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28. 1 Samuel 16 – 24, Psalms 11 and 59 (David and Escape from Saul)

A Chronological Daily Bible Study of the Old Testament
7-Day Sections
with a Summary-Commentary, Discussion Questions, and a Practical Daily Application

Week 28

Sunday (1 Samuel 16)

Samuel Anoints David as King

16:1 The Lord said to Samuel, “How long do you intend to mourn for Saul? I have rejected him as king over Israel. Fill your horn with olive oil and go! I am sending you to Jesse in Bethlehem, for I have selected a king for myself from among his sons.”

16:2 Samuel replied, “How can I go? Saul will hear about it and kill me!” But the Lord said, “Take a heifer with you and say, ‘I have come to sacrifice to the Lord.’ 16:3 Then invite Jesse to the sacrifice, and I will show you what you should do. You will anoint for me the one I point out to you.”

16:4 Samuel did what the Lord told him. When he arrived in Bethlehem, the elders of the city were afraid to meet him. They said, “Do you come in peace?” 16:5 He replied, “Yes, in peace. I have come to sacrifice to the Lord. Consecrate yourselves and come with me to the sacrifice.” So he consecrated Jesse and his sons and invited them to the sacrifice.

16:6 When they arrived, Samuel noticed Eliab and said to himself, “Surely, here before the Lord stands his chosen king!” 16:7 But the Lord said to Samuel, “Don’t be impressed by his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. God does not view things the way men do. People look on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”

16:8 Then Jesse called Abinadab and presented him to Samuel. But Samuel said, “The Lord has not chosen this one, either.” 16:9 Then Jesse presented Shammah. But Samuel said, “The Lord has not chosen this one either.” 16:10 Jesse presented seven of his sons to Samuel. But Samuel said to Jesse, “The Lord has not chosen any of these.” 16:11 Then Samuel said to Jesse, “Is that all of the young men?” Jesse replied, “There is still the youngest one, but he’s taking care of the flock.” Samuel said to Jesse, “Send and get him, for we cannot turn our attention to other things until he comes here.”

16:12 So Jesse had him brought in. Now he was ruddy, with attractive eyes and a handsome appearance. The Lord said, “Go and anoint him. This is the one!” 16:13 So Samuel took the horn full of olive oil and anointed him in the presence of his brothers. The Spirit of the Lord rushed upon David from that day onward. Then Samuel got up and went to Ramah.

David Appears before Saul

16:14 Now the Spirit of the Lord had turned away from Saul, and an evil spirit from the Lord tormented him. 16:15 Then Saul’s servants said to him, “Look, an evil spirit from God is tormenting you!” 16:16 Let our lord instruct his servants who are here before you to look for a man who knows how to play the lyre. Then whenever the evil spirit from God comes upon you, he can play the lyre and you will feel better.” 16:17 So Saul said to his servants, “Find me a man who plays well and bring him to me.” 16:18 One of his attendants replied, “I have seen a son of Jesse in Bethlehem who knows how to play the lyre. He is a brave warrior and is articulate and handsome, for the Lord is with him.”

16:19 So Saul sent messengers to Jesse and said, “Send me your son David, who is out with the sheep. 16:20 So Jesse took a donkey loaded with bread, a container of wine, and a young goat and sent them to Saul with his son David. 16:21 David came to Saul and stood before him. Saul liked him a great deal, and he became his armor bearer. 16:22 Then Saul sent word to Jesse saying, “Let David be my servant, for I really like him.”

16:23 So whenever the spirit from God would come upon Saul, David would take his lyre and play it. This would bring relief to Saul and make him feel better. Then the evil spirit would leave him alone.

Prayer

Lord, when You anoint a person in a special way for a special purpose Your presence is obvious, even as You may not receive due credit. May I be sensitive to those whom You have specially anointed so that I might encourage them, direct others to them, and walk alongside of them as You work out Your great plan.

Scripture In Perspective

Despite all that Samuel knew and had experienced he remained human, fearful of man, despite the immediate presence of God.

The Lord God provided a means for Samuel to feel confident and sent him to find an anoint David as the next king.

The Lord had to move Samuel past those whose age and appearance misled his eyes to imagine them to be the one whom he was to anoint until he found David.

David was so filled with the presence of the Lord that he was brought to soothe an agitated, yet unknowing, Saul.

Interact With The Text

Consider

Samuel has been the Lord’s instrument in anointing the very first human king of Israel, in delivering His Word to Saul, and in delivering the Lord’s judgment of Saul’s rebellion. It was difficult for Samuel to move on.

Discuss

Why would Samuel have doubted that the Lord God could and would have protected him from Saul?

Reflect

Samuel looked at the outside, God saw the inside – David's potential because of his teachable heart.

Share

When have you observed a transition of leadership where the current leader was largely unaware of the selection of his replacement? Was that awkward or handled well?

Faith In Action

Pray

Ask the Holy Spirit to reveal to you a place where you fear man more than you trust God, and/or where you are looking at appearance versus character and may be missing the right person for a ministry.

Act

I will humbly confess my error and repent of it. I will see the counsel of one who meets the Biblical qualifications of an Elder as I sort out a more faithful and wise path.

Be Specific ________________________________________________

Monday (1 Samuel 17)

David Kills Goliath

17:1 The Philistines gathered their troops for battle. They assembled at Socoh in Judah. They camped in Ephes Dammim, between Socoh and Azekah. 17:2 Saul and the Israelite army assembled and camped in the valley of Elah, where they arranged their battle lines to fight against the Philistines. 17:3 The Philistines were standing on one hill, and the Israelites on another hill, with the valley between them.

17:4 Then a champion came out from the camp of the Philistines. His name was Goliath; he was from Gath. He was close to seven feet tall. 17:5 He had a bronze helmet on his head and was wearing scale body armor. The weight of his bronze body armor was five thousand shekels. 17:6 He had bronze shin guards on his legs, and a bronze javelin was slung over his shoulders. 17:7 The shaft of his spear was like a weaver’s beam, and the iron point of his spear weighed six hundred shekels. His shield bearer was walking before him.

17:8 Goliath stood and called to Israel’s troops, “Why do you come out to prepare for battle? Am I not the Philistine, and are you not the servants of Saul? Choose for yourselves a man so he may come down to me! 17:9 If he is able to fight with me and strike me down, we will become your servants. But if I prevail against him and strike him down, you will become our servants and will serve us.” 17:10 Then the Philistine said, “I defy Israel’s troops this day! Give me a man so we can fight each other!” 17:11 When Saul and all the Israelites heard these words of the Philistine, they were upset and very afraid.

17:12 Now David was the son of this Ephrathite named Jesse from Bethlehem in Judah. He had eight sons, and in Saul’s days he was old and well advanced in years. 17:13 Jesse’s three oldest sons had followed Saul to war. The names of the three sons who went to war were Eliab, his firstborn, Abinadab, the second oldest, and Shammah, the third oldest. 17:14 Now David was the youngest. While the three oldest sons followed Saul, 17:15 David was going back and forth from Saul in order to care for his father’s sheep in Bethlehem.

17:16 Meanwhile for forty days the Philistine approached every morning and evening and took his position. 17:17 Jesse said to his son David, “Take your brothers this ephah of roasted grain and these ten loaves of bread; go quickly to the camp to your brothers. 17:18 Also take these ten portions of cheese to their commanding officer. Find out how your brothers are doing and bring back their pledge that they received the goods. 17:19 They are with Saul and the whole Israelite army in the valley of Elah, fighting with the Philistines.”

17:20 So David got up early in the morning and entrusted the flock to someone else who would watch over it. After loading up, he went just as Jesse had instructed him. He arrived at the camp as the army was going out to the battle lines shouting its battle cry. 17:21 Israel and the Philistines drew up their battle lines opposite one another. 17:22 After David had entrusted his cargo to the care of the supply officer, he ran to the battlefront. When he arrived, he asked his brothers how they were doing. 17:23 As he was speaking with them, the champion named Goliath, the Philistine from Gath, was coming up from the battle lines of the Philistines. He spoke the way he usually did, and David heard it. 17:24 When all the men of Israel saw this man, they retreated from his presence and were very afraid.

17:25 The men of Israel said, “Have you seen this man who is coming up? He does so to defy Israel. But the king will make the man who can strike him down very wealthy! He will give him his daughter in marriage, and he will make his father’s house exempt from tax obligations in Israel.”

17:26 David asked the men who were standing near him, “What will be done for the man who strikes down this Philistine and frees Israel from this humiliation? For who is this uncircumcised Philistine, that he defies the armies of the living God?” 17:27 The soldiers told him what had been promised, saying, “This is what will be done for the man who can strike him down.”

17:28 When David’s oldest brother Eliab heard him speaking to the men, he became angry with David and said, “Why have you come down here? To whom did you entrust those few sheep in the desert? I am familiar with your pride and deceit! You have come down here to watch the battle!”

17:29 David replied, “What have I done now? Can’t I say anything?” 17:30 Then he turned from those who were nearby to someone else and asked the same question, but they gave him the same answer as before. 17:31 When David’s words were overheard and reported to Saul, he called for him.

17:32 David said to Saul, “Don’t let anyone be discouraged. Your servant will go and fight this Philistine!” 17:33 But Saul replied to David, “You aren’t able to go against this Philistine and fight him! You’re just a boy! He has been a warrior from his youth!”

17:34 David replied to Saul, “Your servant has been a shepherd for his father’s flock. Whenever a lion or bear would come and carry off a sheep from the flock, 17:35 I would go out after it, strike it down, and rescue the sheep from its mouth. If it rose up against me, I would grab it by its jaw, strike it, and kill it. 17:36 Your servant has struck down both the lion and the bear. This uncircumcised Philistine will be just like one of them. For he has defied the armies of the living God!” 17:37 David went on to say, “The Lord who delivered me from the lion and the bear will also deliver me from the hand of this Philistine!” Then Saul said to David, “Go! The Lord will be with you.”

17:38 Then Saul clothed David with his own fighting attire and put a bronze helmet on his head. He also put body armor on him. 17:39 David strapped on his sword over his fighting attire and tried to walk around, but he was not used to them. David said to Saul, “I can’t walk in these things, for I’m not used to them.” So David removed them. 17:40 He took his staff in his hand, picked out five smooth stones from the stream, placed them in the pouch of his shepherd’s bag, took his sling in hand, and approached the Philistine.

17:41 The Philistine kept coming closer to David, with his shield bearer walking in front of him. 17:42 When the Philistine looked carefully at David, he despised him, for he was only a ruddy and handsome boy. 17:43 The Philistine said to David, “Am I a dog, that you are coming after me with sticks?” Then the Philistine cursed David by his gods. 17:44 The Philistine said to David, “Come here to me, so I can give your flesh to the birds of the sky and the wild animals of the field!”

17:45 But David replied to the Philistine, “You are coming against me with sword and spear and javelin. But I am coming against you in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel’s armies, whom you have defied! 17:46 This very day the Lord will deliver you into my hand! I will strike you down and cut off your head. This day I will give the corpses of the Philistine army to the birds of the sky and the wild animals of the land. Then all the land will realize that Israel has a God 17:47 and all this assembly will know that it is not by sword or spear that the Lord saves! For the battle is the Lord’s, and he will deliver you into our hand.”

17:48 The Philistine drew steadily closer to David to attack him, while David quickly ran toward the battle line to attack the Philistine. 17:49 David reached his hand into the bag and took out a stone. He slung it, striking the Philistine on the forehead. The stone sank deeply into his forehead, and he fell down with his face to the ground.

17:50 David prevailed over the Philistine with just the sling and the stone. He struck down the Philistine and killed him. David did not even have a sword in his hand. 17:51 David ran and stood over the Philistine. He grabbed Goliath’s sword, drew it from its sheath, killed him, and cut off his head with it. When the Philistines saw their champion was dead, they ran away.

17:52 Then the men of Israel and Judah charged forward, shouting a battle cry. They chased the Philistines to the valley and to the very gates of Ekron. The Philistine corpses lay fallen along the Shaaraim road to Gath and Ekron. 17:53 When the Israelites returned from their hot pursuit of the Philistines, they looted their camp. 17:54 David took the head of the Philistine and brought it to Jerusalem, and he put Goliath’s weapons in his tent.

17:55 Now as Saul watched David going out to fight the Philistine, he asked Abner, the general in command of the army, “Whose son is this young man, Abner?” Abner replied, “As surely as you live, O king, I don’t know.” 17:56 The king said, “Find out whose son this boy is!”

17:57 So when David returned from striking down the Philistine, Abner took him and brought him before Saul. He still had the head of the Philistine in his hand. 17:58 Saul said to him, “Whose son are you, young man?” David replied, “I am the son of your servant Jesse in Bethlehem.”

Prayer

Lord, You are a holy and righteous God and You are not pleased when anyone attacks and/or demeans Your children, both then and now. May I be sensitive to Your righteous indignation when anyone, including me, is disrespectful to You, Your Word, or Your “Church” (every believer, gathered or alone).

Scripture In Perspective

While David’s older brothers served in King Saul’s army he continued to serve his father as a shepherd as well as occasionally as Saul’s armor bearer and lyre-playing spiritual comforter.

The Israelite army and the Philistines were gathered for battle when the Philistines presented a huge warrior named Goliath who challenged the Israelites to send forth a single champion to fight and thereby avoid the carnage of a full-scale battle. He did so with a clear size advantage, heavy armor, and superior weaponry.

David’s father, Jesse, was now elderly and was concerned for his sons who were on the battlefield. Jesse was unaware of Goliath’s presence nor of his challenge but only sent David with some supplies in order to determine their well-being.

When David arrived he heard of the Philistine from whom the Israelites cowered, and he heard that King Saul was so desperate for a champion that he had promised to make that man wealthy, to free his father’s house from taxes, and his daughter in marriage.

David became angry because the Holy Spirit had made him keenly aware that the Israelites were the special people of the Lord God and thus innocently asked why no one had answered the challenge.

David’s brothers, embarrassed by his simple faith, and their obvious lack thereof, attacked him with demeaning words based on his age and inexperience. David asked others the same question of righteous indignation and this was reported to Saul.

Saul summoned David and he volunteered to serve as Israel’s champion against Goliath. Saul was initially unwilling, observing that even looking past Goliath’s size, David was not an experienced soldier and Goliath was.

David shared his exceptional experiences with deadly animals during his service as a shepherd, stories similar to those of Samson, and then declared that he would be enabled by the Lord God to do the same to Goliath.

Saul, desperate for a champion, as he and the entire army had stood paralyzed in fear for several days, agreed. He tried to dress David in his own armor but it was too heavy and large and David had no need of it.

David greeted Goliath with his shepherd’s staff and a sling and stones and Goliath was indignant that he was not challenged by a peer soldier. Goliath cursed David by his false pagan gods and declared that he would feed David to the dogs.

David responded that Goliath would, on that day, be killed by the Lord God and be fed to the carrion birds. He declared that it would happen in such a manner that everyone would know for certain that it was the One true God’s victory.

Goliath, enraged, charged as David carefully loaded his stone, swung his sling, and took aim and buried the stone in Goliath’s forehead – killing him. He then took Goliath’s own giant sword and cut off his head. The Philistine army fled in terror and the Israelites charged, killing many of them, and looting their camp.

David presented the head of Goliath in Jerusalem and placed his weapons in his tent. Saul, inquired as to whose son David was, and David reminded him that his father was Jesse.

Interact With The Text

Consider

Saul was apparently so crazed, on those occasions when David was called to play the lyre and sooth him, that he did not recall who David was when he interacted with him on the battlefield.

Discuss

Do we have the same righteous indignation when we heard the Lord God’s “Church” (the body of believers) cursed and disrespected by apostates, cultists, pagans and so-called Atheists?

Reflect

The parallels of the Holy Spirit giving power for victory, between David and Samson, are worthy of note; not only in the killing of dangerous wild animals, but also in battle. In the text David could not carry the weight of Saul’s armor yet he could lift Goliath’s massive sword and use it to cut off his head.

Share

When have you felt the righteous indignation of the Holy Spirit within when someone in a believer’s fellowship misrepresented the Word of God or when a non-believer verbally attacked a Christian or Christians in general?

Faith In Action

Pray

Ask the Holy Spirit to reveal to you a place where you need to trust Him more, to have a greater awareness of the value He places upon His children, and where you need to speak boldly when His name is disrespected inside or outside of the family of God.

Act

Today I will prayerfully renew my commitment to see myself and all fellow believers as God sees us, children of the one true God, whom He calls “saints”. I will receive from the Holy Spirit a greater sense of confidence to speak and to act boldly when he prompts me to do so, to respectfully challenge those who dare to suggest that He is not able, and to decisively-challenge spiritual forces who attack me or fellow believers.

Be Specific _____________________________________________

Tuesday (1 Samuel 18-19)

Saul Comes to Fear David

18:1 When David had finished talking with Saul, Jonathan and David became bound together in close friendship. Jonathan loved David as much as he did his own life. 18:2 Saul retained David on that day and did not allow him to return to his father’s house. 18:3 Jonathan made a covenant with David, for he loved him as much as he did his own life. 18:4 Jonathan took off the robe he was wearing and gave it to David, along with the rest of his gear, including his sword, his bow, and even his belt.

18:5 On every mission on which Saul sent him, David achieved success. So Saul appointed him over the men of war. This pleased not only all the army, but also Saul’s servants.

18:6 When the men arrived after David returned from striking down the Philistine, the women from all the cities of Israel came out singing and dancing to meet King Saul. They were happy as they played their tambourines and three-stringed instruments. 18:7 The women who were playing the music sang,

“Saul has struck down his thousands,

but David his tens of thousands!”

18:8 This made Saul very angry. The statement displeased him and he thought, “They have attributed to David tens of thousands, but to me they have attributed only thousands. What does he lack, except the kingdom?” 18:9 So Saul was keeping an eye on David from that day onward.

18:10 The next day an evil spirit from God rushed upon Saul and he prophesied within his house. Now David was playing the lyre that day. There was a spear in Saul’s hand, 18:11 and Saul threw the spear, thinking, “I’ll nail David to the wall!” But David escaped from him on two different occasions.

18:12 So Saul feared David, because the Lord was with him but had departed from Saul. 18:13 Saul removed David from his presence and made him a commanding officer. David led the army out to battle and back. 18:14 Now David achieved success in all he did, for the Lord was with him. 18:15 When Saul saw how very successful he was, he was afraid of him. 18:16 But all Israel and Judah loved David, for he was the one leading them out to battle and back.

18:17 Then Saul said to David, “Here’s my oldest daughter, Merab. I want to give her to you in marriage. Only be a brave warrior for me and fight the battles of the Lord.” For Saul thought, “There’s no need for me to raise my hand against him. Let it be the hand of the Philistines!”

18:18 David said to Saul, “Who am I? Who are my relatives or the clan of my father in Israel that I should become the king’s son-in-law?” 18:19 When the time came for Merab, Saul’s daughter, to be given to David, she instead was given in marriage to Adriel, who was from Meholah.

18:20 Now Michal, Saul’s daughter, loved David. When they told Saul about this, it pleased him. 18:21 Saul said, “I will give her to him so that she may become a snare to him and the hand of the Philistines may be against him.” So Saul said to David, “Today is the second time for you to become my son-in-law.”

18:22 Then Saul instructed his servants, “Tell David secretly, ‘The king is pleased with you, and all his servants like you. So now become the king’s son-in-law.” 18:23 So Saul’s servants spoke these words privately to David. David replied, “Is becoming the king’s son-in-law something insignificant to you? I’m just a poor and lightly-esteemed man!”

18:24 When Saul’s servants reported what David had said, 18:25 Saul replied, “Here is what you should say to David: ‘There is nothing that the king wants as a price for the bride except a hundred Philistine foreskins, so that he can be avenged of his enemies.’” (Now Saul was thinking that he could kill David by the hand of the Philistines.)

18:26 So his servants told David these things and David agreed to become the king’s son-in-law. Now the specified time had not yet expired 18:27 when David, along with his men, went out and struck down two hundred Philistine men. David brought their foreskins and presented all of them to the king so he could become the king’s son-in-law. Saul then gave him his daughter Michal in marriage.

18:28 When Saul realized that the Lord was with David and that his daughter Michal loved David, 18:29 Saul became even more afraid of him. Saul continued to be at odds with David from then on. 18:30 Then the leaders of the Philistines would march out, and as often as they did so, David achieved more success than all of Saul’s servants. His name was held in high esteem.

Saul Repeatedly Attempts to Take David’s Life

19:1 Then Saul told his son Jonathan and all his servants to kill David. But Saul’s son Jonathan liked David very much. 19:2 So Jonathan told David, “My father Saul is trying to kill you. So be careful tomorrow morning. Find a hiding place and stay in seclusion. 19:3 I will go out and stand beside my father in the field where you are. I will speak about you to my father. When I find out what the problem is, I will let you know.”

19:4 So Jonathan spoke on David’s behalf to his father Saul. He said to him, “The king should not sin against his servant David, for he has not sinned against you. On the contrary, his actions have been very beneficial for you. 19:5 He risked his life when he struck down the Philistine and the Lord gave all Israel a great victory. When you saw it, you were happy. So why would you sin against innocent blood by putting David to death for no reason?”

19:6 Saul accepted Jonathan’s advice and took an oath, “As surely as the Lord lives, he will not be put to death.” 19:7 Then Jonathan called David and told him all these things. Jonathan brought David to Saul, and he served him as he had done formerly.

19:8 Now once again there was war. So David went out to fight the Philistines. He defeated them thoroughly and they ran away from him. 19:9 Then an evil spirit from the Lord came upon Saul. He was sitting in his house with his spear in his hand, while David was playing the lyre. 19:10 Saul tried to nail David to the wall with the spear, but he escaped from Saul’s presence and the spear drove into the wall. David escaped quickly that night.

19:11 Saul sent messengers to David’s house to guard it and to kill him in the morning. Then David’s wife Michal told him, “If you do not save yourself tonight, tomorrow you will be dead!” 19:12 So Michal lowered David through the window, and he ran away and escaped.

19:13 Then Michal took a household idol and put it on the bed. She put a quilt made of goat’s hair over its head and then covered the idol with a garment. 19:14 When Saul sent messengers to arrest David, she said, “He’s sick.”

19:15 Then Saul sent the messengers back to see David, saying, “Bring him up to me on his bed so I can kill him.” 19:16 When the messengers came, they found only the idol on the bed and the quilt made of goat’s hair at its head.

19:17 Saul said to Michal, “Why have you deceived me this way by sending my enemy away? Now he has escaped!” Michal replied to Saul, “He said to me, ‘Help me get away or else I will kill you!’”

19:18 Now David had run away and escaped. He went to Samuel in Ramah and told him everything that Saul had done to him. Then he and Samuel went and stayed at Naioth. 19:19 It was reported to Saul saying, “David is at Naioth in Ramah.” 19:20 So Saul sent messengers to capture David. When they saw a company of prophets prophesying with Samuel standing there as their leader, the spirit of God came upon Saul’s messengers, and they also prophesied. 19:21 When it was reported to Saul, he sent more messengers, but they prophesied too. So Saul sent messengers a third time, but they also prophesied. 19:22 Finally Saul himself went to Ramah. When he arrived at the large cistern that is in Secu, he asked, “Where are Samuel and David?” They said, “At Naioth in Ramah.”

19:23 So Saul went to Naioth in Ramah. The Spirit of God came upon him as well, and he walked along prophesying until he came to Naioth in Ramah. 19:24 He even stripped off his clothes and prophesied before Samuel. He lay there naked all that day and night. (For that reason it is asked, “Is Saul also among the prophets?”)

Prayer

Lord, You bless whomsoever You will bless, and You withhold blessing from those whom You determine to be in opposition to You. May I be intentional in my availability to You, my loyalty to You – expressed in obedience, and my praise and worship of You as the One True and Holy Lord God. You also protect those whom You have called to serve, and You allow those who have turned away from You to be tormented by the prince of this world whom they have chosen over You. May I be faithful so that You will choose to use me.

Scripture In Perspective

Jonathan, who had previously demonstrated a high-level of sensitivity to the Lord, immediately bonded with David – giving to him his armor and weapons and other clothing.

Saul, always seeking a military or personal or political advantage and observing that the Lord was blessing David, conscripted him into the army and every battle in which David was the leader was victorious. This also pleased the army, with whom Saul had a historically-uneasy relationship.

As they returned to the city from their campaigns against the Philistines the women welcomed them with songs of praise for Saul, but more generous praise for David, and this angered the proud Saul. Because Saul was estranged from God he was vulnerable to the enemy and an “evil spirit from God” troubled him again. [Much like the “hardening” of Pharaoh’s heart was an amplification of a pre-existing condition of Pharaoh’s choice and not an original cause of Pharaoh’s refusal to honor the Lord God. This “spirit” was not “evil” originating from God but was one which God now allowed to trouble Saul because of his former acts of disobedience which had severed his relationship with God. There is no evil in God.]

Saul was so affected by the presence of the evil spirit that he threw his spear at David, but the Lord God protected David each time this happened. Saul was afraid of David because the Lord was with David, so he sent him away to war – but the army and the people loved David even more because God continued to give him success.

Saul offered his first daughter to David but David protested that he had no family-standing to become the son-in-law of the king, so she was given to another. Saul’s next daughter, Michal, loved David and Saul thought it might create the opportunity to manipulate David into danger – so he challenged David to bring 100 Philistine foreskins (hoping the Philistines would kill him as he attempted the feat) but David was blessed by the Lord and brought him 200 from Philistines whom he and his men killed in battle.

Saul now had a daughter married to David, and who loved him, and the Lord God who was with David and estranged from Saul. Whenever David fought the Philistines he had more success than any of Saul’s other military leaders.

Saul instructed everyone to kill David but Jonathan challenged him, reminding him that David had served him faithfully, so Saul relented and David returned to his home with Michal.

Israel was again at war and David was given a significant victory by the Lord God. When David returned and was playing the lyre for Saul an evil spirit again agitated Saul and he once-again threw his spear at David, despite his prior promise to not do so. David escaped, with Michal’s assistance, as Saul returned to his all-out effort to kill him.

David joined Samuel and shared Saul’s conduct then the two of them joined the other prophets where they prophesied together. Saul sent men for David but the Holy Spirit overcame them and they prophesied, he sent two more groups with the same result so he went himself and was also overcome to where he stripped and laid on the ground all night prophesying.

Saul, like his emissaries, were caused to be humbled and to prophesy (speak the Words of God) as a clear demonstration of His power and sovereignty.

Interact With The Text

Consider

Saul was like the kings of the pagan people around the Israelites, just as they had demanded of the Lord God, and he was as much the source of trouble as God had warned he would be. Jonathan seemed to be able to get his father's attention but Saul was otherwise constantly victimized by demons.

Discuss

Why would Saul, who had during one brief time an intimate relationship with the Lord God, imagine that he could kill one whom God was clearly blessing? What might the Lord God been intending to teach by causing Saul's “messengers”, and Saul himself, to prophesy?

Reflect

David would later cause the death of Bathsheba’s husband in much the same way that Saul tried to cause his. What did it say about Saul’s deadly temper that Michal found it necessary to lie about her reasons for helping David to escape his murderous schemes?

Share

When have you observed someone under attack but whose life continued to be blessed because they loved and were loved by the Lord God? When have you dealt with someone whose moods swung so wildly that you never were certain if it was even safe to be around them?

Faith In Action

Pray

Ask the Holy Spirit to reveal to you a place where He is blessing you despite attacks and difficulties and to reveal to you someone who could use your encouragement and prayers to be set free from harassing evil spirits.

Act

Today I will stop and reflect and celebrate in prayer and worship the ways that the Lord God has blessed me despite attacks and/or difficulties. I will share my story of praise with another believer as an encouragement. I will learn what I need about spiritual warfare and pray in earnest for the one whom the Holy Spirit identifies.

Be Specific _________________________________________________

Wednesday (1 Samuel 20)

Jonathan Seeks to Protect David

20:1 David fled from Naioth in Ramah. He came to Jonathan and asked, “What have I done? What is my offense? How have I sinned before your father? For he is seeking my life!”

20:2 Jonathan said to him, “By no means are you going to die! My father does nothing large or small without making me aware of it. Why would my father hide this matter from me? It just won’t happen!”

20:3 Taking an oath, David again said, “Your father is very much aware of the fact that I have found favor with you, and he has thought, ‘Don’t let Jonathan know about this, or he will be upset.’ But as surely as the Lord lives and you live, there is about one step between me and death!” 20:4 Jonathan replied to David, “Tell me what I can do for you.”

20:5 David said to Jonathan, “Tomorrow is the new moon, and I am certainly expected to join the king for a meal. You must send me away so I can hide in the field until the third evening from now. 20:6 If your father happens to miss me, you should say, ‘David urgently requested me to let him go to his city Bethlehem, for there is an annual sacrifice there for his entire family.’ 20:7 If he should then say, ‘That’s fine,’ then your servant is safe. But if he becomes very angry, be assured that he has decided to harm me. 20:8 You must be loyal to your servant, for you have made a covenant with your servant in the Lord’s name. If I am guilty, you yourself kill me! Why bother taking me to your father?”

20:9 Jonathan said, “Far be it from you to suggest this! If I were at all aware that my father had decided to harm you, wouldn’t I tell you about it?” 20:10 David said to Jonathan, “Who will tell me if your father answers you harshly?” 20:11 Jonathan said to David, “Come on. Let’s go out to the field.”

When the two of them had gone out into the field, 20:12 Jonathan said to David, “The Lord God of Israel is my witness. I will feel out my father about this time the day after tomorrow. If he is favorably inclined toward David, will I not then send word to you and let you know? 20:13 But if my father intends to do you harm, may the Lord do all this and more to Jonathan, if I don’t let you know and send word to you so you can go safely on your way. May the Lord be with you, as he was with my father. 20:14 While I am still alive, extend to me the loyalty of the Lord, or else I will die! 20:15 Don’t ever cut off your loyalty to my family, not even when the Lord has cut off every one of David’s enemies from the face of the earth 20:16 and called David’s enemies to account.” So Jonathan made a covenant with the house of David. 20:17 Jonathan once again took an oath with David, because he loved him. In fact Jonathan loved him as much as he did his own life. 20:18 Jonathan said to him, “Tomorrow is the new moon, and you will be missed, for your seat will be empty. 20:19 On the third day you should go down quickly and come to the place where you hid yourself the day this all started. Stay near the stone Ezel. 20:20 I will shoot three arrows near it, as though I were shooting at a target. 20:21 When I send a boy after them, I will say, “Go and find the arrows.” If I say to the boy, ‘Look, the arrows are on this side of you; get them,’ then come back. For as surely as the Lord lives, you will be safe and there will no problem. 20:22 But if I say to the boy, “Look, the arrows are on the other side of you,’ get away. For in that case the Lord has sent you away. 20:23 With regard to the matter that you and I discussed, the Lord is the witness between us forever!”

20:24 So David hid in the field. When the new moon came, the king sat down to eat his meal. 20:25 The king sat down in his usual place by the wall, with Jonathan opposite him and Abner at his side. But David’s place was vacant. 20:26 However, Saul said nothing about it that day, for he thought, “Something has happened to make him ceremonially unclean. Yes, he must be unclean.” 20:27 But the next morning, the second day of the new moon, David’s place was still vacant. So Saul said to his son Jonathan, “Why has Jesse’s son not come to the meal yesterday or today?”

20:28 Jonathan replied to Saul, “David urgently requested that he be allowed to go to Bethlehem. 20:29 He said, ‘Permit me to go, for we are having a family sacrifice in the city, and my brother urged me to be there. So now, if I have found favor with you, let me go to see my brothers.’ For that reason he has not come to the king’s table.”

20:30 Saul became angry with Jonathan and said to him, “You stupid traitor! Don’t I realize that to your own disgrace and to the disgrace of your mother’s nakedness you have chosen this son of Jesse? 20:31 For as long as this son of Jesse is alive on the earth, you and your kingdom will not be established. Now, send some men and bring him to me. For he is as good as dead!”

20:32 Jonathan responded to his father Saul, “Why should he be put to death? What has he done?” 20:33 Then Saul threw his spear at Jonathan in order to strike him down. So Jonathan was convinced that his father had decided to kill David. 20:34 Jonathan got up from the table enraged. He did not eat any food on that second day of the new moon, for he was upset that his father had humiliated David.

20:35 The next morning Jonathan, along with a young servant, went out to the field to meet David. 20:36 He said to his servant, “Run, find the arrows that I am about to shoot.” As the servant ran, Jonathan shot the arrow beyond him. 20:37 When the servant came to the place where Jonathan had shot the arrow, Jonathan called out to the servant, “Isn’t the arrow further beyond you?” 20:38 Jonathan called out to the servant, “Hurry! Go faster! Don’t delay!” Jonathan’s servant retrieved the arrow and came back to his master. 20:39 (Now the servant did not understand any of this. Only Jonathan and David knew what was going on.) 20:40 Then Jonathan gave his equipment to the servant who was with him. He said to him, “Go, take these things back to the city.”

20:41 When the servant had left, David got up from beside the mound, knelt with his face to the ground, and bowed three times. Then they kissed each other and they both wept, especially David. 20:42 Jonathan said to David, “Go in peace, for the two of us have sworn together in the name of the Lord saying, ‘The Lord will be between me and you and between my descendants and your descendants forever.’”

(21:1)

Then David got up and left, while Jonathan went back to the city.

Prayer

Lord, when leaders break fellowship with You they become victims of the enemy, and they create opportunity for harm to others. You protect those who are faithful to you from harm – though not necessarily from hurt. May I be intentional in fellowship to You so that hurt does not come to others because of my spiritual carelessness.

Scripture In Perspective

David challenged Jonathan to explain what he had done wrong that Saul was trying to kill him. The last Jonathan knew Saul had pledged to not try to kill David, so he was surprised, even more so because he believed that his father told him everything.

David observed that Saul knew of Jonathan’s friendship with him and so may have avoided saying anything about his schemes. Jonathan pledged to find out and to send a message to David if he was safe or not.

When Saul discovered that Jonathan was sympathetic to David he threw a spear at him, as he had David, but Jonathan was not harmed. Jonathan warned David and he fled to a greater distance from Saul.

Both Jonathan and David were terribly saddened, both because of the evil Saul was doing, and that they could not be together as brother-like friends.

Interact With The Text

Consider

Jonathan and David were faithful to the Lord God and therefore their word, when given, had lasting meaning. Saul, estranged from the Lord God, was unpredictable as he was subject to the manipulation of the enemy.

Discuss

How heartbroken must Jonathan have been, not only caught between David and his father Saul, but then have his father – the king - Saul throw a spear at him?

Reflect

Jonathan risked his life for his friend David because they were bonded through their common relationship with the Lord God.

Share

When have you experienced a unique relationship with a friend because the Lord God was in-common between you and was working through you together?

Faith In Action

Pray

Ask the Holy Spirit to remind you of a current relationship which exists because of a mutual faithfulness to Him and one into which you may want to invest more encouragement and prayer.

Act

Today I will speak and/or write a word of encouragement, and I will say a special prayer, for the one whom the Holy Spirit brings to my attention. I will praise the Lord for a dear friend in Christ.

Be Specific ________________________________________________

Thursday (1 Samuel 21-22)

21:1 (21:2) David went to Ahimelech the priest in Nob. Ahimelech was shaking with fear when he met David, and said to him, “Why are you by yourself with no one accompanying you?” 21:2 David replied to Ahimelech the priest, “The king instructed me to do something, but he said to me, ‘Don’t let anyone know the reason I am sending you or the instructions I have given you.’ I have told my soldiers to wait at a certain place. 21:3 Now what do you have at your disposal? Give me five loaves of bread, or whatever can be found.”

21:4 The priest replied to David, “I don’t have any ordinary bread at my disposal. Only holy bread is available, and then only if your soldiers have abstained from sexual relations with women.” 21:5 David said to the priest, “Certainly women have been kept away from us, just as on previous occasions when I have set out. The soldiers’ equipment is holy, even on an ordinary journey. How much more so will they be holy today, along with their equipment!”

21:6 So the priest gave him holy bread, for there was no bread there other than the bread of the Presence. It had been removed from before the Lord in order to replace it with hot bread on the day it had been taken away. 21:7 (One of Saul’s servants was there that day, detained before the Lord. His name was Doeg the Edomite, who was in charge of Saul’s shepherds.) 21:8 David said to Ahimelech, “Is there no sword or spear here at your disposal? I don’t have my own sword or equipment in hand due to the urgency of the king’s instructions.”

David Goes to Gath

21:9 The priest replied, “The sword of Goliath the Philistine, whom you struck down in the valley of Elah, is wrapped in a garment behind the ephod. If you wish, take it for yourself. Other than that, there’s nothing here.” David said, “There’s nothing like it! Give it to me!” 21:10 So on that day David arose and fled from Saul. He went to King Achish of Gath. 21:11 The servants of Achish said to him, “Isn’t this David, the king of the land? Isn’t he the one that they sing about when they dance, saying,

‘Saul struck down his thousands,

But David his tens of thousands’?”

21:12 David thought about what they said and was very afraid of King Achish of Gath. 21:13 He altered his behavior in their presence. Since he was in their power, he pretended to be insane, making marks on the doors of the gate and letting his saliva run down his beard.

21:14 Achish said to his servants, “Look at this madman! Why did you bring him to me? 21:15 Do I have a shortage of fools, that you have brought me this man to display his insanity in front of me? Should this man enter my house?”

David Goes to Adullam and Mizpah

22:1 So David left there and escaped to the cave of Adullam. When his brothers and the rest of his father’s family learned about it, they went down there to him. 22:2 All those who were in trouble or owed someone money or were discontented gathered around him, and he became their leader. He had about four hundred men with him.

22:3 Then David went from there to Mizpah in Moab, where he said to the king of Moab, “Please let my father and mother stay with you until I know what God is going to do for me.” 22:4 So he had them stay with the king of Moab; they stayed with him the whole time that David was in the stronghold. 22:5 Then Gad the prophet said to David, “Don’t stay in the stronghold. Go to the land of Judah.” So David left and went to the forest of Hereth.

Saul Executes the Priests

22:6 But Saul found out the whereabouts of David and the men who were with him. Now Saul was sitting at Gibeah under the tamarisk tree at an elevated location with his spear in hand and all his servants stationed around him. 22:7 Saul said to his servants who were stationed around him, “Listen up, you Benjaminites! Is Jesse’s son giving fields and vineyards to all of you? Or is he making all of you commanders and officers? 22:8 For all of you have conspired against me! No one informs me when my own son makes an agreement with this son of Jesse! Not one of you feels sorry for me or informs me that my own son has commissioned my own servant to hide in ambush against me, as is the case today!”

22:9 But Doeg the Edomite, who had stationed himself with the servants of Saul, replied, “I saw this son of Jesse come to Ahimelech son of Ahitub at Nob. 22:10 He inquired of the Lord for him and gave him provisions. He also gave him the sword of Goliath the Philistine.”

22:11 Then the king arranged for a meeting with the priest Ahimelech son of Ahitub and all the priests of his father’s house who were at Nob. They all came to the king. 22:12 Then Saul said, “Listen, son of Ahitub.” He replied, “Here I am, my lord.” 22:13 Saul said to him, “Why have you conspired against me, you and this son of Jesse? You gave him bread and a sword and inquired of God on his behalf, so that he opposes me and waits in ambush, as is the case today!”

22:14 Ahimelech replied to the king, “Who among all your servants is faithful like David? He is the king’s son-in-law, the leader of your bodyguard, and honored in your house! 22:15 Was it just today that I began to inquire of God on his behalf? Far be it from me! The king should not accuse his servant or any of my father’s house. For your servant is not aware of all this – not in whole or in part!”

22:16 But the king said, “You will surely die, Ahimelech, you and all your father’s house! 22:17 Then the king said to the messengers who were stationed beside him, “Turn and kill the priests of the Lord, for they too have sided with David! They knew he was fleeing, but they did not inform me.” But the king’s servants refused to harm the priests of the Lord.

22:18 Then the king said to Doeg, “You turn and strike down the priests!” So Doeg the Edomite turned and struck down the priests. He killed on that day eighty-five men who wore the linen ephod. 22:19 As for Nob, the city of the priests, he struck down with the sword men and women, children and infants, oxen, donkeys, and sheep – all with the sword.

22:20 But one of the sons of Ahimelech son of Ahitub escaped and fled to David. His name was Abiathar. 22:21 Abiathar told David that Saul had killed the priests of the Lord. 22:22 Then David said to Abiathar, “I knew that day when Doeg the Edomite was there that he would certainly tell Saul! I am guilty of all the deaths in your father’s house! 22:23 Stay with me. Don’t be afraid! Whoever seeks my life is seeking your life as well. You are secure with me.”

Prayer

Lord, when a leader does not receive his wisdom from You all of the people in the land suffer. May my responsibilities as a leader to my family, and in my community, always be a blessing to others because I listen closely to You.

Scripture In Perspective

The whole kingdom under Saul had been corrupted by his influence, once he left the favor of the Lord God and was instead leading from his own wisdom, and while he was under the influence of “evil spirits”.

David, still known to most as Saul’s most effective warrior, confronted a fearful priest named Ahimelech. David pretended that he was on business from Saul and demanded bread, which Ahimelech gave him from what had been removed and replaced by new holy bread. He also took away with him the sword of Goliath.

David then traveled to see King Achish of Gath, hoping to find safety there, but when the people repeated the chant about David killing more Philistines and Saul he feared for his life. David pretended to be mad and was put-out of the castle and thereby escaped.

David then went to the stronghold of the cave of Adullam where he was joined by members of his extended family and 400 men of dubious character; criminals, debtors, and others in some sort of trouble.

David asked the king of Moab to keep his parents safe.

Doeg the Edomite slaughtered the priests and their families at Saul’s behest as he cared nothing for the people and wanted favors from Saul. That Saul would order such a monstrous thing was more evidence of his estrangement from the Lord God.

Interact With The Text

Consider

The people had demanded a mere man be given authority and placed between the people and the Lord God. As long as their human king, Saul, listened to God things went well, when he rebelled the whole kingdom lost a sense of morality and safety. This is as the Lord God warned it would be.

Discuss

Isn’t it amazing that despite his difficult circumstances David was so creative in acquiring food for his men, inventing a way to escape trouble in Gath, and finding a safe place for his parents?

Reflect

David’s fear did not speak well of his confidence in the Lord God to protect him, since he knew that he was the anointed one – the next king – chosen by the all-powerful God. David, like Saul, tended to be impetuous and sometimes very self-absorbed. Doeg the Edomite was one of those people in life who sells-out one person to another for the sake of momentary gain or some other selfish moment.

Share

When have you had to adapt quickly to a difficult situation by being “clever as a fox” yet “harmless as a lamb”?

Faith In Action

Pray

Ask the Holy Spirit to reveal to you a way that you might be better prepared for sudden changes in your circumstances.

Act

Today I will make a list of ways that I may prepare for difficulties, which in this fallen world, are common. Perhaps I need to get out of debt, spend less and save more, buy some canned food on sale and stockpile it (in reasonable amounts), have the chimney cleaned to avoid a fire, add insulation to reduce energy costs, alter my diet to be more healthy, exercise to be more fit, study the Bible to intentionally to draw nearer to the Lord God, or something else that the Holy Spirit will reveal.

Be Specific _____________________________________________

Friday (1 Samuel 23-24)

David Delivers the City of Keilah

23:1 They told David, “The Philistines are fighting in Keilah and are looting the threshing floors.” 23:2 So David asked the Lord, “Should I go and strike down these Philistines?” The Lord said to David, “Go, strike down the Philistines and deliver Keilah.”

23:3 But David’s men said to him, “We are afraid while we are still here in Judah! What will it be like if we go to Keilah against the armies of the Philistines?” 23:4 So David asked the Lord once again. But again the Lord replied, “Arise, go down to Keilah, for I will give the Philistines into your hand.”

23:5 So David and his men went to Keilah and fought the Philistines. He took away their cattle and thoroughly defeated them. David delivered the inhabitants of Keilah.

David Eludes Saul Again

23:6 Now when Abiathar son of Ahimelech had fled to David at Keilah, he had brought with him an ephod. 23:7 When Saul was told that David had come to Keilah, Saul said, “God has delivered him into my hand, for he has boxed himself into a corner by entering a city with two barred gates.” 23:8 So Saul mustered all his army to go down to Keilah and besiege David and his men.

23:9 When David realized that Saul was planning to harm him, he told Abiathar the priest, “Bring the ephod!” 23:10 Then David said, “O Lord God of Israel, your servant has clearly heard that Saul is planning to come to Keilah to destroy the city because of me. 23:11 Will the leaders of Keilah deliver me into his hand? Will Saul come down as your servant has heard? O Lord God of Israel, please inform your servant!”

Then the Lord said, “He will come down.” 23:12 David asked, “Will the leaders of Keilah deliver me and my men into Saul’s hand?” The Lord said, “They will deliver you over.”

23:13 So David and his men, who numbered about six hundred, set out and left Keilah; they moved around from one place to another. When told that David had escaped from Keilah, Saul called a halt to his expedition. 23:14 David stayed in the strongholds that were in the desert and in the hill country of the desert of Ziph. Saul looked for him all the time, but God did not deliver David into his hand. 23:15 David realized that Saul had come out to seek his life; at that time David was in Horesh in the desert of Ziph.

23:16 Then Jonathan son of Saul left and went to David at Horesh. He encouraged him through God. 23:17 He said to him, “Don’t be afraid! For the hand of my father Saul cannot find you. You will rule over Israel, and I will be your second in command. Even my father Saul realizes this.” 23:18 When the two of them had made a covenant before the Lord, David stayed on at Horesh, but Jonathan went to his house.

23:19 Then the Ziphites went up to Saul at Gibeah and said, “Isn’t David hiding among us in the strongholds at Horesh on the hill of Hakilah, south of Jeshimon? 23:20 Now at your own discretion, O king, come down. Delivering him into the king’s hand will be our responsibility.”

23:21 Saul replied, “May you be blessed by the Lord, for you have had compassion on me. 23:22 Go and make further arrangements. Determine precisely where he is and who has seen him there, for I am told that he is extremely cunning. 23:23 Locate precisely all the places where he hides and return to me with dependable information. Then I will go with you. If he is in the land, I will find him among all the thousands of Judah.”

23:24 So they left and went to Ziph ahead of Saul. Now David and his men were in the desert of Maon, in the Arabah to the south of Jeshimon. 23:25 Saul and his men went to look for him. But David was informed and went down to the rock and stayed in the desert of Maon. When Saul heard about it, he pursued David in the desert of Maon. 23:26 Saul went on one side of the mountain, while David and his men went on the other side of the mountain. David was hurrying to get away from Saul, but Saul and his men were surrounding David and his men so they could capture them. 23:27 But a messenger came to Saul saying, “Come quickly, for the Philistines have raided the land!”

23:28 So Saul stopped pursuing David and went to confront the Philistines. Therefore that place is called Sela Hammahlekoth. 23:29 (24:1) Then David went up from there and stayed in the strongholds of En Gedi.

David Spares Saul’s Life

24:1 (24:2) When Saul returned from pursuing the Philistines, they told him, “Look, David is in the desert of En Gedi.” 24:2 So Saul took three thousand select men from all Israel and went to find David and his men in the region of the rocks of the mountain goats. 24:3 He came to the sheepfolds by the road, where there was a cave. Saul went into it to relieve himself.

Now David and his men were sitting in the recesses of the cave. 24:4 David’s men said to him, “This is the day about which the Lord said to you, ‘I will give your enemy into your hand, and you can do to him whatever seems appropriate to you.’” So David got up and quietly cut off an edge of Saul’s robe. 24:5 Afterward David’s conscience bothered him because he had cut off an edge of Saul’s robe. 24:6 He said to his men, “May the Lord keep me far away from doing such a thing to my lord, who is the Lord’s chosen one, by extending my hand against him. After all, he is the Lord’s chosen one.” 24:7 David restrained his men with these words and did not allow them to rise up against Saul. Then Saul left the cave and started down the road.

24:8 Afterward David got up and went out of the cave. He called out after Saul, “My lord, O king!” When Saul looked behind him, David kneeled down and bowed with his face to the ground. 24:9 David said to Saul, “Why do you pay attention when men say, ‘David is seeking to do you harm’? 24:10 Today your own eyes see how the Lord delivered you – this very day – into my hands in the cave. Some told me to kill you, but I had pity on you and said, ‘I will not extend my hand against my lord, for he is the Lord’s chosen one.’ 24:11 Look, my father, and see the edge of your robe in my hand! When I cut off the edge of your robe, I didn’t kill you. So realize and understand that I am not planning evil or rebellion. Even though I have not sinned against you, you are waiting in ambush to take my life. 24:12 May the Lord judge between the two of us, and may the Lord vindicate me over you, but my hand will not be against you. 24:13 It’s like the old proverb says: ‘From evil people evil proceeds.’ But my hand will not be against you. 24:14 Who has the king of Israel come out after? Who is it that you are pursuing? A dead dog? A single flea? 24:15 May the Lord be our judge and arbiter. May he see and arbitrate my case and deliver me from your hands!”

24:16 When David finished speaking these words to Saul, Saul said, “Is that your voice, my son David?” Then Saul wept loudly. 24:17 He said to David, “You are more innocent than I, for you have treated me well, even though I have tried to harm you! 24:18 You have explained today how you have treated me well. The Lord delivered me into your hand, but you did not kill me. 24:19 Now if a man finds his enemy, does he send him on his way in good shape? May the Lord repay you with good this day for what you have done to me. 24:20 Now look, I realize that you will in fact be king and that the kingdom of Israel will be established in your hand. 24:21 So now swear to me in the Lord’s name that you will not kill my descendants after me or destroy my name from the house of my father.”

24:22 David promised Saul this on oath. Then Saul went to his house, and David and his men went up to the stronghold.

Prayer

Lord, when leaders distance themselves from You the only alternative is the enemy, the same is true of every person. May I pray for leaders who are intentional about keeping their eyes on Jesus. You protect those whom You call and You send, yet You allow them the opportunity to make choices along the way. May I listen closely to Your Holy Spirit so that I will be wise.

Scripture In Perspective

The Israelites had a historically-uneasy relationship with the Edomites; as descendants of Esau (Gen. 36:43) they were relatives, but they were often aggressive, and they lacked a sense of loyalty to traditional Israelite values.

Saul found out that David had received food, Godly counsel, and Goliath’s sword from the priests he was furious. Despite the clear evidence that the priests were unaware of the breach between Saul and David he wanted the priests killed. When none of those in Saul’s court would kill a priest Doeg the Edomite, who had found his way into Saul’s corrupted inner-circle, volunteered. Doeg also killed and destroyed across Nob, the city of the priests. Only one son of the priests escaped and informed David.

David blamed himself, though Saul and Doeg’s evil was their own choice, and promised to keep the young man safe.

Hearing that the city of Keilah was under siege from the Philistines David twice consulted God and received assurances that he should rescue them. After his victory Saul heard he was there and set out to trap him.

David again consulted the Lord God and was informed that the people of the city would give him over to Saul so he left with his men for strongholds in the desert and the hills and Saul was unable to find him.

Jonathan went to David. He reminded David that both he and Saul knew that David was to be king – Jonathan believed that he was to serve David as he had Saul.

Saul heard from some Ziphites of David’s whereabouts. They promised to deliver David to him but Saul boasted that if they got him to the right area he would find David though hidden among thousands in Judah.

Just as Saul thought he had David and his men cornered there came word of a Philistine attack and he had to leave to respond to that.

Saul returned to pursue David but God had made Saul easy prey for him yet David only cut off a piece of his cloak and otherwise left Saul unharmed. David still felt bad as Saul had been the Lord’s anointed leader so he went to Saul, while Saul was alone, and confessed what he had done.

David reminded Saul that he had not wronged him and that Saul’s pursuit of him was to be judged by the Lord God. David also reminded Saul that he was believing false voices when he was convinced to think of him as an enemy.

Saul acknowledged that David was to succeed him, confessed his sin in pursuing David, and asked David to pledge not to kill his (Saul’s) offspring – and David agreed.

Interact With The Text

Consider

Saul was past the point of reason and without access to the Lord God. That he would order his men to murder the priests was evidence that he was heavily influenced by “evil spirits”. David could have killed Saul as he was no longer the chosen leader of the Lord God, but he decided to allow God to choose and to directly cause the circumstances and time of transition.

Discuss

While David did deceive the priests when he visited them, why would he feel responsible for the reprehensible choice of Saul and Doeg to murder them? Wasn’t it the presence of the Holy Spirit with David that brought Saul to his senses, albeit only temporarily?

Reflect

Even though he was on the run from the king, David was still willing to take the risk to save others from the Philistines. He was wiser than Saul and consulted the Lord God first. Because Saul was deceived and manipulated by “evil spirits” he wasted huge amounts of Israel’s resources trying to kill Israel’s next king, one who was chosen by the Lord God.

Share

When have you decided to do the right thing even as those in authority over you were making your circumstances difficult? When have you had the opportunity to do harm to someone who had made themselves your enemy, and you chose to not do so?

Faith In Action

Pray

Ask the Holy Spirit to direct your attention to a leader for whom you need to pray and for a place where you need to step out in faith to do the right, albeit risky, thing and to give you an opportunity to be His instrument of grace to an enemy.

Act

Today I will pray in-earnest for a leader, in a Christian fellowship, or in government. I will pray that they will turn away from every influence that is not of the Lord God, that they will become devoted servants of God, and that their lives and leadership will be salt and light through the humility and wisdom they receive from the Holy Spirit. I will also step out in faith to do the right thing, as the Holy Spirit guides, and I will do so with accountability and prayers in-agreement from a fellow believer. I will humble myself to be an instrument of the Lord God’s grace toward someone who has been hateful toward me. It may be to compliment them for something good they have done, offer to pray for them in some planned good-endeavor, to show them where I could have done them harm but did not (because of God), or to otherwise be a witness to God’s love in me.

Be Specific _____________________________________________

Saturday (Psalms 11 And 59)

Psalm 11

11:1 For the music director; by David.

In the Lord I have taken shelter. How can you say to me, “Flee to a mountain like a bird!

11:2 For look, the wicked prepare their bows, they put their arrows on the strings, to shoot in the darkness at the morally upright.

11:3 When the foundations are destroyed, what can the godly accomplish?”

11:4 The Lord is in his holy temple; the Lord’s throne is in heaven. His eyes watch; his eyes examine all people.

11:5 The Lord approves of the godly, but he hates the wicked and those who love to do violence.

11:6 May the Lord rain down burning coals and brimstone on the wicked!

A whirlwind is what they deserve!

11:7 Certainly the Lord is just; he rewards godly deeds; the upright will experience his favor.

Psalm 59

59:1 For the music director; according to the al-tashcheth style; a prayer of David, written when Saul sent men to surround his house and murder him.

Deliver me from my enemies, my God!

Protect me from those who attack me!

59:2 Deliver me from evildoers!

Rescue me from violent men!

59:3 For look, they wait to ambush me; powerful men stalk me, but not because I have rebelled or sinned, O Lord.

59:4 Though I have done nothing wrong, they are anxious to attack.

Spring into action and help me! Take notice of me!

59:5 You, O Lord God, the invincible warrior, the God of Israel, rouse yourself and punish all the nations!

Have no mercy on any treacherous evildoers! (Selah)

59:6 They return in the evening; they growl like a dog and prowl around outside the city.

59:7 Look, they hurl insults at me and openly threaten to kill me, for they say,

“Who hears?”

59:8 But you, O Lord, laugh in disgust at them; you taunt all the nations.

59:9 You are my source of strength! I will wait for you!

For God is my refuge.

59:10 The God who loves me will help me; God will enable me to triumph over my enemies.

59:11 Do not strike them dead suddenly, because then my people might forget the lesson. Use your power to make them homeless vagabonds and then bring them down, O Lord who shields us!

59:12 They speak sinful words. So let them be trapped by their own pride and by the curses and lies they speak!

59:13 Angrily wipe them out! Wipe them out so they vanish!

Let them know that God rules in Jacob and to the ends of the earth! (Selah)

59:14 They return in the evening; they growl like a dog and prowl around outside the city.

59:15 They wander around looking for something to eat; they refuse to sleep until they are full.

59:16 As for me, I will sing about your strength; I will praise your loyal love in the morning. For you are my refuge and my place of shelter when I face trouble.

59:17 You are my source of strength! I will sing praises to you!

For God is my refuge, the God who loves me.

Prayer

Lord, You are attentive to our pleas and praises but You act in Your perfect time and way. May I never fear pouring my heart out to You, with pleas and praises, and then may I patiently await Your reply.

Scripture In Perspective

David’s eleventh Psalm reflected his fear of worldly enemies as well as his certainty that the character of the Lord God was such as would defend him and to oppose them.

David’s fifty-ninth Psalm employed an imprecatory prayer and added the phrase “God is my refuge”.

Interact With The Text

Consider

David appeared to draw again upon his shepherd-days for the concepts of “refuge” and “shelter”.

Discuss

How could David be so loquacious in confidence and praise for the Lord God and still plead sometimes as if he was not certain the Lord cared or even noticed his plight?

Reflect

David’s prayers for the Lord God to destroy, or to at least punish, are called “imprecatory prayers”. There is considerable debate as to whether or not such prayers are appropriate for post-ascension, post=Pentecost, New Testament Biblical-Christians.

Share

When have you be so troubled that you wondered if the Lord cared or even noticed your plight?

Faith In Action

Pray

Ask the Holy Spirit to reveal to you a place where He is waiting to answer one of your prayers, either because there is something you have left undone, or something He wants to happen first.

Act

Today I will be still and listen in prayer for the Holy Spirit to show me what the Lord God may want to do in me.

Be Specific _________________________________________________

All Bible text is from the NET unless otherwise indicated - http://bible.org

Note 1: These Studies often rely upon the guidance of the NET Translators from their associated notes. Careful attention has been given to cite that source where it has been quoted directly or closely paraphrased. Feedback is encouraged where credit has not been sufficiently assigned.

Note 2: When NET text is quoted in commentary and discussion all pronouns referring to God are capitalized, though they are lower-case in the original NET text.

Commentary text is from David M. Colburn, D.Min. unless otherwise noted.

Copyright © 2012 by David M. Colburn. This is a BibleSeven Study. Prepared by David M. Colburn and edited for bible.org in August of 2012. This text may be used for non-profit educational purposes only, with credit; all other usage requires prior written consent of the author.