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3/11/21 - THE PERFECT STORM

“After David had finished talking with Saul, he met Jonathan, the king’s son. There was an immediate bond between them, for Jonathan loved David. From that day on Saul kept David with him and wouldn’t let him return home. And Jonathan made a solemn pact with David, because he loved him as he loved himself. Jonathan sealed the pact by taking off his robe and giving it to David, together with his tunic, sword, bow, and belt. Whatever Saul asked David to do, David did it successfully. So Saul made him a commander over the men of war, an appointment that was welcomed by the people and Saul’s officers alike. When the victorious Israelite army was returning home after David had killed the Philistine, women from all the towns of Israel came out to meet King Saul. They sang and danced for joy with tambourines and cymbals. This was their song: “Saul has killed his thousands, and David his ten thousands!” This made Saul very angry. “What’s this?” he said. “They credit David with ten thousands and me with only thousands. Next they’ll be making him their king!” So from that time on Saul kept a jealous eye on David.”

‭‭1 Samuel‬ ‭18:1-9‬ ‭NLT‬‬

“Now David was the son of a man named Jesse, an Ephrathite from Bethlehem in the land of Judah. Jesse was an old man at that time, and he had eight sons. Jesse’s three oldest sons—Eliab, Abinadab, and Shimea —had already joined Saul’s army to fight the Philistines. David was the youngest son. David’s three oldest brothers stayed with Saul’s army, but David went back and forth so he could help his father with the sheep in Bethlehem.

“Don’t worry about this Philistine,” David told Saul. “I’ll go fight him!” “Don’t be ridiculous!” Saul replied. “There’s no way you can fight this Philistine and possibly win! You’re only a boy, and he’s been a man of war since his youth.” But David persisted. “I have been taking care of my father’s sheep and goats,” he said. “When a lion or a bear comes to steal a lamb from the flock, I go after it with a club and rescue the lamb from its mouth. If the animal turns on me, I catch it by the jaw and club it to death. I have done this to both lions and bears, and I’ll do it to this pagan Philistine, too, for he has defied the armies of the living God! The Lord who rescued me from the claws of the lion and the bear will rescue me from this Philistine!” Saul finally consented. “All right, go ahead,” he said. “And may the Lord be with you!”

David replied to the Philistine, “You come to me with sword, spear, and javelin, but I come to you in the name of the Lord of Heaven’s Armies—the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. Today the Lord will conquer you, and I will kill you and cut off your head. And then I will give the dead bodies of your men to the birds and wild animals, and the whole world will know that there is a God in Israel! And everyone assembled here will know that the Lord rescues His people, but not with sword and spear. This is the Lord’s battle, and He will give you to us!”

So David triumphed over the Philistine with only a sling and a stone, for he had no sword.

As soon as David returned from killing Goliath, Abner brought him to Saul with the Philistine’s head still in his hand. “Tell me about your father, young man,” Saul said. And David replied, “His name is Jesse, and we live in Bethlehem.”

‭‭1 Samuel‬ ‭17:12-15, 32-37, 45-47, 50, 57-58‬ ‭NLT‬‬

I wrote the scriptures backwards to show you that David wasn’t always an enemy to Saul. Saul admired David, so much so that after he had defeated Goliath, he promoted him and wouldn’t let him go home. Jonathan, Sauls son, who was next in line for the throne, and moved by the Spirit of God, did something that neither his father or David recognized at the time. He clothed David in his robe, tunic, sword, bow and belt. This was significant, almost prophetic if you think about it. This young shepherd boy, was being treated as one of king Saul’s sons. Unbeknownst to all of them, including David, this would become a reality.

What shifted the dynamics between Saul and David? The song of the women. These women were telling the truth, but sometimes even the truth spoken at the wrong time, even with the best of intentions, can be devastating. Saul was insecure in his position as king of Israel, a song about this young kid slaying ten thousands to his thousands wasn’t helping the situation. The Bible says, things shifted from that day forward. Remember they came out to meet Saul, but the praise was being heaped on David. What they thought was a good thing, brought only grief to David. The Bible doesn’t say anything about how David responded to the praise, but it does reveal Saul’s reaction.

If you continue reading in subsequent chapters, you’ll see that this one incident created a rollercoaster ride for innocent David. His life was in constant jeopardy. The women had created a perfect storm. Have you ever had a situation where someone who’s supposed to be your friend disclosed information publicly that you had mused about privately, and the innocent reveal created a not so pleasant response from the recipient of your musings? That’s exactly what happened here. Now, had they just greeted Saul and David without making distinctions about who killed the most enemies, David wouldn’t have become Saul’s rival.

Be careful of people who heap praises on you under the guise of caring. Especially if you’re part of a group. Creating rivalry where there isn’t competition. Saul and David were on the same team. They were united in purpose. Destroying the enemies of Israel was first and foremost. The women, whether knowingly or unknowingly, created the perfect storm. You never put down a leader in the presence of their subjects. But that’s exactly what happened that day.

When God was about to replace Saul, He didn’t even disclose the name of his successor. 1 Samuel 13. But, ever since the day that the women elevated David above Saul, everything changed. Saul now viewed David through lenses of jealousy. He seethed every time David accomplished something great. There was a time when that wouldn’t be a problem, but Saul couldn’t get the song out of his mind. See 1 Samuel 20:30-31. There are times when some things are better left unsaid. This song even created a rift between father and son. Before the song, they enjoyed a great bond. 1 Samuel 20:2

Poor David couldn’t figure out why Saul had turned against him. He wasn’t influenced by the song. Why? Everything David did he gave glory to God. (1 Samuel 17) He wasn’t insecure in who he was. He was surrendered to Jehovah. But as I stated earlier, Saul had a self esteem problem (1 Samuel 10). David wondered out loud to his friend Jonathan 1 Samuel 20. Not even Jonathan had noticed the resentment of his father towards David. But after David had Jonathan create a scenario to find out if his fear was real, the truth came to light, as you read in chapter 20. Now the song had put Jonathan in a precarious position. He loves David and wouldn’t keep his father’s plot a secret, but the disappointment in the father he loves must’ve been heartbreaking.

Jonathan sought out his friend David in chapter 23 and as he did when he first met David, he shares a prophetic word. Let’s read:

“Jonathan went to find David and encouraged him to stay strong in his faith in God. “Don’t be afraid,” Jonathan reassured him. “My father will never find you! You are going to be the king of Israel, and I will be next to you, as my father, Saul, is well aware.” So the two of them renewed their solemn pact before the Lord. Then Jonathan returned home, while David stayed at Horesh.”

‭‭1 Samuel‬ ‭23:16-18‬ ‭NLT‬‬

Well said, but the line about them reigning together was not to be. Saul’s hatred had doubled to include Jonathan. 1 Samuel 20:30-33. In 1 Samuel 31 we read the sad ending to what could’ve been a great relationship. Had David not been treated as an enemy, the army of Israel wouldn’t be running from their enemy, had Saul not allowed the song to create bitterness in him, he would’ve enjoyed David’s loyalty and service, had he not been hasty in offering up sacrifices out of fear and insecurity, he never would’ve lost his kingship 1 Samuel 15.

Have you encountered the perfect storm? Have you been the one who created the storm? Or are you living through a storm?They say loose lips sinks great ships, and may I add, brings down empires. I’m sure most of Israel knew Saul was insecure. They had watched as Goliath taunted the army of Israel for months, while their king cowered in fear. They saw this teenage shepherd boy stand up to the giant, and the emotions of the women following the defeat of the Philistines, overtook good judgment or was that a part of God’s divine plan all along? We need discernment to know when and what to say. The Holy Spirit corrected me once with these words that changed my life. “Because you’re right, it doesn’t give you the right to say it.“ He was basically saying some things are better left unsaid even if it’s true.

The women, though correct in what they were singing, created a perfect storm. A storm that never stopped raging in the heart of an insecure king. If your praise of another will lead to the hurting of someone else, be discerning and do it privately. Sometimes the intention of the praiser may seem on the surface to be genuine, but it may just be a setup, especially if they don’t necessarily care for the other person, or maybe it’s well intentioned, but the timing is off. The giver as well as the recipient, must operate from a place of love and thoughtfulness. There mustn’t be a hint of guile in their praise. Saul heard something in the song, he knew that they weren’t lying, but he also must’ve heard something more in the way it was presented. So I ask again. Are you creating the perfect storm through your words and actions?

Considering the scriptures we’ve read today. How can you avoid going into a storm or creating one? How can you help a friend who’s been innocently drawn into a storm? Allow the Holy Spirit to point out any scenario that the devil can use to draw you into being a participant in conversations that will harm others. Remember, even good intentions, used incorrectly can bring great harm to others. Words like feathers blown by the wind, cannot be taken back. You can’t strike out or erase from the mind, what has already been heard. Those women sang and went home, not realizing that they had created the perfect storm. The residual effects of their song lingered, indelibly stamped on the heart and mind of king Saul. Sound words never produces disappointment.

“Take control of what I say, O Lord, and guard my lips. Don’t let me drift toward evil or take part in acts of wickedness. Don’t let me share in the delicacies of those who do wrong.”🙏

‭‭Psalms‬ ‭141:3-4‬ ‭NLT‬‬

Written by permission of the Holy Spirit

W. Tennant

March 11. 2021


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