And David behaved himself wisely in all his ways; and the LORD was with him.”

1 Samuel 18:14

Saul was the first king of Israel. Samuel declared God would remove the kingdom from Saul and his family because of rebellion and disobedience to God’s Word. “And the LORD said unto Samuel, How long wilt thou mourn for Saul, seeing I have rejected him from reigning over Israel? fill thine horn with oil, and go, I will send thee to Jesse the Bethlehemite: for I have provided me a king among his sons” (1 Samuel 16:1). God rejected Saul as the king of His people, but He had chosen one who would fulfill God’s will (see Acts 13:22).

Samuel anointed David with oil. Up to this point in the Bible, the priests were anointed, and Saul had been anointed. Yet, we do not read that Samuel mentions to David why he has been anointed. “Then Samuel took the horn of oil, and anointed him in the midst of his brethren: and the Spirit of the LORD came upon David from that day forward. So Samuel rose up, and went to Ramah” (1 Samuel 16:13). However, notice that the Spirit of the Lord came upon David from that day forward. It makes one wonder if at this point, David thought in his heart that all there was to that anointing was that the Spirit of the Lord upon him.

In the next chapter of 1 Samuel, we read of David and his mighty victory over Goliath. See where David is in 1 Samuel chapter 18: “And David went out whithersoever Saul sent him, and behaved himself wisely: and Saul set him over the men of war, and he was accepted in the sight of all the people, and also in the sight of Saul’s servants” (1 Samuel 18:5). It is shortly after this, because the people ascribe the death of ten thousand of the enemy to David, “And Saul eyed David from that day and forward” (1 Samuel 18:9). Yet, understand the following: “And David behaved himself wisely in all his ways; and the LORD was with him” (1 Samuel 18:14).

King Saul offered his daughter, Michal, to David as his wife if he would kill one hundred Philistines (the Israelite’s’ enemy). “But Saul thought to make David fall by the hand of the Philistines” (1 Samuel 18:25b). Saul wanted David to die at the hand of the Philistines. David killed two hundred Philistines to win the hand of Michal. “And Saul was yet the more afraid of David; and Saul became David’s enemy continually” (1 Samuel 18:29). It tells us that David behaved himself more wisely than all of the servants of Saul (see 1 Samuel 18:30). David was just serving God and his king. We see nothing in David’s actions that reveal he had heard that he was to be the next king of Israel. Samuel knew, but up to this point we do not read that he had told David.

During all of this, King Saul’s son, Jonathan became great friends with David. He helped David elude King Saul’s attempts upon David’s life more than once. David fled for his life from Saul (see 1 Samuel 19:8-17). “So David fled, and escaped, and came to Samuel to Ramah, and told him all that Saul had done to him. And he and Samuel went and dwelt in Naioth” (1 Samuel 19:18). One cannot help but wonder if David had many questions for Samuel. Why did Samuel anoint him? Why did King Saul continually try to kill David? What is going on? Do you suppose that it is at this point in time that Samuel tells David that God had chosen him to become the next king of Israel?

When King Saul heard that David fled to Samuel, he sent messengers to take David. Some interesting things happen. When the messengers came to take David, the Spirit of God came upon them and they prophesied. This happened three times, so Saul decided to go himself. Read what happened: “23. And he (Saul) went thither to Naioth in Ramah: and the Spirit of God was upon him also, and he went on, and prophesied, until he came to Naioth in Ramah. 24. And he stripped off his clothes also, and prophesied before Samuel in like manner, and lay down naked all that day and all that night. Wherefore they say, Is Saul also among the prophets?” (1 Samuel 19:23-24). In this verse, stripped off his clothes means “he laid aside his armor and his royal vestments.” Do you suppose this happened to confirm to David what Samuel had told him? That one day, Saul would no longer be king, and that one day David would become the king of Israel? Wouldn’t that be like something God would do for David? To confirm that one day David would be king in place of Saul?

At this point in David’s life, he began to flee. “And David fled from Naioth in Ramah, and came and said before Jonathan, What have I done? what is mine iniquity? and what is my sin before thy father, that he seeketh my life?” (1 Samuel 20:1). David had done nothing worthy of death by King Saul. However, as you read chapter twenty, there is a great covenant made between these friends: Jonathan and David. One can almost gather that Jonathan now understands that David will one day become the king of Israel. Moreover, Jonathan is fully supportive of his friend, David. David spends the next several years running from King Saul. Yet, one can recognize God’s hand upon David’s life. During these years, God was preparing David to become the great king of His people.

Have you learned to behave yourself wisely (like David), even when you do not fully understand the plans God has for your life?

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