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  David and His Character Under Duress Part 1
by Anne Coyle

After Davidís triumph over Goliath, King Saul welcomed him into his court. Over the course of time Saul became intensely jealous of David, everywhere David went the people followed and shouted praises. After one battle when the King and David were returning , the crowds sang ďSaul has killed his thousands but David, ten thousandĒ. The seed of resentment and jealousy entered Saul . In the letter to the Hebrews Ch.12:15 it says ďLooking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God, lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you and by it many be defiledĒ. I have found it to be so true, you have to guard oneself from jealousy because it is like a hidden disease that takes its toll in time and destroys. David went out wherever Saul sent him, David behaved myself wisely at all times, the people accepted him and loved him.( 1 Samuel 18:5)


Meanwhile Saul was bearing resentment and hatred toward David.
One day while they were at court Saul experienced one of his terrible headaches and they called upon David to play the harp to soothe him, Saul had a javelin by his side and he hurled it at David. Can you imagine? That is violent. This happened two times and David fled from the court.
Saul made David a Captain over a 1000 men and David came and went, again he behaved myself wisely.

Saul plotted to kill David. He had promised David his daughter in marriage after the slaying of Goliath. Merab was his first daughter, but again Saul played mischief with David and gave this daughter to someone else. The next daughter was Michal who truly loved David. David didnít feel worthy of her since he had nothing to offer as a dowry.

Saul then thought he had found a way to get David killed so he told David to go against the Phillistines and kill 100 men and bring their foreskins back to him, that would be the dowry. Saul meant this to be Davidís death, on the other hand David was delighted since he didnít have any trouble believing he would succeed, after all he had killed Goliath and a lion and and bear.. So David went to battle and killed 200 Philistines and bought the trophies back to the King. So David married Michal.
Then Saul became Davidís enemy continually. Even with this happening David behaved himself wisely. Saul tells all the court to kill David but Jonathan, Saulís son, loved David , he became his best friend and helped him, he gave him his own cloak and dagger and armor, they made a covenant between the two of them , to remember each otherís descendents after them. David certainly did this later on in his life by taking the crippled son of Jonathan into his court

One night Michal heard that Saul was sending men to kill David so she helped David to escape through a window.
David fled to the Prophet Samuel at Ramah and they dwelt in Naoth for a time. Word came to Saul the whereabouts of David so he proceeded to find him, in the meantime David again flees to Nob and to the priest Ahimelech. He asks the priest for some bread, the only bread available was the sacred bread but the priest felt he knew it was okay to give it to Daivid since David was the Kingís son-in-law so he gave David the holy bread. David asked if he had any weapon available but the priest said only the sword of Goliath, so David took that. God provided .

Unfortuantly there was a man named Doeg the Edomite in their presence who was a follower of Saul. Later on he told Saul about the priest Ahimelech. Saul called the priests and all the other priests to come to court. He asked the priest about David, the priest was very innocent and didnít know anything about the evil intent of the Kingís heart, he thought he had done right. Saul was furious and had all the priests killed, all the people of Nob even the children and all animals. Such hatred.
Lest we forget, David was singing and writing the Psalms during all this time, Psalm 52 - David said verse 1-Why boast thyself in mischief. Oh mighty man, thy tongue devises mischief, thou lovest evil more than good.
David again flees , this time to Achish, King of Garth.

The men noted to the King that this same David was the one who has killed Goliath and led the Israelities against the Phillistines. David became worried what they would do to him so he acted like he was mad.. He foamed at the mouth and drooled making himself like an idiot. The King was disgusted and sent him away so David was spared the evil intentions of the men of Garth.
He then fled to a cave Adullam...It was here that people started gathering around him, his parents and all his fatherís house, everyone in distress, owed any money, about 400 men.

David was concerned about his family so he went to Mizpah of Moab and asked if his family could stay there and be protected. Again we see Davidís concern and care for his own, like a true shepherd. A Prophet told David to flee to the forest of Hereth which he did, still trying to get away from Saul. It was here that David heard what had happened to the priests of Nob and the slaughter of the innocent, one of the priests son, Abiathar escaped and came to find David, David told him to stay with him and he would protect him. Again like Jesus he protects. David fights the Phillistines to save the little town of Keilah , then he promptly leaves for fear Saul will hear and then annihilate Keilah.

David flees again to the wilderness of Ziph with 600 men. He is betrayed by the Ziphites who tell Saul where he is. Psalm 54 . David then flees to Maon, Saul pursues and has David boxed in when he receives word the Phillistines were attacking in the north so he had to leave his pursuit of David. So David dwelt in stronghold of Engendi.
Later Saul came back with 3000 men, at this time he entered a cave and was squatting ,little did he know David was back in the cave. It was an opportunity for David to kill Saul but David refused to touch the lordís anointed King, instead he cut off a piece of Saulís cloak. After Saul left the cave unharmed , David called out to him and told him what he had done. Saul repented and cried out that David was truly a just man. He would leave him alone. Truly not true repentance for he came again another day.

But it again shows Davidís heart, a heart after God.
So at this time of Davidís life we see he is a man of courage , a man of faith, a man who behaves himself wisely, a man of prayer under all circumstances, a man who cares about his people, a man who is a provider, a man who resects Godís anointed, as Saul said to David
( 1Samuel 24:17) Thou are more righteous than I, for thou hast rewarded me good whereas I have rewarded you evil.
Thank the lord for David who teaches us through the psalms how to walk and act as Godís own in all circumstances of life.


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