From Eternity Past


Chapter 64—David Flees

This chapter is based on 1 Samuel 18 to 22.

After the slaying of Goliath, Saul kept David with him and would not permit him to return to his father's house. And “the soul of Jonathan was knit with the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as his own soul.” Jonathan and David made a covenant to be united as brethren, and the king's son “stripped himself of the robe that was upon him, and gave it to David, and his garment, even to his sword, and to his bow, and to his girdle.” Yet David preserved his modesty and won the affection of the people as well as of the royal household. It was evident that the blessing of God was with him. EP 471.1

Saul felt that the kingdom would be more secure if there could be connected with him one who received instruction from the Lord. David's presence might be a protection to Saul when he went out with him to war. EP 471.2

The providence of God had connected David with Saul. David's position at court would give him a knowledge of affairs and would enable him to gain the confidence of the nation. Hardships which befell him through the enmity of Saul would lead him to feel his dependence upon God. And the friendship of Jonathan was also of God's providence, to preserve the life of the future ruler of Israel. EP 471.3

When Saul and David were returning from battle with the Philistines, “the women came out of all cities of Israel, singing and dancing, to meet King Saul, with tabrets, with joy, and with instruments of music.” One company sang, “Saul hath slain his thousands,” while another company responded, “And David his ten thousands.” The king was angry because David was exalted above himself. In place of subduing envious feelings, he exclaimed, “They have ascribed unto David ten thousands, and to me they have ascribed but thousands: and what can he have more but the kingdom?” EP 471.4

Saul's love of approbation had a controlling influence over his actions and thoughts. His standard of right and wrong was popular applause; Saul's ambition was to be first in the estimation of men. A settled conviction entered the mind of the king that David would obtain the heart of the people and reign in his stead. EP 472.1