Last night I read Andrew Brunson’s book on how he experienced his time in prison. At the end he talks about how even in all that happened, he could look back and see that there were many “coincidences” of people that were in the right place, at the right time, whom he had some kind of connection with if even remotely.
As I read 1 Sam 18 about David’s rising success, I see this as well in the life of God’s man. Had it not been for his best friend Jonathon, Saul’s son, Saul might have killed David. We also see David’s wife, one of Saul’s daughter, also warning David and helping him escape. Time and again the Lord put people in place to protect him even in the midst of his fleeing from Saul.
And why was Saul trying to kill him? David was a righteous man. He had done everything that was asked of him. When the Philistines were threatening Israel, David rose up and defeated Goliath. When Saul was troubled by an unclean spirit, David played his harp and the spirit was driven out. When Saul put him in charge of the soldiers, David was successful leading them into the battle and defeating the Philistines time and again.
But Saul had a problem in that he was deeply insecure. While David himself struggled with rejection, it didn’t come between him and serving the Lord. But for Saul, the fear of man was greater than his obedience. So when Saul saw that the Lord’s hand was upon David, he became jealous and resentful.
That jealousy grew and grew. As such Saul continued to place him in dangerous situations hoping he would get killed. He made him commander over 1000, but then David us “unfortunately” successful. He then had him marry to his eldest daughter thinking he could use that relationship to his advantage. Perhaps the Philistines would take him out as he was no married into royalty (1 Sam 18:17). But David denied that marriage.
So then he offered his second daughter. Saul thought that he could use her to trap David. But his daughter genuinely loved David. Worse is that he made the bride price 100 Philistine foreskins, certain that David would die obtaining them. Instead, David was not just successful but brought back 200 foreskins.
“As a result, Saul was David’s enemy from them on” (1 Sam 18:30).
And Saul treated David like an enemy, pursuing him to kill him on many occasions. The Lord protected Him through Jonathon, Michal and others.
Sometimes you can play by the law books and do everything right, and still be under pressure and hostility. There are many reasons for that–jealousy, anger, hate, power grappling and more. At the end of the day it’s about making sure we are right before God, that we trust him, endure well, and never lose ourselves in Him.
It’s like being like Daniel in the lion’s den that says in summary, ‘God is able to protect us but if he doesn’t, we will still love and honor Him.’
David did this well.