The author, throughout 1 Samuel, has purposed to contrast David and Saul. Saul was self-reliant, outwardly religious, inwardly tormented and absolutely paranoid. Whereas David was constantly seeking the will of the Lord, inwardly devoted and humbled by his circumstances.
In these final two chapters we see the epitome of contrast. David, first returns to his temporary home in Philistia to find it raided. His first action is to inquire of the Lord. He then leads his men to overcome the raiders, and they discover that the bandits had also raided parts of Judah. David, in kingly fashion, defeats the raiders and leaves with great spoil. He justly divides the spoil among his men and with the cities of Judah. David is ready for the kingship. He is a seasoned warrior, humbled by difficulty. He’s learned patience and discipline. And in the journey, he’s become an exemplary leader.
Then we read of Saul in battle against the Philistines. First his sons die, and then Saul is wounded in battle. He doesn’t even receive the honor of dying at his enemies’ hand, but must take his own life. Finally, Saul is dead, and David is poised to take the throne.
David has endured in a way worthy to be in the lineage of Christ. He will be a godly king because of his suffering.
In Luke, Jesus is about to enter Jerusalem. He predicts his suffering and death to the disciples, but they do not accept his words.
They do not understand that suffering is God’s prerequisite for Kingship!
Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing (James 1:2-4).