Not Letting Others Bring Us Down
After David slays Goliyat, Shaul inquires who this lad is (Shmuel 1:17:58). Malbim explains that it is clear that Shaul Hamelech knows David since the previous chapter had informed us that David would play music to diminish Shaul’s depression. Nevertheless, David has undergone such a profound change that he is not recognizable as the same person.
This must have been a bitter moment for Shaul Hamelech. He himself had undergone the same change when he had become a navi, but now Shaul was filled with ruach raah which had led to his spiritual downfall. To see David on the rise must have saddened, aggravated, and angered him greatly. This may have been the nekuda that exacerbated the comments of the women that Shaul killed thousands and David killed tens of thousands.
An eved Hashem must stand on guard against this phenomenon. When someone experiences intense aliyah in avodas Hashem, inevitably, at some point, he will experience a major yerida. During this yerida the world appears so dark, so hopeless. He begins to automatically respond with cynicism or worse to any aliya that he witnesses, especially in others, especially when the aliya is reminiscent of his personal aliya. Don’t be naïve...be realistic...come back to earth.
May we never lower others with our embittered nor allow the fallen ones to bring us down.
וירא שאול מלפני דוד כי היה יהוה עמו ומעם שאול סר. ויהי דוד לכל דרכיו משכיל ויהוה עמו. וירא שאול אשר הוא משכיל מאד ויגר מפניו. (שמואל א פרק יח:יב,יד,טו)