Beginning of the End


David Flees

This chapter is based on 1 Samuel 18 to 22.

After Goliath was killed, Saul kept David with him and would not let him return to his father’s house. And “the soul of Jonathan was knit to the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as his own soul.” Jonathan and David made a covenant to be united like brothers, and the king’s son “took off the robe that was on him and gave it to David, with his armor, even to his sword and his bow, and his belt.” Yet David preserved his modesty and won the affection of the people as well as of the royal household. It was clear that the blessing of God was with him. BOE 328.1

Saul felt that the kingdom would be more secure if someone could be connected with him who received instruction from the Lord. David’s presence might be a protection to Saul when he went out with him to war. BOE 328.2

The guiding hand of God had connected David with Saul. David’s position at the royal court would give him a knowledge of statecraft and would enable him to gain the confidence of the nation. Hardships that he experienced through Saul’s hostility would lead him to feel his dependence upon God. And the friendship of Jonathan was also in God’s plan—to preserve the life of Israel’s future ruler. BOE 328.3

When Saul and David were returning from battle with the Philistines, “the women had come out of all cities of Israel, singing and dancing, to meet King Saul, with tambourines, with joy, and with musical instruments.” One company sang, “Saul has slain his thousands,” while another company responded, “And David his ten thousands.” The king was angry because David was exalted above himself. Rather than subdue his envious feelings, he exclaimed, “They have ascribed to David ten thousands, and to me they have ascribed only thousands. Now what more can he have but the kingdom?” BOE 328.4

Saul’s love of praise had a controlling influence over his actions and thoughts. His standard of right and wrong was popular applause, and his ambition was to be first in people’s estimation. A settled conviction entered the mind of the king that David would obtain the heart of the people and take his throne. BOE 328.5