Useful Bible Studies > 1 Samuel Commentary > chapter 16

David works for Saul

1 Samuel 16:19-22

Although Saul did not want to obey God, he still wanted Godís help. He had ruined his own relationship with God. So, he tried to gain the support of men who were loyal to God. Because God was supporting them, God would help Saul too. That was Saulís idea.

Saul had wanted Samuel to continue to assist him as his prophet (holy man). However, Samuel was now refusing to see Saul. So Saul was pleased to discover a young musician, David, who was also a holy man. Although Godís Holy Spirit had left Saul, the Holy Spirit was very active in Davidís life (16:13-14). As David played his music, Saul felt a sense of comfort and relief. Saul needed that help because an evil spirit was upsetting him badly.

After a time, Saul gave greater responsibilities to David. It seems that Saul originally only requested David to come for a temporary period (16:19). It was a great honour for Jesse that his son was working for the king. He sent gifts for Saul with David (16:20).

1 Samuel 16:21-22 seems to describe a later period, perhaps after David had fought Goliath. At that time, Saul wanted David to remain permanently with him, as 1 Samuel 18:2 also says. Davidís principal duty then was to carry Saulís military equipment. That would mean that David had to remain constantly close to Saul, especially during battles. God was protecting David; Saul believed that he too would benefit from that protection.

Saul could see how much David was helping him. David kept his musical instrument constantly ready to bring relief to Saul.

Next part: A battle in the valley of Elah (1 Samuel 17:1-3)


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© 2014, Keith Simons.