Lessons from the Life of David Ė #7

Dealing with our Enemies

1 Samuel 24:1 to 2 Samuel 1:27


In our last lesson we looked at several chapters of the Bible describing David on the run.In that section, 1 Samuel chapters 18 to 23, as far as scripture says, David never had a situation where he had the upper hand against Saul.How did David respond over and over again when he was in danger?


We resume our account of David and Saul where we left off, David and his men are hiding among the rocks and caves at En Gedi. Read 1 Sam 24:1-4.David is given the opportunity to take revenge.What does he do instead?


Have you ever taken an opportunity to do some little thing back to someone who has been bothering you?


5-7†††††† Davidís conscience bothers him for doing this.Why does this bother him?


††††††††††† Whom does David really fear that he has insulted?


8-15††††† Moreover, after David and Saul leave the cave, what does David try to do?


††††††††††† How does the way David addresses Saul show his feelings toward him?


Has there ever been someone in your past who caused a great deal of affliction to you?If so, did you take opportunities to help that person see his/her offense?Did you respond as David did?


16-22††† This unexpected act of kindness affects Saul greatly.What promise does David make to Saul?


††††††††††† What promise does Saul make to David?


Compare Saulís blessing of David in verse 19 to his blessing of the Ziphites in 23:21.How might the wording of this blessing betray Saulís true feelings?


††††††††††† How do we know David did not trust Saulís repentant words?


We will consider chapter 25 after chapter 26.

26:1-4†† The people of Ziph betray David a second time.What does David say about their character?Psalm 54:3


5-7†††††† What do David and Abishai find when they sneak into Saulís camp at night?


††††††††††† See v 12.Why was this possible?


8-12††††† David is given a second opportunity to kill Saul.What is his reason for not doing so?


††††††††††† Looking at the circumstances, could David have reasoned that it was Godís will that Saul be killed?Would David have been justified for killing Saul, had he done so?


9††††††††† What line of reason is David following that causes him to spare Saul again?


13-16††† Why does David call out to Abner first?


17-20††† What does David once again try to do?


21-25††† What was God trying to do to Saul through David in these encounters where David has the upper hand?


††††††††††† What is God trying to do to David through these actions of Saul?


How does Davidís behavior toward Saul conform to Godís Word in 1 Timothy 5:1?


Chapter 25:Davidís dealings with Saul are contrasted with his dealings with another man, Nabal, who also mistreats David, as Saul did.

25:1-8†† We might at first find it strange that David sends men up to a perfect stranger and has them ask for some animals to use for a festive meal.But what had David and his men been doing, v 21?


9-13††††† What is Davidís natural response to Nabalís refusal?


14-19††† In our society, where we have grown up thinking that the exchange of money is what makes things fair and proper, we might not understand the insult that Nabal had given David.But Nabalís wife understood.How does she set the matter right?


20-22††† Good thing she did.What had David been thinking?


26-31††† What things does Abigail say to David which shows her faith in God?


38-39††† So through Abigail, God kept David from taking matters into his own hands and taking revenge on Nabal.How did God further resolve the matter?


††††††††††† Compare this incident to the advice all Christians are given in Romans 12:17-21


††††††††††† Compare Davidís example to Jesusí words in Matthew 5:43-48


In chapters 27Ė30, we see more examples of Saul departing from God, and David doing the Lordís work.

31:1-6†† Finally it is Godís timing that Saul should die, and David should be king.Why does Saul commit suicide?


7-10††††† How is Saul humiliated after his death?


11-13††† The people of Jabesh Gilead admired Saul for the help he gave them earlier (see chapter 11).What did they risk their lives to do to prevent further humiliation?


2 Sam 1:1-10An Amalekite comes to David with the news of Saulís death.His story is different from the account in chapter 31.Why might his reason be for lying to David?


11-16††† What was Davidís response?


17-27††† Now that the danger is over, and peace has come to David and his men, David writes a lament, a psalm of sorrow over Saul and Jonathan.What words of praise for Saul does the lament contain?


††††††††††† What words of revenge or humiliation for Saul does the lament contain?


What lessons can we learn from the way David regarded his enemy Saul?