Perhaps David coined the phrase, “You’re driving me crazy.” Well, probably not, but he certainly would have been right to speak the Hebrew version of that phrase to Saul. Saul, on the other hand, has much to be thankful for in David. David has played music to cure Saul of wicked spirits and has defeated many Philistines in battle, including Saul’s great enemy Goliath. David is husband to Saul’s daughter Michal and best friend to Saul’s son Jonathan. Oh, and David is loyal to Saul even while Saul tries to kill him.
Today we see David worn down. He lies to Ahimelek the priest to get bread. David also flees to Gath, where Goliath came from, because he thinks he is safer in the land of his great enemies than among his own people, Israel. David even reaches the point where he pretends to be insane for self-protection. The former strength we have noted in David, like the confidence he had before fighting Goliath, has worn thin. We might call David shrewd in evading the priests and the Philistine king, but he is certainly not as confident and courageous as before. David needs to recuperate. Unfortunately, this is normal when people who should be our allies make themselves our enemies. Such antagonism weakens us, hurts our resolve, and breaks our confidence. Even the strongest of us are not immune to the harm done by those we wish to trust.
Everyone should take Saul’s bad example to heart. When people trust us, we must honor that trust with even greater diligence to seek the good of those in our confidence. If we are not careful, we can do great damage with our power.