Growing with God: A daily devotional with Tonia Slimm.
1 Samuel 18:30(NIV)
The Philistine commanders continued to go out to battle, and as often as they did, David met with more success than the rest of Saul’s officers, and his name became well known.
1 Samuel 18:30 (MSG)
Whenever the Philistine warlords came out to battle, David was there to meet them—and beat them, upstaging Saul’s men. David’s name was on everyone’s lips.
“Then the Philistine commanders (princes) came out to battle, and it happened as often as they did, that David acted more wisely and had more success than all Saul’s servants. So his name was highly esteemed.” -AMPLIFIED
Yesterday we looked at the importance of a good name. We saw how David’s honorable character and good reputation were instrumental in him having a good name. His notability and popularity grew among the people of Israel and Judah. His relationship with the king was in jeopardy though, not because of anything wrong that David had done, but because of the king’s pride.
Saul became afraid of David more and more He realized that the anointing that had once been his, was no longer. God’s anointing was now resting on David. When Saul realized this fact, he began to send David out on dangerous missions. “So, at last, Saul removed David from his presence, making him a commander over 1,000 men, hoping he would die in battle. But David went out to the battle and returned. David was successful in everything he did because the Eternal One was present with him. When Saul saw that David achieved such success, he was amazed and afraid of him. All of Israel and Judah loved David, who led their soldiers into battle and brought them back victorious.” -1 Samuel 18:13-16 (VOICE)
Saul came up with this deceitful plan. He was going to get rid of David once and for all. (So he thought.) He informed David that he would give his daughter, Merab, to David as his wife if he would go out and fight the Philistines. “Saul was thinking that he did not need to murder David himself; instead, the Philistines would eventually kill David.” -1 Samuel 18:17b (VOICE)
Funny thing is Saul’s plan failed. He was so confident that his plan would work that he actually gave Merab as a wife to another man before David’s arrival back home. (That made him look really bad.)
Saul heard that his other daughter Michal had a crush on David; so once again he came up with another diabolical plan to rid himself of David. “He thought that he would give her to David to trap him in a dangerous situation where the Philistines could still destroy David. So Saul spoke to David again.” -1 Samuel 18:21 (VOICE)
Saul told David, (through his servants, mind you.) “All I ask is that you bring me the foreskins of 100 Philistines. This will avenge me against my enemies.” Once again Saul thought that David would die in trying to fulfill this challenge. Once again he was wrong.
Scripture tells us this, “David went with his men, killed 200 Philistines, and presented their foreskins to the king so that he could become the king’s son-in-law. So Saul gave David his daughter Michal in marriage; but when the king saw how David enjoyed the favor of the Eternal One, and that his daughter Michal loved him, he felt even more threatened by David. After his plan failed, Saul considered David his constant enemy.” -1 Samuel 18:27-29 (VOICE)
David went over and beyond what the king had asked of him. But notice what is happening, Saul keeps trying to do away with David; yet God is faithfully protecting him for his future position as king. Because of God’s preservation Saul is getting angrier and angrier and his hate for David continues to grow too.
Chapter 18 ends with our text for today. “Whenever the commanders of the Philistine army came out to fight, David distinguished himself against them more than any of Saul’s other servants, so that everyone valued him.” -(VOICE)
We noticed that as David continues to faithfully fight for Saul, as the leader of his men, that he continued to have success and his reputation continued to grow. David’s name was on everyone’s lips. He was the talk of the nation. No matter what Saul did to try and rid himself of David, God continually protected and blessed whatever he did.
The King James Version conveys the thought that David was wiser than the rest of Saul’s men. “Then the princes of the Philistines went forth: and it came to pass, after they went forth, that David behaved himself more wisely than all the servants of Saul; so that his name was much set by.” Where does wisdom come from? It comes from God. It was James who tells us, “If any of you lacks wisdom [to guide him through a decision or circumstance], he is to ask of [our benevolent] God, who gives to everyone generously and without rebuke or blame, and it will be given to him.” -James 1:5 (AMP)
Many years later Solomon, David’s son, penned these words that we all need to pay attention to:
“If you reason with an arrogant cynic, you’ll get slapped in the face;
confront bad behavior and get a kick in the shins.
So don’t waste your time on a scoffer;
all you’ll get for your pains is abuse.
But if you correct those who care about life,
that’s different—they’ll love you for it!
Save your breath for the wise—they’ll be wiser for it;
tell good people what you know—they’ll profit from it.
Skilled living gets its start in the Fear-of-God,
insight into life from knowing a Holy God.
It’s through me, Lady Wisdom, that your life deepens,
and the years of your life ripen.
Live wisely and wisdom will permeate your life;
mock life and life will mock you.” -Proverbs 9:7-12 (MSG)
Because of David’s continued obedience and humility God blessed him. No matter what Saul did to do away with David God intervened. Hence why David himself could write these words, “Though I walk in the midst of trouble, You will revive me; You will stretch out Your hand against the wrath of my enemies, and Your right hand will save me. The Lord will accomplish that which concerns me; Your [unwavering] lovingkindness, O Lord, endures forever—Do not abandon the works of Your own hands.” -Psalm 138:7-8 (AMP)
Heavenly Father, thank you for you protection and care. What others often mean for evil to your children, you thankfully use for good. Thank you for your blessings. Thank you that you are my constant companion. Even though I may walk through the Valley of the Shadow of Death, I know you will be with me. Those kinds of promises help me to keep pressing on. God, Thanks for all you do for me.