Daily Bible Studies
|Series Theme: Studies in 1 Samuel 16- (David on the Run)|
Introduction to 1 Sam 16- (David on the Run)
The first part of 1 Samuel introduced us to the prophet Samuel and took us through a period of Israel 's history where the relationship of Israel to the Lord was very weak. (See “Samuel's Story” in this series). Israel eventually came to a low point where, in their unbelief, they asked for a king so that they could be just like all the surrounding nations and have a visible leader. Under the leading of the Lord, Samuel allowed this to come about and Saul was chosen as king, a man who looked good and was very acceptable to the people. Unfortunately Saul's heart wasn't up to the job and rebellion and disobedience became part of his reign. He was then rejected by God. It is then at this point that this set of studies picks up the story of David.
Watch What's Coming
The first thing we will see is that the Lord chooses David and David is described as a man after God's own heart. Although the circumstances do not go all David's way, we need to remember this throughout: David is God's chosen man.
Next we will see the success that David had and the upset which that brought in the form of Saul's jealousy, so much so that soon he tries to kill David, and keeps on trying to kill him, until eventually he himself is killed by the enemy.
In avoiding being killed by Saul, David flees from the Court and ends up in such bizarre places as the very capital of the Philistine enemy that he had once been fighting. After Saul is killed by the enemy, David is eventually recognised as king by Judah and then by all Israel.
These are fascinating stories and they show us the faithfulness of this man of God who despite the harsh circumstances, turned to the Lord again and again for guidance until eventually the word of God spoken over him was fulfilled, but it did take time!
Part 1 : “Anointing and Success”
In this first Part we will see David being anointed by Samuel at the instigation of the Lord, something of the distress of Saul and how David was able to help him, and then the historic battle of David against Goliath. In this part we will see the young David with the obvious blessing of God on his life, making good in whatever he did.
Chapter: 1 Sam 16
Passage: 1 Sam 16:1-13
A. Find Out:
1. What did the Lord say He had done? v.1a
2. What was Samuel NOT to look at when making his choice? v.7a
3. What did the Lord say He looked at? v.7b
4. How was David first described? v.11
5. What did the Lord tell Samuel to do to David? v.12
6. What happened to David from that time on? v.13
Observe first God's decision to have a new king. Everything that follows is a result of the Lord decreeing His purposes. He has rejected Saul, because Saul had proved to be unworthy of the role of king. (See previous studies in this Series)
Second, He has chosen another to take his place, for He will not leave Israel rudderless now they have chosen to be led by a king, so now God will choose His king.
So let's observe next the criteria for God's choice. Saul has failed because he was self centred and disobedient. Saul's heart was not pointed in the right direction. The critical issue about God's choice is the heart of the man He chooses. We are told that David is “a man after His own heart”, a man who will feel as God feels, and walk in the ways of the Lord, who will lead Israel righteously. Therefore when it comes to choosing the right man from all of Jesse's sons, it is not who “looks good” but whose heart is good, and only the Lord can see the heart, so Samuel, you will need to let the Lord lead you.
The lesson for us here? It is what we are inside that matters to God, not what we may pretend to be on the outside. When we have dealings with others, remember it is true of them as well!
Chapter: 1 Sam 16
Passage: 1 Sam 16:14-23
A. Find Out:
1. What was now happening to Saul and why? v.14,15
2. What was seen to be the remedy for this? v.16
3. How was David described (5 things)? v.18
4. What did Jesse send with David? v.20
5. Why did David stay with Saul? v.21,22
6. What happened when David played his harp? v.23
There are two levels to what we have read in this passage. First there is the purely material level, what could be observed, but second there is the spiritual level, behind the observable.
First the material level. If we looked at Saul we would probably have said he was suffering from stress! He was highly distressed, and humanistic observers might have said it was because he had made mistakes, was worried about his rulership and even his loss of relationship with Samuel and the Lord. The answer is seen to be to provide a soothing influence - David playing his harp!
Next the spiritual level, what is really behind the outward signs. It is that God is disciplining Saul and allowing demonic activity to come against Saul so that the purposes of God might be worked out. We see God using such activity in Judges 9:22-24, 1 Kings 22:19 -23 and 1 Corinthians 5:5. The result here is that God's chosen man is brought into the “court circle” and when the anointed man plays, the demonic has to retreat.
Lessons for us? God uses the demonic by allowing them access to unbelievers to chasten and discipline. The man or woman of God with the anointing upon them has no need to fear, and indeed the enemy will flee before them.
Chapter: 1 Sam 17
Passage: 1 Sam 17:1-11,26
A. Find Out:
1. Who confronted each other? v.1,2
2. How would you summarise Goliath's description? v.4-7
3. How did Goliath describe Israel ? v.8
4. What was Israel 's response? v.11
5. How did David view Israel ? v.26b
6. What did he see this as? v.26a
The enemy turns up and so Israel dutifully go out to face them. Unfortunately the enemy have a frightening weapon. Within this picture there are some important lessons to be learnt!
First, Goliath dictates how the battle is to be fought and Israel go along with his words! There is no reason at all why Israel shouldn't have totally ignored Goliath and fought the battle normally and instead have six of their best men take on Goliath, but instead they became mesmerised by him. Don't let the enemy dictate terms!
Second, Israel allowed the enemy to make them forget who they were. The enemy describes them as “Saul's army” and it takes David to remind them that they are “ God's army”, a great difference! Not only that they are a people who are in relationship with God who are being confronted by an enemy that has no relationship with God, hence David's reference to “this uncircumcised Philistine" (circumcision was a sign to the Jewish male of his relationship to God). David sees this as an opportunity for victory for God's people!
Finally we need to get things in proportion. Goliath is big and powerful but God is infinitely bigger and more powerful. Make sure you keep things in proportion!
Chapter: 1 Sam 17
Passage: 1 Sam 17:12-25
A. Find Out:
1. What was David doing at this time? v.15
2. How long had Goliath been challenging Israel ? v.16
3. What 3 things had Jesse asked David to do? v.17,18
4. What did David do with his flock? v.20
5. With whom did David leave the provisions? v.22a
6. Where did he then go? v.22b
Previously (in chapter 16) we saw that David went from time to time to minister to Saul on the harp. He also was appointed one of Saul's armour bearers, but this was probably a part time job, possibly only needed when Saul went out to battle.
Whenever David was home on leave, which seems often, he would return to looking after the sheep, which seems his main job. Now while three of his brothers are away at war, he is given the additional job of taking them supplies.
This is a very industrious young man! Not only is he obviously considered trustworthy by his ageing father but he shows every sign of wisdom as he ensures a shepherd is around to look after the sheep while he is away. Also as soon as he arrives at the battle front he ensures the provisions are left with the quarter-master before going to see the thrills of the battle. What an example this young man is!
Note also Jesse's wisdom and diplomacy as he ensures that provisions are taken for the commander of the unit where the three brothers are. Like father, like son perhaps.
Finally let us note again the state of play in the battle: stale-mate! For forty days Goliath has been coming out. The two armies face each other but there appears no actual battle. Israel are still being terrified by the taunts of this giant, but the Philistines are not so confident that they can fight to win.
A. Find Out:
1. What was Eliab's response to David's questions? v.28
2. What was Saul's response to David's assertions? v.33
3. How did Saul prepare David? v.38,39
4. Why was David first of all upset about Goliath? v.26
5. How did David's past experiences reassure him? v.34-36
6. What had he known about those experiences? v.37
As we have seen previously David was annoyed because God's people were being intimidated by a godless person. His questioning leads to some interesting reactions in those nearby.
First, there is eldest brother, Eliab, fearful of Goliath and mindful of his position in the family. He is angry that the youngest brother should have the temerity to brag in this way. He comes from a position of wounded pride.
Then there is Saul, king and supposed leader, fearful of Goliath and reasoning things on the basis of human strength. David, in his eyes, is too small, too weak, too young and too inexperienced. (What did Paul say in 1 Corinthians 1:27?). When David reveals there is more to him than meets the eye Saul, still working on human reasoning, gives him his heavy armour, after all that is how he would fight!
David has a different perspective. As we have already seen, he works from the angle that they are God's chosen people, that God is with them and will back them up. He also has a testimony; he knows what he has done in the past and he knows who it was that enabled him to do it! Not only that, he is convinced that God will carry on doing it for him!
Chapter: 1 Sam 17
Passage: 1 Sam 17:38-47
A. Find Out:
1. What could Goliath only see before him? v.42a
2. What did Goliath think of David? v.42b
3. What weapons was Goliath using? v.45a
4. But with what was David coming? v.45b
5. What did David say would happen? v.46
6. With what result? v.47
In this passage we see two entirely opposite ways of fighting battles. First there is Goliath who is very big, very strong, covered in mighty armour, has a mighty shield and has mighty weapons. Humanly speaking the odds are in his favour.
Then there is David, a young man, smaller but no doubt strong, armed with nothing more than a sling and some stones (NB. Five stones - he isn't presuming anything!). He must surely be the under-dog. But David has something else going for him; who it is who is sending him.
Here is the crucial point about this whole affair. It's not the combatants, but who they represent, who has sent them. Goliath, an idol worshipper is sent by Satan to destroy the people of God. David, chosen and anointed by God is sent by God to uphold His name and defend His people. The key issue is whose “sender” has the greater ability to provide for his man? All Satan can do is stir hatred in his man, but God stirs wisdom, courage and ability in His man. Seen in that light this is a “no contest”. How often do the people of God need to see their battles in this light!
A. Find Out:
1. How was David's confidence shown? v.48
2. How did David kill Goliath? v.49,50
3. What did David then do? v.51a,b
4. With what effect? v.51c
5. What effect did that have on the Israelites? v.52
6. What is obvious from v.55-58?
The battle is joined and David simply takes a stone and from a distance slays Goliath with a sling. But that is not the end. This death needs to be confirmed so the watching armies can see it, so David cuts off his head. The effect is immediate on both armies, and a great victory is won by the people of God.
Now we are not called to fight physical battles (Ephesians 6:12) but to wage warfare in the spiritual realm. We are called to put to death self-centred, godless thinking and behaviour. The picture of what happened to Goliath can perhaps help impact us at this point. When the truth comes to us it puts to death our self-centred, self-glorifying life style and we see our need of Jesus as a Saviour. But the head is the place of the intellect, the mind, the source of godless thinking and we need to see that, for us to be able to go on and live resurrection lives by the power and wisdom of God, that old source needs to be severed from us. We must not let it have influence over the new life!
Also note in passing that Saul has not yet really taken notice of David. David obviously in his eyes, is merely a servant harp player in the background, one of the team who looked after the kings armour. Only now does he start to come to the forefront and trouble is coming!
RECAP - "Anointing & Success" - 1 Sam 16 -17
In this first group of 7 studies we have seen :
The scene moves backwards and forwards, from the hillside looking after sheep, to the Court of king Saul, and to the battle field with the Philistines. Here we see a young man, called of God, who does all things well. He stands out in his generation as one who knew his Lord well and trusted Him implicitly and was therefore not intimidated by the enemy. What a challenge!
1. Our security comes from our calling in God. HE chose us.
2. Disobedience makes us vulnerable to enemy attack.
3. We are not to be intimidated by the enemy.
4. Our security against the enemy is to come from the knowledge that the Lord is with
us and for us.
5. We must not fight spiritual battles with the world's weapons for they will not be
blessed by God.
Thank the Lord that He is all powerful and that as His children we can know His strength and His power as we confront the giants of our day. Pray that He will release faith in you to be this sort of person today.
PART 2 : "Upset and Escape"
In this next Part, the success that David has been having turns out to be the cause for his rejection by Saul. When we receive the blessing of God on our lives, it often upsets those who do not have that same blessing. Watch for how it works out in these next chapters.