Saul Tries to Kill David (19:1–24)
Saul sent the men right back and told them to bring David, bed and all! Then the deception was uncovered. Saul rebuked his daughter Michal for deceiving him, but she justified herself with another lie: she told her father that David had threatened to kill her if she didn’t help him escape (verse 17).
From that time on until the day of Saul’s death, David remained a fugitive, in constant danger of being captured by the king and his men.
18–24 After David escaped, he went to Ramah, Samuel’s hometown, and reported to the old prophet all that Saul had done. Samuel and David then went to Naioth, which means “dwellings,” and stayed there; Naioth was probably a section of Ramah where the dwellings of a group of prophets were located.
Three times Saul sent men to capture David, but each time the men drew near Naioth and saw the prophets prophesying, they began to prophesy themselves.76 Finally Saul himself went, and the same thing happened to him! The writer explains that the Spirit of God came upon them (verses 20,23). Usually the Spirit of God empowered men for action, but in this case the Spirit immobilized these men and prevented them from taking action! Instead of seizing David, they themselves were “seized.” Saul’s case was so bad that he took off his royal robes and lay that way (virtually naked) all day and night! Thus God’s Spirit, in this unusual way, prevented Saul and his men from capturing David. And people again began to mock Saul by asking if he was now among the prophets (see 1 Samuel 10:11).
Saul was frustrated on every side. His schemes were being thwarted by his son’s love for David, his daughter’s love for David, and now by God’s love for David. From then on, Saul was to become increasingly desperate and irrational. Meanwhile, God would continue to protect David and prepare him to become king.