Everyone in Israel would have thought that Saul approved of David greatly. Saul gave David the authority to command a group of 1000 soldiers. That was the largest group in Israelís army. Perhaps only three men (Saul, Jonathan and Abner) now had a more important rank than David.
Saulís decision to appoint David was a very popular decision. Both the soldiers and the people liked David very much. David encouraged the soldiers and he gave hope to the people. He genuinely cared about people and he was sincere in his love for God. He acted wisely and carefully and he had great success.
Davidís special responsibility was to lead the soldiers in their battles. During Saulís rule, all the nations round Israel fought against Israel (14:47). There was a constant state of war against Philistia (14:52). There were many battles for David and his men to fight.
However, Saul did not appoint David because he approved of him. Saul appointed David because he (Saul) was afraid of David. Saul was afraid because David was popular with the people. However, it was Davidís close relationship with God that made Saul especially afraid. Saul knew that God had chosen David to be the king of Israel instead of him (15:28).
Later Saul would give David difficult tasks because he wanted David to die (18:25). However, in 1 Samuel 18:12-16, that was perhaps not Saulís intention yet. Saul felt jealous and afraid of David, so he did not want David to remain with him. He gave David an important rank simply because he wanted to send David away.
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© 2014, Keith Simons.