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own attire and weapons. David was rejoiced to meet with such a treasure as a sincere friend, where he could the least have expected it; and he and Jonathan made
a solemn promise to observe a constant intercourse of good offices. It is not at all unlikely that Jonathan
supposed David would succeed to the crown, as the - Lord so evidently assisted him..
From this section we learn, that personal strength and
courage are as nothing, when exerted in defiance of the ALMIGHTY: and that God can enable the weak to overcome the strong, and effect His Divine purposes by the humblest instruments.
SAUL ENVIETH DAVIDSEEKETH. TO KILL HIM
FOR HIS GOOD SUCCESSHE OT
PERETH HIM HIS DAUGHTER FOR A SNARE.
From 1 Samuel, Chap. xviii.
And it came to pass as they came, when David was' returned from the slaughter of the Philistine, that 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,
And the women answered one another as they played and said, Saul hath slain his thousands, and David his ten thousands.
And Saul was very wroth, and the saying displeased him; and he said, They have ascribed unto David ten
thousands; and to me they have ascribed but thousands : and what can he have more but the kingdom? And Saul eyed David from that day and forward.
And it came to pass on the morrow, that the evil spirit from God came upon Saul, and he prophesied in the midst of the house : and David played with his hand, as at other times: and there was a javelin in Saul's hand.
And Saul cast the javelin ; for he said, I will smite David even to the wall with it. And David avoided out of his presence twice.
And Saul was afraid of David, because the Lord was with him, and was departed from Saul.
Therefore Saul removed him from him, and made him his captain over a thousand ; and he went out and came in before the people.
And David went out whithersoever Saul sent him, and behaved himself wisely: and Saul set him over the men of war, and he was accepted in the sight of all the people, and also in the sight of Saul's servants.
And David behaved himself wisely in all his ways ; and the LORD was with him.
Wherefore when Saul saw that he behaved himself very wisely, he was afraid of him.
But all Israel and Judah loved David, because he went out and came in before them.
And Saul said to David, Behold, my elder daughter. Merab, her will I give thee to wife : only be thon va. liant for me, and fight the Lord's battles. For Saul said, Let not mine hand be upon him, but let the hand of the Philistines be upon him.
And David said unto Saul, Who am I? and what is my life, or my father's family in Israel, that I should be son-in-law to the king ?
But it came to pass at the time when Merab, Saul's daughter should have been given to David, that she was given unto Adriel the Meholatbite to wife.
And Michal Saul's daughter loved David : and they told Saul, and the thing pleased him.
And Saul said, I will give him her, that she may be a snare unto him, and that the hand of the Philistines may be against him. Wherefore Saul said to David, Thou shalt this day be my son-in-law in the one of the twain.
And Saul commanded his servants, saying, Commune with David secretly, and say, Behold, the king hath de. light in thee, and all his servants love thee : now therefore be the king's son in-law.
And Saul's servants spake those words in the ears of David. And David said, Seemeth it to you a light thing to be a king's son-in-law, seeing that I am a poor man, and lightly esteemed?
And the servants of Saul told him saying, On this manner spake David.
And Saul said, Thus shall ye say to David, The king desirech not any dowry, but that thou shouldst slay an hundred of the Philistines, to be avenged of the king's enemies. But Saul thought to make David fall by the hand of the Philistines.
And when his servants told David these words, it pleased David well to be the king's son in-law : and the days were not expired.
Wherefore David arose, and slew of the Philistines two hundred men, that he might be the king's son-inlaw : and Saul give him Michal his daughter to wife.
And Saul saw and knew that the LORD was with David, and that Michal Saul's daughter loved him.
And Saul was yet the more afraid of David ; and Saul became David's enemy continually.
Then the princes of the Philistines went forth : and it came to pass, after they went forth, that David be. haved himself more wisely than all the servants of Saul ; so that his name was much set by.
ANNOTATIONS AND REFLECTIONS.
The defeat of the champion of the Philistines was a subject of great joy to the Israelites, and it was customary amongst them, when any signal victory was ob. tained, for the women to meet the victorious army, playing on cymbals, and singing songs of triumph in praise of the conqueror. On this occasion the chief honour was justly ascribed by them to David, for all the conquest gained afterwards was the consequence of his having killed Goliath. It must doubtless have been very mortifying to Saul to hear such a comparison drawn between his own exploits and those of an inexperienced young hero; but it was
an honour due to the capitain of the Lord's inheritance, who acted under the Die vine influence"; and we have reason to suppose, from David's speech to the giant, before he encountered with him, that he afterwards ascribed the glory of his victory to the power of the LORD,
Of all the passions to which the human mind is subject, there is not a more baneful one than that of envy, for at the same time that it produces malice, which seeks the destruction of others, it is an intolerable torment to the heart that
indulgęs it. Envy is a tool which Satan employs to effect his wicked purposes of breaking the bonds of friendship, and disturbing the peace of society. This truth is strongly exemplified in the present instance'; for Saul, we are told, was actuat. ed by an evil spirit, when he Aung the javelin at David. How ungrateful was his behaviour, in endeavour. og to take away the life of the kind friend, who had 80 often calmed the agitation of his troubled mind; but envious people are strangers to gratitude!
When Saul found that. David was become the favourite of the people, he feared to kill him ; but as he could not bear to have' a person so near him, who eclipsed his glory, be promoted David to a high post in the army, in order to piace him at a distance, and prevent his making interest with the courtiers to obtain the crown: still this did not satisfy his malice, therefore he resolved to engage David in some dangerous enterprize, in hopes that it would cost him his life.. Saul had never fulfilled his engagement to make him his son-in-law, . neither had David aspired to the ho. pour ; but Saul renewed the promise, thinking that David would certainly fall in battle. It is evident, that he did not mean to keep it ; for Merab, just at the time that David should have received her as his wife; was given to another. His marriage with Michal, however, instead of a snare proved a blessing to him.
We learn from this section, that those who give way to envy are led into a variety of crimes: we should therefore carefully guard our minds agains this baneful passion, and endeavour to check its growth, if we find it springing up. Instead of grieving at the excellencies of another, we should strive to correct what is amiss in our own hearts, and pray for the assistance of the Holy SPIKIT, to enable us to overcome every propensity to evil. And whilst we are free from tormenting passions, we should endeavour like David to act wisely, that the
and that we may have a good repu. tation in the world.