3 Then Jonathan and David made a covenant, because he loved him as his own soul.

His [Davids] life, on the whole, was a broken and frustrated one. A long period he spent as a hunted fugitive -- a wanderer away from his country and kindred, attended by a motley following whose company must have been on the whole small comfort and a constant burden. Then, after his wanderings end and he finally becomes king and has subdued all his enemies, he stumbles into a grievous sin which plagues him without respite for the rest of his life.

Had Jonathan lived, much may have been different in David's life, but such was not the purpose of God. The affection between them was of the most exceptional character, calling for the strongest terms of description. In the friendship of Jonathan, David could have found satisfaction and guidance for the restless desires that led him into pitfalls. But it was God's will that he should learn alone.

After Jonathan's death, David seems to have found affinity with no one, and such comfort as he could get in the course of a life of disappointment and turmoil he must get by a direct and lonely approach to God by himself which, while infinitely more difficult, was perhaps in the ultimate for the best.

The Psalms could never have been written by a man who could find satisfaction and comfort in anything short of a direct and individual communion with God. And therefore, in the wisdom of God, it was Joab and not Jonathan who became David's lifelong companion, though such would never have been David's choice.

God's purpose with David was very high, and David had much to learn. Therefore considerations of his present comfort must give way to those which through long and bitter tribulation would develop in him the peaceable fruits of purity and righteousness.

The wisdom of God chose a vessel ideally suited to His purpose, and no small part of that purpose was the recording of the Psalms. The strong light of the inspiring Spirit, shining through every facet of David's character and experiences, threw as on a screen each detail of hope and despair, of failure and triumph.

Bro Growcott - The sword shall never depart

6 And it came to pass as they came, when David [Dovid] was returned from the slaughter of the Philistine [Pelishti], that the women [nashim] came out of all cities of Israel [ towns of Yisroel], singing and dancing, to meet king Saul [ Sha'ul HaMelech], with tabrets, with joy, and with instruments of musick [tambourines, with simchah, and with cymbals].

7 And the women answered one another as they played, and said, Saul hath slain his thousands, and David his ten thousands.

8 And Saul was very wroth, and the saying displeased him; and he said, They have ascribed unto David ten thousands, and to me they have ascribed but thousands: and what can he have more but the kingdom?

9 And Saul eyed David from that day and forward.

Goliath's own sword, in the hands of a supple God directed lad, severs Goliath's head from his prostrate body, and the astonished Philistines, first stunned, then panic-struck, flee at sight of the bloody head of their champion held up in their presence by the radiant ruddy youth, whom but a moment before they had scorned, whom David's brothers despised in envy, whom all Israel pitied as they saw him sally forth to the unequal conflict, but whom now they praise in ecstatic songs which awoke even the jealousy of Saul.

" Saul has slain his thousands, but David his tens of thousands," In this way God in his providence led David towards the position designed for him.

But suppose David had been chicken hearted and backward to avail himself of the opportunity brought within his reach of doing valiantly for God. How different the upshot would have been.

'...People look back at the case of such as David, and tacitly assume that it all came out in a miraculous matter of course way. They usually fail to realize how much of it depended upon the faith and courage of the individual men, and by what a natural concatenation of providential circumstances the divine purpose with them was accomplished. The application of these considerations to our own day is obvious.

We must cultivate individual enterprise in the ways of God. While committing our way to God, and praying to Him to open our way and direct our steps, let us see to it that we are not lacking in measures of wisdom and deeds of courage. Do not let us sit down supinely like the Turks, and wait for God to do what He will never do. He brings things to a certain point and leaves men to do the rest. God works in His own way, and it is for us to find it out. Get into the groove of this, and God will work with us and prosper our endeavours if it seems good to Him so to do.

And an enlightened man will not wait till he can do a great thing. If a man waits till he can do a great thing, he will never do anything. Do the little things faithfully and these may grow to great. Things that are considered great are made up of many littles, and the man who scorns the little will never reach the great. It is like learning a trade: we must do apprentice work and make mistakes before we can reach proficiency.

A man persevering in the way of duty will reach results unattainable to the slothful: first, because of the natural effect of keeping at it; and secondly, because God draws nigh to those who draw nigh to Him, and supplements their labour with His special assistance and direction.

Ways of Providence Ch 15

16 But all Israel and Judah loved David, because he went out and came in before them.

17 And Saul said to David, Behold my elder daughter Merab, her will I give thee to wife: only be thou valiant for me, and fight Yahweh's battles. For Saul said, Let not mine hand be upon him, but let the hand of the Philistines be upon him.

Saul tried to force the hand of providence: he contrived a dangerous enterprise for David against the Philistines...

David went the dangerous errand.

"Saul thought," we are told, "to make David fall by the hands of the Philistines" (verse 25).

But Saul's thought was not God's thought, and therefore the affair went well with David, and David returned in safety and increased triumph. Had the matter turned out differently-had David fallen in battle-Saul with much secret satisfaction would doubtless have bewailed David's fate as the inscrutable decree of providence. He would have put the responsibility on providence.

He did not like to kill him himself, but he had no objection to providence doing it, and so he laid a trap for providence, but it would not work, because providence was against it, that is, God's will was otherwise than that David should fall, and therefore the natural chances set in motion by Saul's arrangements were all fenced off by the shadow of divine protection, against which nothing can prevail.

We have a case in the very opposite direction in the case of these same two men with the parts reversed. Saul hunting David falls into David's power. A loose interpreter of providence would have said "Now is your opportunity, David: God works by means: he has put Saul in your power: slay him." In fact this very advice was given him.

"The men of David said unto him, Behold the day of which the Lord said unto thee, Behold I will deliver thine enemy into thine hand, that thou mayest do to him as it shall seem good unto thee."

What was David's answer?

"The Lord forbid that I should do this thing unto my master, the Lord's anointed, to stretch forth mine hand against him, seeing he is the anointed of the Lord" (1 Samuel 24:6).

Saul tried to force providence. Here we have David apparently retiring before it. What is this lesson? A very important one-that we must govern all our interpretations of the ways of providence by the prior question of righteousness. A good opportunity is no justification of doing a thing if that thing be wrong by any of the laws of God. God works by means but not by wrong means; and therefore in judging of His will in our affairs, we must always have Paul's question before our eyes:

"Lord, what wouldst Thou have me to do?"

We may be quite sure that it is not His will that we should in any position or circumstance do what He has forbidden, or leave undone what He has commanded. Our safety therefore lies in making ourselves constantly familiar with His commandments. By this we shall be protected from false interpretations of "providence," and enabled to walk wisely in all the changing phases of life.

Ways of Providence Ch 14.