Saul, the King of Israel was after David, his son-in-law. David was sore afraid of Saul, as the whole state machinery was put after David to the extent that David tells Saul’s son Jonathan ‘there is but a step between me and death’!
Even David, so wise and skilled couldn’t withstand the onslaught of the machinery that was set upon by Saul that he decided and migrated his family to the land of Moab. Before David found favour with the king of Moab, David landed up at the palace of Achish, the King of Gath, one of the conglomerates of the Philistines. David was mortally stricken when he was presented before Achish that he feigned madness, and found his escape by a disgusted Achish.
David was able to escape because he was assisted by Jonathan, the son of Saul. Had not Jonathan assisted David, in probability, Saul and Abner would have overtaken David.
Saul was so upset that none who belonged to his own tribe of Benjamin, showed him that his own son Jonathan was in league with David.
The following passage reflects the Loser in Saul.
“Then Saul said unto his servants that stood about him, Hear now, ye Benjamites; will the son of Jesse give every one of you fields and vineyards, and make you all captains of thousands, and captains of hundred”.
Saul’s position as the King of Israel had given him the ability to apportion lands and other resources, which Saul had been whimsically apportioning among his own Tribe of Benjamin.
Saul relies on the Benjamites to inform Saul of the doings and affiliations of David. Basically, Saul expected his tribesmen to give him clue of the life of David and Saul feels that the Benjamites has let him down.
Firstly, that Saul as the King by distributing the resources of his kingdom would be able to buy the LOYALTY of people was erroneous.
Secondly, by distributing such largess to his Tribe, they were DUTY BOUND to inform Saul, was downright stupid.
Thirdly, by thinking that since David was from the other Tribe of Judah, people from Benjamin Tribe wouldn’t sympathise with David’s cause, is a loser’s premise.
Fourthly, that the intangibles like Loyalty, Insider information would be forthcoming only from because of tribal affinity is proven wrong immediately after this verse. It is an Edomite called Doeg, who sneaks on David’s meeting with Ahimelech, the priest at Nob.
It is only a person with information who can share it, irrespective of whether he was a Benjamite or not. In this case it happened to be an Edomite.
The loyalty bought with State’s resources neither got Saul the loyalty of his tribesmen nor the intelligence of the whereabouts of David.
It was this attitude of Saul, that he could BUY the loyalty & information by REWARDING HIS OWN TRIBE by distributing the State’s resources is the greatest flaw. His Tribesmen think it is a matter of RIGHT to be given that largesse. In any case, Saul was NOT PAYING anything out of his own sweat or tears or blood, which makes Saul a cheat, who is merely putting his hand into the till of the National Resources and distributing.
The down fall of Saul was immense. He was so interested in the outcome of his wars, that he went to the extent of getting a Necromancer to raise up Samuel to divine for Saul. The ominous prognosis was “to morrow shalt thou and thy sons be with me:” – what a terrible thing to hear, from the dead Samuel!
To submit to the limitations of a human being is the true crown of a King. To be just in the distribution of the national resources is the sceptre of righteousness. Gathering information somehow, like Saul, from the dead, takes the seeker there.
Kings beware! Power has its limitation only in two ways:
0. in its supply- when it would be cut off -is known to none.
0. One’s own mortality.