Today’s Sermon Notes

1 Samuel 18 – His Heart Is Not With You

 
Proverbs 23:7 says, “For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he: Eat and drink, saith he to thee; but his heart is not with thee.” As Solomon penned this advice to his son, I wonder if the stories that he had heard of his own father’s relationships with Saul and Jonathan came to mind.
After the defeat of Goliath, Saul did everything that he could to make David an ally under his control, but Saul’s intentions were sinister. His mouth did not match his mind and heart.
In this chapter of Samuel, David becomes forms close friendship with Jonathan (which we will explore later), but Saul grows increasingly fearful, jealous, and hating of David. The discrepancy between Saul’s mouth and thoughts should serve as a warning our own double-mindedness.
 
1. Everyone loves David. – 18:1-4, 16, 20, 22, 28
The victory in the valley of Elah quickly brings David from obscurity to popularity. The nation is literally singing his praises.
a. Jonathan loved David after hearing his words and soul. – 18:1-4
When David spoke to Saul, Jonathan heard. It seems David’s thoughts about the Lord and Israel resonate deeply with Jonathan.
Jonathan is described as being “knit”, making a covenant, and loving David “as his own soul”. He even seems to abdicate his place as prince by giving David his robe and battle garments.
b. The people loved David after seeing his life and victories. – 18:16
David was already doing what they had asked for in a king.
c. Michal loved David in sincerity. – 18:20, 28; 19:11-12
 
2. Saul missed what everyone else saw in David because he was outward-looking and self-focused. – 17:55-58, 18:2, 6-9, 10-15
a. Saul’s first response to David was to possess and control him. – 18:2
1 Samuel 14:52 tells us that this falls in line with Saul’s typical reaction. He wanted people around them for what they could contribute and not who they were. His concern was to pull from David by demanding constant presence and eventual allegiance.
This broke the promise of 1 Samuel 17:25.
– Apply: Our hatred or dislike of someone can often be masked by our consistent presence with them. Manipulation of a person or their life is an insult to the divine possession of God in their life.
b. Saul heard the hymns of victory as an personal insult.
There is a good chance the songs the women sang were just typical Jewish poetry that escalated by line. Saul started the battle and victory, and it continued with David.
18:6 -The women coming out of the cities “to meet king Saul” would almost certainly not been meant to mock.
– Apply: Jealousy and insecurity can distract us from and make us disdain even the blessings and joys of God amongst believers.
c. Saul became consumed with David keeping him consistently in mind. He
even mistook the blessing and presence of God on David’s life a threat.
Saul was irrational and inconsistent. He elevated David, but also tried to kill him. Outwardly he “liked” David, but inwardly he was enraged and afraid.
Apply: We should be willing to assess our thoughts toward others by God’s Spirit. Though our lips speak love, blessing, and a desire for success, are we actually afraid of what may happen and enraged when others don’t see someone the same way we do?
 
3. Saul gives a masterclass on the instability of a double-minded man. – 18:17-30 – Again, he says anything to get what he wants.
a. Saul offers David his oldest daughter, Merab, to bring danger. – 18:17-19
This should have already been done to keep the promise of 17:25.
Saul was willing to use good things for bad purposes. Joining the royal family by marriage would make David a top target of the Philistines.
He had hidden intentions. He spoke one thing, but meant another.
He spoke love, concern, and invitation but really meant destruction because of his own personal preference and disdain.
David defers the offer because he doesn’t see himself as worthy or wealthy enough for the position.
Saul gives Merab away to another.
Apply: Empty words and offers meant to indebt someone to us are sinful.
b. Saul plots to use Michal and David’s love against David. – 18:20-25
Saul is so consumed with insecurity and hate that he will use his own family for evil intentions and to hurt others.
Saul twists blessings hoping that they will lead to downfall.
Knowing that David will reject because he is too poor for a royal dowry, Saul plans put David in danger and create volatile circumstances with others.
Apply: It is a serious and sinful thing to be willing to put others into conflict in hopes of the hurt of one or the elevation of self. This is not how a Christian should handle God’s image bearers.
c. Saul used a devious plan, but he could not change the sovereign will of
God. – 18:26-30 – It broke the promise of 17:25 as well.
Evidently, Saul gave David a timeline to kill the 100 Philistines. He was trying to set every possible physical circumstance in his favor.
Saul did not murder David and spoke good things all while masking evil desires of his heart. God sees the heart, and Saul consistently ignores this.
The plan of God (David as king) cannot be changed by manipulation or sinister plans.
When Saul realized that God was in control, his response was fear and animosity. “Saul became David’s enemy.”
Apply: The Lord protects his own and guides their lives. Human manipulation is never successful. Trust God and follow Him.
 
As we have noted in our study, all human hearts look for a leader. Some of the first readers of the book of Samuel would have been exiles scattered and feeling abandoned. The message of the book is to encourage them that another perfect leader was coming. David would fail as a king when his heart did not match his mouth. David says in 18:23 that he is “a poor man, and lightly esteemed (little reputation)”, but eventually he would look on Bathsheba and assume he was rich, great, and deserving.
With thankful hearts we look to Jesus who out kings all the kings.
Isaiah 66:2 “…: but to this man will I look, even to him that is poor and of a contrite spirit, and trembleth at my word.”
Philippians 2:7-9 “But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name:”