His first and second attempt at killing David with a spear failed. So Saul tried a different tactic. David was sent to lead Saul’s troops in battle. These circumstances clearly posed risks for David’s reputation and his physical well-being. Failure to perform as a soldier would erase David’s prestige and popularity and perhaps even end his life.
However, David was successful in carrying out every assignment “because the Lord was with him.” God assisted in David’s success in these military campaigns had two effects on others: it added to Saul’s fears, and it increased the people’s love for David.
In an effort to leverage David’s popularity, Saul cunningly honored his offer to give his daughter in marriage to the one who slew Goliath (1 Samuel 17:25). However, Saul’s offer was a trap set by Saul. David was to marry Saul’s “older daughter Merab.” If David accepted the offer, Saul could passively “let the Philistines” destroy his most feared adversary. Saul foolishly thought that David’s love for God could be used to destroy God’s anointed one.
David refused the offer because of another consideration: He felt unqualified to “become the king’s son-in-law” (1 Samuel 18:18). Saul was from a wealthy family; David was not. Saul was king of Israel; David was a rural shepherd boy.
Not to be hampered in his plan to kill David, Saul offered his “daughter Michal” (1 Samuel 18:20) a third way of destroying David. Saul learned to his evil delight that this daughter “was in love with David.”
David had previously eluded the king’s spear and the Philistines’ weapons, but perhaps he could be ensnared and ruined by a woman. Michal, Saul’s younger Daughter, who would be a “snare to him.”