUMMARY: 1 Samuel 18-20


  • The LORD was with David but sent an evil spirit on Saul
  • God commands even the evil spirits
  • The LORD is between us