1 & 2 Samuel

Day 12: David and Saul

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

No matter how manly you think you are, when a storm knocks your power out at night—lights gone, Netflix dead, A/C out—there’s a micro-moment of uncertainty and concern. Where are the flashlights? Do we even have flashlights? How long is this going to last? I hope the kids don’t wake up. Man, it’s getting hot in here already.

Darkness has a way of making us feel cornered, alone, unsure. Light is much safer. We gather information in the light, see our surroundings, and act accordingly. There’s also power and comfort in knowing you aren’t alone—especially in knowing the Lord is with you.

David’s life is filled with high watermarks of walking by faith, living with a behind-the-scenes awareness that the Lord is with him. As David led Israel’s military to defeat impressive battalions from other nations, the Lord was with him. And when Saul hurled spears at David’s head, God was with him then, too.

Saul wasn’t exactly a scrub. It’s not like David had more raw talent and ability than Saul. Remember, the people elected Saul because of his impressiveness. But Saul lost a step. He lost his edge. David, on the other hand, “Continued to be successful in all his activities because the LORD was with him” (1 Samuel 18:14).

So why did Saul’s sparkle fade while David became a mega-watt star to the people? Scripture tells us, “The LORD was with David but had left Saul” (1 Samuel 18:12). When Saul pursued his own ways, contradicting the ways of God, the Lord removed His blessing, and put it on His faithful servant David—the lion-killing, giant-slaying, shepherd from Bethlehem.

Who are we in this story—Saul or David? We’d like to think we are more like David: rugged, handsome, faithful. Sadly, in our own strength, we’re a lot like Saul. We are unfaithful. We pursue our own ways.

But if we are in Christ, we don’t have worry about God departing from us (Deuteronomy 31:8; Romans 8:31-39). The faithful Shepherd-King from Bethlehem—God’s own Son—died for our faithlessness, our sin, our high treason against God. And then He rose from the grave, forever forgiving and uniting us to Himself, welcoming us into His kingdom.

He will never leave us. He promises, “I am with you always, to the end of the age” (Matthew 28:20). No matter the darkness you face, the Lord is empowering you to be faithful to Him today. The Lord is with you. Always.

Written by J. A. Medders