1 Samuel 19: 20 Then Saul sent messengers to take David, but when they saw the company of the prophets prophesying, with Samuel standing and presiding over them, the Spirit of God came upon the messengers of Saul; and they also prophesied. 21When it was told Saul, he sent other messengers, and they also prophesied. So Saul sent messengers again the third time, and they also prophesied.
Saul has been seeking to kill David, and has sent messengers after him. They catch up to David, who has sought Samuel, as they are prophesying in a group. But, they are overcome by the Holy Spirit, and join in the prophesy, or, prayer, not once or twice, but three times. Indeed Saul himself will be overcome when he also approaches the group. So, the question we have to ask ourselves for today is, in times of trouble, would we be “caught” in the act of prayer?
1 Samuel 19
David Protected from Saul
1Now Saul told Jonathan his son and all his servants to put David to death. But Jonathan, Saul’s son, greatly delighted in David. 2So Jonathan told David saying, “Saul my father is seeking to put you to death. Now therefore, please be on guard in the morning, and stay in a secret place and hide yourself. 3“I will go out and stand beside my father in the field where you are, and I will speak with my father about you; if I find out anything, then I will tell you.” 4Then Jonathan spoke well of David to Saul his father and said to him, “Do not let the king sin against his servant David, since he has not sinned against you, and since his deeds have been very beneficial to you. 5“For he took his life in his hand and struck the Philistine, and the LORD brought about a great deliverance for all Israel; you saw it and rejoiced. Why then will you sin against innocent blood by putting David to death without a cause?” 6Saul listened to the voice of Jonathan, and Saul vowed, “As the LORD lives, he shall not be put to death.” 7Then Jonathan called David, and Jonathan told him all these words. And Jonathan brought David to Saul, and he was in his presence as formerly.
8When there was war again, David went out and fought with the Philistines and defeated them with great slaughter, so that they fled before him. 9Now there was an evil spirit from the LORD on Saul as he was sitting in his house with his spear in his hand, and David was playing the harp with his hand. 10Saul tried to pin David to the wall with the spear, but he slipped away out of Saul’s presence, so that he stuck the spear into the wall. And David fled and escaped that night.
11Then Saul sent messengers to David’s house to watch him, in order to put him to death in the morning. But Michal, David’s wife, told him, saying, “If you do not save your life tonight, tomorrow you will be put to death.” 12So Michal let David down through a window, and he went out and fled and escaped. 13Michal took the household idol and laid it on the bed, and put a quilt of goats’ hair at its head, and covered it with clothes. 14When Saul sent messengers to take David, she said, “He is sick.” 15Then Saul sent messengers to see David, saying, “Bring him up to me on his bed, that I may put him to death.” 16When the messengers entered, behold, the household idol was on the bed with the quilt of goats’ hair at its head. 17So Saul said to Michal, “Why have you deceived me like this and let my enemy go, so that he has escaped?” And Michal said to Saul, “He said to me, ‘Let me go! Why should I put you to death?’”
18Now David fled and escaped and came to Samuel at Ramah, and told him all that Saul had done to him. And he and Samuel went and stayed in Naioth. 19It was told Saul, saying, “Behold, David is at Naioth in Ramah.” 20Then Saul sent messengers to take David, but when they saw the company of the prophets prophesying, with Samuel standing and presiding over them, the Spirit of God came upon the messengers of Saul; and they also prophesied. 21When it was told Saul, he sent other messengers, and they also prophesied. So Saul sent messengers again the third time, and they also prophesied. 22Then he himself went to Ramah and came as far as the large well that is in Secu; and he asked and said, “Where are Samuel and David?” And someone said, “Behold, they are at Naioth in Ramah.” 23He proceeded there to Naioth in Ramah; and the Spirit of God came upon him also, so that he went along prophesying continually until he came to Naioth in Ramah. 24He also stripped off his clothes, and he too prophesied before Samuel and lay down naked all that day and all that night. Therefore they say, “Is Saul also among the prophets?”
1 Samuel 20
David and Jonathan Covenant
1Then David fled from Naioth in Ramah, and came and said to Jonathan, “What have I done? What is my iniquity? And what is my sin before your father, that he is seeking my life?” 2He said to him, “Far from it, you shall not die. Behold, my father does nothing either great or small without disclosing it to me. So why should my father hide this thing from me? It is not so!” 3Yet David vowed again, saying, “Your father knows well that I have found favor in your sight, and he has said, ‘Do not let Jonathan know this, or he will be grieved.’ But truly as the LORD lives and as your soul lives, there is hardly a step between me and death.” 4Then Jonathan said to David, “Whatever you say, I will do for you.” 5So David said to Jonathan, “Behold, tomorrow is the new moon, and I ought to sit down to eat with the king. But let me go, that I may hide myself in the field until the third evening. 6“If your father misses me at all, then say, ‘David earnestly asked leave of me to run to Bethlehem his city, because it is the yearly sacrifice there for the whole family.’ 7“If he says, ‘It is good,’ your servant will be safe; but if he is very angry, know that he has decided on evil. 8“Therefore deal kindly with your servant, for you have brought your servant into a covenant of the LORD with you. But if there is iniquity in me, put me to death yourself; for why then should you bring me to your father?” 9Jonathan said, “Far be it from you! For if I should indeed learn that evil has been decided by my father to come upon you, then would I not tell you about it?” 10Then David said to Jonathan, “Who will tell me if your father answers you harshly?” 11Jonathan said to David, “Come, and let us go out into the field.” So both of them went out to the field.
12Then Jonathan said to David, “The LORD, the God of Israel, be witness! When I have sounded out my father about this time tomorrow, or the third day, behold, if there is good feeling toward David, shall I not then send to you and make it known to you? 13“If it please my father to do you harm, may the LORD do so to Jonathan and more also, if I do not make it known to you and send you away, that you may go in safety. And may the LORD be with you as He has been with my father. 14“If I am still alive, will you not show me the lovingkindness of the LORD, that I may not die? 15“You shall not cut off your lovingkindness from my house forever, not even when the LORD cuts off every one of the enemies of David from the face of the earth.” 16So Jonathan made a covenant with the house of David, saying, “May the LORD require it at the hands of David’s enemies.” 17Jonathan made David vow again because of his love for him, because he loved him as he loved his own life.
18Then Jonathan said to him, “Tomorrow is the new moon, and you will be missed because your seat will be empty. 19“When you have stayed for three days, you shall go down quickly and come to the place where you hid yourself on that eventful day, and you shall remain by the stone Ezel. 20“I will shoot three arrows to the side, as though I shot at a target. 21“And behold, I will send the lad, saying,’Go, find the arrows.’ If I specifically say to the lad, ‘Behold, the arrows are on this side of you, get them,’ then come; for there is safety for you and no harm, as the LORD lives. 22“But if I say to the youth, ‘Behold, the arrows are beyond you,’ go, for the LORD has sent you away. 23“As for the agreement of which you and I have spoken, behold, the LORD is between you and me forever.”
24So David hid in the field; and when the new moon came, the king sat down to eat food. 25The king sat on his seat as usual, the seat by the wall; then Jonathan rose up and Abner sat down by Saul’s side, but David’s place was empty. 26Nevertheless Saul did not speak anything that day, for he thought, “It is an accident, he is not clean, surely he is not clean.” 27It came about the next day, the second day of the new moon, that David’s place was empty; so Saul said to Jonathan his son, “Why has the son of Jesse not come to the meal, either yesterday or today?” 28Jonathan then answered Saul, “David earnestly asked leave of me to go to Bethlehem, 29for he said, ‘Please let me go, since our family has a sacrifice in the city, and my brother has commanded me to attend. And now, if I have found favor in your sight, please let me get away that I may see my brothers.’ For this reason he has not come to the king’s table.”
Saul Is Angry with Jonathan
30Then Saul’s anger burned against Jonathan and he said to him, “You son of a perverse, rebellious woman! Do I not know that you are choosing the son of Jesse to your own shame and to the shame of your mother’s nakedness? 31“For as long as the son of Jesse lives on the earth, neither you nor your kingdom will be established. Therefore now, send and bring him to me, for he must surely die.” 32But Jonathan answered Saul his father and said to him, “Why should he be put to death? What has he done?” 33Then Saul hurled at him to strike him down; so Jonathan knew that his father had decided to put David to death. 34Then Jonathan arose from the table in fierce anger, and did not eat food on the second day of the new moon, for he was grieved over David because his father had dishonored him.
35Now it came about in the morning that Jonathan went out into the field for the appointment with David, and a little lad was with him. 36He said to his lad, “Run, find now the arrows which I am about to shoot.” As the lad was running, he shot an arrow past him. 37When the lad reached the place of the arrow which Jonathan had shot, Jonathan called after the lad and said, “Is not the arrow beyond you?” 38And Jonathan called after the lad, “Hurry, be quick, do not stay!” And Jonathan’s lad picked up the arrow and came to his master. 39But the lad was not aware of anything; only Jonathan and David knew about the matter. 40Then Jonathan gave his weapons to his lad and said to him, “Go, bring them to the city.” 41When the lad was gone, David rose from the south side and fell on his face to the ground, and bowed three times. And they kissed each other and wept together, but David wept the more. 42Jonathan said to David, “Go in safety, inasmuch as we have sworn to each other in the name of the LORD, saying, ‘The LORD will be between me and you, and between my descendants and your descendants forever.’” Then he rose and departed, while Jonathan went into the city.
1 Samuel 21
David Takes Consecrated Bread
1Then David came to Nob to Ahimelech the priest; and Ahimelech came trembling to meet David and said to him, “Why are you alone and no one with you?” 2David said to Ahimelech the priest, “The king has commissioned me with a matter and has said to me, ‘Let no one know anything about the matter on which I am sending you and with which I have commissioned you; and I have directed the young men to a certain place.’ 3“Now therefore, what do you have on hand? Give me five loaves of bread, or whatever can be found.” 4The priest answered David and said, “There is no ordinary bread on hand, but there is consecrated bread; if only the young men have kept themselves from women.” 5David answered the priest and said to him, “Surely women have been kept from us as previously when I set out and the vessels of the young men were holy, though it was an ordinary journey; how much more then today will their vessels be holy?” 6So the priest gave him consecrated bread; for there was no bread there but the bread of the Presence which was removed from before the LORD, in order to put hot bread in its place when it was taken away.
7Now one of the servants of Saul was there that day, detained before the LORD; and his name was Doeg the Edomite, the chief of Saul’s shepherds.
8David said to Ahimelech, “Now is there not a spear or a sword on hand? For I brought neither my sword nor my weapons with me, because the king’s matter was urgent.” 9Then the priest said, “The sword of Goliath the Philistine, whom you killed in the valley of Elah, behold, it is wrapped in a cloth behind the ephod; if you would take it for yourself, take it. For there is no other except it here.” And David said, “There is none like it; give it to me.”
10Then David arose and fled that day from Saul, and went to Achish king of Gath. 11But the servants of Achish said to him, “Is this not David the king of the land? Did they not sing of this one as they danced, saying,
‘Saul has slain his thousands,
And David his ten thousands’?”
12David took these words to heart and greatly feared Achish king of Gath. 13So he disguised his sanity before them, and acted insanely in their hands, and scribbled on the doors of the gate, and let his saliva run down into his beard. 14Then Achish said to his servants, “Behold, you see the man behaving as a madman. Why do you bring him to me? 15“Do I lack madmen, that you have brought this one to act the madman in my presence? Shall this one come into my house?”
Confidence in God’s Protection.
For the choir director; on a stringed instrument. A Psalm of David.
1 Hear my cry, O God;
Give heed to my prayer.
2 From the end of the earth I call to You when my heart is faint;
Lead me to the rock that is higher than I.
3 For You have been a refuge for me,
A tower of strength against the enemy.
4 Let me dwell in Your tent forever;
Let me take refuge in the shelter of Your wings.
5 For You have heard my vows, O God;
You have given me the inheritance of those who fear Your name.
6 You will prolong the king’s life;
His years will be as many generations.
7 He will abide before God forever;
Appoint lovingkindness and truth that they may preserve him.
8 So I will sing praise to Your name forever,
That I may pay my vows day by day.