David, Saul, and Jonathan

The Bible in Art: David, Saul, and Jonathan 

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Verses for Consideration: I Samuel 18:6-9 

6 When the men were returning home after David had killed the Philistine, the women came out from all the towns of Israel to meet King Saul with singing and dancing, with joyful songs and with timbrels and lyres. 7 As they danced, they sang:

“Saul has slain his thousands,
and David his tens of thousands.”

8 Saul was very angry; this refrain displeased him greatly. “They have credited David with tens of thousands,” he thought, “but me with only thousands. What more can he get but the kingdom?” 9 And from that time on Saul kept a close eye on David.


Why do bad things happen to good people? That question may have gone through David’s mind when Saul tried to kill him.

Saul saw the way God blessed David’s life. Yet he wasn’t thankful for how God was using David to help his kingdom. He was consumed by jealousy. Even though David constantly had to be on guard against Saul’s murderous plots, David still honored the king. He continued to serve the Lord with gladness, and God blessed him with success.

Our lives are a lot like David’s life. By God’s grace, through faith, we are members of God’s family. He has given us many talents and spiritual gifts. As we use them, they bring blessings into our lives. Yet things sometimes happen that make us wonder: “Why does God allow these bad things to happen to me?”

To be sure, God is not the author of evil. He neither does evil nor tempts anyone to do evil. He is a loving God-in fact, God is love. Evil things are the result of sin. Some of the consequences of sin are sickness, disease, pain, conflict, selfishness, physical death, and eternal death in hell. When we experience bad things today, they can be traced to sin and its effect on the world and its people.

The good news is that God, through the redeeming work of Jesus Christ, has broken the devil’s power over us and has conquered sin and death. Our heavenly Father promises us, his dearly loved children, to turn all bad things that happen to us into good. He promises, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him” (Romans 8:28). We may not always understand how God accomplishes good through our problems, but we can be confident that he will do as he promised.

Prayer: Lord, help me see that when bad things happen to me, you will cause them to work for my good. Lead me to look for the good things that you will bring into my life. In my victorious Savior’s name, I pray. Amen.



Title: David and Jonathan (c.1505-10)

Artist: Giovanni Battista Cima da Conegliano