I Samuel 18:1-30

Sunday, January 25th, 2015

Text: I Samuel 18



Today, as always, there are many people who have inferiority complexes. Because of his inferiority complex, the person will develop feelings of insecurity. Of course, most of this is subconscious or at least repressed out of consciousness.

Insecurity is an ongoing, haunting feeling that someone is going to take my job away from me, that someone will steal my wife or girl friend's affections from me, that someone will take my position away from me, that I am not as good [i.e. as pretty, as handsome, or as intelligent] as someone else, etc. Shorter people may have feelings of insecurity and have what is referred to as short man's syndrome or Napoleon Complex. Children who are born second in a family may have feelings of inferiority because they cannot keep up with an older sibling. The insecure person may become very possessive of everything he regards as his and protective of it. He may become suspicious of anyone and everyone whom he regards as a potential threat.

This haunting insecurity may show up in the pastoral ministry in the life of a pastor who finds himself blessed with a good assistant. The people often find the assistant's preaching refreshing. It is simply a new voice; and it does not necessarily mean that the assistant is superior to the pastor as a preacher or even that the people prefer the assistant to the pastor. However, because of his insecurity, the pastor may have a tendency to repress and/or stifle his assistant out of fear that people will prefer the assistant; and he begins to view the assistant as a rival and perhaps even as an enemy. If this happens, the assistant might just as well pack his bags and look for another place of service because he will never be permitted to be effective.

I remember a time when I was teaching an adult Sunday School in a church we attended for a couple of years. I wasn't even on staff, but I was the adult Sunday School teacher; and the pastor was treating me very well. Well, one Sunday after Sunday School, as I was speaking with the pastor, a man came up to me and said to me in front of the pastor, "You are the best Bible teacher I have ever heard in my life." All of a sudden the pastor was no longer treating me well. From then on, the pastor began to treat me as if I were a threat to him. He even attacked me from the pulpit during his messages. We eventually left the church. I was never a threat to him, but I was perceived as a threat.

The same thing may happen in business. A rising star in any company may be regarded as a threat by someone who already holds a particular position because of fear that the new individual might do his job better than he is doing it. A leading soloist in a church who is insecure may have a tough time dealing with a rival, i.e. with someone else who can sing or play as well as he or she can, even though there is room in the church ministry for both of them. An insecure wife may mistrust all other women and make life very difficult for her husband.

An insecure individual may have a tendency to have to make all the decisions himself and be a micro manager. He may never be able to work effectively through others, especially if he regards them as threats to himself.

Consequently, the imagination of the person plagued by insecurity may run wild. He may continuously imagine that someone is trying to take something that belongs to him, e.g. his job, his wife, his position, etc. Every time someone says something to him or does something, he may subconsciously regard it as a threat to his basic security and will take whatever steps he deems necessary to protect that security. He may always be wondering about the other person's real motives. It doesn't matter what the reality of the situation is because his perception of the situation is regarded as reality by him.

An insecure person may, thus, stoop to jealousy, rage, slander, gossip, and even murder to do away with his rival.

When the pastor compliments someone else, this insecure person may take it as a personal affront to himself; and he may find himself asking why the pastor did not compliment him instead.

The insecurity may show up in one individual feeling that he or she is being slighted when someone else gets a compliment but he or she doesn't. It may be that one mother's child gets a leading part in a Christmas play at church but another mother's child doesn't get a leading part. An insecure individual may take the attitude that I'm as good as he or she is and begin saying things which will downgrade the other person who has now become a rival through no fault of his/her own.

Comparing ourselves with others is really not good when we should really be comparing ourselves with the Lord or with His ideal for us.

We should also always consider Romans 8:28 , which indicates that God will use circumstances to teach us many lessons in life.

Romans 8:28 - And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.

Insecurity may cause problems within a family, within a church, within a school, or within a place of employment.

Remember that we don't have to be putting others down in order to build ourselves up.

Eventually, what may happen is that the insecure person may become distrustful of everyone, especially of those who, in his judgment, pose a threat to his security. He may be suspicious of every act, and no one may be able to get along with him for very long. He may even lash out at those closest to him.

This person may cry out to his friends that they can help him get over his insecurity if they will simply humor him, or put up with him, or not do the things which set him off. However, this never gets to the problem itself. All it will do is cover it over for a while. Sooner or later, it will crop out again.

Eventually people who have to deal with insecure people grow weary of it and have a tendency to distance themselves from the insecure person.

There is a cure for an inferiority complex and for its companion insecurity, and that's what we want to see in this message. It is the insecure person who, with God's help, must take steps to cure himself of it because no one can do it for him.

Remember that you can have victory over feelings of insecurity -

Philippians 4:13 - I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.

As we look today at I Samuel 18 , I want to show you some of the effects of insecurity.

In all of this, notice that David behaved himself wisely and was directed by the Lord but that Saul behaved himself foolishly.


There can be a great relationship between people -

I Samuel 18:1-4 - (1) And it came to pass, when he had made an end of speaking unto Saul, that the soul of Jonathan was knit with the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as his own soul. (2) And Saul took him [i.e. David] that day, and would let him go no more home to his father's house. (3) Then Jonathan and David made a covenant, because he [i.e. Jonathan] loved him [i.e. David] as his own soul. (4) And Jonathan stripped himself of the robe that was upon him, and gave it to David, and his garments [i.e. with his armor], even to his sword, and to his bow, and to his girdle [i.e. belt].

The significance of Jonathan giving David his royal robe was that, although Jonathan was the heir apparent to Saul's throne, he recognized that it was God's will for David to succeed Saul as king rather than for himself to succeed his father and become king. He would thus be voluntarily submissive to David as Israel's next king and serve under him.

Jonathan acknowledged this -

I Samuel 23:17 - And he [i.e. Jonathan] said unto him [i.e. unto David], Fear not: for the hand of Saul my father shall not find thee; and thou shalt be king over Israel, and I shall be next unto thee; and that also Saul my father knoweth.


I Samuel 18:5 - And David went out whithersoever [i.e. wherever] Saul sent him, and behaved himself wisely: and Saul set him over the men of war, and he was accepted in the sight of all the people, and also in the sight of Saul's servants.


I Samuel 18:6-8 - (6) And it came to pass [i.e. it happened] as they came, when David was returned from the slaughter of the Philistine, that the women came out of all cities of Israel, singing and dancing, to meet king Saul, with tabrets [i.e. with tambourines], with joy, and with instruments of musick [i.e. with musical instruments]. (7) And the women answered one another as they played [i.e. as they danced], and said, Saul hath slain his thousands, and David his ten thousands. (8) And Saul was very wroth [i.e. very angry], 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?

Shouldn't Saul have been pleased that he had a mighty warrior fighting for him who had killed many enemy soldiers? Yes, he should have been.

Why might Saul have been displeased rather than pleased? Why would Saul say, What can he have more but the kingdom?

Go back to -

I Samuel 15:28-29 - (28) And Samuel said unto him [i.e. unto Saul], The Lord hath rent the kingdom of Israel from thee this day, and hath given it to a neighbour of thine, that is better than thou. (29) And also the Strength of Israel [i.e. God] will not lie nor repent [i.e. He will not change His mind]: for he is not a man, that he should repent [i.e. that he should change His mind].

Consider also -

I Samuel 15:35 - And Samuel came no more to see Saul until the day of his death [i.e. for the rest of Samuel's life he never again came to see Saul]: nevertheless Samuel mourned for Saul: and the Lord repented [i.e. the Lord regretted] that he had made Saul king over Israel.

The problem is pride. Accept yourself as God made you and live for Him, serving Him with the talents and abilities He has given you. Don't worry about what you can't do. Concern yourself with what you can do. Don't be comparing yourself with other people. God made you different from everyone else. You will have talents and abilities they don't have, and they will have talents and abilities you don't have. You are unique. From an ability standpoint, you are what God wanted you to be. Keep your eyes on the Lord, and pursue after Him with all your heart.

I remind you again of -

Romans 8:28 - And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.


I Samuel 18:9 - And Saul eyed David from that day and forward.


1. He seeks to destroy his supposed enemy - 18:10-11

I Samuel 18:10-11 - (10) And it came to pass on the morrow [i.e. on the next day], that the evil spirit [i.e. the distressing spirit] from God came upon Saul, and he prophesied [i.e. Saul raved or Saul was acting like a prophet] in the midst of the house [i.e. inside the house]: and David played [i.e. while David played music] with his hand, as at other times: and there was a javelin [i.e. a spear] in Saul's hand. (11) And Saul cast the javelin [i.e. the spear]; for he said, I will smite [i.e. I will pin] David even to the wall with it. And David avoided out of his presence twice [i.e. David escaped from his presence twice].

While Saul resorted to attempted murder, others will resort to things such as slander, gossip, lying, and half truths and innuendos which are intended to destroy the credibility or character of the other person. It's called character assassination.

2. He fears that his position will be taken away - 18:12-16

I Samuel 18:12-16 - (12) And Saul was afraid of David, because the Lord was with him, and was departed [i.e. had departed] from Saul. (13) Therefore Saul removed him from him [i.e. from his presence], and made him his captain over a thousand; and he went out and came in before the people. [Of course, this helped develop leadership skills in David.] (14) And David behaved himself wisely in all his ways; and the Lord was with him. (15) Wherefore when Saul saw that he [i.e. David] behaved himself very wisely, he [i.e. Saul] was afraid of him [i.e. of David]. (16) But all Israel and Judah loved David, because he went out and came in before them [i.e. because he led them in their military campaigns.].

According to verse 5 Saul had set David over the men of war. In verse 13 when Saul made David his captain over a thousand, might this have been a demotion rather than a promotion? I do not know the answer to this question.

3. He maintains a false front but never changes his heart - 18:17-27

I Samuel 18:17-27 - (17) And Saul said to David, Behold [i.e. here is] my elder daughter Merab, her will I give thee to wife: only be thou valiant for me, and fight the Lord's battles. For Saul said, Let not mine hand be upon him, but let the hand of the Philistines be upon him. (18) And David said unto Saul, Who am I? and what is my life, or my father's family in Israel, that I should be son in law to the king? (19) But it came to pass [i.e. but it happened] at the time when Merab Saul's daughter should have been given to David, that she was given unto Adriel the Meholathite to wife. (20) And [i.e. Now] Michal Saul's daughter loved David: and they told Saul, and the thing pleased him. (21) And Saul said, I will give him her [i.e. I will give her to him], that she may be a snare to him, and that the hand of the Philistines may be against him. Wherefore Saul said to David, Thou shalt this day be my son in law in the one of the twain [i.e. Saul said to David a second time, You shall be my son-in-law today]. (22) And Saul commanded his servants, saying, Commune with David secretly, and say, Behold, the king hath delight in thee, and all his servants love thee: now therefore be the king's son in law. (23) And Saul's servants spake those words in the ears of David. And David said, Seemeth it to you a light thing to be a king's son in law, seeing that I am a poor man, and lightly esteemed? (24) And the servants of Saul told him, saying, On this manner spake David. (25) And Saul said, Thus shall ye say to David, The king desireth not any dowry, but an hundred foreskins of the Philistines, to be avenged of the king's enemies [i.e. to take vengeance on the king's enemies]. But Saul thought to make David fall by the hand of the Philistines [i.e. Saul's plan was to have David killed by the Philistines]. (26) And when his servants told David these words, it pleased David well to be the king's son in law: and the days were not expired [i.e. before the days had expired, before the allotted time had elapsed - it sounds like there was a deadline on this offer]. (27) Wherefore David arose and went, he and his men, and slew of the Philistines two hundred men; and David brought their foreskins, and they gave them in full tale [i.e. in full number or in full count] to the king, that he might be the king's son in law. And Saul gave him Michal his daughter to wife [i.e. as a wife].


I Samuel 18:28-30 - (28) And Saul saw and knew that the Lord was with David, and that Michal Saul's daughter loved him. (29) And Saul was yet the more afraid of David; and Saul became David's enemy continually. (30) Then the princes of the Philistines went forth [i.e. went out to war]: and it came to pass, after they went forth [i.e. after they went out], that David behaved himself more wisely than all the servants of Saul; so that his name was much set by [i.e. his name became highly esteemed].


1. Complete surrender to the Lord

I Samuel 12:14-15 - (14) If ye will fear the Lord, and serve him, and obey his voice, and not rebel against the commandment of the Lord, then shall both ye and also the king that reigneth over you continue following the Lord your God: (15) But if ye will not obey the voice of the Lord, but rebel against the commandment of the Lord, then shall the hand of the Lord be against you, as it was against your fathers.

2. If you have the problem of insecurity, admit it.

3. Learn to recognize the symptoms of insecurity.

4. Confess it as sin.

I John 1:9 - If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

5. Realize that the problem of insecurity is due to pride.

6. Realize that God made you the way you are and accept it.

Don't worry about what you can't change. Fix what you can change so that you are a more faithful, godly person.


Don't let your life be plagued with feelings of insecurity. Accept things as they are and be living for the Lord, seeking to please Him in everything you do and say.