It’s good to have a good friend, isn’t it? Especially if your good friend’s father is the King of Israel and he wants to kill you! Jonathan knows that Saul wants David dead and seeks to intervene by asking his father, “Why would you do wrong to an innocent man like David by killing him for no reason?” (v. 5).
Saul swears that he will not kill David, and once more David is able to serve in Saul’s court. David has a great victory over the Philistine forces. “But an evil spirit from the Lord came on Saul” and David barely escapes being pinned to the wall by Saul’s spear (v. 10).
Saul sends a hit squad to David’s home to kill him in the morning, but David is warned by Michal his wife (v. 11). She puts an idol in David’s bed, saying that David is ill. Saul asks that David be brought to him on his bed of sickness, and Michal’s ruse is discovered (v. 17). She lies and says that David threatened her.
David flees to Samuel telling him all that Saul had done. Saul is informed that David is at Ramah and he sends men to capture David. But there is a group of prophets there prophesying with Samuel as their leader. We read that “the Spirit of God came on Saul’s men, and they also prophesied” (v. 20). This happens to three groups of soldiers sent by Saul.
Finally, Saul goes himself, “but the Spirit of God came even on him, and he walked along prophesying” (v. 23). We read, “He stripped off his garments, and he too prophesied in Samuel’s presence. He lay naked all that day and all that night.” (v. 24). We are then told, “This is why people say, ‘Is Saul also among the prophets?’”
Some takeaways for me:
1. God uses people sometimes to protect His people. He uses Jonathan’s friendship and Michal’s creativity to keep Saul from killing David.
2. Saul’s anger and jealousy do not respond to reason. People are not always reasonable.
3. God can send even evil spirits to do His will. In Saul’s case, this evil spirit assists Saul in his hatred of David and his wanting David dead!
4. In the final analysis, God is sovereign! Saul uses three groups of soldiers to capture David, but each is overcome by a spirit of prophecy. And even Saul, when he goes himself, prophesies and lies naked for 24 hours!