"Saul said to David, ‘My elder daughter Merab I will give you as wife: only serve me courageously and fight the Lord's battles.' For Saul thought, "Let not my hand, but the Philistines' hand, be upon him.'"
I Samuel 18: 17, Amplified Bible
"A Father's Pawn"
"Pawn" - Anything given as security for the performance of an action. A hostage.
"There is in every true woman's heart, a spark of heavenly fire, which lies dormant in the broad daylight of prosperity, but which kindles up and beams and blazes in the dark hour of adversity."
The Flame In My Soul
"O God of Love,
Look kindly upon the flame
that is my soul.
Though it glows like a
Barely visible in the dark,
it contains the life of light.
It is precious to me,
for in this infant flame I know
And as You choose to dwell in me,
so also must I be precious
in your sight.
In Your patience, Lord,
never allow this flame,
However small, to be extinguished.
let me nurture it in stillness,
giving it ample room to breathe;
And grant me patience as I
watch and feel it grow,
into the Light of Life. Amen."
From the time the pain of sin entered the beauty of Eden's Garden home, to the destructive behavior we witnessed throughout the book of Judges, including the terrorizing act of gang rape by the men of the tribe of Benjamin against the Levite's wife, it is more than apparent the female gender has been subjected to despicable acts which our Father in heaven never, ever intended would befall His precious daughters.
What we as women need to be extremely observant about is that when the men and women of Israel fell into the pit of mimicking the Canaanite nations, it was the Israelite daughters of God who were left with a great deal of the fallout. They were used and disrespected. The men decided that polygamy was the fad of the day and marriage was not the holy institution intended as heaven's blessing even though it was a gift that lingered after Adam and Eve were cast out of Eden's perfect environment until this very day.
Sadly, it wasn't only polygamy that crept into Israelite society, Godly parenting took a hit, as well, as we see in our text for today.
As we have studied all the lives of women, named and unnamed since Genesis 1, one of the most important lessons we as women need to learn is that as society declines, so does the honor given to women. The entire book of Judges clearly outlined the statement I just made.
While women like Deborah, Jael, Naomi, Ruth, Rahab and others arose and took a leadership role, in general, it's fair to say that for women, life was not a bed of roses. And this unfortunate situation had as its breeding ground the treatment men showed their own daughters. How could we forget Jepthah's betrayal and rash behavior toward his own daughter. And now today, in our text, we see the King of Israel, no less, using his older daughter as a pawn. Saul decided to barter with the life of his eldest girl, Merab.
Coming to the conclusion he couldn't kill David because he would risk having the people of Israel turn against him, King Saul hatched a plan to, as they say, "Keep your friends close and your enemies closer."
Saul's oldest daughter hadn't gotten married and tradition at that time dictated that the oldest girl needed to marry first before her younger sisters could take a spouse. Thinking that having David as a temporary son-in-law might not be bad, Saul offered his daughter Merab to David. But there was one catch! David had to fight the Philistines for the girl's hand. The wily Saul concluded that in a battle against the Philistines, David would most likely meet his demise and so Saul came up with a fool- proof idea.
The problem was, David didn't appear keen on the idea of having Saul as a father-in-law.
David turned down the offer, and Merab was given to Adriel the Meholathite to be his wife. Merab the pawn, passed around at the will of her dad.
How would you have felt being used as a palace pawn? Traded for favors your dad wanted from others.
Even today, I've seen parents use their children to impress co-workers and business associates, leaving the cast-offs out in the cold when their usefulness has worn off. And this is where we as daughters of God need to stand side-by-side, encouraging one another and never allowing ourselves to degrade each other or use one another.
Tomorrow, we will look at two specific things we can learn from Saul's life and his relationship with his daughters.
We as God's girls need to embrace one another, protecting each other from any abusive remarks or attacks. The result will be the formation of women of valor who heed God's calling in every part of their lives.
"Displaced but not forgotten. In faith I carry on.
Jesus, dear shepherd of His sheep, to whom my heart belongs.
Thank you, dear Lord Jesus, for a most holy dwelling place.
One of joy, peace, and quiet confidence for those who seek Your face.
Created in God's image, I know to whom I belong.
Abandoned I will never be. In faith I carry on."
A Prayer For Healing
"O God, you set upon our borders sentinels who are never silent and watchers who never sleep; guard and protect the boundaries of my soul. You shelter us under the shadow of Your wings; create within me a safe place in which to heal. Speak tenderly to my spirit…and teach me to stand upright in the center of my being. Comfort my fear, that I may walk freely within my own sanctuary, and become a place of welcome to those who come in peace. In the name of Your dear child, Jesus. Amen."
"(She) who dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall remain stable and fixed under the shadow of the Almighty (whose power no foe can withstand). I will say of the Lord, ‘He is my Refuge and my Fortress, my God; on Him I lean and rely, and in Him confidently trust.'"
Psalm 91: 1, 2, Amplified Bible
Dorothy Valcàrcel, Author
When A Woman Meets Jesus
P.S. My book, When A Woman Meets Jesus, is now available wherever books are sold and on the internet at www.amazon.com, Christianbook.com, or by calling toll-free, 1-800-Christian. You can also go to www.whenawomanmeetsjesus.com and purchase the book through Paypal for $8.00. Or by calling Transformation Garden at 1-888-397-4348.
For more from Dorothy, please visit transformationgarden.com.