I Sam. 18:1-19:24; Ps. 59:1-17
Following the defeat of Goliath, Saul set David over the men of war. He and the king’s son, Jonathan became very close friends to the extent that they made a covenant. Jonathan gave David his robe, armor, weapons and belt as a sign of their friendship.
In time, David’s popularity grew because of his conquests in war. The women danced and sang, “Saul has slain his thousands, And David his ten thousands.” This made the king angry and from that time forward, because of his jealousy, he sought a way to kill David. He saw how the Lord had left him and was with David.
After two failures of his own to kill David, Saul demoted him to captain over a thousand men in hopes that he would be killed in battle. He also schemed that if he gave him his daughter as a wife, “The hands of the Philistines may be against him.” Saul thought that David would be killed as he brought one hundred foreskins of the Philistines for payment of Michal. He fulfilled the requirement of Saul and received Michal as his wife. That also failed to accomplish his desire as he saw that the Lord was still with David.
Evidence of an impending split among the Israelites began to show as, “All Israel and Judah loved David, because he went out and come in before them.” In time, that division would separate Judah from the rest of Israel.
Jealousy causes mental instability. Saul told his son, Jonathan and all of his servants that they should kill David. Jonathan informed him of Saul’s plan and advised him to hide out until morning and he would speak to his father. He persuaded the king that David had done well toward him and had risked his own life in confronting Goliath. Saul changed his mind about killing David and, “He was in his presence as in times past.”
There was another war with the Philistines. As before, David was victorious and the king became depressed from David’s popularity and tried again to kill him as he played music for Saul.
David escaped and fled to his home, but there was no safety there as the king’s men had orders to kill him the following morning. His wife, Saul’s daughter helped him to escape in the night. David then went to Ramah and reported to Samuel all that had taken place. Saul was unsuccessful in his attempts to take David.
It is probable that David wrote another of his psalms during his escape from Saul.
The beginning of the psalm was a prayer that God would deliver David from his enemies. He felt falsely accused because he had done nothing to deserve their wrath. The writer urged God to not only punish his enemies, but all nations of wicked transgressors. He likened his persecutors as vicious dogs.
David concluded the psalm by praising his God of mercy for deliverance. He compared his troubles and deliverance to the contrast of evening and morning. The evening brings on darkness and the morning ushers in the rays of light. “To You, O my Strength, I will sing praises; For God is my defense, My God of mercy.”