"A Step between Me and Death"

“And David… said,…but truly as the Lord liveth, there is but a step between me and death.” (1 Samuel 20: 3)

David, son of Jesse, former shepherd boy anointed by the prophet Samuel to become the next king of Israel had no illusions about his predicament in life. Saul, the present king of Israel, was out to get him. Fatally. Terminally. Permanently.

Some background: The near cataclysmic event that brought young David into the limelight was his unprecedented slaughter of the the giant Goliath. But a much less obvious occurrence had previously brought the shepherd boy to the attention of King Saul. Unbeknownst to the king, David had just been anointed by Samuel as the one chosen by God to become the next king, and with that anointing, Scripture tells us that “the Spirit of the Lord came upon David.” Awesome. Unfortunately for Saul, at that time, God’s spirit departed from him. Even worse, we read in 1 Samuel 16:14 that an evil spirit came along to trouble King Saul. Seeking relief from his suffering, Saul requested music. David was known for his skill as a harpist, and was summoned to play for the king. Voila! We read in verse 23 that the evil spirit departed.

So David begins his relationship with Saul on a high note, right? He brings deliverance from torment, yet, as we shall see, again and again Saul tried to kill him. Talk about biting the hand that feeds you!

Before King Saul went ballistic! against David, this future king of Israel braved other life-threatening circumstances as well. While tending a flock of sheep, “there came a lion and a bear”, one of which had the audacity and ignorance to snatch a lamb from the flock. (Now, I’m thinkin’, get outta Dodge!) Not David. Scripture tells us he went out after them and “slew both the lion and the bear,” recovering the terrified lamb. David credits his God for this amazing feat.

“David said…The Lord that delivered me out of the paw of the lion, and out of the paw of the bear…” (1 Samuel 17: 37)

Then, of course, there is the Goliath incident. Now Goliath was a pretty big dude. I read, about 9 3/4 feet tall. His armor alone weighed about 180 lbs., and that was only the coat of mail! I get that alot of people may dismiss this account as myth, but if you believe it as fact, how could you NOT see how easily David could have been literally crushed. But a) David knew that the same God who accomplished the above victory for him would also “deliver me out of the hand of this Philistine” and b) he had a mission and calling from God. His destiny was to reign over Israel, the people of God.

Following his slaughter of Goliath, David’s popularity exploded throughout all Israel, to the point that Saul definitely began to feel like a second-class citizen. Yep, that ol’ green-eyed monster, folks…Saul became “very wroth”, and he “eyed David from that day and forward.” (We are talking evil eye here, by the way.) If I have my timeline straight, as soon as the day after the defeat of Goliath, Saul’s jealousy of the young hero prompted him to cast a javelin at David in an attempt to murder him….TWICE.

When that failed, Saul plotted. Once again, his plans were foiled. He offered his daughter in marriage to David, but first David had to acquire one hundred Philistine foreskins as a sort of dowry. You see where I’m goin’ with this, right? Death by Philistines? Well, it should come as no surprise that David shows up with the foreskins. And not only does he show up with them, he shows up with not the required one but rather two hundred foreskins, and bingo! he’s now the king’s son-in-law.

By now Saul “saw and knew that the Lord was with David.” On top of that, Saul’s daughter Michal really loved David. Saul must have been pulling his hair out at this point. So he tells his servants and his son Jonathan to kill David. However, Jonathan and David had already become fast friends. Jonathan, shall we say, ‘put in a good word’ for David, and Saul changed his mind.


Eventually Saul pulled the javelin routine again. David escaped.
So Saul staked out David’s house, planning to have David slain next morning, but David’s wife assisted in his escape that night through a window.
David left the immediate area and stayed with the prophet Samuel. Three times Saul sent men to apprehend David, but it just wasn’t happenin’…I could go on, but I’m hoping the point has been made that David could not have been killed. His destiny had not yet come to pass in its fullness.

“Saul sought him every day, but God delivered him not into his hand.” (1 Samuel 23: 14)

While it is true that David was on the run for awhile, lived in wilderness caves and strongholds, had to feign insanity at one point to escape yet another life-threatening situation, and at times was “sore afraid”, still, we see that he lived to rule and reign as king of Israel for forty years. (1 Kings 2: 11)

Thank you for stopping by and reading my post, and for giving me a reason and opportunity to share this, my greatest joy.



One response to “"A Step between Me and Death"

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