Good v Evil, Spirit v Flesh: Saul Persecutes David
And he sent, and brought him in. Now he was ruddy, and withal of a beautiful countenance,
and goodly (tov) to look to. And the LORD said, Arise, anoint him: for this is he.
Then Samuel took the horn of oil, and anointed him in the midst of his brethren: and the Spirit of the LORD came
upon David from that day forward. But the Spirit of the LORD departed from Saul, and an evil (ra) spirit
from the LORD troubled him.
1 Samuel 16:12ff (Spoke 9, Cycle 1)
Just as God
marked His choice of Saul with the KeyWord tov, so also did He mark His
choice of David. But David was different than Saul. He was a man after God's own heart (1 Sam 13:14), a type of all who
have the Spirit of God. Achish said he was good (tov) "as an angel of God," and that he had
"not found evil (ra) in him since the day they met (1 Sam 29:6ff). The mere fact of David's existence enraged
Saul, a type of the flesh. The titanic struggle between these
two typological figures is marked throughout with the KeyWords tov and ra. Indeed,
David used it as a test to expose the evil intent of Saul's heart:
If he say thus, It is well (tov); thy servant [David] shall have peace: but if he
be very wroth, then be sure that evil (ra) is determined by him.
1 Samuel 20:7 (Spoke 9, Cycle 1)
This test was effective – Saul went into a murderous rage and threw a javelin to kill his own
son Jonathan! Thus began Saul's persecution of David which fills the last ten chapters of 1 Samuel. He chased him throughout
the countryside but could never get close to him. David, on the other hand, was able to approach Saul as he
slept and cut a piece from his cloak. When Saul awoke and realized what had happened, he confirmed with his
own mouth Samuel's assertion that David was better (tov) than he:
And Saul lifted up his voice, and wept. And he said to David, Thou art more righteous than I:
for thou hast rewarded me good (tov), whereas I have rewarded thee evil (ra). And thou hast
shewed this day how that thou hast dealt well (tov) with me: forasmuch as when the LORD had delivered
me into thine hand, thou killedst me not. For if a man find his enemy, will he let him go well away (b'derek tovah)?
Wherefore the LORD reward thee good (tov) for that thou hast done unto me this day.
1 Samuel 24:19 (Spoke 9, Cycle 1)
The phrase b'derek tovah literally means "in the good way." This same phrase appears in the KeyLink
based on 1 Samuel 12:23 (BW book pg 222). Note the interplay the of the
diametrically opposted KeyWords tov and ra as discussed here.