“Saul listened to Jonathan’s advice and swore an oath: ‘As surely as the Lord lives, David will not be killed.'” (CSB – Read the chapter)
When sin is loosed in a situation, the hold on the truth of the various parties to it becomes one of the first casualties. As this chapter unfolds, we see various different individuals lying in one way or another. It’s all part of one big mess which ultimately lies at the feet of Saul.
It starts here with Saul swearing an oath in the Lord’s name to his son Jonathan that he would not kill David. Fairly soon thereafter, though, the same evil spirit comes to haunt Saul and he tries once again to pin David to the wall with his spear. (Modern psychologists might have diagnosed this as something like paranoid schizophrenia which offers an interesting bit of commentary on the overlap of demonic activity in a person’s life and psychiatric disorders, but that is a conversation for another time.)
David flees to his house where his wife, Saul’s daughter Michal, advises him to get out of Dodge because of her father’s intent to see him put to death. He escapes out of the window (it’s interesting just how often that happens in the Biblical narrative generally) and heads for the hills. Michal, for her part, remains loyal to her husband, not her father, and deceives the servants Saul sends to murder David by telling them he was too sick in bed to be seen. She uses a household idol and covers it up with a blanket which may be the first time in recorded history that trick was used (Ferris Bueller has Michal to thank for his inspiration.)
When Saul confronts his daughter with her act of deception, which was totally understandable given that she seems to have loved her husband and her father was genuinely crazy, she lies to him at the expense of David. She tells Saul that David threatened to kill her if she didn’t cover his tracks. This just gives Saul another reason to see him put to death.
What a mess! But, this is what the fruits of sin and its companion, deception, look like when they are loosed in a situation. When we allow sin to run amok in our lives, deception and lies will be soon to follow. This will make our lives endlessly complex and generally make a mess of everything. So much better is to walk in the truth and live simply and uncomplicatedly. The way of righteousness is always the better path.