Bernard and Saul

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#541: “Bernard and Saul”
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Scripture
1 Samuel 9:1-11:15
1There was a Benjamite, a man of standing, whose name was Kish son of Abiel, the son of Zeror, the son of Becorath, the son of Aphiah of Benjamin.2He had a son named Saul, an impressive young man without equal among the Israelites--a head taller than any of the others.3Now the donkeys belonging to Saul's father Kish were lost, and Kish said to his son Saul, "Take one of the servants with you and go and look for the donkeys."4So he passed through the hill country of Ephraim and through the area around Shalisha, but they did not find them. They went on into the district of Shaalim, but the donkeys were not there. Then he passed through the territory of Benjamin, but they did not find them.5When they reached the district of Zuph, Saul said to the servant who was with him, "Come, let's go back, or my father will stop thinking about the donkeys and start worrying about us."6But the servant replied, "Look, in this town there is a man of God; he is highly respected, and everything he says comes true. Let's go there now. Perhaps he will tell us what way to take."7Saul said to his servant, "If we go, what can we give the man? The food in our sacks is gone. We have no gift to take to the man of God. What do we have?"8The servant answered him again. "Look," he said, "I have a quarter of a shekel of silver. I will give it to the man of God so that he will tell us what way to take."9(Formerly in Israel, if a man went to inquire of God, he would say, "Come, let us go to the seer," because the prophet of today used to be called a seer.)10"Good," Saul said to his servant. "Come, let's go." So they set out for the town where the man of God was.11As they were going up the hill to the town, they met some girls coming out to draw water, and they asked them, "Is the seer here?"12"He is," they answered. "He's ahead of you. Hurry now; he has just come to our town today, for the people have a sacrifice at the high place.13As soon as you enter the town, you will find him before he goes up to the high place to eat. The people will not begin eating until he comes, because he must bless the sacrifice; afterward, those who are invited will eat. Go up now; you should find him about this time."14They went up to the town, and as they were entering it, there was Samuel, coming toward them on his way up to the high place.15Now the day before Saul came, the LORD had revealed this to Samuel:16"About this time tomorrow I will send you a man from the land of Benjamin. Anoint him leader over my people Israel; he will deliver my people from the hand of the Philistines. I have looked upon my people, for their cry has reached me."17When Samuel caught sight of Saul, the LORD said to him, "This is the man I spoke to you about; he will govern my people."18Saul approached Samuel in the gateway and asked, "Would you please tell me where the seer's house is?"19"I am the seer," Samuel replied. "Go up ahead of me to the high place, for today you are to eat with me, and in the morning I will let you go and will tell you all that is in your heart.20As for the donkeys you lost three days ago, do not worry about them; they have been found. And to whom is all the desire of Israel turned, if not to you and all your father's family?"21Saul answered, "But am I not a Benjamite, from the smallest tribe of Israel, and is not my clan the least of all the clans of the tribe of Benjamin? Why do you say such a thing to me?"22Then Samuel brought Saul and his servant into the hall and seated them at the head of those who were invited--about thirty in number.23Samuel said to the cook, "Bring the piece of meat I gave you, the one I told you to lay aside."24So the cook took up the leg with what was on it and set it in front of Saul. Samuel said, "Here is what has been kept for you. Eat, because it was set aside for you for this occasion, from the time I said, 'I have invited guests.'" And Saul dined with Samuel that day.25After they came down from the high place to the town, Samuel talked with Saul on the roof of his house.26They rose about daybreak and Samuel called to Saul on the roof, "Get ready, and I will send you on your way." When Saul got ready, he and Samuel went outside together.27As they were going down to the edge of the town, Samuel said to Saul, "Tell the servant to go on ahead of us"--and the servant did so--" but you stay here awhile, so that I may give you a message from God."==Chapter 10==1Then Samuel took a flask of oil and poured it on Saul's head and kissed him, saying, "Has not the LORD anointed you leader over his inheritance?2When you leave me today, you will meet two men near Rachel's tomb, at Zelzah on the border of Benjamin. They will say to you, 'The donkeys you set out to look for have been found. And now your father has stopped thinking about them and is worried about you. He is asking, "What shall I do about my son?"'3"Then you will go on from there until you reach the great tree of Tabor. Three men going up to God at Bethel will meet you there. One will be carrying three young goats, another three loaves of bread, and another a skin of wine.4They will greet you and offer you two loaves of bread, which you will accept from them.5"After that you will go to Gibeah of God, where there is a Philistine outpost. As you approach the town, you will meet a procession of prophets coming down from the high place with lyres, tambourines, flutes and harps being played before them, and they will be prophesying.6The Spirit of the LORD will come upon you in power, and you will prophesy with them; and you will be changed into a different person.7Once these signs are fulfilled, do whatever your hand finds to do, for God is with you.8"Go down ahead of me to Gilgal. I will surely come down to you to sacrifice burnt offerings and fellowship offerings, but you must wait seven days until I come to you and tell you what you are to do."9As Saul turned to leave Samuel, God changed Saul's heart, and all these signs were fulfilled that day.10When they arrived at Gibeah, a procession of prophets met him; the Spirit of God came upon him in power, and he joined in their prophesying.11When all those who had formerly known him saw him prophesying with the prophets, they asked each other, "What is this that has happened to the son of Kish? Is Saul also among the prophets?"12A man who lived there answered, "And who is their father?" So it became a saying: "Is Saul also among the prophets?"13After Saul stopped prophesying, he went to the high place.14Now Saul's uncle asked him and his servant, "Where have you been?" "Looking for the donkeys," he said. "But when we saw they were not to be found, we went to Samuel."15Saul's uncle said, "Tell me what Samuel said to you."16Saul replied, "He assured us that the donkeys had been found." But he did not tell his uncle what Samuel had said about the kingship.17Samuel summoned the people of Israel to the LORD at Mizpah18and said to them, "This is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says: 'I brought Israel up out of Egypt, and I delivered you from the power of Egypt and all the kingdoms that oppressed you.'19But you have now rejected your God, who saves you out of all your calamities and distresses. And you have said, 'No, set a king over us.' So now present yourselves before the LORD by your tribes and clans."20When Samuel brought all the tribes of Israel near, the tribe of Benjamin was chosen.21Then he brought forward the tribe of Benjamin, clan by clan, and Matri's clan was chosen. Finally Saul son of Kish was chosen. But when they looked for him, he was not to be found.22So they inquired further of the LORD, "Has the man come here yet?" And the LORD said, "Yes, he has hidden himself among the baggage."23They ran and brought him out, and as he stood among the people he was a head taller than any of the others.24Samuel said to all the people, "Do you see the man the LORD has chosen? There is no one like him among all the people." Then the people shouted, "Long live the king!"25Samuel explained to the people the regulations of the kingship. He wrote them down on a scroll and deposited it before the LORD. Then Samuel dismissed the people, each to his own home.26Saul also went to his home in Gibeah, accompanied by valiant men whose hearts God had touched.27But some troublemakers said, "How can this fellow save us?" They despised him and brought him no gifts. But Saul kept silent.==Chapter 11==1Nahash the Ammonite went up and besieged Jabesh Gilead. And all the men of Jabesh said to him, "Make a treaty with us, and we will be subject to you."2But Nahash the Ammonite replied, "I will make a treaty with you only on the condition that I gouge out the right eye of every one of you and so bring disgrace on all Israel."3The elders of Jabesh said to him, "Give us seven days so we can send messengers throughout Israel; if no one comes to rescue us, we will surrender to you."4When the messengers came to Gibeah of Saul and reported these terms to the people, they all wept aloud.5Just then Saul was returning from the fields, behind his oxen, and he asked, "What is wrong with the people? Why are they weeping?" Then they repeated to him what the men of Jabesh had said.6When Saul heard their words, the Spirit of God came upon him in power, and he burned with anger.7He took a pair of oxen, cut them into pieces, and sent the pieces by messengers throughout Israel, proclaiming, "This is what will be done to the oxen of anyone who does not follow Saul and Samuel." Then the terror of the LORD fell on the people, and they turned out as one man.8When Saul mustered them at Bezek, the men of Israel numbered three hundred thousand and the men of Judah thirty thousand.9They told the messengers who had come, "Say to the men of Jabesh Gilead, 'By the time the sun is hot tomorrow, you will be delivered.'" When the messengers went and reported this to the men of Jabesh, they were elated.10They said to the Ammonites, "Tomorrow we will surrender to you, and you can do to us whatever seems good to you."11The next day Saul separated his men into three divisions; during the last watch of the night they broke into the camp of the Ammonites and slaughtered them until the heat of the day. Those who survived were scattered, so that no two of them were left together.12The people then said to Samuel, "Who was it that asked, 'Shall Saul reign over us?' Bring these men to us and we will put them to death."13But Saul said, "No one shall be put to death today, for this day the LORD has rescued Israel."14Then Samuel said to the people, "Come, let us go to Gilgal and there reaffirm the kingship."15So all the people went to Gilgal and confirmed Saul as king in the presence of the LORD. There they sacrificed fellowship offerings before the LORD, and Saul and all the Israelites held a great celebration.

1 Samuel 14:1-18:19
1One day Jonathan son of Saul said to the young man bearing his armor, "Come, let's go over to the Philistine outpost on the other side." But he did not tell his father.2Saul was staying on the outskirts of Gibeah under a pomegranate tree in Migron. With him were about six hundred men,3among whom was Ahijah, who was wearing an ephod. He was a son of Ichabod's brother Ahitub son of Phinehas, the son of Eli, the Lord's priest in Shiloh. No one was aware that Jonathan had left.4On each side of the pass that Jonathan intended to cross to reach the Philistine outpost was a cliff; one was called Bozez, and the other Seneh.5One cliff stood to the north toward Micmash, the other to the south toward Geba.6Jonathan said to his young armor-bearer, "Come, let's go over to the outpost of those uncircumcised fellows. Perhaps the LORD will act in our behalf. Nothing can hinder the LORD from saving, whether by many or by few."7"Do all that you have in mind," his armor-bearer said. "Go ahead; I am with you heart and soul."8Jonathan said, "Come, then; we will cross over toward the men and let them see us.9If they say to us, 'Wait there until we come to you,' we will stay where we are and not go up to them.10But if they say, 'Come up to us,' we will climb up, because that will be our sign that the LORD has given them into our hands."11So both of them showed themselves to the Philistine outpost. "Look!" said the Philistines. "The Hebrews are crawling out of the holes they were hiding in."12The men of the outpost shouted to Jonathan and his armor-bearer, "Come up to us and we'll teach you a lesson." So Jonathan said to his armor-bearer, "Climb up after me; the LORD has given them into the hand of Israel."13Jonathan climbed up, using his hands and feet, with his armor-bearer right behind him. The Philistines fell before Jonathan, and his armor-bearer followed and killed behind him.14In that first attack Jonathan and his armor-bearer killed some twenty men in an area of about half an acre.15Then panic struck the whole army--those in the camp and field, and those in the outposts and raiding parties--and the ground shook. It was a panic sent by God.16Saul's lookouts at Gibeah in Benjamin saw the army melting away in all directions.17Then Saul said to the men who were with him, "Muster the forces and see who has left us." When they did, it was Jonathan and his armor-bearer who were not there.18Saul said to Ahijah, "Bring the ark of God." (At that time it was with the Israelites.)19While Saul was talking to the priest, the tumult in the Philistine camp increased more and more. So Saul said to the priest, "Withdraw your hand."20Then Saul and all his men assembled and went to the battle. They found the Philistines in total confusion, striking each other with their swords.21Those Hebrews who had previously been with the Philistines and had gone up with them to their camp went over to the Israelites who were with Saul and Jonathan.22When all the Israelites who had hidden in the hill country of Ephraim heard that the Philistines were on the run, they joined the battle in hot pursuit.23So the LORD rescued Israel that day, and the battle moved on beyond Beth Aven.24Now the men of Israel were in distress that day, because Saul had bound the people under an oath, saying, "Cursed be any man who eats food before evening comes, before I have avenged myself on my enemies!" So none of the troops tasted food.25The entire army entered the woods, and there was honey on the ground.26When they went into the woods, they saw the honey oozing out, yet no one put his hand to his mouth, because they feared the oath.27But Jonathan had not heard that his father had bound the people with the oath, so he reached out the end of the staff that was in his hand and dipped it into the honeycomb. He raised his hand to his mouth, and his eyes brightened.28Then one of the soldiers told him, "Your father bound the army under a strict oath, saying, 'Cursed be any man who eats food today!' That is why the men are faint."29Jonathan said, "My father has made trouble for the country. See how my eyes brightened when I tasted a little of this honey.30How much better it would have been if the men had eaten today some of the plunder they took from their enemies. Would not the slaughter of the Philistines have been even greater?"31That day, after the Israelites had struck down the Philistines from Micmash to Aijalon, they were exhausted.32They pounced on the plunder and, taking sheep, cattle and calves, they butchered them on the ground and ate them, together with the blood.33Then someone said to Saul, "Look, the men are sinning against the LORD by eating meat that has blood in it." "You have broken faith," he said. "Roll a large stone over here at once."34Then he said, "Go out among the men and tell them, 'Each of you bring me your cattle and sheep, and slaughter them here and eat them. Do not sin against the LORD by eating meat with blood still in it.'" So everyone brought his ox that night and slaughtered it there.35Then Saul built an altar to the LORD; it was the first time he had done this.36Saul said, "Let us go down after the Philistines by night and plunder them till dawn, and let us not leave one of them alive." "Do whatever seems best to you," they replied. But the priest said, "Let us inquire of God here."37So Saul asked God, "Shall I go down after the Philistines? Will you give them into Israel's hand?" But God did not answer him that day.38Saul therefore said, "Come here, all you who are leaders of the army, and let us find out what sin has been committed today.39As surely as the LORD who rescues Israel lives, even if it lies with my son Jonathan, he must die." But not one of the men said a word.40Saul then said to all the Israelites, "You stand over there; I and Jonathan my son will stand over here." "Do what seems best to you," the men replied.41Then Saul prayed to the LORD, the God of Israel, "Give me the right answer." And Jonathan and Saul were taken by lot, and the men were cleared.42Saul said, "Cast the lot between me and Jonathan my son." And Jonathan was taken.43Then Saul said to Jonathan, "Tell me what you have done." So Jonathan told him, "I merely tasted a little honey with the end of my staff. And now must I die?"44Saul said, "May God deal with me, be it ever so severely, if you do not die, Jonathan."45But the men said to Saul, "Should Jonathan die--he who has brought about this great deliverance in Israel? Never! As surely as the LORD lives, not a hair of his head will fall to the ground, for he did this today with God's help." So the men rescued Jonathan, and he was not put to death.46Then Saul stopped pursuing the Philistines, and they withdrew to their own land.47After Saul had assumed rule over Israel, he fought against their enemies on every side: Moab, the Ammonites, Edom, the kings of Zobah, and the Philistines. Wherever he turned, he inflicted punishment on them.48He fought valiantly and defeated the Amalekites, delivering Israel from the hands of those who had plundered them.49Saul's sons were Jonathan, Ishvi and Malki-Shua. The name of his older daughter was Merab, and that of the younger was Michal.50His wife's name was Ahinoam daughter of Ahimaaz. The name of the commander of Saul's army was Abner son of Ner, and Ner was Saul's uncle.51Saul's father Kish and Abner's father Ner were sons of Abiel.52All the days of Saul there was bitter war with the Philistines, and whenever Saul saw a mighty or brave man, he took him into his service.==Chapter 15==1Samuel said to Saul, "I am the one the LORD sent to anoint you king over his people Israel; so listen now to the message from the LORD.2This is what the LORD Almighty says: 'I will punish the Amalekites for what they did to Israel when they waylaid them as they came up from Egypt.3Now go, attack the Amalekites and totally destroy everything that belongs to them. Do not spare them; put to death men and women, children and infants, cattle and sheep, camels and donkeys.'"4So Saul summoned the men and mustered them at Telaim--two hundred thousand foot soldiers and ten thousand men from Judah.5Saul went to the city of Amalek and set an ambush in the ravine.6Then he said to the Kenites, "Go away, leave the Amalekites so that I do not destroy you along with them; for you showed kindness to all the Israelites when they came up out of Egypt." So the Kenites moved away from the Amalekites.7Then Saul attacked the Amalekites all the way from Havilah to Shur, to the east of Egypt.8He took Agag king of the Amalekites alive, and all his people he totally destroyed with the sword.9But Saul and the army spared Agag and the best of the sheep and cattle, the fat calves and lambs--everything that was good. These they were unwilling to destroy completely, but everything that was despised and weak they totally destroyed.10Then the word of the LORD came to Samuel:11"I am grieved that I have made Saul king, because he has turned away from me and has not carried out my instructions." Samuel was troubled, and he cried out to the LORD all that night.12Early in the morning Samuel got up and went to meet Saul, but he was told, "Saul has gone to Carmel. There he has set up a monument in his own honor and has turned and gone on down to Gilgal."13When Samuel reached him, Saul said, "The LORD bless you! I have carried out the Lord's instructions."14But Samuel said, "What then is this bleating of sheep in my ears? What is this lowing of cattle that I hear?"15Saul answered, "The soldiers brought them from the Amalekites; they spared the best of the sheep and cattle to sacrifice to the LORD your God, but we totally destroyed the rest."16"Stop!" Samuel said to Saul. "Let me tell you what the LORD said to me last night." "Tell me," Saul replied.17Samuel said, "Although you were once small in your own eyes, did you not become the head of the tribes of Israel? The LORD anointed you king over Israel.18And he sent you on a mission, saying, 'Go and completely destroy those wicked people, the Amalekites; make war on them until you have wiped them out.'19Why did you not obey the LORD? Why did you pounce on the plunder and do evil in the eyes of the LORD?"20"But I did obey the LORD," Saul said. "I went on the mission the LORD assigned me. I completely destroyed the Amalekites and brought back Agag their king.21The soldiers took sheep and cattle from the plunder, the best of what was devoted to God, in order to sacrifice them to the LORD your God at Gilgal."22But Samuel replied: "Does the LORD delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as much as in obeying the voice of the LORD? To obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed is better than the fat of rams.23For rebellion is like the sin of divination, and arrogance like the evil of idolatry. Because you have rejected the word of the LORD, he has rejected you as king."24Then Saul said to Samuel, "I have sinned. I violated the Lord's command and your instructions. I was afraid of the people and so I gave in to them.25Now I beg you, forgive my sin and come back with me, so that I may worship the LORD."26But Samuel said to him, "I will not go back with you. You have rejected the word of the LORD, and the LORD has rejected you as king over Israel!"27As Samuel turned to leave, Saul caught hold of the hem of his robe, and it tore.28Samuel said to him, "The LORD has torn the kingdom of Israel from you today and has given it to one of your neighbors--to one better than you.29He who is the Glory of Israel does not lie or change his mind; for he is not a man, that he should change his mind."30Saul replied, "I have sinned. But please honor me before the elders of my people and before Israel; come back with me, so that I may worship the LORD your God."31So Samuel went back with Saul, and Saul worshiped the LORD.32Then Samuel said, "Bring me Agag king of the Amalekites." Agag came to him confidently, thinking, "Surely the bitterness of death is past."33But Samuel said, "As your sword has made women childless, so will your mother be childless among women." And Samuel put Agag to death before the LORD at Gilgal.34Then Samuel left for Ramah, but Saul went up to his home in Gibeah of Saul.35Until the day Samuel died, he did not go to see Saul again, though Samuel mourned for him. And the LORD was grieved that he had made Saul king over Israel.==Chapter 16==1The LORD said to Samuel, "How long will you mourn for Saul, since I have rejected him as king over Israel? Fill your horn with oil and be on your way; I am sending you to Jesse of Bethlehem. I have chosen one of his sons to be king."2But Samuel said, "How can I go? Saul will hear about it and kill me." The LORD said, "Take a heifer with you and say, 'I have come to sacrifice to the LORD.'3Invite Jesse to the sacrifice, and I will show you what to do. You are to anoint for me the one I indicate."4Samuel did what the LORD said. When he arrived at Bethlehem, the elders of the town trembled when they met him. They asked, "Do you come in peace?"5Samuel replied, "Yes, in peace; I have come to sacrifice to the LORD. Consecrate yourselves and come to the sacrifice with me." Then he consecrated Jesse and his sons and invited them to the sacrifice.6When they arrived, Samuel saw Eliab and thought, "Surely the Lord's anointed stands here before the LORD."7But the LORD said to Samuel, "Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The LORD does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart."8Then Jesse called Abinadab and had him pass in front of Samuel. But Samuel said, "The LORD has not chosen this one either."9Jesse then had Shammah pass by, but Samuel said, "Nor has the LORD chosen this one."10Jesse had seven of his sons pass before Samuel, but Samuel said to him, "The LORD has not chosen these."11So he asked Jesse, "Are these all the sons you have?" "There is still the youngest," Jesse answered, "but he is tending the sheep." Samuel said, "Send for him; we will not sit down until he arrives."12So he sent and had him brought in. He was ruddy, with a fine appearance and handsome features. Then the LORD said, "Rise and anoint him; he is the one."13So Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him in the presence of his brothers, and from that day on the Spirit of the LORD came upon David in power. Samuel then went to Ramah.14Now the Spirit of the LORD had departed from Saul, and an evil spirit from the LORD tormented him.15Saul's attendants said to him, "See, an evil spirit from God is tormenting you.16Let our lord command his servants here to search for someone who can play the harp. He will play when the evil spirit from God comes upon you, and you will feel better."17So Saul said to his attendants, "Find someone who plays well and bring him to me."18One of the servants answered, "I have seen a son of Jesse of Bethlehem who knows how to play the harp. He is a brave man and a warrior. He speaks well and is a fine-looking man. And the LORD is with him."19Then Saul sent messengers to Jesse and said, "Send me your son David, who is with the sheep."20So Jesse took a donkey loaded with bread, a skin of wine and a young goat and sent them with his son David to Saul.21David came to Saul and entered his service. Saul liked him very much, and David became one of his armor-bearers.22Then Saul sent word to Jesse, saying, "Allow David to remain in my service, for I am pleased with him."23Whenever the spirit from God came upon Saul, David would take his harp and play. Then relief would come to Saul; he would feel better, and the evil spirit would leave him.==Chapter 17==1Now the Philistines gathered their forces for war and assembled at Socoh in Judah. They pitched camp at Ephes Dammim, between Socoh and Azekah.2Saul and the Israelites assembled and camped in the Valley of Elah and drew up their battle line to meet the Philistines.3The Philistines occupied one hill and the Israelites another, with the valley between them.4A champion named Goliath, who was from Gath, came out of the Philistine camp. He was over nine feet tall.5He had a bronze helmet on his head and wore a coat of scale armor of bronze weighing five thousand shekels ;6on his legs he wore bronze greaves, and a bronze javelin was slung on his back.7His spear shaft was like a weaver's rod, and its iron point weighed six hundred shekels. His shield bearer went ahead of him.8Goliath stood and shouted to the ranks of Israel, "Why do you come out and line up for battle? Am I not a Philistine, and are you not the servants of Saul? Choose a man and have him come down to me.9If he is able to fight and kill me, we will become your subjects; but if I overcome him and kill him, you will become our subjects and serve us."10Then the Philistine said, "This day I defy the ranks of Israel! Give me a man and let us fight each other."11On hearing the Philistine's words, Saul and all the Israelites were dismayed and terrified.12Now David was the son of an Ephrathite named Jesse, who was from Bethlehem in Judah. Jesse had eight sons, and in Saul's time he was old and well advanced in years.13Jesse's three oldest sons had followed Saul to the war: The firstborn was Eliab; the second, Abinadab; and the third, Shammah.14David was the youngest. The three oldest followed Saul,15but David went back and forth from Saul to tend his father's sheep at Bethlehem.16For forty days the Philistine came forward every morning and evening and took his stand.17Now Jesse said to his son David, "Take this ephah of roasted grain and these ten loaves of bread for your brothers and hurry to their camp.18Take along these ten cheeses to the commander of their unit. See how your brothers are and bring back some assurance from them.19They are with Saul and all the men of Israel in the Valley of Elah, fighting against the Philistines."20Early in the morning David left the flock with a shepherd, loaded up and set out, as Jesse had directed. He reached the camp as the army was going out to its battle positions, shouting the war cry.21Israel and the Philistines were drawing up their lines facing each other.22David left his things with the keeper of supplies, ran to the battle lines and greeted his brothers.23As he was talking with them, Goliath, the Philistine champion from Gath, stepped out from his lines and shouted his usual defiance, and David heard it.24When the Israelites saw the man, they all ran from him in great fear.25Now the Israelites had been saying, "Do you see how this man keeps coming out? He comes out to defy Israel. The king will give great wealth to the man who kills him. He will also give him his daughter in marriage and will exempt his father's family from taxes in Israel."26David asked the men standing near him, "What will be done for the man who kills this Philistine and removes this disgrace from Israel? Who is this uncircumcised Philistine that he should defy the armies of the living God?"27They repeated to him what they had been saying and told him, "This is what will be done for the man who kills him."28When Eliab, David's oldest brother, heard him speaking with the men, he burned with anger at him and asked, "Why have you come down here? And with whom did you leave those few sheep in the desert? I know how conceited you are and how wicked your heart is; you came down only to watch the battle."29"Now what have I done?" said David. "Can't I even speak?"30He then turned away to someone else and brought up the same matter, and the men answered him as before.31What David said was overheard and reported to Saul, and Saul sent for him.32David said to Saul, "Let no one lose heart on account of this Philistine; your servant will go and fight him."33Saul replied, "You are not able to go out against this Philistine and fight him; you are only a boy, and he has been a fighting man from his youth."34But David said to Saul, "Your servant has been keeping his father's sheep. When a lion or a bear came and carried off a sheep from the flock,35I went after it, struck it and rescued the sheep from its mouth. When it turned on me, I seized it by its hair, struck it and killed it.36Your servant has killed both the lion and the bear; this uncircumcised Philistine will be like one of them, because he has defied the armies of the living God.37The LORD who delivered me from the paw of the lion and the paw of the bear will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine." Saul said to David, "Go, and the LORD be with you."38Then Saul dressed David in his own tunic. He put a coat of armor on him and a bronze helmet on his head.39David fastened on his sword over the tunic and tried walking around, because he was not used to them. "I cannot go in these," he said to Saul, "because I am not used to them." So he took them off.40Then he took his staff in his hand, chose five smooth stones from the stream, put them in the pouch of his shepherd's bag and, with his sling in his hand, approached the Philistine.41Meanwhile, the Philistine, with his shield bearer in front of him, kept coming closer to David.42He looked David over and saw that he was only a boy, ruddy and handsome, and he despised him.43He said to David, "Am I a dog, that you come at me with sticks?" And the Philistine cursed David by his gods.44"Come here," he said, "and I'll give your flesh to the birds of the air and the beasts of the field!"45David said to the Philistine, "You come against me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the LORD Almighty, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied.46This day the LORD will hand you over to me, and I'll strike you down and cut off your head. Today I will give the carcasses of the Philistine army to the birds of the air and the beasts of the earth, and the whole world will know that there is a God in Israel.47All those gathered here will know that it is not by sword or spear that the LORD saves; for the battle is the Lord's, and he will give all of you into our hands."48As the Philistine moved closer to attack him, David ran quickly toward the battle line to meet him.49Reaching into his bag and taking out a stone, he slung it and struck the Philistine on the forehead. The stone sank into his forehead, and he fell facedown on the ground.50So David triumphed over the Philistine with a sling and a stone; without a sword in his hand he struck down the Philistine and killed him.51David ran and stood over him. He took hold of the Philistine's sword and drew it from the scabbard. After he killed him, he cut off his head with the sword. When the Philistines saw that their hero was dead, they turned and ran.52Then the men of Israel and Judah surged forward with a shout and pursued the Philistines to the entrance of Gath and to the gates of Ekron. Their dead were strewn along the Shaaraim road to Gath and Ekron.53When the Israelites returned from chasing the Philistines, they plundered their camp.54David took the Philistine's head and brought it to Jerusalem, and he put the Philistine's weapons in his own tent.55As Saul watched David going out to meet the Philistine, he said to Abner, commander of the army, "Abner, whose son is that young man?" Abner replied, "As surely as you live, O king, I don't know."56The king said, "Find out whose son this young man is."57As soon as David returned from killing the Philistine, Abner took him and brought him before Saul, with David still holding the Philistine's head.58"Whose son are you, young man?" Saul asked him. David said, "I am the son of your servant Jesse of Bethlehem."==Chapter 18==1After David had finished talking with Saul, Jonathan became one in spirit with David, and he loved him as himself.2From that day Saul kept David with him and did not let him return to his father's house.3And Jonathan made a covenant with David because he loved him as himself.4Jonathan took off the robe he was wearing and gave it to David, along with his tunic, and even his sword, his bow and his belt.5Whatever Saul sent him to do, David did it so successfully that Saul gave him a high rank in the army. This pleased all the people, and Saul's officers as well.6When the men were returning home after David had killed the Philistine, the women came out from all the towns of Israel to meet King Saul with singing and dancing, with joyful songs and with tambourines and lutes.7As they danced, they sang: "Saul has slain his thousands, and David his tens of thousands."8Saul was very angry; this refrain galled him. "They have credited David with tens of thousands," he thought, "but me with only thousands. What more can he get but the kingdom?"9And from that time on Saul kept a jealous eye on David.10The next day an evil spirit from God came forcefully upon Saul. He was prophesying in his house, while David was playing the harp, as he usually did. Saul had a spear in his hand11and he hurled it, saying to himself, "I'll pin David to the wall." But David eluded him twice.12Saul was afraid of David, because the LORD was with David but had left Saul.13So he sent David away from him and gave him command over a thousand men, and David led the troops in their campaigns.14In everything he did he had great success, because the LORD was with him.15When Saul saw how successful he was, he was afraid of him.16But all Israel and Judah loved David, because he led them in their campaigns.17Saul said to David, "Here is my older daughter Merab. I will give her to you in marriage; only serve me bravely and fight the battles of the LORD." For Saul said to himself, "I will not raise a hand against him. Let the Philistines do that!"18But David said to Saul, "Who am I, and what is my family or my father's clan in Israel, that I should become the king's son-in-law?"19So when the time came for Merab, Saul's daughter, to be given to David, she was given in marriage to Adriel of Meholah.

1 Samuel 24:1-22
1After Saul returned from pursuing the Philistines, he was told, "David is in the Desert of En Gedi."2So Saul took three thousand chosen men from all Israel and set out to look for David and his men near the Crags of the Wild Goats.3He came to the sheep pens along the way; a cave was there, and Saul went in to relieve himself. David and his men were far back in the cave.4The men said, "This is the day the LORD spoke of when he said to you, 'I will give your enemy into your hands for you to deal with as you wish.'" Then David crept up unnoticed and cut off a corner of Saul's robe.5Afterward, David was conscience-stricken for having cut off a corner of his robe.6He said to his men, "The LORD forbid that I should do such a thing to my master, the Lord's anointed, or lift my hand against him; for he is the anointed of the LORD."7With these words David rebuked his men and did not allow them to attack Saul. And Saul left the cave and went his way.8Then David went out of the cave and called out to Saul, "My lord the king!" When Saul looked behind him, David bowed down and prostrated himself with his face to the ground.9He said to Saul, "Why do you listen when men say, 'David is bent on harming you'?10This day you have seen with your own eyes how the LORD delivered you into my hands in the cave. Some urged me to kill you, but I spared you; I said, 'I will not lift my hand against my master, because he is the Lord's anointed.'11See, my father, look at this piece of your robe in my hand! I cut off the corner of your robe but did not kill you. Now understand and recognize that I am not guilty of wrongdoing or rebellion. I have not wronged you, but you are hunting me down to take my life.12May the LORD judge between you and me. And may the LORD avenge the wrongs you have done to me, but my hand will not touch you.13As the old saying goes, 'From evildoers come evil deeds,' so my hand will not touch you.14"Against whom has the king of Israel come out? Whom are you pursuing? A dead dog? A flea?15May the LORD be our judge and decide between us. May he consider my cause and uphold it; may he vindicate me by delivering me from your hand."16When David finished saying this, Saul asked, "Is that your voice, David my son?" And he wept aloud.17"You are more righteous than I," he said. "You have treated me well, but I have treated you badly.18You have just now told me of the good you did to me; the LORD delivered me into your hands, but you did not kill me.19When a man finds his enemy, does he let him get away unharmed? May the LORD reward you well for the way you treated me today.20I know that you will surely be king and that the kingdom of Israel will be established in your hands.21Now swear to me by the LORD that you will not cut off my descendants or wipe out my name from my father's family."22So David gave his oath to Saul. Then Saul returned home, but David and his men went up to the stronghold.

Proverbs 14:30
30A heart at peace gives life to the body, but envy rots the bones.
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Bernard and Saul
“Bernard and Saul” is episode #541 of the Adventures in Odyssey audio series. It was written by Nathan Hoobler, and originally aired on March 6, 2004.

Summary

After losing his class election to Ashley Jenkins, Trent pays a visit to Whit's End where Bernard sheds some light on the situation by telling Trent the story of King Saul and his jealousy towards David.

Plot

Trent is at Whit’s End, moping. He’s also a little scared...who is that man under the next booth? Bernard Walton emerges and asks Trent about his troubles. Why did Ashley Jenkins get elected Student Council President? He is a lot more qualified, Trent asks...but Bernard knows of a man who lost a much bigger position. The Old Testament figure, Saul.

It begins with Saul and his servant looking for a few lost donkeys. But the prophet Samuel has something else in mind when they approach him. He anoints Saul, a young man from the smallest tribe, king over all Israel! Saul has many victories as King, defeating many of Israel’s worst enemies. He becomes proud, even to the point of "fudging" on what God commands and mistreating his servants in anger. Music will calm him, he thinks, so he invites a shepherd boy to play his harp...David, the young man whom Samuel has just anointed king!

The story of David and Goliath ensues (which Trent tells) and Saul realizes that the hero David will replace him. David must run and hide as an outlaw, with Saul always close behind him. One night, Saul’s search takes him into a cave...the very place David is hiding. Despite his men’s schemes, David refuses to "touch God’s anointed." Saul realizes his jealousy and the search is called off. Trent also sees that he has been jealous of Ashley, and he goes offer to offer his congratulations.

This plot section is too short and should be expanded. »

Discussion Questions

  1. Why does God often choose people from the "smallest tribe" to do His work?
  2. What did Samuel mean when he said, "Obedience is better than sacrifice?"
  3. Have you wanted the praise that a brother, sister, or friend got?
  4. How should we treat others who receive praise?

Cast

Role Voice Actor
Abner Unknown
Bernard Walton Dave Madden
King David Gary Reed
Nahash Unknown
Samuel Walker Edmiston
King Saul Pete Reneday
Trent DeWhite Corey Padnos
Saul's servant Bob Smithouser

Notes

Trivia
  • This show slightly overlaps the story of King Saul and David told in #161: “Isaac the True Friend” and #46: “The Shepherd and the Giant”, though those stories were told from David and Jonathan's perspectives and this story is told from Saul's. Many of the same actors played roles they previously played, including Walker Edmiston as Samuel and Gary Reed as David. One scene is even duplicated in both Isaac the True Friend and this episode — the scene where Saul throws his spear at David.
  • This episode contained a song (sung by the women of Israel about Saul and David) composed by Carol Eidson and arranged by John Doryk.

Quotes

Bernard Walton: If you want to talk about unfair, tell me why people put their gum under someone else's table.

Trent DeWhite: He poured oil on him? What about a crown?
Bernard Walton: Oil first. Crown later.
Trent DeWhite: <muttering> Sounds disgusting.

Nahash: You die or lose your eyes. What is there to think about?

Trent DeWhite: Why did he give them a week?
Bernard Walton: Why do people stick gum under the table when there's a trash can right there? How am I supposed to know?

Bernard Walton: Finally, the only enemies left were the dreaded Amalekites.
Trent DeWhite: Wait a minute—I thought they already beat them.
Bernard Walton: No, no, those were the dreaded Ammonites.
Trent DeWhite: Oh—oh, right.

Samuel: Which do you think pleases the Lord more? A defiant sacrifice or an obedient heart? Obedience is better than sacrifice.

Bernard Walton: Meanwhile, David was on the run as an outlaw and surrounded himself with merry men and stole from the rich and gave to the poor.
Trent DeWhite: He did what?
Bernard Walton: Just seeing if you were paying attention.

Bernard Walton: Well, that wasn't the end of Saul's story, but do you get the point by now?
Trent DeWhite: Yeah! Cut off the bad guy's head when God says to!
Bernard Walton: Exactly, d—no! Try again.
Trent DeWhite: Don't throw spears at harpists?