1 Samuel 18:9-30
And Saul eyed David from that day and forward.…
I. SAUL'S ENVY. Selfishness, that "root of bitterness" filled him. And from it there sprang the baleful poison-breathing blossom, envy. What a sin is this! Men "enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season," but no pleasure in this — of all sins the most hateful. It is vexed at another's good. It sickens to hear another praised. Base, it
"Withers at another's joy,
And hates the excellence it cannot reach."Envy hath no holidays. Where it enters it poisons life. "It is a very hell above ground." Let us beware. Let us not in this thing give place to the devil, but resist him. This Book has solemn warnings enough against this abominable sin. The first death in our world was brought about by it, when Cain, "the devil's patriarch," as an old wrier calls him, "laid his cruel club on the innocent head of his brother Abel." It was the sin of Joseph's brethren. "The patriarchs," says St. Stephen, "moved with envy, sold Joseph into Egypt." It was the sin of Korah, who envied Moses, and of Ahab, who envied Naboth. And the crowning crime of history is put to its account, for the Pharisees for envy delivered our Lord to death.
II. MICHAEL'S DECEPTION. There was no need for the deception. It showed her distrust of God. It was wrong, and it led to a lie against the very man she loved. Better to die than to lie. You might as well steal from the rich to help the poor, as to seek by lies to help another. Trust in God and do the right and speak the right. Men may extenuate their falsehoods and call them white lies and "grey fibs." But God frowns away the epithets. He will not acknowledge them. He bids us speak truth one to another. He declares that lying lips are an abomination to Him; that "a lying tongue is but for a moment;" that "all liars" will be excluded from the Heavenly and Eternal City of Truth and Glory.
III. DAVID'S PRESERVATION.
1. From bodily peril he was preserved. As captain of a thousand guarding the frontier — a dangerous service; as proving his worthiness, by deeds of valour, of the hand of Merab. As escaping again and again and again, the hurled javelin that sought to pin him in death to the wall. As watched for by Saul's assassins; how imperilled, how preserved was David! Not by miracle. Human friendship helped him. Beautiful, magnanimous the pleading of Jonathan with Saul on his behalf. There was a true friend who worked for him with the patience and meekness of wisdom. And who, "with word in season," shamed the king from his murderous purpose. "So far did Jonathan's oratory and David's innocency together triumph in Saul's conscience." Thus, for a little while, a debtor to friendship and its successful plea, David had peace. Wifely love helped him. Michal refused to be, as Saul had hoped, a snare to her husband. She warned him of the men of blood that lay in wait for him. She let him "down through a window," and he escaped.
4. His own valour helped him. Great had been his victory over Goliath. But more than this was needed. His alert and constant watchfulness helped him. When he struck his harp he was never so absorbed in the song as to be heedless of the king. On that javelin sceptre his eye indeed needed to be fixed!
6. Yet the Lord preserved him. For these were but the means by which worked for him the Almighty Preserver of men; the God who had set His love upon him.
7. He was preserved from spiritual peril. He was unharmed by prosperity. With much to flatter him into forgetfulness of his lowly origin, to tempt him into the airs and assumptions of pride, he walked humbly because he walked with God.
(G. T. Coster.)
Parallel VersesKJV: And Saul eyed David from that day and forward.