May 6, 2001
I Samuel 17-20
vs. 2-3 - Saul pitched and stood - a mixture of cowardice,
prudence and folly - moral looseness makes us
cowards - The 1960's idea - "make love, not war."
v. 4 - Goliath - v. 10 - Goliath defied the army of Israel
v. 11 - Saul dismayed and greatly afraid
v. 26 - “this uncircumcised Philistine, that he should defy
the armies of the Living God?”
Who is this Philistine? (principles)
Radical Culture alienated from God
The earnest convictions & simple faith of one man, may
under Providence of God, work such a revolution in popular
Go forth, not under the influence of unspiritual men but
under the full force of our own religious convictions under
prayer and leadership of the Holy Spirit.
v. 29 - “is there not a cause?”
v. 32 - “let no man’s heart fail because of him!”
v. 39 - “I cannot go with these” - Quickness over size
in an athletic contest.
The man after God’s own heart will not fight in the
attire of a man who had lost faith in God!
vs. 43-44 - Goliath and Philistines did not understand -
reacting and judging others by their own morality
David was distained, abusive language was used,
Goliath had no clue as to what made David cool
Spheres of life come into collision but do not intersect.
Contempt today is much the same - classic illustrations
of PROFOUND IGNORANCE.
vs. 45-47 - “that all the earth may know that there is a
vs. 48-49 - Goliath arose, cursed, tried to intimidate and
frighten but David ran towards the Philistine army.
He knew God’s power - vs -37, 45
v. 40 - “chose him five smooth stones out of the brook”
Judges 20:16 - Benjamites could sling stones at a hair
breath and not miss.
v. 50 - David prevailed
vs. 55-58 - David in the interview room.
v. 1 - By his envy, cruelty & bad government, Saul
was alienating the people & preparing his own
downfall & David’s ultimate triumph.
Jonathan & David - appreciation, love, confidence,
tenderness, fidelity, unsuspicious relationship with
an additional religious element. MANLY AFFECTION
v. 5 - “behaved himself wisely” - at first David’s success
caused no problem.
v. 6 - Saul galled at David’s success - envy, jealousy of
the women’s praises for David being ten times that
of Saul’s - his lieutenant recognized more than he was.
v. 8 - Saul wroth!
Many years had elapsed since Samuel announced Saul’s
deposition and the choice of another in his place.
No doubt Saul looked for the man, now he had stood
powerless before the enemy and a shepherd boy had
stepped forth and gave him the victory.
His mind had become cankered with discontent and
brooding thoughts so “he eyed David from that day forward”
With malice and ill-will. Envy shoots at others but wounds
We see in Saul a man, conscious of his moral degeneracy
and being rejected, putting an interpretation on events
according to his wishful fancy and that had no bearing on
There is a tendency to misinterpret facts that is common to
vs. 10-11 - Saul had brooded over his disappointment, and
cherished feelings of discontent at his own lot and
of envy at the good of others to such an extent that
his mind gave way before the diseased workings of
v. 12 - Saul afraid of David - To jealousy was added fear
till before the battle of Gilboa we find him, all
heroic spirit gone, a miserable wreck, seeking
comfort from the hands of the witch of Endor. ch. 28
v. 14 - The natural effect of righteousness on minds is to
soothe, to cheer and gladden.
v. 15 - Saul’s reaction.
We see in Saul the downward progress a man who has
willfully sinned under favorable circumstances.
A deliberate & persistent preference to our own will instead
of the revealed will of God - light becomes darkness.
“For whosoever hath, to him shall be given, and he shall have
more abundance: but whosoever hath not, from him shall
be taken away even that he hath”. Matt. 13:12
v. 25 -
v. 28 - Michal’s marriage to David had made it
harder for Saul to kill David as his son-in-law.
His plan had failed.
v. 29 - “Saul became David’s enemy continually”
v. 30 - “David prospered”
David was cared for by God in the midst of unknown
dangers. Nothing exceptional, this is the heritage of
all who fear the Lord.
As for Saul, a careful analysis of the workings of sin in
every instance will show that the end in view is to secure
a pleasure deemed greater and more welcome that any
supposed to result from obedience to God’s will. If sin
in its origin be self-assertion, as against conformity to a
supreme will, the object in view is evidently to attain to a
state of being superior to that involved in conformity.
It seeks a rise, and, behold, it is itself a fall. It is always
self-defeated. This can be shown to be true of all who
willfully refuse to be saved by other means than by the
One Mediator - they never attain to the pardon & purity
which alone constitute salvation; of all who sacrifice
Christian principle to acquire wealth or power - they get
wealth and power but not the satisfaction of soul with which
their possession was believed to insure. It cannot be insisted
on too strongly, not only is sin evil & degrading, however
fascinating in form, but is also in its issue a bitter
“He that sinneth against me wrongeth his own soul,
all that hate me loveth death.” Prov. 8:36
“the way of the ungodly shall perish” - Psalm 1:6
"the way of the trangressors is hard" - Prov. 13:15
“The wicked shall see it & be grieved; he shall
gnash with his teeth and melt away: the desire
of the wicked shall perish.” Psalm 112:10
“The hope of the righteous shall be gladness: but
the expectation of the wicked shall perish.”
You, me, Saul.
Progress of Saul to ruin and David to royal honor (con’t)
v. 2 - Saul seeks to kill David - Why? - like Cain who slew
his brother, Abel -
Like “Cain, who was of that wicked one, and slew his
brother. And wherefore slew he him? Because
his own works were evil, & his brother’s righteous”
I John 3:12
Saul’s descent into evil did not happen all at once
It is a gradual descent with many halts along the way.
First envy & jealousy, eventually murder.
Saul had tried to throw on Providence the slaying of
David - his schemes were frustrated.
The ruling passion of Saul’s inner life became his master
and a public avowal of his servitude shows voluntarily.
Sin, so long cherished in the heart, gains the upper hand
in a man’s life and conceal it as we may, it will force itself
into the open.
Each stage of internal growth lessened the power of the
will to deal with it until at last it shows itself in open acts.
Truly, he that committeth sin is the servant of sin and we
should cry continually for a clean heart and for sin to not
have dominion over us as the Scriptures counsel.
Experience proves that all sin is a species of madness -
for example - Adam & Eve thought a thicket could hide
them from the Lord God who had made them.
In proportion to the power of sin over the will is the effect
of it on the intellect.
Even the most clever sinners, when seeking to cover their
sin from man, manifest some infatuation or folly which
affords the clue to their crime.
Jonathan concerned about Saul’s intentions - there are
always cronies or men ready to commit crime at the
bidding of those in power.
vs. 4-7 - “thou sawest it” - Saul swears David will not
Saul’s repentance was superficial, the old sin was loved
and unrepented of.
The heart must be renewed - the need for a radical
change, a change that can only be wrought by the Holy Spirit!
v. 8 - “war again”
v. 9 - “from Jehovah” - Jehovah punished Saul
Saul blamed David - the height of national insanity
is the blaming of problems in society on God’s people!
vs. 14-17 - “my enemy” - Contrast Elijah/Ahab
v. 18 - David fleeing to Samuel at Ramah - crying
“why, what evil have I done?”
v. 24 - “Is Saul among the prophets?” - What would Saul
have not given to have continued such as he was?
For a time he became again the old Saul of Ramah,
but the change was transient and fitful; and after
24 hrs. of agony, Saul arose, perhaps full of good
intentions but with a heart unchanged to become a
still more moody and relentless tyrant.