- The Amalekite thought he was bringing David good news (cf. 2 Sam. 4:10), but he had mistaken his man.
Why did David have him killed?
- What light does this episode, and the lament for Saul and Jonathan (verses 19-27), throw on David’s character?
Bearing in mind the faults of the king to whom David was so loyal, are there any lessons here for me?
- Chapter 29. Into what great difficulty had David brought himself, and how was he delivered?
Do I ever give the world cause to say, ‘What is that Christian doing here?‘ Cf. 2 Cor. 6:14.
- Chapter 30. Strength in defeat and generosity in victory.
How does this chapter illustrate these characteristics?
Have you learnt David’s secret of inner strength? Cf. 23:16; Ps. 18:2.
- Compare the defeat of the chapter 31 with that of chapter 4. What were the reasons for these defeats? Cf. 1 Chr. 10:13, 14. What challenge does this bring to your own life?
- How did David’s experience, as recorded in chapters 16-31, all serve to prepare him for his future work as king?
- Contrast David’s words in 27:1 with 17:37.
Into what action did depression drive him, and what price had he to pay for it?
Are you ever overcome by circumstances in this way? Cf. 2 Chr. 19:2; Jas. 4:4.
- Looking back over the story of Saul, how did he final sorry state?
What warning ought we to take from his confession in 28:15? Cf. 1 Tim. 1:19.
Notes. 28:7. Consulting a medium was expressly for hidden in law of God. See Lev. 19:31. Saul, too, was resorting to something he himself had disowned. See 28:9.
- Nabal was rich and satisfied; but what did he lack?
What in contract, were the outstanding features of Abigail’s character?
Can you think of situation where you could act as she did?
- Chapter 26. What basic convictions motivated David’s actions?
How does his faith in God’s purpose for him stand out?
In particular, what principle emerges from 25:39 and 26:10, 23?
26:19, 20. To be driven out of the promised land (cf. 27:1) is to be driven out not from the dominion of the Lord (see many psalms), but certainly from his special covenanted presence to lands where other gods are worshipped.
- In what ways did God’s protecting hand cover David, and what special encouragements did he receive?
Cf. Ps. 37:23, 24.
- What held David back from killing Saul when it was in his power to do it, and when his followers were urging him on?
What virtues shine out in his self-restraint, and what lessons do you learn from this?
Cf. Rom. 12:19, 20.
- Were Saul’s words and weeping accompanied by a real change of heart?
- 24:13, 14. David uses the proverb to demonstrate his innocence.
The wicked action one would expect from a wicked man has not been forthcoming in his case. ‘A dead dogs?
A flea?’: something harmless, elusive, unimportant.
- 24:20, 21. Saul apparently knew God’s purpose, though he strove to avert some of its consequences.
- Do you gather from 21:10-15 and 22:3-5 that David’s flights out of the holy land were done without God’s guidance?
What seems to have determined David’s actions?
Contrast 22:23. Are you free from the fear of men? Cf. Prov. 29:25.
- Consider the character of the motley crew of which David now became the leader.
Why did they turn to him?
How can God today transform any group under Christian leadership?
Cf. 1 Cor. 6:9-11; note especially the phrase, ‘such were some of you’.
- Read the story of 22:7-19 in the light of Prov. 6:34; 14:30; 27:4.
How can the Christian be zealous without being jealous?
Cf. 1 Kgs. 19:10, 14; John 2:17.
- What was David’s purpose in seeking Jonathan?
What request did Jonathan in turn make of David?
What components of true friendship does the relationship of these two men illustrate?
- What characteristic of true ‘loyal love’ (20:14) does this passage reveal?
Compare it with:
(a) 1 Cor.13:4-7, and
(b) your own life.
- When human need and ceremonial obligations conflict as in 21:6, what guidance do we find here as to the right course to take?
- 20:6. Such were the standards of morality that even the best of the people seemed to have no scruples in using lies and deception to save life.
See 19:17; 20:28, 29; 21:2. But note how deceit brought down Saul’s wrath upon Jonathan (20:30), just as it brought disaster upon Ahimelech and his associates (22:18, 19).
- 20:14. Cf. 2 Sam. 9:3.
- 20:23, 42. The idea of God being between two convenant partners to watch and to judge is illustrated by Gen. 31:49, 53.
- 20:26. Saul thought that ceremonial uncleanness accounted for David’s absence from the feast. See Lev. 7:19, 20.
- 21:7. ‘Detained before the Lord’: perhaps because of a vow.