Summary: David's heart for God was extended to a man with crippled feet. A picture of the love of Jesus for us.
Last week we talked about David. We have learned that he is only 15 but has been chosen by God to become the next king of Israel. The reason being that he has a heart for God. That meant his very being, innermost person desired to please God above everything else.
This same 15-year-old boy decided to fight a man who stood over nine feet tall and created fear within the entire Israeli army. He declared the battle to be the Lord’s battle and he was just an instrument to be used. His victory over Goliath inspired the entire army to route the Philistines. But this victory would lead to his very life being endangered.
Saul was so impressed with David’s victory that he immediately enlisted him in his army. David’s days of being a shepherd had ended. Saul saw David as a great warrior.
But Jonathan, Saul’s son, saw David as so much more. We are told that there was an immediate bond between them, for Jonathan loved David. And Jonathan made a solemn pact with David, because he loved him as he loved himself. Jonathan sealed the pact by taking off his robe and giving it to David, together with his tunic, sword, bow, and belt.
There has been much debated on this relationship between David and Jonathan. Some have hinted that they were involved in a homosexual lifestyle. This would mean that David decided to violate God’s law and not pursue God’s desires but rather his own flesh. David would do that very thing one day with disastrous results bringing about God’s punishment on him. But as we will see God’s hand of blessings continue to be on David for many leading us to the conclusion that he in do way was involved in a relationship of a sexual nature with Jonathan.
Rather Jonathan recognized that God was with David and they became one spirit. By giving David his robe, tunic, sword, bow, and belt, he was resigning himself to the possibility that he would never be king after his father’s death.
When the army returned home from battle the story of David’s triumph preceded them. The women from all the towns of Israel came out to meet King Saul. They sang and danced for joy with tambourines and cymbals. This was their song:
“Saul has killed his thousands,
and David his ten thousands!”
This made Saul very angry. “What’s this?” he said. “They credit David with ten thousands and me with only thousands. Next they’ll be making him their king!” So from that time on Saul kept a jealous eye on David.
Saul began to plot to kill David. During the seven years of service with Saul twice he attempts to run David through with a spear. Then he sent men to David’s house to kill him in his sleep. But David’s wife, who was Saul’s daughter, helped him escape. When Jonathan came to David’s defense Saul hurled a spear at him in an attempt to kill him.
For 8 years, David was on the run. Saul became infatuated with the purpose of hunting down and killing David. In his infatuation, he became insane. He had all the priests of Nob slaughtered for assisting David even though they no knowledge Of David being a fugitive.
Yet in the midst of this turmoil, David is presented with the opportunity to kill Saul twice, once in the Crags of the Wild Goats while Saul is using the bathroom and again on the hill of Hakilah while Saul was sleeping. But he refused to do so because he recognized Saul as God’s anointed.
Saul would die in battle along with Jonathan. David wept bitterly over the death of both his king and his friend. The nation of Israel split. The largest tribe made David their king but Abner, the commander of Saul’s army, named Ish-Bosheth son of Saul king of Israel and the other tribes. David, who is now thirty, would rule Judah for seven years.
During that time, Abner realized that Ish-Boseth was incapable of ruling and eventually David would become king of all of Israel. So he began plotting with David to bring about his kingship and unite Israel once again.
When David’s commander, Joab, heard that Abner was plotting with David, Joab killed him. This was to avenge the death of his brother at Abner’s hands.
When word reached Ish-Boseth of what had happened, he became frightened. Two of his own men decided to win favor with David by killing him and delivering his head to David. When David learned what they had done he had them executed.
Then representatives from all the tribes of Israel came and asked David to be their king. So Israel became united once again under King David. He is now 37 years old. This had been a twenty-two year journey for him.