“And the children of Israel returned from chasing after the Philistines, and they spoiled their tents.
And David took the head of the Philistine, and brought it to Jerusalem; but he put his armour in his tent.” (I Samuel 17:53-54)
After defeating the Philistines, the Israelites took all the stuff they had left behind in their camp. David took the head of Goliath to Jerusalem to Saul, keeping his armor for himself. It could be reworked to fit David later or kept as a trophy.
“And when Saul saw David go forth against the Philistine, he said unto Abner, the captain of the host, Abner, whose son is this youth? And Abner said, As thy soul liveth, O king, I cannot tell. And the king said, Inquire thou whose son the stripling is.” (I Samuel 17:55-56)
While Saul had had David brought to the palace as his musician, and had made him his armor bearer, it meant very little to him. When David went out to fight Goliath, Saul didn’t even remember who he was and asked Abner to find out. It is just another indication of how self centered Saul was, that he didn’t even recognize his assistant.
“And as David returned from the slaughter of the Philistine, Abner took him, and brought him before Saul with the head of the Philistine in his hand.
And Saul said to him, Whose son art thou, thou young man?
And David answered, I am the son of thy servant Jesse the Bethlehemite.
And it came to pass, when he had made an end of speaking unto Saul, that the soul of Jonathan was knit with the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as his own soul.
And Saul took him that day, and would let him go no more home to his father's house.” (I Samuel 17:57-18:2)
Saul made it a practice to bring all the best fighters into the army. After seeing David defeat Goliath, he wasn’t about to let him get away. Saul’s son Jonathan was much like David in his faith in God. It produced an instant friendship between them, so they were almost inseparable.
“Then Jonathan and David made a covenant, because he loved him as his own soul. And Jonathan stripped himself of the robe that was upon him, and gave it to David, and his garments, even to his sword, and to his bow, and to his girdle.” (I Samuel 18:3-4)
David and Jonathan made a pact to be friends forever, and Jonathan gave David his own clothes and weapons as a token of their friendship.
“And David went out whithersoever Saul sent him, and behaved himself wisely: and Saul set him over the men of war, and he was accepted in the sight of all the people, and also in the sight of Saul's servants.” (I Samuel 18:5)
Saul set David up as one of the military heroes and leaders. The people were glad to accept him as such, and David didn’t foolishly get taken in by the adulation, gaining the respect of Saul’s staff.
“And it came to pass as they came, when David was returned from the slaughter of the Philistine, that the women came out of all cities of Israel, singing and dancing, to meet king Saul, with tabrets, with joy, and with instruments of music. And the women answered one another as they played, and said, Saul hath slain his thousands, and David his ten thousands.
And Saul was very wroth, and the saying displeased him; and he said, They have ascribed unto David ten thousands, and to me they have ascribed but thousands: and what can he have more but the kingdom? And Saul eyed David from that day and forward.” (I Samuel 18:6-7)
Just as the people had recognized it was Jonathan’s actions that had produced the earlier victory over the Philistines, they realized it was David’s actions rather than Saul’s that had resulted in this victory. They were dancing in the streets, and singing about David’s victory.
Saul got jealous of the attention they were giving David and began to fear they might decide to make him king instead of Saul. From that time forward, Saul distrusted David and kept a close eye on everything he did.
“And it came to pass on the morrow, that the evil spirit from God came upon Saul, and he prophesied in the midst of the house: and David played with his hand, as at other times: and there was a javelin in Saul's hand. And Saul cast the javelin; for he said, I will smite David even to the wall with it. And David avoided out of his presence twice.” (I Samuel 18:10-11)
The next day the evil mood came back over Saul, and he began to prophesy about what would happen in the future. David was called in to play for him and distract him in hopes of improving his attitude. Seeing David playing just made him more upset and he grabbed up a javelin or throwing spear, making two attempts to kill David. Both times David was able to escape the thrusts.
“And Saul was afraid of David, because the LORD was with him, and was departed from Saul. Therefore Saul removed him from him, and made him his captain over a thousand; and he went out and came in before the people.” (I Samuel 18:12-13)
Realizing God was protecting and guiding David, Saul was even more afraid of him because he realized he was not likely to get rid of him. In an effort to control his influence, he promoted David to a position far enough away he thought people would forget about him.
“And David behaved himself wisely in all his ways; and the LORD was with him. Wherefore when Saul saw that he behaved himself very wisely, he was afraid of him. But all Israel and Judah loved David, because he went out and came in before them.” (I Samuel 18:14-16)
Because David did his new position so well, and God blessed him in his actions, David’s reputation grew and Saul became increasingly concerned. Israel and Judah observed his wise decisions and loved the impact he was having.