1 Samuel 18:17-30 When we put God 1st, He will not put us 2nd
1 Samuel 18:17-30
17 One day Saul said to David, “I am ready to give you my older daughter, Merab, as your wife. But first you must prove yourself to be a real warrior by fighting the LORD’s battles.” For Saul thought, “I’ll send him out against the Philistines and let them kill him rather than doing it myself.” 18 “Who am I, and what is my family in Israel that I should be the king’s son- in- law?” David exclaimed. “My father’s family is nothing!” 19 So when the time came for Saul to give his daughter Merab in marriage to David, he gave her instead to Adriel, a man from Meholah.
20 In the meantime, Saul’s daughter Michal had fallen in love with David, and Saul was delighted when he heard about it. 21 “Here’s another chance to see him killed by the Philistines!” Saul said to himself. But to David he said, “Today you have a second chance to become my son- in- law!” 22 Then Saul told his men to say to David, “The king really likes you, and so do we. Why don’t you accept the king’s offer and become his son- in- law?” 23 When Saul’s men said these things to David, he replied, “How can a poor man from a humble family afford the bride price for the daughter of a king?” 24 When Saul’s men reported this back to the king, 25 he told them, “Tell David that all I want for the bride price is 100 Philistine foreskins! Vengeance on my enemies is all I really want.” But what Saul had in mind was that David would be killed in the fight.
26 David was delighted to accept the offer. Before the time limit expired, 27 he and his men went out and killed 200 Philistines. Then David fulfilled the king’s requirement by presenting all their foreskins to him. So Saul gave his daughter Michal to David to be his wife. 28 When Saul realized that the LORD was with David and how much his daughter Michal loved him, 29 Saul became even more afraid of him, and he remained David’s enemy for the rest of his life. 30 Every time the commanders of the Philistines attacked, David was more successful against them than all the rest of Saul’s officers. So David’s name became very famous.
The time to redeem the promise of the princess’ hand in marriage to the conqueror of Goliath is near. But Saul was more concerned about his personal position than for the welfare of the nation. Obsessed by the desire to eliminate his rival, he used his daughters as pawns in his deadly game. In today’s passage, we see God’s resolve to grant David’s desire and what was originally Saul’s deadly trap became an opportunity to marry the woman he loves. When we put God first among all our endeavors, He will not put us second, and will grant us our desires.
I’ll send him out against the Philistines and let them kill him rather than doing it myself – By this time, Saul was overcome by a murderous spirit; he had his mind set on killing David without leaving a trail. Even though the promise of the king’s daughter to the conqueror of Goliath is finally to be redeemed, but she will come with strings attached; David has to prove his worth by battling against the Philistines. Thus, he devised a ploy to send David to the fiercest battlefronts hoping that he would die in action. David remained skeptical of the possibility of becoming Saul’s son-in-law because of his lowly family background. When the time came, Saul did the unreasoning and heartless thing by giving Merab, that which was betrothed to David to another man.
Tell David that all I want for the bride price is 100 Philistine foreskins! – Michal, Saul’s younger daughter was captivated by David’s charms. Saul, having caught wind that their feelings are mutual, revived his scheme and laid another bait for David. This time, Saul demanded 100 Philistines foreskins as bride price for the hand of Michal. Much to Saul’s exasperation, David delivered ahead of time two times more than what was required of the bride price, 200 Philistine foreskins.
When Saul realized that the LORD was with David and how much his daughter Michal loved him, Saul became even more afraid of him – There is nothing Saul can do even with his kingly authority to eliminate his rival because he realized that God was with David. It did not help but added to Saul’s dilemma when his own daughter fell for David. With each failure to commit murder, God’s hand of protection over David becomes more apparent and the eventuality of his own destruction becomes more imminent.
- When the people learn to walk in truth, they become courageous, and the wicked cannot touch them – The weak can only learn to defend themselves by knowing the truth and walking in it. The way to eradicate injustice in the society is to teach the innocent the way of godliness and never to return evil for evil. David, by virtue of his heart that is after God, was impenetrable to the devil’s schemes. And therefore, God protected him. The Psalmist proclaims that God will not allow wicked governors to continue their evil in a society populated by godly people.
The wicked will not rule the land of the godly. Psalm 125:3
Therefore, churches must play a part to teach the truth pertaining to godly living and to encourage the people to pray for their governors. God will not allow the wicked to lord over a righteous people, and will remove them swiftly.
Conversely, an unrighteous and ungrateful generation will soon give way to ungodly and self-serving leadership. Ultimately, no matter how strong a government is, the people are the ones who will determine the kind of government that will rule over them. Therefore, the church has a very important role in sowing the values of the Kingdom to the nations. God cannot preserve a society that is build on the assurance of blessings, but devoid of the teachings on a godly lifestyle.
- God will fulfill the desires of the man who is after God’s heart. God knows if a man’s heart is pleasing to Him. And He will fulfill the desires of the man who takes after His heart. Therefore, we do not need to be incessantly concerned, but God will in His own way grant us our desires if we are faithful to His commission. David was attracted to Michal and desires her even though he was iffy should a lowly man be called of a sudden to higher things. The trap that was set to fell David became an uncanny yet timely opportunity to gain Michal, the daughter of the King. At the same time, David’s popularity continued to increase as he was more effective and successful against the attacks of the Philistines than the rest of Saul’s commanders. The Psalmist says,
Trust in the Lord and do good. Dwell in the land and cultivate faithfulness. Delight yourself in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the Lord, Trust also in Him, and He will do it. Psalm 37:3-5
- When you face injustice from your own family, workplace and society in general, how do you respond to it? We must never be taken by our sentiments of anger and injustice but to persevere in doing what is right. We must learn to speak the principles of the truth and leave the vengeance to God. God, in his way and time will execute justice and restore to us what we have lost.
- Do you have dreams and desires that are given up and forgotten because they are “way out of your league”? Present your requests to God believing that He has heard your prayer. Because God is all wise, all loving and all powerful, He is in the position to do what is best for you. Therefore, having presented your requests to God, you should no longer worry but be focused on doing what He has instructed for the day.
Dear Lord, I desire to be a defender of the weak and to raise them up. Therefore, use me to teach them the way of the truth so that they may prosper. I ask you to fulfill the desires of my heart. I give you the prerogative to do in my life whatever you deem best. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.