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In everything [David] did he had great success, because the Lord was with him.  When Saul saw how successful he was, he was afraid of him.

Read the entire passage: 1 Samuel 18.6-16


David and Saul’s relationship was beyond difficult. While relationships with in-laws are often complicated to begin with, we get a clearer picture how bad their relationship was in 1 Samuel 18.

Saul was paranoid of losing his crown to David as he noticed the hearts of the people turn toward David. Twice Saul tried to kill David with a spear and even sent David out to war in an attempt to orchestrate his death. When we arrive at the story in 1 Samuel 24 and 26, their relationship has dissolved to the point where Saul is outright hunting David. David is forced to flee the kingdom with his men.

Although we likely do not have enemies hunting us down, we all have difficult relationships. It may be a co-worker, boss, in-law, sibling or colleague that we can’t seem to get along with. In this passage, David demonstrates how even in the worst of relationships—we’re capable of giving grace. Even though Saul deserves to get what is coming to him, David demonstrates God’s heart by sparing Saul. David allows God room to exact justice.


Think about your worst relationship. How does this story inform you about how God desires you to treat the people you would consider “enemies?” Pray this prayer as you ask God for wisdom in difficult relationships, “Lord, allow me to show your heart—even in the times and places where it is the hardest.”