Chapter 19 starts with a top-secret staff meeting (19:1). Saul laid out his plans to have his men kill David. We will see in this chapter a chain of deliberate plans to wipe out David. We also will read of a chain of deliverances for David.
No sooner had Saul laid out his plans, that Jonathan Saul’s son intervened on behalf of David. Jonathan spoke with his father using
both a moral and rational argument (vs. 4-5). Saul then gives his word to Jonathan that he will not kill David. It appears to be all worked out. This is how difficulties should be worked out. Face to face.
Then war breaks out again. And David has more battle successes. Saul in turns goes mad again. The text says that “an evil spirit from The Lord” came upon Saul. We must not forget that Saul was under God’s judgement. David is called in to soothe Saul with his harp. Saul had spear in hand and attempted to nail David against the wall (vs.9). David was able to flee and he headed home. In vs. 8-10 we see a great irony. David defeats the Philistines, but Saul treats David like a Philistine.
David’s home in this case doesn’t appear to be his castle. Saul had his killers posted at David’s door to do away with him the next morning. David and his wife Michal probably spoke softly. Michal insists that David escape during the night (vs.11). David was let down through a window and he high tails it.
Michal then tries to make a way to buy David a little time. She places the teraphim into her bed to make it appear that David was sick. One of the questions that I have is why does she have this idol? Well, it was a good tactic, but her father Saul was not amused by it at all. Michal then deceives her dad again. She blames David for being such a brute that she could do nothing else (17).
So David flees to the prophet Samuels in Ramah where he unloads his heart (19). Saul has informers everywhere and it isn’t long before they are on their way to capture David (20). Now something really strange happened to Saul’s men. In vs.20 we are told “that the Spirit of God came upon them an they prophesied”. Saul then sent a second and third group but the Spirit also came upon them (21). God here sent His Spirit upon Saul’s men and they are helpless.
Saul doesn’t catch on real quick. He probably said if you want something done then you must do it yourself. So off to Ramah goes Saul. God is no respecter of people. The same thing that happened to Saul’s men also happened to him. The Spirit of God came upon him and he too prophesied (23-24).
The message of chapter 19 is clear. God repeatedly protects his servants. Let’s look at the protection from the 4 samples we have seen. God’s protection is first instructive to us. David is protected by Jonathan (1-7) and Michal (11-17). But we see that the prophet Samuel is no protection for David. David’s deliverance is by the power of God only. He is the only escape. God does use human instruments such as Jonathan and Michal for a safe haven; but Samuel is bypassed in order to teach us that salvation is from The Lord as Jonah tells us (Jon 2:9). We must always remember that whatever means God uses, ultimately our protection is only found in Him.
At the end of chapter 19 David’s protection from God should be clear to him. He could have looked back and seen God’s deliverance. But David was still in the midst of the trial. Sometimes for David, as well as ourselves, the clearest evidence that God hasn’t forsaken us is that we are still standing. The trial may continue to be there but God has kept us so far. It’s not the easiest thing to do. We need to remember these texts.
David’s protection should also have been instructive to Saul. Especially after he experienced the frustrating occurrence of being inflicted by the Spirit of God. Saul should have seen that his plans were being blocked. Actually Psalm 2 comes to mind here. Saul, one of the kings of the earth was plotting against God and His anointed. God is saying wise up and accept what I’m doing (Ps. 2:10). God only laughs at such stupidity as to fight against Him (Ps.2:4).
I also would like for you to see how broad God’s protection is. We see the change of heart brought on by Jonathan (1-7). We see the window escape in which he was running for his life (11-17). The ways of God are numerous.
I would like to point out lastly the irony in David’s protection. We see that Saul’s enemy is preserved by Saul’s own family. Saul’s son Jonathan, and his daughter Michal were the human protectors for David. To look back on it makes a smile come upon my face. Saul believed that his family would back him. But God had other plans to protect His man.
These verses should speak to each of us. Shouldn’t God’s various ways of protection bring forth praise from us? The apostle Paul spoke of this wise God. ” Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and unfashionable His ways!
We all need to ask ourselves the question, how much of David’s experience can we claim for ourselves? I’m no David in God’ s grand scheme of things. I’m just a regular guy amongst regular people, but the principle remains as true to me as it was for David. God will protect His people until He has finished using us for His glory in whatever way He wishes. Praise God for His protection. May we rest in Him.