As soon as he had finished speaking to Saul, the soul of Jonathan was knit to 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 made a covenant with David, because he loved him as his own soul. 4 And Jonathan stripped himself of the robe that was on him and gave it to David, and his armor, and even his sword and his bow and his belt.
What Jonathan did was make David his brother, he gave up his assumed right to be king and gave it to David, and vowed his unending allegiance. Jonathan didn’t have the ambition his father Saul had for him. He recognized David’s anointing. Perhaps, he didn’t understand what he saw in his friend, but he recognized that he was extraordinary. And David was extraordinary, because he had the Spirit of the Lord on him. He went out and did great things and he was successful at whatever he did. He trusted God, obeyed Him, and did all His will. But that day Saul stopped seeing David as he saw him previously. He saw how people loved him and he became jealous. 1 Samuel 18:5-9 describes it.
And David went out and was successful wherever Saul sent him, so that Saul set him over the men of war. And this was good in the sight of all the people and also in the sight of Saul's servants.
6 As they were coming home, when David returned from striking down the Philistine, the women came out of all the cities of Israel, singing and dancing, to meet King Saul, with tambourines, with songs of joy, and with musical instruments.7 And the women sang to one another as they celebrated,
“Saul has struck down his thousands,
and David his ten thousands.”
8 And Saul was very angry, and this saying displeased him. He said, “They have ascribed to David ten thousands, and to me they have ascribed thousands, and what more can he have but the kingdom?”9 And Saul eyed David from that day on.
Saul’s anger opened the door and a harmful spirit came on him. He was raving and he was murderous. David stayed with him day after day playing the lyre to comfort his king. Twice Saul threw his spear at David but David evaded him and remained by his side (1 Samuel 18:10-11). He knew God would take care of him and he knew that God loved Saul and that Saul was still king. Verses 12-16 read,
Saul was afraid of David because the Lord was with him but had departed from Saul. 13 So Saul removed him from his presence and made him a commander of a thousand. And he went out and came in before the people. 14 And David had success in all his undertakings, for the Lord was with him. 15 And when Saul saw that he had great success, he stood in fearful awe of him. 16 But all Israel and Judah loved David, for he went out and came in before them.
Saul understood that the Lord was no longer with him and was with David and he was afraid. David gave him no reason to fear him. But Saul couldn’t think straight. He was afraid, because rather than love, he was full of fury, pride, and jealousy He decided to send David off to war to be killed, but because the Lord was with him, David flourished. Saul became only more afraid of him but Israel loved David all the more. Now Saul had to come up another idea to kill David. He offered him his daughter Merab if he would fight valiantly in war. When David defeated Goliath, he had earned Merab as a wife, riches, and freedom for his family (1 Samuel 17:3). He had already fought valiantly. He had earned her hand, but he said no because he was merely a shepherd from Bethlehem (Verse 18). The king had not kept any of his promises about killing Golaith. David didn’t whine about it. He didn’t do it for the rewards, killing Goliath was just something he ought to do. David’s valor, his military might, and his loyalty were part of who he was. He was a man after God’s own heart, a man who did all of the will of God (Acts 13:22). But Saul had given her to Adriel the Meholathite. Even through Saul’s scheming, God had something better in mind for David. 1 Samuel 18:20-23 reads,
Now Saul's daughter Michal loved David. And they told Saul, and the thing pleased him. 21 Saul thought, “Let me give her to him, that she may be a snare for him and that the hand of the Philistines may be against him.” Therefore Saul said to David a second time, “You shall now be my son-in-law.” 22 And Saul commanded his servants, “Speak to David in private and say, ‘Behold, the king has delight in you, and all his servants love you. Now then become the king's son-in-law.’” 23 And Saul's servants spoke those words in the ears of David. And David said, “Does it seem to you a little thing to become the king's son-in-law, since I am a poor man and have no reputation?”
David had a reputation, but he chose humility, a warrior was nothing compared to a king. He should have had the money but Saul had not kept his promises after killing Goliath. David had earned Michal’s hand but never demanded it. And Saul slyly sounded as if the price he wanted would be a simple matter. But in truth he wanted a love struck man to be off his game and die. He put Michal’s dowry at 100 Philistine foreskins. David said, no problem. He went out and brought back 200 foreskins. Now Saul was even more afraid of David and his antagonism and hatred for David grew (1 Samuel 18:24-29).
David’s fame grew, yet he remained humble. He remained loyal to King Saul even though the man wanted him dead. Jonathan also remained loyal to David. Chapter 19:1-7 reads,
And Saul spoke to Jonathan his son and to all his servants, that they should kill David. But Jonathan, Saul's son, delighted much in David.2 And Jonathan told David, “Saul my father seeks to kill you. Therefore be on your guard in the morning. Stay in a secret place and hide yourself. 3 And I will go out and stand beside my father in the field where you are, and I will speak to my father about you. And if I learn anything I will tell you.” 4 And Jonathan spoke well of David to Saul his father and said to him, “Let not the king sin against his servant David, because he has not sinned against you, and because his deeds have brought good to you. 5 For he took his life in his hand and he struck down the Philistine, and the Lord worked a great salvation for all Israel. You saw it, and rejoiced. Why then will you sin against innocent blood by killing David without cause?” 6 And Saul listened to the voice of Jonathan. Saul swore,“ As the Lord lives, he shall not be put to death.” 7 And Jonathan called David, and Jonathan reported to him all these things. And Jonathan brought David to Saul, and he was in his presence as before.
David’s righteous actions, his valor earned him a reprieve from Saul’s rage. Jonathan could say what he did because it was true. But once again David went to war against Philistia and once again he was successful. Once again Saul was jealous, and once again the harmful spirit entered him. What did David do? He went to Saul and played the lyre to comfort him. 1 Samuel 19:8-10 says,
And there was war again. And David went out and fought with the Philistines and struck them with a great blow, so that they fled before him. 9 Then a harmful spirit from the Lord came upon Saul, as he sat in his house with his spear in his hand. And David was playing the lyre.10 And Saul sought to pin David to the wall with the spear, but he eluded Saul, so that he struck the spear into the wall. And David fled and escaped that night.
It had become clear that it was time to escape. David ran to his home and Michal convinced him to hide because she loved him and knew her father was intent on killing him. But David never stopped being brave or faithful. He was affected by the events, he felt the sadness of having people want to destroy him. The Psalms he wrote make that clear. He kept his hope in the Lord even when his enemies surrounded him. He didn’t pretend everything was fine but he didn’t respond in spite or vengeance either. He trusted God. He remained with Saul until he had to leave. And as we read later, he had every opportunity to kill Saul, yet he remembered that Saul was God’s anointed king and refused to raise his hand against him and even sought peace with him (1 Samuel 24).
David was valiant, he knew God was with Him. David was loyal, because he understood that God is sovereign. David was humble, because he only wanted to glorify God and knew that everything he did was because God was with Him. Believer, God is with you too. He is not only with you, surrounding you, leading you, and backing you up, He is within you. You have nothing to fear, no reason to seek revenge, and no reason to let pride puff you up to sin. David trusted in the LORD. He knew who God is and He pursued God’s heart in his own life. Let us be known as men and women after God’s own heart too. Let’s live lives that please our Lord because we trust Him to be God.