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Bible Commentaries
1 Samuel 18

Everett's Study Notes on the Holy ScripturesEverett's Study Notes

Verses 1-30

1 Samuel 18:5 And David went out whithersoever Saul sent him, and behaved himself wisely: and Saul set him over the men of war, and he was accepted in the sight of all the people, and also in the sight of Saul's servants.

1 Samuel 18:5 “and behaved himself wisely” - Comments - This was a time in David's life when his character was being shaped and moulded for the kingship. David began to learn to be careful in everything he said. He learned to carefully weigh every action. It is in the difficult times in our lives that we learn to become focused on the things in life that matter, and on how to make quality decisions. David did not run away from this adversity, until, of course, his very life was threatened.

During the times in our life when we are given a greater level of responsibility, such as a job promotion or marriage or a family, our character is also changed. We become more conscience of how we act and how others perceive us. We begin to behave ourselves more wisely, conscience of our need to be careful of what we do and say. In 1 Samuel 18:14, because of persecution from an angry person who had authority over him, David intensified his caution. Thus it says, “David behaved himself wisely in all his ways .” Everything he did was prayerfully considered before he acted. These difficult experiences in life can cause us to rise to a higher level of character as we are challenged to walk upright in the midst of adversity. We become increasingly aware of how we must act and speak when we enter into difficult situations.

So, when we are in God will, in the place that God has placed us, rather than quitting a job, or leaving a marriage, or trying to leave a difficult situation, we can allow this environment to shape us into a better character, as David did. It was in these very difficult circumstances that David's heart was being prepared to become a leader. It is in these situations that we must pass God's approval and tests before He will promote us to greater levels of ministry and responsibility. The greatest leaders are not people who came to this position by chance, but those who have endured trials, and have came out with a better character, a divine character. It is this seasoned character that others recognize and that compels them to willingly and joyfully work under someone as their leader.

The greatest men of God on earth watch every word they say and every action they do. They set counsellors about them to help in decision-making. My experience in business leadership has confirmed that this is the only way to make correct decisions.

Pharaoh had Joseph, David had Ahithophel, Nebuchadnezzar had his wise men and Daniel, Ahasuerus had Mordecai, the kings of Judah and Israel had the prophets of God, the kings of the ancient world had wise men and magicians. Those kings who did not receive wise counsel fell. Those kings who did seek good counsel became established.

The worst decisions I have ever made were made without council (Proverbs 24:6).

Proverbs 24:6, “For by wise counsel thou shalt make thy war: and in multitude of counsellors there is safety.”

1 Samuel 18:17 And Saul said to David, Behold my elder daughter Merab, her will I give thee to wife: only be thou valiant for me, and fight the LORD'S battles. For Saul said, Let not mine hand be upon him, but let the hand of the Philistines be upon him.

1 Samuel 18:17 Comments - Saul tries to cause David to die in battle.

1 Samuel 18:18 And David said unto 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?

1 Samuel 18:18 Comments - David did not think of Saul as having evil intents, but as bestowing him an honor. This is because David has a pure heart. David did not accuse Saul, because love thinketh no evil. David spoke in humility because love is not puffed up (1 Corinthians 13:4-5).

1 Corinthians 13:4-5, “Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil;”

David began humbling himself at this time in his ministry and later, God highly exalted him (1 Peter 5:6).

1 Peter 5:6, “Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time:”

1 Samuel 18:19 But it came to pass at the time when Merab Saul's daughter should have been given to David, that she was given unto Adriel the Meholathite to wife.

1 Samuel 18:19 Comments - David did not let bitterness creep in when Saul gave his first daughter to another man (Hebrews 12:14-15).

Hebrews 12:14-15, “Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord: Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you , and thereby many be defiled;”

1 Samuel 18:25 And Saul said, Thus shall ye say to David, The king desireth not any dowry, but an hundred foreskins of the Philistines, to be avenged of the king's enemies. But Saul thought to make David fall by the hand of the Philistines.

1 Samuel 18:25 Word Study on “foreskins” Strong says the Hebrew word “foreskins” ( עָרְלָה ) (H6190) means, “the prepuce, the foreskin.”

Bibliographical Information
Everett, Gary H. "Commentary on 1 Samuel 18". Everett's Study Notes on the Holy Scriptures. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/ghe/1-samuel-18.html. 2013.
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