There was a tv show back in the late 90s called ‘Everybody Loves Raymond’. And the title of the show came from the fact that Raymond’s older brother, Robert, believed Raymond was unfairly favoured over him. The way he saw it, Raymond got the cake, and he just got the crumbs. Even in the eyes of their parents, everything Raymond did was wonderful and exciting, everything Robert did was lacklustre and mediocre. Raymond had a successful career, a great wife, and 3 wonderful kids – Robert still lived home with this parents. It seemed even life favoured Raymond over Robert.
And so, in the opening credits of the shows, Robert always remarks with the self-pity of Eeyore, “Everybody loves Raymond.”
And I mention that this morning because in our passage today, we’re going to see Saul take on that same attitude towards David. “Everybody loves David”.
If you were with us last week, you’ll remember how David had just returned from the battlefield after killing the Philistine giant, Goliath. Of course, David wasn’t even in the army at that time. He was just running some errands for his father and he overheard Goliath’s defiant boasting against the Lord and he just couldn’t believe that no one in the entire Israelite army (not even Saul himself) had the courage to fight Goliath and show the Philistines that the God of Israel was not Someone to triffle with!
And of course, you know the rest of the story. With just a sling and a stone, David takes out Goliath, allowing the Israelites to soundly defeat the Philistines and win a great victory for the Lord!
Then as we saw last week, when David returned from the battlefield – with Goliath’s head still in his hands – he spends some time talking with Saul and his son Jonathan.
And both of them are incredibly impressed with David – especially Jonathan. It seems that David & Jonathan were kindred spirits – men cut from the same cloth. And so Jonathan, a seasoned man of war and next in line for the throne of Israel, takes this young kid under his wing and makes a pact with David. And while we aren’t given the details of this pact, it’s clear through the rest of the story that this is a pledge of loyalty and support and lifelong friendship between David and Jonathan.
Perhaps most amazingly, through this pact, we see that Jonathan whole-heartily accepts the Lord’s decision that David will be the next king, instead of him – and Jonathan acknowledges this by giving David his robe, his tunic, his sword, his belt, and his bow. It’s an amazing act of servant leadership. Jonathan willingly does this because of his trust in the Lord and because of his love for David.
And that’s about as far as we got last week. Today we’re going to continue to see how life rapidly changed for David in the aftermath of his victory over Goliath – and we’re going see how Saul’s view of David also changed just as rapidly.
It doesn’t take long for Saul to bemoan the fact that “everybody loves David.”
To get us into our passage this morning, let’s start once more at the top of 1 Samuel chapter 18. This will be a bit of a review since we covered this last week, but the chapter begins like this: