May 6, 2001

                                  I Samuel 17-20



                                        Ch. 17



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

            and conduct.


            David was distained, abusive language was used,

            Goliath had no clue as to what made David cool

            & brave.


Spheres of life come into collision but do not intersect.


Contempt today is much the same - classic illustrations



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.


                                    Ch. 18


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

sinful men.


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

            his imagination.


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.


Isaiah 54:17


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.


                                    ch. 19


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

                        be slain.


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!


Matthew 12:43-45


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.