Monday after the Seventh Sunday after Trinity Sunday
Scripture: 1 Samuel 18:10-30 (NKJV)
10 And it happened on the next day that the distressing spirit from God came upon Saul, and he prophesied inside the house. So David played music with his hand, as at other times; but there was a spear in Saul’s hand. 11 And Saul cast the spear, for he said, “I will pin David to the wall!” But David escaped his presence twice. 12 Now Saul was afraid of David, because the LORD was with him, but had departed from Saul. 13 Therefore Saul removed him from his presence, and made him his captain over a thousand; and he went out and came in before the people. 14 And David behaved wisely in all his ways, and the LORD was with him. 15 Therefore, when Saul saw that he behaved very wisely, he was afraid of him. 16 But all Israel and Judah loved David, because he went out and came in before them.
17 Then Saul said to David, “Here is my older daughter Merab; I will give her to you as a wife. Only be valiant for me, and fight the LORD’s battles.” For Saul thought, “Let my hand not be against him, but let the hand of the Philistines be against him.” 18 So David said to Saul, “Who am I, and what is my life or my father’s family in Israel, that I should be son-in-law to the king?” 19 But it happened at the time when Merab, Saul’s daughter, should have been given to David, that she was given to Adriel the Meholathite as a wife. 20 Now Michal, Saul’s daughter, loved David. And they told Saul, and the thing pleased him. 21 So Saul said, “I will give her to him, that she may be a snare to him, and that the hand of the Philistines may be against him.” Therefore Saul said to David a second time, “You shall be my son-in-law today.” 22 And Saul commanded his servants, “Communicate with David secretly, and say, ‘Look, the king has delight in you, and all his servants love you. Now therefore, become the king’s son-in-law.'”
23 So Saul’s servants spoke those words in the hearing of David. And David said, “Does it seem to you a light thing to be a king’s son-in-law, seeing I am a poor and lightly esteemed man?” 24 And the servants of Saul told him, saying, “In this manner David spoke.” 25 Then Saul said, “Thus you shall say to David: ‘The king does not desire any dowry but one hundred foreskins of the Philistines, to take vengeance on the king’s enemies.'” But Saul thought to make David fall by the hand of the Philistines. 26 So when his servants told David these words, it pleased David well to become the king’s son-in-law. Now the days had not expired; 27 therefore David arose and went, he and his men, and killed two hundred men of the Philistines. And David brought their foreskins, and they gave them in full count to the king, that he might become the king’s son-in-law. Then Saul gave him Michal his daughter as a wife. 28 Thus Saul saw and knew that the LORD was with David, and that Michal, Saul’s daughter, loved him; 29 and Saul was still more afraid of David. So Saul became David’s enemy continually. 30 Then the princes of the Philistines went out to war. And so it was, whenever they went out, that David behaved more wisely than all the servants of Saul, so that his name became highly esteemed.
Saul was afraid of David and sent him away because the Lord was with David and no longer with him. The Lord’s presence caused Saul distress because he had resisted the Holy Spirit.
If we do not have the Holy Spirit we hate God and His Word. Even the most pleasant Gospel promises seem burdensome to us and, at most, we will like only a wrong understanding of God’s Law that leads us to think that we are doing well. In truth, we can never do enough, and the only One Who could (and did) is the very One we reject!
Despising the Holy Spirit causes tension between the hearer of God’s Word and the one speaking it, as well. As David became the target of Saul’s spear, so does the faithful pastor become the target for the fiery darts of the obstinate sinner. Even for a Christian, the fact that our Old Adam wishes to rise and conquer makes us resistant to the Word of God.
It is only by the grace of God in Jesus Christ that our wickedness is overcome and we are made to be at peace with God. No effort of our own can make us righteous. Christ’s holy life and innocent death has paid for our own resistance and failure in God’s Law, and His Holy Spirit creates a new heart within us. Give thanks to the Lord for the mercies He shows to us by His Word, His Spirit, and His faithful servants who bring that Word to us, and may He always preserve us from obstinacy such as Saul’s.