When Saul realized that the Lord was with David and that his daughter Michal loved David, Saul became still more afraid of him, and he remained his enemy the rest of his days. (1 Samuel 18:28-29 NIV)
The story of battle that David is usually known for is his tussle with Goliath, but the real giant that opposed David before he became King was the giant shadow of Saul.
To all intents and purposes this didn’t need to be the case at all. Saul was the king, David acknowledged that and saw his own position as being subordinate to that. He knew his capabilities, but he was loyal and devoted to King and country. Saul on the other hand, was a man in turmoil. He knew the Spirit of God had left him, the rejection by God was keenly felt and now with this young man he was very aware that where here was someone who had favour from God. So pronounced was that favour that Saul saw a threat.
Whatever Saul did to oppose David only reinforced the favour and every time it was reinforced, Saul’s insecurity was heightened. The list of successes in chapter 17 of 1 Samuel give an indication of the degree to which David was shown great favour. The King’s son, Jonathan, establishes an intimate bond with him. The King’s second daughter is deeply in love with him. The Philistines suffer great losses against him. The women of Israel sing songs adoring him. The army highly respect him and endorse the strides he makes through the ranks. Even when it comes to a challenge set to gain the hand of the King’s second daughter in marriage, he brings back double the required amount, such is his sense of duty to royalty and God’s favour on his life.
David’s attitude as well as the favour of God is noteworthy. He’s aware that Saul is somewhat against him – avoiding a spear aimed at you once will give you that impression. Avoiding it twice seals the deal that you’re not the most pleasing person in the King’s eyes. David can take the hint with the nature of the missions he’s being sent on that these are of a dangerous variety. At any point he might have been well placed to have a victim mentality or a persecution complex. Not David, though. He has a servant heart and as he served God in defeating Goliath, so he serves God in his obedience to the King.
It’s this focus on the Almighty that will help David considerably as the opposition of Saul intensifies.
For His Name’s Sake
C. L. J. Dryden