God’s choice to replace King Saul on the throne, David, quickly encountered a new enemy – King Saul himself.
2 So Jonathan told David, saying, “My father Saul seeks to kill you. Therefore please be on your guard until morning, and stay in a secret place and hide. 1 Samuel 19:2 NKJV
Saul quickly went from rejoicing at David’s victory over Goliath to intense jealousy of him. Saul soon harbored a deep fear of David taking the kingdom away from him.
God had already warned Saul through the prophet Samuel that God had chosen another to replace him. Once Saul figured out that David would be the one, he tried any number of ways to kill David off. He personally threw or lunged at at David with a spear on multiple occasions, trying to pin him against the wall to murder him. He sent David on dangerous missions against the Philistines to try to get them to kill David off. Finally, he sent “messengers” to track David down and kill him wherever he could be found. But God protected David, often through the brave actions of Saul’s noble son, Jonathan.
Jonathan had a great faith in God, as evidenced by his earlier defeat of a Philistine garrison. He recognized that the hand of God was with David, another noble and faithful man like himself, and Jonathan did everything he could to help David. Jonathan did this despite realizing that David would take his place as the next king of Israel. He accepted this as God’s will and did whatever he could to preserve David and to protect him from Saul’s demonic attacks.
A thousand years after this, Jesus Christ would be born in David’s hometown to reign on David’s throne as King of the Jewish people, their Messiah. The existing king, Herod, learned about this from visiting wise men from the East, and like Saul, tried to kill Jesus to preserve his own place on the throne. Herod misled the wise men and told them to bring information on Jesus back to him, intending to have Him killed.
8 And he sent them to Bethlehem and said, “Go and search carefully for the young Child, and when you have found Him, bring back word to me, that I may come and worship Him also.” Matthew 2:8 NKJV
When the wise men found Jesus in Bethlehem, they fell down and worshiped Him, and presented Him with gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. God warned them in a dream not to go back to Herod and then warned Joseph to flee with his family to Egypt to escape King Herod’s intention to kill the Child. In his anger, Herod ordered the killing of all young boys in Bethlehem below the age of two to try to eliminate any potential competition to his throne. Little did the evil Herod realize that the throne of Jesus was for the whole world through eternity and was not intended to replace any existing government until the end times.
Thus, the two rightful heirs to the eternal throne of David faced deadly peril as soon as they came on the scene. A demonic jealousy and rage consumed both Saul and Herod, bringing them to the point of murder. This murderous spirit would fill both kings for the remainder of their reigns.
God extends the invitation for all to enter His Kingdom through faith in Jesus Christ. But like both David and Jesus, we may face opposition as we prepare to enter the Kingdom of God.
But God is faithful. He will deliver us through the trials and tribulations that may come against us.
What trials and opposition do you face today? Lord, we place these before You and ask for Your complete deliverance, safety, and freedom. May Your Name be praised! In Jesus’ Name, Amen.