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DAVID'S TROUBLES.

: It rarely happens that God permits any who are like David, “men after His Own heart,” to be without troubles and trials, which train and shape them still more to His mind; thus we soon find David in difficult paths. His trials began with Saul's jealousy. After David had slain Goliath the women of the cities of Israel came out to meet the king and his train, and as they danced and sang, and played on their tabrets and other instruments of music, they said, “ Saul hath slain his thousands, and David his ten thousands." This made Saul very angry, and he began to look upon David with fear and dislike. One day when the evil spirit was upon Saul, and David played on his harp, as beforetime, to calm him, the king threw his javelin twice at David and would have smitten him to the wall—but God protected David, and he was not hurt. Now Saul saw plainly that the LORD had departed from him, and was with David, and he grew more and more afraid of David, who was sent from about the king's person, and given a military office. But David continued to behave himself wisely and in the

fear of the LORD, and the LORD was with him and prospered him, and made all Israel and Judah to love him. All this made the king still more bitter and jealous.

Saul had promised his daughter in marriage to the man who should slay Goliath, but while he spoke fair words, he gave his eldest daughter Merab to another husband when she should have been given to David. Then Saul found that his younger daughter Michal loved David, and he tried to make a snare by which to lose David, by sending him out against the Philistines to prove his valour anew ; for Saul said, " Let pot mine hand be upon him, but the hand of the Philistines.” But the LORD was with His servant, and defeated all Saul's crafty plots. David was again victorious, and the king was obliged to give him Michal to wife. All this made Saul's hatred and fear tenfold, and seeing how great and wise and beloved of all men David was, Saul lost all self-command, and he tried to persuade all his servants, and even Jonathan himself, to kill David. to Jonathan loved David very dearly, and so he gave him warning to hide himself until he had reasoned with Saul, and if possible, led him to milder feelings. So Jonathan spake to his father, saying, “Let not the king sin against his servant David; because he hath not sinned against thee, and because his works have been to thee-ward very good; for he did put his life in his hand, and slew the Philistine, and the LORD wrought a great salvation for all Israel; thou sawest it, and didst rejoice; Wherefore then wilt thou sin against innocent blood, to slay David without a cause ?” Then Saul was ashamed, and he swore to Jonathan to kill David. Then Jonathan brought David back, and he was in Saul's presence as before for a time.

But again there was war, and once again David was victorious—and the evil spirit of jealousy came again upon Saul-as before he tried to kill David, and as David escaped, Saul sent messengers to watch his house, and slay him. The God who saved David out of the paw of the lion and the bear, saved him yet again from the treacherous king. Michal, David's wife, heard of her husband's danger, so she let him down through a window, and he escaped. Then Michal dressed up an image in the bed, and when Saul's messengers came, she made believe that David was sick, and sent them away. Saul was very angry, and sent his men back with orders to kill David in his bed. But when they came in, they found only the image. Meanwhile David had escaped to Ramah, where Samuel was, and told him all that had happened. Then David dwelt at Naioth with Samuel.

When Saul heard where David was, he sent messengers to take him. God's Holy Spirit (that same Holy Spirit, the Third Person of the Blessed Trinity, which a thousand years later came upon the Apostles on the day of Pentecost,) was as we know, abundantly poured out upon Samuel the prophet, and the Lord's anointed David. There were other holy men with Samuel, and at the time when Saul's messengers reached Naioth, they were all ministering under Samuel, and the Holy Spirit of God was upon them, causing them to prophesy and pour forth His Divine will—probably foretelling, (as Samuel had already foretold,) the downfal of the proud king whom God had rejected, and the lifting up of the chosen one, the “man after the Lord's Own heart."

Wonderfully indeed was God's power now shown, for as soon as Saul's messengers came near, they too were brought under the influence of that Holy SPIRIT, and they too prophesied. Again, and yet a third time Saul sent mes

sengers, and the like happened each time. Those who were sent to make David captive, were themselves made captive by One Who breaketh the bow, and knappeth the speardin sunder, He before Whom the everlasting mountains are scattered : “His ways are everlasting.”

When Saul found that it was in vain to send messengers, he rose up, and went himself to Naioth in Ramah. Then the same power took hold of Saul,which had already filled his servants, and Saul too was forced to prophesy, and speak the will of the LORD. But he was no longer speaking God's words as His chosen beloved servant; and the voice that might have been one of love and blessing only, was now a voice of condemnation and woe to the unhappy mag, who loved to walk in his own ways, and refused to be led by his LORD.

David now fled from Ramah, and sought Jonathan, saying, "What have I done? what is mine iniquity ? and what is my sin before thy father, that he seeketh my life ?"

Jonathan answered, “ God forbid;" he could not believe his father to be so treacherous. But David replied that Saul only hid his designs from Jonathan because of Jonathan's great love for David, adding, “ There is but a step between

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