Day 12

David and Saul

from the 1 & 2 Samuel reading plan

1 Samuel 18:1-30, 1 Samuel 19:1-24, Psalm 59:1-17

BY Kaitlin Wernet

Scripture Reading: 1 Samuel 18:1-30, 1 Samuel 19:1-24, Psalm 59:1-17

It all started with pride and a hankering for toast.

With a freshly ironed shirt and crisp college degree, I walked through the doors of my new job and stepped into a schedule full of meetings and a to-do list of fires to put out. Literally.

Soon after becoming acquainted with the office kitchen and its various coffee creamers and water bottles, I found myself staring into a tiny toaster smelling very burnt toast. The piece of bread was mine, of course, but its transformation into unrecognizable burnt crumbles made me feel as if I had no business being near baked goods of any kind, ever. I looked around the empty room, wondering when the toast’s lunatic owner, ahem, would rescue it from the smoke-producing heat.

I regularly find myself feeling neglectful like this in the kitchen, but I can also be careless with my thought life too. Envy starts a fire in my heart, causing my feelings to combust from the inside out. From seemingly nowhere, jealousy rears its ugly head, just in time for me to realize these terrible thoughts are unfortunately, actually mine (all mine!)—unlike my friend’s new engagement ring, vacation plans, promotion, or instagram attention, which caused my emotions to boil over in the first place. I truly want to celebrate these things for my friend (I do!), but turning away from my good intentions for even five seconds leaves these feelings to roast unattended over an open flame.

Envy might be the only sin that never feels good, not even for a moment. Other sins give us fleeting pleasure or empty promises, but envy hands us a box of matches and permission to light the fire. And before we know it, we’re in a room full of smoke.

In 1 Samuel 18, there’s a friendly celebration happening, the kind we intend to give the people we love as a way to congratulate them. Saul is great! David is great! We all have tambourines! But envy creeps into Saul’s heart when he hears, “Saul has killed his thousands, but David his tens of thousands” (v.7, emphasis mine).

The matches are lit, and Saul is off to kill David. That escalated quickly, didn’t it? I’m not sure Saul even knows how he got there, but then I remember my own failed attempts to rescue bread from the kitchen toaster. (I grabbed a paper towel to smother the flames, which of course, actually made them worse.) So, I can understand why Saul would want to get rid of any evidence pointing directly to his failures.

I’ll bet Saul had one word ringing in his head that may sound familiar to you and me: mine. He wanted to claim it all as his—the glory, the credit, the recognition, the love. (Can anyone else relate?)

Although David seemed to have it all together, he only had one quality worth envying: the presence of the One who actually does hold it all together. In these two chapters, we see the phrase “God with David” four times. This is what sets David apart. This is what Saul wants. This is what we all want. Our cries may say “Mine!,” but all we ever really want is for Someone to choose us, to adopt us as their own.

The glory, the credit, the recognition, the love—they’re all the Lord’s. And friends, so are we. He smothers the flames of envy by showing us we already belong. After all, it all started with love and a hankering for home.

“You are my strength, I sing praise to you;
 you, God, are my fortress,
my God on whom I can rely.”
– Psalm 59:17


Post Comments (60)

60 thoughts on "David and Saul"

  1. Heidi says:

    Praise God that He loves us and accepts us no matter what we have done. Through Jesus all our sins are forgiven.

  2. Shelby says:

    For me to overcome the darkest aspect of me growing up and overcoming my past.. I guess I shall speak to strangers or sisters of SRT in fear of condemnation or negative responses (if any at all). Growing up I suffered from child abuse (physical and mental) thus leading to my father kicking me out of the house halfway through my senior year of high school. I have not been back ever since (8.5yrs) and my relationship with my parents are slim to none (despite me visiting my 55yr old mother who is intermittently confused after tripping and falling backwards and striking head of cabinet; thus her placement in nursing home for remainder of her life). During the most vulnerable time of my life, age 18-23 my dark years; when I desired someone to love me or to look at me as if I was their daughter or even that they cared for me. Growing up I was grounded for receiving Christ as my personal Savior and I held onto hope that God would pull me through all the abuse; I had attempted suicide twice which ultimately scared me because I didn’t want God to be mad at me but I couldn’t handle the hits anymore and being told I was a mistake. Fast forward to those dark years, I went from boyfriend to boyfriend; trying to ultimately find someone who loved me or give me attention to feel important. I had variety of closeness levels to God; close to far. The darkest was premarital sex (especially one month after being so excited of being Baptized and wanting to restart my life and get closer to the Lord then returning from church camp back into the negative atmosphere of everyday life) and thus leading to a positive pregnancy test; my boyfriend didn’t want it and called me a Bible thumper for always praying and trying to talk about God (relationship had spun into similar to my dad speaking to me)..ultimately I took high dose Vitamin C and I got my period and relationship ended as I was left in a storm outside. Fast forward 4 months, same situation and utter disbelief of myself, pure disappointment of myself.. a new boyfriend who claimed was a Christian and had two children, I thought he would be different and care about me.. one night he flipped out and his eyes went all black and he pulled a knife on me and himself (his kids were at their mothers), I called 911 and he was placed in a psych facility for 3 days.. on the day he got out he had begged me to give him a chance and that he would change and desire a closer relationship with God; premarital sex and positive pregnancy test and I aborted for many reasons: not entirely clear of ‘clean bill of health’ from Cardiologist, relationship was not healthy, not ready to be a mother, not in a situation where I would have been proud of being a mother due to not married. At the clinic, there was no heartbeat prior to procedure. I walked out feeling as if I was a dark cloud.. ended the relationship a couple months afterwards. Altogether thinking and blaming myself for being useless because my parents told me so. I then started to turn my life around and get closer to God and was ultimately blessed with a man who understood me and helped me to not view myself as a burden or worthless. I’ve been overcoming my battle. I rededicated my life to the Lord this summer to rid the guilt of my past especially because I can’t get rebaptized. I’m not proud of my past and wish I would have saved myself for marriage.

    Envy had been huge as feeling as if I’m inadequate to God due to my past decisions and looking at friends whom had been raised differently than I and seeming as such they lived and made better decisions. How do I overcome this past darkness and bring forth even a potential for my me and my husband to have our first child years down the road? I feel torn as if to start a family but currently desiring love and focus from my husband; feeling greedy.

    1. C Gunckel says:

      Shelby, I will be praying for you.

    2. Nancy Grant says:

      I, too, will be praying for you. Accept who you are in Christ… a beloved child of God. You are loved, sweet girl.

    3. Cecilia says:

      What I’ve come to learn is that God speaks through you and connects to others in a way that no one else can. Each of our stories are unique, precisely the way God wants them.

      Just wanted to write this in hopes it (below) helps you as it has for me. I am going thru the hardest season of my life. Marriage, gah, it’s so haaaaard! Yet through the pain and heartache, it is all happening for God’s glory & I am excited to see how God works!

      I know this is a long reply, I apologize. These are declarations of truth of who we are in Christ and repeating God’s word changes your mind! I’m no bible wizard, this is out of my NLT life application bible :)

      Do you know that you’re filled with God’s goodness? 2Cor 5:21
      You are blessed with every spiritual blessing in heaven? Ep 1:3
      That you’re one in Christ with all other believers? Gal 3:28
      That there is no condemnation in your sin? Romans 8:1
      Do you know;
      You are not guilty in sin? Romans 3:24
      You are free from the vicious circle of sin & death? Romans 8:2
      You are acceptable to God through Jesus Christ? 1Cor 1:2
      You are pure and holy? 1Cor 1:30
      You will rise again? 1 Cor 15:22
      You are free from truly being saved by being ‘good enough’? 1Cor 3:17
      You are brand new inside? 2Cor 5:17
      You are holy, faultless & covered with God’s love? Ep 1:4
      You belong to Christ? Ep 1: 5,6
      Your sins are taken away and forgiven? Ep 1:7
      You will live with Christ forever, you are a gift to God?
      Ep 1: 10,11
      You are marked as belonging to God by the holy spirit? Ep 1:13
      You have been given a new life? Ep 2:10
      You have been brought near God? Ep 2:13
      You will receive great blessings? Ep 3:6
      You can go fearlessly into God’s presence? Ep 3:12
      You are a part of Christ’s body, the church? Ep 5:29,30
      You are set free from evil desires? Col 2:11
      You have everything bc you have Christ, you are filled with God? Col 2:10
      You will have eternal glory? 2 Tim 2:10

      Try it out…Repeat it, declare it and see how your thoughts change …emotions and words change because you know who we are and whose you are. I feel any thought that doesn’t fall in line with who I am in Christ is not from God and I try to replace it. Hope this helps. Let us pray for forgiveness, turn away from our sin & obey God. God is so good!!!

      1. Shelby says:


        Thank you for such magical verses to study, I shall put them in my Bible journal and overview them frequently. It helps to ease the self disappointment and let go of old sins which God had already forgiven. We are so lucky to have such a great God.

        Much love! (and thank you to those who said they are praying; it’s appreciated and reciprocated!)

      2. Brandi says:

        ❤️ Thank you for these!

    4. aprilinsydney says:

      Hi Shelby, I’ve been baptised twice, once when I was young (my parents made me do it an I thought I was going to drown – have been afraid of water ever since) and once in my 30s, my own decision.
      Baptism is incredibly symbolic and meaningful, and if you want to be baptised again, you should go for it. If you wan to rededicate you life to God in this manner, I believe he will honour your action. (Ladies – correct me if there is some biblical reason you can’t be baptised twice.)

    5. Karen From Virginia says:

      God is with you and able to redeem your suffering, abuse and cover your sins. All of them. Redeemer. It’s amazing and easily doubt can come or overwhelm, but it doesn’t change the fact that God is faithful and will bring you through.
      My story is different but I have walked through God’s redeeming my life from my early childhood trauma. Not necessarily easy which is where envy can come. But God has met me. And the best part is knowing Jesus. Suffering has the ability to make you go deeper into finding who Jesus is his strength his love. Jesus is real and he is wonderful and I am grateful that the things I have walk-through have caused me to know him more. I pray that the Lord will meet you in his loving kindness, his tenderness. I pray he surrounds you with loving wise people who can decide as you can walk you through the healing process.

      1. Shelby says:

        Karen (from Virginia),
        Thank you for responding and your eye-opening words. I pray for your walk with God from your early childhood trauma only gets stronger. I continue to pray for a group of friends whom are believers whom I can confide in.

    6. Lily says:

      Hi Shelby, not sure if you will see this, but I also came from an abusive home and spent years looking for love from men instead of from God. Growing up, I felt a lot of shame. I always felt “different” from the other kids because my family was different. But we don’t get to choose our parents, or how much love they give us. That wasn’t our fault, and it’s nothing to be ashamed of. And the years of searching for love and validation in the wrong places is what ultimately led me to Jesus. You can’t do better until you know better, so I try not to blame myself for past mistakes — human beings crave love and I didn’t know how else to get it, until I did.

      I still struggle sometimes with feeling different and ashamed about who I am — I feel like I’m not a “real” Christian because I didn’t grow up in a faith-filled, loving home, and because I’ve done and seen things in the past that would probably shock some of my friends from church.

      I wish I had better advice for you, Shelby, but the only thing that has helped me is knowing that God loves me just as I am, and those years of darkness and loneliness are what shaped me and brought me to Jesus. I AM different from a lot of other Christians, and that means He can use me in unique ways. And now that I know better, I CAN do better, and I try to every day.

      I don’t know how to overcome the darkness 100%, but therapy, prayer and time has helped. I’ll be praying for you and your husband. I hope you find loving friends and spiritual leaders who can help you on your journey, and I pray that you can feel God’s overwhelming love and acceptance. <3

      1. Shelby says:

        Lily, I have been through counseling (both with a Social Worker; which I didn’t feel too helped afterwards due to just talking to someone writing notes, and a Christian pastor counselor with a PhD in counseling and theology; which helped more than anything because it reinforced belief behind how to cope). It wasn’t our fault about our parents choosing to do what they did; we can only pray for them to see God how we do. I still battle shame, embarrassment, inadequacy due to my past and past poor decisions; but I have to let them go.

        I pray you overcome and triumph your darkness.! <3

    7. SB says:

      Shelby! I pray for your decisions please take comfort in you’re not alone in your struggles. I was raised in a Christian home with Christian parents going to church every Sunday and Wednesday and I still struggled with some of the very things. My own brother molested me for over 9 years. I struggle with the guilt of what it did to me. What it has done to my family since I told them very recently. I spent my college years sleeping around to not feel dirty and alone. I struggle now with being a wife for my husband. I struggle being intimate with him. I struggle being loving and caring to both him and my child! I struggled for a long time to have a baby and worry it be an older boy that would make me wonder if he’d molest any other children. I still fear things but am comforted that I know how to respond to my children if something does happen. I can’t prevent things but I can do the best God allows. I hope you can rest assured that God will show you the way. Every day I am so surprised how personal He can be if I trust and allow Him! Put your doubt and worry in Him! You are enough, you are strong. Let Him show you how He personally cares for you!

      1. Shelby says:

        SB, I’m praying for you and your heart as you try to mend the pain and wounds that has been created. I pray for calm and peace to come to your family for them to be able to provide the support and love that you need.

        Thank you for your supportive words <3

        1. Buffie says:

          I have been so bewldiered in the past but now it all makes sense!

    8. She Reads Truth says:

      Hi Shelby, this is Abby from the SRT team. Thank you so much for your willingness to be vulnerable and share your story with the She Reads Truth community. Regardless of any past experiences or mistakes, you are a loved and cherished daughter of Christ! Do you have people in your life that you can reach out to and talk to about these things? We would encourage you to seek out a trusted spiritual leader, counselor or mentor who can help you to process all of this. Getting actively involved in a community with other believers, whether that be at your local church or in a bible study, can also make a world of difference. We are praying for you and are so glad to have you as part of our community. – Abby

      1. Shelby says:

        Hello Abby! I had Pastoral Counseling about my childhood but regarding the ‘darker’ things/decisions, this was the first time speaking to others about it (other than my husband, poor guy). I would love to actively get involved but working so much and working midnights it is difficult to connect with evening activities due to working..Online has seemed to be easier. It’s just finding what’s out there and available. One day I would love to do something of what you are doing at SRT, God will give at a time when he feels it’s right. Thank you for your prayers!

    9. Carie says:

      Dearest Shelby,
      Romans says “there is now NO condemnation for those in Christ Jesus!” It is only normal for you to look back and hate the darkness of your past, but it does not define you! You are a daughter of the King!! In His eyes you are pure as snow! Look forward to the future with hope! In accordance to His will, you can be a wife and mama who brings God glory! Let your testimony show His power to save and redeem! Xoxo

  3. Megan says:

    I loved this part :
    “Although David seemed to have it all together, he only had one quality worth envying: the presence of the One who actually does hold it all together. In these two chapters, we see the phrase “God with David” four times. This is what sets David apart. This is what Saul wants. This is what we all want. Our cries may say “Mine!,” but all we ever really want is for Someone to choose us, to adopt us as their own.”

    Everything good in this life is a dim reflection of true unity with God. Unless I’m mistaken, Heaven will be that unity – more beautiful than the best sunset, more intimate than the best romance, more fun than the best friendship . . .

    (These are random, unorganized thoughts – haha!)

    Also, God keeps showing me adoption everywhere I look. I love adoption so much! I’m struck by the fact that it always has a sad chapter. Even our own adoption by God wouldn’t be necessary if not for sin, and wouldn’t be possible without Christ’s sacrifice. But out of sadness comes such joy and love and beauty!! I believe it is one of the clearest pictures we have on Earth of God’s love.

    If anyone reads this far, please say a prayer for my husband and me as we research and pray about adoption. We’d like to, but there are some challenges we need to get through first. Thank you!

    1. Kimone says:

      Blessings for your journey. May God be with you both and provide all you need.

    2. Lynne says:

      Megan, I did read that far and am praying for you and your husband as you pursue adoption. May God give you peace as you wait for his perfect timing! When you can’t trace His hand, trust His heart!

    3. C Gunckel says:

      Megan, praying for you and your husband.

  4. Taylor says:

    Yes, the presence of the Lord within a Child of God is only thing worth envying. I have to remind myself of this as a young woman going into her twenties. The twenties are different for everyone. Some are marry very young and have children.

    Some people own businesses that are becoming successful. Some people live with their parents. Some people are in college receiving a higher education. We all observe each others lives through social media and wonder sometimes I wonder if I am doing anything right when we see the different lives and timelines of other people.

    I honestly do intend to be happy for others, but envy can place itself in my heart when I forget that God is with me too. I already have the only thing that is worth envying, so I must ask my Teacher to fix my eyes on Him and truly believe that He has a plan. (Jeremiah 29:11) and not fall into envying others, but to rejoice in their blessings as well.

    After all when it is time for me to receive the desires of my heart, I’m going to want for someone to be happy for me too. All in all, I will never go without because the Lord is my God and He meets all of my needs. (Philippians 4:19)

    1. Taylor says:

      My typos are driving me insane, but I guess that’s what happens when you type quickly without proofreading. Oh well…

    2. Kristin Erickson says:

      Said so perfectly. “Sometimes I wonder if I am doing anything right…” Oh man, I feel like I wonder this everyday. This really resonated with me today, thank you for sharing!

  5. GramsieSue says:

    Yes, Lord, Your Presence is all I need, all I desire. You have been with me through so many trials–even when I didn’t deserve it. And I am so blessed. I have no reason to envy others. Thank you for this reminder today. As long as You are with me, I can step out in victory and in love. And know that You go before me. And when I’m weak, You are my strength. You are truly closer than the air I breathe.
    Did David cower in fear when Saul was seeking to kill him? No he fell to the ground in worship! May I be like David–walking through my life in praise and worship of my Lord Jehovah, my faithful God.

    But I will sing of your strength
    And will joyfully proclaim
    Your faithful love in the morning.
    For you have been a stronghold for me,
    A refuge in my day of trouble.
    To you, my strength, I sing praises,
    Because God is my stronghold–
    My faithful God.

  6. Ashley BB says:

    Ah, the power of the mind. The perfect place for unchecked thoughts to take root and grab the heart. May we all be open and accountable for what takes place in our minds, not allowing secrecy and darkness to water the weeds.
    May I keep my envy, jealousy, and “what ifs” in check and in submission to Abba.
    May those thoughts and emotions be replaced with HIS words that overflow into my heart and mouth as praise and thanksgiving.

    Thank you Lord, that there is NEVER a shortage of things to praise you for!

  7. Shelby says:

    Envy raids my mind intermittently because growing up I desired a christian group of friends but my church did not have anyone my age, except one or two but my parents didn’t go to church with me (I went with my grandparents) and I thought they were embarrassing for church-like people because they swore, yelled, and would hit me in front of friends. Teenage years, still desired christian group of friends–didn’t happen. Early twenties I went to a catholic university (despite being Baptist) and go figure people just go to school there, it really wasn’t a religious atmosphere. Still going to the same church, no changes with my age bracket (I’m 26), it’s me and my husband; no children.. a couple three years younger than us and people about 6 years older than us.

    I had always wanted a group of girlfriends who would want to talk about God and get together for bible studies; I pray that eventually this will happen because currently it’s me at my kitchen table alone with my Bible.. I share the bible study with my husband but he’s still working on his foundation with God as when our relationship started so did his with God.

    I envy people with loving parents whom always tell them they are so proud of them, who become their best friend as we enter out late-20s. I always wanted that and was told I was worthless. Variety of people at church call me their adopted daughter because of my childhood.. it’s a wonderful thought but still I wish I had a mom-figure who I could call at any moment or a dad-figure I could just hug and be told everything is okay. My husband does a great job at emotional reassurance but it’s still the longing for a parent.

    Lord help me to overcome my envious mind and focus on your love and focus on making a marriage stronger.

    1. Gerri says:

      Shelby, I’m praying that the Lord will give you and your husband the courage to explore churches where true discipleship happens and that you may find that much needed support. In the meantime, you may try to find online a home Bible study group that means once a week.

    2. LauraS says:

      Shelby, my heart is heavy for you. Praying that God gives you wisdom and courage in seeking out a church family that will surround you with love and acceptance. God is using all that you’ve been through for His glory.

    3. Nicole says:

      Praying for you, Shelby. God is with you, always. Forever. ❤️

      1. Chrisy says:

        Praying for you Shelby, that God will bring Christian friendship and fellowship to you and your husband ❤️

        1. Chrisy says:

          Shelby, if you want to chat please feel free to email me, [email protected]. As I have been praying I felt the Lord speak to me to reach out. I have been in similar circumstances as you and would love to offer my support.

    4. Martha says:

      Praying for you Shelby. ❤️

    5. Emily B. says:

      Shelby, like Chrisy offered, you can email me if you need to talk ([email protected]). I’m a little older than you, almost 29, married with a baby on the way. I’m a good listener! :)

    6. Shelby says:

      I appreciate all the support you ladies have given. I shall email you both!

    7. Irina says:

      Shelby, just believe! Our God is so powerful and merciful, He is not bounded by anything! He sees your longing, and He will send great soulmates on your way, and they will exceed all your expectations. For now, focus your eyes on your husband as marriage can give you more than you can imagine. I’ll pray for you, my dear girl.

  8. Caroline says:

    Amen! It’s all for him! –> The glory, the credit, the recognition, the love—they’re all the Lord’s. <—

    Thank you Lord!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *