Why is Saul so angry? Why is Saul so jealous? God made him great, God made him a king (1 Samuel 9) but he wasn’t content with God’s will. He was full of jealousy, rage, and pride.
1 Samuel 22:7-8 He said to them, “Listen, men of Benjamin! Will the son of Jesse give all of you fields and vineyards? Will he make all of you commanders of thousands and commanders of hundreds? Is that why you have all conspired against me? No one tells me when my son makes a covenant with the son of Jesse. None of you is concerned about me or tells me that my son has incited my servant to lie in wait for me, as he does today.”
Saul was throwing a fit and throwing his authority around as well. What he wanted, a dead David, and his men honoring him, wasn’t going well for him. He felt like no one was faithful to him, obeying him. He had resorted to bribes and threats. During his tantrum he even resorted to demanding the guards to kill the priests of the Lord (verse 17). I’m stunned! These are the priests who serve God!
Just as my children are gifts from God. Just as I’m yelling at my boys because they just aren’t listening and I am so tired. Just being kids. I have had to talk myself out of throwing a tantrum because I’m not getting my way in my own house. Not being honored in my own house!! Many times I’ve ended the day knowing that my behavior was bad. My children saw me focused on myself and what I wanted. They weren’t trying to dishonor me. They weren’t devising plans against me. I just felt like their were because “I felt”.
I’ve ended days knowing that I didn’t go to God first in prayer before making decisions. I should be looking to David’s example in 1 Samuel 22:5 But the prophet Gad said to David, “Do not stay in the stronghold. Go into the land of Judah.” So David left and went to the forest of Hereth.
In the midst of his storm he took the time to see what God wanted him to do. I was so surprised! I wasn’t surprised because David was asking God what he should do. I was surprised because God asked David to leave the safety he had found in the stronghold and to go to Judah. It would be easier for Saul to find him in Judah! But David trusted God. David trusted God so much that he even told Abithar to stay with him, don’t be afraid. 1 Samuel 22:23 You will be safe with me.
With the group of misfits following David, I’m sure they had their own way of doing things. I don’t this this group was experienced in taking or following orders but because David remained close to God they remained close to David. Even some whose lives were in danger remained close because they knew being in the shadow of David meant they were in the shadow of God.
After thinking about this chapter I’ve concluded in prayer “may I draw closer to God, become humble so that my crazy, wild sons feel safe, so that my house feels safe because we are in the shadow of God”. Safe even though we are imperfect. Even when our behavior is good or bad.
Psalm 36:7 How priceless is your unfailing love! Both high and low among men find refuge in the shadow of your wings.