Summary: God's hand was on David. The Lord was going to make him into on of the greatest kings in human history, but in order to do that God had to mold & sharpen him. God needed to do His work in order to make His man. The way God breaks & makes His great servant

Strengthened For the Struggle: The Life of David: His early Years


1 SAMUEL 18: [1-16]

David had just accomplished an remarkable incredible victory. As a result he gained instant popularity. He became a national hero. People sang his praises. He became an overnight celebrity, but God was not going to allow success to go to the youth's [about 18] head. The sequel to giant killing that we begin here probably prefaced the toughest, longest, hardest period in David's entire life. This young man who had proven himself faithful among the sheep and then on the battlefield would go from the pinnacle of popularity to the depths of desperation.

Many think David just rose to power after his noble achievement. God though needed to do His work in order to make His man (CIT). In chapter 18 the life of David unfolds into four distinct relationships: David's Relationship with Jonathan; his Relationship of submission to the King; his Relationship of popularity with the people, & his misunderstanding with Saul.

I. David's Friendship with Jonathan, 1-4.

II. David's Submission to the King, 2 & 5.

III. David's Popularity with the People, 6-7.

IV. David's Misunderstanding with Saul, 8-16.

God's hand was on David. The Lord was going to make him into on of the greatest kings in human history, but in order to do that God had to mold him and hone him. The way God breaks and makes His great servants is through challenge and suffering. Young David though had little concept of the crucible God would use to remake him into the image of Christ. [Swindol, Charles. David. 1997: Thomas Nelson. Nashville, TN. p. 51-52.]


The friendship between Jonathan and David is one of the most noble relationships in the Bible. Its beginnings are described here and it lasts their whole lives. "Now it came about when he had finished speaking to Saul, that the soul of Jonathan was knit to the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as himself."

Friendships are often more a "gift" than a development. This friendship [like most all friendships] was not the result of a great deal of thought or analysis. Yet it was little wonder that the soul of Jonathan was knit with the soul of David, for they were kindred spirits. The skill and courage of Jonathan was legendary in Israel but there was more than a bond over admiration for their exploits. They bonded because there was a unifying faith in and love for Israel's God. Jonathan truly saw David as a man after God's own heart. In seeing David's love for God, Jonathan meet a man he could love [1 Sam 20:17; 2 Sam 1:26]. What depths of rapport the two young men must have discovered in one another; in what wonderful agreement of purpose they found.

[Friendships are not necessarily formed along formal lines of background, age, or social standing. In ways these two were alike and in ways they were different. Jonathan was the wealthy, raised the prince of Israel, heir to the throne, and David was the youngest son of Jesse, a poor keeper of sheep. Jonathan was mid to late 30s, David wasn't even 20. But both were full of courage, fight, and faith.]

A most delightful book for young readers is Anne of Green Gables by L. M. Montgomery. It tells the touching story of a bright, talkative young orphan girl who goes to live in the Prince Edward Island country side with an elderly woman and her shy brother.

As the story unfolds, Anne finds that she can be true friends only with people she calls, her "kindred spirits." To Anne, a kindred spirit is one who shares her endless imagination and her dig-in-your-heels stubbornness. Nothing could separate a kindred spirit from Anne's love and devotion, and she would do anything to help such a friend.

You can have such a friendship, especially if you are a Christian. Believers have a built- in camaraderie that flows out of a common love for Jesus and a shared desire to know God better. Beyond that, God brings people into our lives with whom we feel especially comfortable. Maybe they've struggled with problems similar to ours.

Ask God to bring a person into your life with whom you can be yourself. Ask the Lord to make you sensitive and open to their needs and hurts. Then reach out to them. Don't withdraw when they disappoint you. God can give you a kindred spirit, one whose heart beats as does your. [J.D.B. Our Daily Bread]

Jonathan, Saul's oldest son, instead seeing David as a rival made him a beloved friend, as we read in verse 3. "Then Jonathan made a covenant with David because he loved him as himself."

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