So David went out wherever Saul sent him, and behaved 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. 6 Now it had happened as they were coming home, when David was returning from the slaughter of the Philistine, that the women had come out of all the cities of Israel, singing and dancing…So the women sang as they danced, and said: “Saul has slain his thousands, And David his ten thousands.” 1 Samuel 18:5-7
I read an article that warned against being too good an employee. You stick out, make other people look bad, possibly including your boss, and turn yourself into a target.
That’s what happened to David despite his best efforts to keep himself in line. Saul heard the women singing about David’s ten thousands defeated enemies as opposed to his thousands. It didn’t sit too well with him. David literally became a target for Saul, who feared losing his throne to him.
Saul cast the spear, for he said, “I will pin David to the wall!” But David escaped his presence twice.
He even tried to get him to marry his daughter “…that she may be a snare to him, and that the hand of the Philistines may be against him.”
Saul made many plots against David’s life, always failing. First, David always minded himself. Second, God was with him. Third, Saul’s own son, Jonathon, felt toward David like a brother and helped protect David from his father.
David ended up roaming the countryside with 400 men who were loyal to him. He saved the city of Keilah from Philistine raids, but only after asking God if that was His will.
David even had opportunity to kill Saul in his camp when Saul was out chasing him down, but he held his hand. He would not kill someone anointed by God even though he’d gone bad.
David eventually realized that Saul would never give up, and he could not continue to evade him in the strongholds of the wilderness. He allied himself with the Philistines of all people! Their King Achish was willing to take David’s loyalty at his word, but the lords of his kingdom did not trust the man who had killed Goliath and many more Philistines, so he couldn’t stay.
Overall we have a clear pattern to see: Saul had one spirit of evil (not the troubling spirit) and David had God’s Spirit. Being good is a problem in this world. Jesus even warned that He was persecuted, so His followers should expect no less. Still things worked out for David in the long run as it will for us.
Saul was eventually killed in battle along with his son, Jonathon, and David ascended the throne. Unfortunately, success will breed contempt in David as it has and continues to do throughout human history.
David is an incredibly important person for us to know about for a variety of reasons. First, David was a prophet. He actually communicated directly with God. For example, not the above instance when David asked God about defending a city, which he did after God telling him to go ahead. God told him! God didn’t give him a sign or send prophet to relay the message. God spoke to David!
David established a unified Jewish nation for first time in their history. He founded the throne that would eventually be occupied by Jesus, the Christ! Jesus is often referred to as “Prophet, Priest, and King.” David was a king and a prophet. One might be able to argue that he was also a priest of sorts in that he brought the ark to Jerusalem, leading the procession to the tabernacle.
God Himself described David as “a man after My own heart.” Although he didn’t always succeed, David always strove to keep God’s Word and act righteously.
David, as an ancestor of Jesus, is critical in foreshadowing Jesus’ coming and His suffering and death for humanity, both in his actions and in his psalms. Many of them are Messianic, meaning they foretell the coming Messiah and describe what He will do. Psalm 22 describes a crucifixion in detail although it was a form of execution unknown at the time.
David was also as fallible as you and me. His failures were spectacular, even horribly repulsive. David has a lot to teach us about sin, forgiveness, and consequences.
David. He was too good an employee, and he became a target for everyone from Saul to his own sons. When he stumbled, others were quick to pounce on the “too-perfect” guy who slipped up.
The question I’ll leave you with is really quite simple: when it comes to God and doing His will, are you too good an employee? Will the world look at you and want to target you just as it did Jesus and His disciples? If the world starts coming after you, all I can say is, “Congratulations!”