Over the past couple of weeks, we’ve been looking at the rise of David and the fall of Saul. As we’ve gone through 1 Samuel 18, we’ve seen how Saul’s jealousy of David has driven him to secretly plot the murder of his most successful military commander. We’ve seen three attempts by Saul to have David killed – and all the while, appearing to be David’s #1 fan!
His first attempt to kill David was probably the most difficult for Saul to appear innocent, as Saul whipped a spear at David, intending to pin him to the wall!
That doesn’t seem very subtle – but because of the tormenting spirit that had plagued Saul, this incident may have been brushed off as almost accidental – temporary insanity might be the claim. Of course, I don’t know exactly how Saul explained his actions that day, but he seemed to convince David to forgive and forget what he had done. And David, not one to hold a grudge, obliged and faithfully continued in Saul’s service.
Saul’s next scheme to kill David was a little less obvious. He offered David his daughter Merab as a wife, with the condition that David prove himself first by fighting the Lord’s battles. Of course, Saul hoped that one those battles would be the end of David – that David would be killed by the Philistines and then Saul wouldn’t have to do it himself!
However, David turned down Saul’s offer to marry Merab – stating in essence, that he was unworthy to be the king’s son-in-law. His family were simple sheep farmers, not royalty! And so David humbly declined Saul’s offer – thwarting Saul’s plan to have him killed by the Philistines – and thus Merab was given to someone else.
But then, Saul discovered that his other daughter Michal was in love with David. And so he made the offer again to David to become his son-in-law! But this time, Saul convinced some of his men to encourage David to accept the King’s offer! And to make things even easier for David – Saul declared that the only dowry or brideprice that he wanted was the death of his enemies – 100 Philistine foreskins would be enough!
Saul was sure that the mighty warrior David would take up this offer and in his attempts to kill 100 Philistines, Dave would surely be killed the fight!
However, Saul had forgotten to take into account the fact that God was with David and gave him success in everything he did! And as it happened, David and his men went out and killed 200 Philistines and David payed double Saul’s price to marry his daughter, Michal.
And so the chapter concludes with Saul’s plots being foiled yet again – and David having nothing but success and prosperity! Let me read those final verses of chapter 18 for you as we lead into chapter 19 today…