1Sa_18:1. And it came to pass, when he had made an end of speaking unto Saul, that the soul of Jonathan was knit with the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as his own soul.
Jonathan, the brave young soldier who had himself done great exploits, naturally admired the youthful warrior who had slain the Philistine giant, and also admired the modesty of his speech when he returned with the head of Goliath in his hand: “The soul of Jonathan was knit with the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as his own soul.”
1Sa_18:2-4. And Saul took him that day, and would let him go no more home to his father’s house. Then Jonathan and David made a covenant, because he loved him as his own soul. And Jonathan stripped himself of the robe that was upon him,
No doubt, one suitable to his rank as the heir apparent to the throne of Israel.
1Sa_18:4-5. And gave it to David, and his garments, even to his sword, and to his bow, and to his girdle. And David went out whithersoever Saul sent him, and behaved himself wisely: and Saul set him over the men of war,
Probably, Jonathan had previously occupied that position; but now that David is called to supplant him, Jonathan is not jealous of him, but he loves him as he loves his own soul.
1Sa_18:5-7. And he was accepted in the sight of all the people, and also in the sight of Saul’s servants. And it came to pass as they came, when David was returned from the slaughter of the Philistine, that the women came out of all cities of Israel, singing and dancing, to meet king Saul, with tabrets, with joy, and with instruments of musick. And the women answered one another as they played, and said,-
Singing in chorus, with answering refrains,-
1Sa_18:7-9. Saul hath slain his thousands, and David his ten thousands. And Saul was very wroth, and the saying displeased him; and he said, They have ascribed unto David ten thousands, and to me they have ascribed but thousands: and what can he have more but the kingdom? And Saul eyed David from that day and forward.
This shows how envy will destroy a man’s own peace of mind, as well as make him plot against the one of whom he is envious. Instead of being thankful to God for sending him such a valiant champion as David to deliver both himself and his people, Saul is full of malice towards the young hero simply because he receives his due need of praise for his victory over the giant. “Saul eyed David” with an evil and envious eye; looked askance upon him, and determined to do him mischief whenever he could.
1Sa_18:10. And it came to pass on the morrow, that the evil spirit from God came upon Saul, and he prophesied in the midst of the house:
Probably, talking wildly and foolishly,-
1Sa_18:10. And David played with his hand, as at other times:
That is, as he had, at other times, played upon the harp to chase away the evil spirit.
1Sa_18:10-12. And there was a javelin in Saul’s hand. And Saul cast the javelin; for he said, I will smite David even to the wall with it. And David avoided out of his presence twice. And Saul was afraid of David,-
David was not afraid of Saul, although Saul was the man with the javelin, and with the murderous, malicious spirit, which prompted him to hurl it at the young harpist. David, guileless, brave, honest, trustful, was not afraid of Saul, but “Saul was afraid of David,”-
1Sa_18:12-14. Because the LORD was with him, and was departed from Saul. Therefore Saul removed him from him, and made him his captain over a thousand; and he went out and came in before the people. And David behaved himself wisely in all his ways; and the LORD was with him.
And, young man, you also will be wise if God is with you, and you will be able to behave yourself wisely, discreetly, prosperously, as the word seems to mean. Even when malicious eyes are fixed upon you, they will not be able to find any fault in you if the Lord is with you. You will win favor where you least expect it, if you do but so live that God can be with you, if you keep the vessel of your nature so pure that the Master can use it. May it be your portion and mine to have it said of each of us, “The Lord was with him”!
1Sa_18:15-16. Wherefore when Saul saw that he behaved himself very wisely, he was afraid of him. But all Israel and Judah loved David, because he went out and came in before them.
This love of the people only caused Saul’s hatred of David to be carried to a still greater excess; but Jonathan still loved David, and promised to cleave to him whatever might happen. In the 20th chapter, we can read still more concerning this faithful friendship.
This exposition consisted of readings from 1Sa_18:1-16; 1Sa_20:1-17.