By Lori Rodeheaver
“…and there was war again…”
If there is war, David is fighting. David is winning. He has God’s favor and protection. But Saul, aka Mister Big Britches, well, Saul is losing. He has God’s unfavor and displeasure.
Once more war broke out, and David went out and fought the Philistines. He struck them with such force that they fled before him.
9 But an evil spirit from the Lord came upon Saul as he was sitting in his house with his spear in his hand. While David was playing the harp, 10 Saul tried to pin him to the wall with his spear, but David eluded him as Saul drove the spear into the wall. That night David made good his escape. ~1 Samuel 19:8-10
Really, how desperate must a man be to sit in his own home with a spear in his hand? Meanwhile, David’s playing songs for the man – seeking only to help and relieve him. That’s the equivalent of sitting on my couch clutching a gun while those trying to serve and befriend me write me a song and sing me a hymn.
Saul was a sad, sorry excuse for a leader.
Once again, this miserable, insecure leader seeks to kill and destroy David’s life. But once again, God faithfully protects and preserves David completely. This whole shenanigan must be getting quite frustrating for Saul. Nothing he does seems to get him any closer to accomplishing his ill-intentions. God himself is frustrating his evil efforts. And he just keeps making himself look foolish and small.
Saul sent men to David’s house to watch it and to kill him in the morning.~1 Samuel 19:11a
Saul’s plan was always the same – kill, defame, and destroy. There was absolutely no willingness on Saul’s part to trust a man who sought only to do good and serve his master. One has to wonder why. Why was there not peace in this relationship? I mean, if Saul had simply asked David to stay and truly sought to know him and find out his intentions, surely David would have obliged. Well, if Saul hadn’t been throwing spears at him, that is.
After failing with his murder plot once again, Saul becomes so desperate that he sends other people to “watch” David. Was this measure really necessary? I mean, if Saul had simply been the leader he should have been, would he really have had to resort to “watching” his subordinate? It seems that he did so for fear of what this righteous life might reveal about his own unrighteous one; for fear of what a man with God’s favor might show up in a man making pretense about God’s favor without it; for fear of losing his almighty, already rejected, position.
Clearly, David wasn’t an unreasonable man. On the contrary – he was extremely compliant and reasonable – especially towards his king. He served, he loved, he fought, and he did all that which he was obligated to do, and then some. If Saul had simply been man enough and leader enough to accept God’s will and get to know David as a friend, he would have had no need to clutch weapons as he sat at home. He would have had no need to try to kill an innocent man who had no intention of stealing his throne. He would have had no need to “watch” David’s every move waiting for an opportunity to destroy him.
But Saul wasn’t a good leader. He wasn’t a good man, and he certainly wasn’t reasonable.
Little wonder why David runs away. He’s got enough battles to fight! He doesn’t need a sergeant from his own camp throwing spears at him! David has no reason to stay where he is hated and repeatedly injured by one he seeks only to serve. Besides, David has a God to serve. There’s bigger fish to fry than having to worry about whether he’ll get to finish picking his favorite tune for fear of a jealous man’s rage. David’s out.
In this world, our wars wage on. We must fight, continually under the direction of our God if we seek to win. But the more battles we win, the more the Enemy will pursue us. He sits on his self-made throne, clutching weapons from the safest vantage point, in hopes to destroy us from under the radar. He masquerades as a king and a leader when all he is is a slanderous, murderous liar. The more Our God protects and preserves us, the closer that fake snake watches us. His jealousy and rage will not cease until our very blood is drawn.
Run away, Christian soldiers. Resist the devil and he will flee. Run to Christ and be delivered from evil.