1760.) 1 Samuel 19

"David and Saul" by contemporary Chinese artist He Qi

“David and Saul” by contemporary Chinese artist He Qi

1 Samuel 19   (NRSV)

Jonathan Intercedes for David

Saul spoke with his son Jonathan and with all his servants about killing David.

David is a marked man!  Already Saul has tried to get rid of him in various ways:  throwing a spear at him, giving his promised bride to someone else, sending him out to kill a hundred Philistines . . . but David is still around, and Saul is more and more afraid of him.

But Saul’s son Jonathan took great delight in David. 2Jonathan told David, “My father Saul is trying to kill you; therefore be on guard tomorrow morning; stay in a secret place and hide yourself. 3I will go out and stand beside my father in the field where you are, and I will speak to my father about you; if I learn anything I will tell you.”

4Jonathan spoke well of David to his father Saul, saying to him, “The king should not sin against his servant David, because he has not sinned against you, and because his deeds have been of good service to you; 5for he took his life in his hand when he attacked the Philistine, and the Lord brought about a great victory for all Israel. You saw it, and rejoiced; why then will you sin against an innocent person by killing David without cause?”

6Saul heeded the voice of Jonathan; Saul swore, “As the Lord lives, he shall not be put to death.”

7So Jonathan called David and related all these things to him. Jonathan then brought David to Saul, and he was in his presence as before.

Jonathan, out of love for David, helps him and — at no small risk to himself — speaks well of David to Saul.  Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God.

Michal Helps David Escape from Saul

8Again there was war, and David went out to fight the Philistines. He launched a heavy attack on them, so that they fled before him.

David’s success against the enemies of Israel aroused Saul’s jealousy earlier . . .

9Then an evil spirit from the Lord came upon Saul, as he sat in his house with his spear in his hand, while David was playing music. 10Saul sought to pin David to the wall with the spear; but he eluded Saul, so that he struck the spear into the wall.

“Saul Attempts the Life of David” by Gustave Dore, 1865.

David fled and escaped that night.

David never returned to the palace until he was the king of Israel — some 20 years later! From now until the day Saul dies David lives as a fugitive.

–David Guzik

11Saul sent messengers to David’s house to keep watch over him, planning to kill him in the morning. David’s wife Michal told him, “If you do not save your life tonight, tomorrow you will be killed.” 12So Michal let David down through the window; he fled away and escaped.

“Michal Saves David from Saul,” lithograph by Marc Chagall, 1960.

13Michal took an idol and laid it on the bed; she put a net of goats’ hair on its head, and covered it with the clothes.

14When Saul sent messengers to take David, she said, “He is sick.”

15Then Saul sent the messengers to see David for themselves. He said, “Bring him up to me in the bed, that I may kill him.” 16When the messengers came in, the idol was in the bed, with the covering of goats’ hair on its head.

17Saul said to Michal, “Why have you deceived me like this, and let my enemy go, so that he has escaped?”

Michal answered Saul, “He said to me, ‘Let me go; why should I kill you?’”

Michal/David’s wife has helped him escape.  But now Michal/Saul’s daughter blames David for making her do it.  Tough to blame her for putting a self-protective spin on it when she knows her father is obsessed with killing her husband.

David Joins Samuel in Ramah

18Now David fled and escaped;

During this night, when men watched his house and David escaped he composed a song unto the Lord found in Psalm 59. The introduction of that Psalm says, when Saul sent men, and they watched the house in order to kill him. In a time of danger David could sing unto the Lord. We will read that Psalm in our next post.



HERE  Todd Fields, the worship leader at North Point Church in Atlanta, sings his “Breathe On Me.”

Find me here, in this place
Son of God, Saving Grace
At this hour, all my days
Breathe on me, breathe on me

Morning star, shine Your light
As I walk through this life
God of power God of might
Breathe on me, breathe on me

Forever, you are the reason for living
Merciful Savior unending
Breathe on me

When I’m weak, You are strong
Your breath in me will be my song
In You my King, I belong
Breathe on me, breathe on me

Forever, You are the God of my story
Write every line for Your glory
Breathe on me

Breathe on me, breathe on me
When I am weak, You are strong
Your breath in me, be my song
When I am weak, You are strong
You are strong


David came to Samuel at Ramah, and told him all that Saul had done to him. He and Samuel went and settled at Naioth.

Wise David.  When he is troubled, he goes to a person of God and discusses the situation.

19Saul was told, “David is at Naioth in Ramah.” 20Then Saul sent messengers to take David. When they saw the company of the prophets in a frenzy, with Samuel standing in charge of them, the spirit of God came upon the messengers of Saul, and they also fell into a prophetic frenzy.

This was the Holy Spirit’s warning to these men and to Saul. It is as if the Spirit said, “I don’t want David captured. I am sending these men home empty handed. Instead of seeking to kill David, you should seek to be filled with the Spirit of God.”

–David Guzik

21When Saul was told, he sent other messengers, and they also fell into a frenzy. Saul sent messengers again the third time, and they also fell into a frenzy. 22Then he himself went to Ramah. He came to the great well that is in Secu; he asked, “Where are Samuel and David?”

And someone said, “They are at Naioth in Ramah.”

23He went there, toward Naioth in Ramah; and the spirit of God came upon him. As he was going, he fell into a prophetic frenzy, until he came to Naioth in Ramah. 24He too stripped off his clothes, and he too fell into a frenzy before Samuel. He lay naked all that day and all that night. Therefore it is said, “Is Saul also among the prophets?”

God protects David (and you and me)  in most amazing ways!


The New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Images courtesy of:
He Qi.    http://saulsilasfathi.com/images/heqi7.jpg
Dore.    http://www.creationism.org/images/DoreBibleIllus/g1Sa1811Dore_SaulAttemptsTheLifeOfDavid.jpg
Chagall.    http://www.spaightwoodgalleries.com/Media/Chagall/Chagall_60Bible_David_Micha.jpg

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