1 Samuel 19 - 21
Saul’s anger and jealousy towards David reaches its peak in this portion of the narrative, so much so that it pits him against his own children. In her attempt to cover for David’s escape, Michal prioritizes her husband over her father (19:11-17). Jonathan’s naivete deters him from seeing his father’s anger at first. But Jonathan learns of Saul’s true intentions during David’s absence at the New Moon feast. Enraged that Jonathan had excused David from being at the festival, Saul curses and throws a spear at his own son (20:30,33; much like he did towards David in 19:10). Saul’s anger has blinded him so much that anyone associated with David deemed worthy of incurring the same judgment.
David and Jonathan’s love for one another is reaffirmed through this section. Their friendship goes to serve as the stark antithesis to Saul’s anger, almost as if to depict how Saul should have treated God’s anointed instead. In their warnings to each other (20:8,14) and their bitter farewell (20:41-42), the concept of God’s loving kindness (See explication of Hesed from Day 37) is referenced and embodied. David is now forced to be a fugitive, but God is still in control. Much like how the harmful spirit that stirred Saul’s anger was God-ordained (18:10; 19:9), so this temporary exile will serve a purpose for David towards his eventual throne.
Reflect & Connect
In an attempt to flee from Saul’s murderous decree, David braves an escape even into enemy Philistine territory of Gath in chapter 21. But even across enemy lines, David is recognized and almost revered (21:11). David fears that with his identity revealed he is in grave danger still. Feigning insanity, David narrowly escapes yet another close call for his life. Much of his life experience during this fleeing inspired the words from Psalm 34. Read over this psalm and meditate on David’s experiences. While being immersed in the fragility of his circumstances, let the words of hope and trust in God’s sovereignty lift you through whatever difficult trials you may experience or are even experiencing today.
- Rev. Nameun Cho
This blog is part of the ministry of City Reformed Presbyterian Church. Unless otherwise noted, the entries are written by Matt Koerber. This is part of a project that our church is doing as we read through the narrative sections of Scripture between early January and Easter 2020. New entries will be scheduled to drop automatically at 5:00 am on the scheduled day.