I’ll be sharing some thoughts today on 1 Samuel 20.

In 1 Samuel 19, Saul tries to kill David again with his spear, so David flees to Ramah. After sending three groups of men to fetch David from Ramah, Saul goes himself since the Spirit of the Lord overtook those men causing them all to prophesy (cf. 1 Samuel 19:20-21). When Saul goes to capture David, the Spirit of the Lord comes upon him, and he prophesied as well (cf. 1 Samuel 19:23-24). This sort of prophesying wasn’t what we might think of as predicting the future. It was more like the men were divinely inspired to speak words of edification to the Lord.

In 1 Samuel 20, David and Jonathan are speaking together and David bemoans his situation with Saul, asking Jonathan, “What have I done? What is my crime? How have I wronged your father, that he is trying to kill me?” (1 Samuel 20:1 NIV). After a brief discussion, David comes up with a plan to confirm or deny Saul’s hostility toward him.

So David said, “Look, tomorrow is the New Moon feast, and I am supposed to dine with the king; but let me go and hide in the field until the evening of the day after tomorrow.”

1 Samuel 20:5 (NIV)

This might seem odd, given the events of 1 Samuel 19. We must conclude then that between the end of 1 Samuel 19:24, and 1 Samuel 20:1, something transpires to temporarily alleviate Saul’s hostility toward David since David is expected to dine with him at the New Moon feast. Otherwise, these events in 1 Samuel 20 don’t make any sense. We are told that Saul visits Samuel at the end of 1 Samuel 19, which might also seem odd given this verse.

Until the day Samuel died, he did not go to see Saul again, though Samuel mourned for him. And the Lord regretted that he had made Saul king over Israel.

1 Samuel 15:35 (NIV)

I used to think this verse was telling us that Saul and Samuel never got back together again. However, it is only telling us that Samuel never went back to see Saul again.

We can infer then that Samuel might have said something to Saul about his behavior towards David. Hence, the apparent change of heart. It’s unlikely that there was any sort of discourse between Saul, Samuel, and David since David was still relatively clueless as to why Saul wanted him dead, as we saw in 1 Samuel 20:1.

But Saul hurled his spear at him to kill him. Then Jonathan knew that his father intended to kill David.

1 Samuel 20:33 (NIV)

This verse truly demonstrates the lengths that sin will go to destroy our lives. Saul envied and feared David. He feared for his kingship and for his family. In any secular king, this would make sense, and it makes sense in Saul since the Spirit of the Lord departed from him. However, right before trying to kill Jonathan, he exclaimed, “As long as the son of Jesse lives on this earth, neither you nor your kingdom will be established. Now send someone to bring him to me, for he must die!” (1 Samuel 20:31 NIV). Ironic to say the least, that Saul then tries to kill him. Except when we consider the folly of sin and pride.

That’s all I have for today. Thanks for stopping by!