Daily Bible Studies
|Series Theme: Studies in 1 Samuel 16- (David on the Run)|
Chs. 27 on
Chapter: 1 Sam 27
Passage: 1 Sam 27:1-12
A. Find Out:
1. Why did David decide to leave Israel ? v.1
2. What did he do and how effective was it? v.2-4
3. Where was David allowed to settle? v.5,6
4. How long did he live there? v.7
5. What did David do and how did he preserve secrecy? v.8-11
6. Why did Achish allow him to remain? v.12
This is supposed to be a man of God we are watching. To understand his actions we need to note to circumstances in some detail. David is in fear of his life from Saul (and even the best of us have our moments of doubt) and so goes where he knows he can convince them that he's all right to have around. Achish gives him Ziklag, a border town between Judah and the Philistines, perhaps with the hope that David will be a protective buffer against Saul. David on the other hand uses this as an opportunity to carry out cleaning up operations, wiping out those fringe peoples who so often made annoying incursions into Judah . The only way he can do this is by totally wiping out any witnesses and telling Achish a lie. Not exactly what we might consider acts of righteousness but possibly acceptable under the harsh circumstances prevailing.
The remarkable thing is that this episode of his life doesn't remove him from the love of God. At a later time he is barred from building the temple because of the blood on his hands (1 Chronicles 22:7,8) but he has not been excluded from the purposes of God.
Chapter: 1 Sam 28
Passage: 1 Sam 28:3-19
A. Find Out:
1. Why did Saul resort to a medium? v.4-7
2. Yet what was a problem? v.3,9
3. What was the woman's response when she saw Samuel? v.12
4. What did Saul confess? v.15
5. What did Samuel say the Lord had done and would do? v.17-19
6. Read 1 Chronicles 10:13 ,14 and Leviticus 19:31 & 20:6
A strange incident with many lessons.
First note the basics of what happened. Saul sinned against God and rejected Him. When he needed help he selfishly turned to the Lord but the Lord had by then rejected him and so did not answer. Saul petulantly decided if God would not answer he would get an answer some other way, so turned to a medium. To the medium's total horror a spirit DOES appear (which means that she probably usually deceived people) and it does seem to be Samuel who appears, rebukes and condemns Saul.
The fact that the Lord does appear to allow a representation of Samuel to appear and speak the truth should not make us think this justifies calling on a medium; it says more about the grace of God giving Saul a further chance to hear the truth and repent. Tragically he didn't!
The key things to remember here are:
The answer is not to go chasing mediums who are forbidden but to trust in and seek the Lord. Seeking a medium in the Bible is seen as disobedience and rebellion against God and the penalty was death. Allowing this “manifestation” of Samuel was simply an act of grace by God.
Chapter: 1 Sam 28/29
Passage: 1 Sam 28:1,2 / 29:1-11
A. Find Out:
1. Why did David go with the Philistines? 28:1
2. What did Achish testify about David? v.3, 6
3. Of what were the Philistine commanders afraid? v.4
4. What does David ask? v.8
5. How would you summarise Achish's reply? v.9
6. So what happened? v.11
This has been a strange time in David's life, living alongside the enemy and acting as an undercover guerrilla leader. Now suddenly he is asked by the Philistine leader to go with them to war, which probably means going against Saul. Knowing what we know about David's feelings about Saul being the Lord's anointed, this must have set up some conflicting feelings within David, yet he goes along with the Philistines, for he seems to have little option but to go.
Thus we see how living in a second best situation can lead us into even worse circumstances. We may make excuses about unacceptable alternatives but second best is second best and until we confess it to God and seek His help in coming back into the place where we ought to be with Him, we simply make ourselves vulnerable to even more difficult circumstances like David.
Achish's testimony about David indicates that while David had been with him, he had given Achish no grounds for complaint. His activity in completely destroying nearby peoples had obviously been successful and Achish had no clue as to his real activities. This says a lot about David's abilities as an undercover operator, especially when you consider the sort of people he has formed into an army (see 22:2).
Chapter: 1 Sam 30
Passage: 1 Sam 30:1-10
A. Find Out:
1. Who had razed Ziklag while David was away? v.1
2. Who had been taken? v.2
3. How did David and the others feel about it? v.4
4. What were some of the men talking of doing? v.6
5. What did David do about it? v.7,8
6. How did David respond? v.9,10
After David leaves the Philistines on their way to battle, he returns home to Ziklag, only to find it plundered by marauding Amalakites with a number of his family taken. His anguish is obvious but that is added to by his men, who are also so distressed that they want to stone him. When you lead and things go well people are only too happy to be with you, but when things go badly, it is you they so often go for, not the circumstances, that is just sin in people.
David's response is excellent. He turns to the Lord and, possibly crying his heart out to the Lord, he receives strength to go on from the Lord. But then comes the question, Should he go on? Again he consults the Lord and is given a very positive reply which he responds to immediately.
Note from this episode there are two ways of going to the Lord. First, there is just crying to the Lord out of weakness and failure, and then the gentle reassuring presence of the Lord brings strength and comfort. Second, there is coming in strength to receive guidance from the Lord, and the key is they to be willing to take whatever direction the Lord gives you. David's example is excellent. May we remember it and follow it every day of our lives.
Chapter: 1 Sam 30
Passage: 1 Sam 30:10-31
A. Find Out:
1. When did 200 men stay back at “base camp”? v.10
2. How did David find where the Amalakites were? v.11-16
3. What was the outcome? v.17-20
4. Who caused upset when they returned and why? v.21-22
5. What did David decree and why? v.23-26
6. What did David do with some of the plunder? v.27-31
There are three phases in this passage: rescue, return and reward.
First of all David went to the rescue of his people who had been taken away. He finds and cares for an Egyptian slave who shows him where the Amalakites were. There follows a long and protracted fight against the Amalakites when all of their goods and people are rescued.
Second comes the return when they come back to those they had left behind. It is at this point that two things are revealed: the bad character of some of David's men, and the sense of justice and integrity within David.
Third there is reward for the elders of Judah among whom David has gone in past months and years while on the run, and who have no doubt helped him from time to time.
David's character is highlighted in this passage. First there is courage and perseverance to go after his own people. Then there is wisdom, justice and integrity as he cares for those left with the baggage, and finally there is wisdom, care and concern as he gives to the elders in Judah .
There are times in our lives when we need to courageously persevere, when we need to exercise justice and integrity, wisdom and care. Again, what an example this man gives us!
Chapter: 1 Sam 31
Passage: 1 Sam 31:1-13
A. Find Out:
1. Who was fighting who? v.1
2. Who was killed first? v.2
3. How did Saul die? v.3,4
4. What happened along the Jordan valley? v.7
5. What did the Philistines do to Saul? v.8-10
6. What did the men of Jabesh Gilead do? v.11,12
The end has come for Jonathan and Saul! What a tragedy! As we'll see tomorrow David did not consider this a time for rejoicing, in fact quite to the contrary, and so should we!
First consider Saul. Here was a man who had known the blessing of God on his life (see again 1 Sam 10:1-7), had a godly prophet who could be his counsellor to guide him, and yet who totally blew it all by his disobedience. He became, instead of a great and godly king, a man haunted by fears, paranoid about David's successes, and a mere caretaker of Israel . When you compare what-could-have-been with what actually happened, it was a tragedy.
Then there was Jonathan. Here was a gallant and courageous young man, whose heart knit with David's, who had the potential of being a leading commander in a glorious army, if his father had only turned out differently, or even in the light of his father's failure, he could have joined David and been an inspiration to him! Instead he remained in the place where the blessing of God had departed and ended up dying at the hands of the enemies of God. Again when you consider what-could-have-been, this is a tragedy.
Chapter: 2 Sam 1 & 2
Passage: 2 Sam 1:11,12,23-27 / 2:1-4
A. Find Out:
1. What did David do when he heard of Saul's death? v.12
2. How did he refer to Saul and Jonathan? v.23
3. What did he instruct Israel to do? v.24
4. How did he refer specifically to Jonathan? v.26
5. In pondering the future what does he do? 2:1
6. What happened in Judah ? 2:4
Saul and Jonathan are dead and David grieves deeply. Now this is indeed quite remarkable! David has been pursued out of the Royal court, out of the country and into enemy lands. His life had been threatened a number of times by Saul and yet he anguishes when Saul is dead. How can it be?
Well first of all David focuses on the good memories. When an elderly person dies after a slow decline in old age we can easily forget what they used to be like. Saul HAD been a great person to start with and underneath his paranoia there was greatness. Second, David refuses to focus on the negatives.
This is indeed the heart of God, for the Lord looks constantly at our positive aspects and not our negatives. Our grieving can also include the pain, not only of loss but also of what might have been. Sin in the world often robs us of the greatness that could have been and that is a genuine cause for genuine grief.
Finally David is king in Judah and eventually he will be king over all Israel (see 2 Sam 5:1-5). The way has been hard but eventually he has entered into that which God had said. Here is the Lord's anointed. It has taken some time to come about but the Lord never said it would happen immediately.
RECAP - "Strange Circumstances" - 1 Sam 27 on
In this last group of 7 studies we have seen :
Even the best of us fall prey to doubts sometimes and this was certainly true of David. His doubts led him to even live among the enemy to gain refuge from Saul but that nearly led him to have to fight alongside them to fight Saul. Beware where doubts might lead us!
In the midst of those circumstances David nearly lost his family to another enemy group but at least pursuing them meant that he did not find himself fighting against the Lord's anointed. Eventually it all works out and David is made king but it has taken a long time and some very hard and trying circumstances, but through the testing this man of God has remained true.
1. When doubts come it is better to seek the Lord and obtain His reassurance than
work on human wisdom which often only leads to harder circumstances!
2. When in difficult times we are never to seek for our own guidance by unorthodox
and forbidden ways.
3. When the Lord has declared His purposes over us they will be fulfilled, but it may
take time and it may involve circumstances that we would never have dreamt of.
Ask the Lord to remind you in trying circumstances to turn to Him for His wisdom. Thank Him that He is ever there to help and guide us and share His wisdom, His knowledge and His insight with us that we so often need for our own lives.
In these studies, we have observed the following stages in David's life so far:
As we have considered this story of David, we have seen
1. In respect of SAUL
A man originally described as “an impressive young man without equal among the Israelites - a head taller than any of the others”. In other words he looked good! But just looking good on the outside is no indication of long term prospects, for as the Lord was to say to Samuel about David, “Man looks at the outward appearance but the Lord looks at the heart.” If there is a lesson to be learnt here it is not to go by outward appearances! The state of the heart is far more important in God's kingdom!
2. In respect of DAVID
Here is another young man who has “a fine appearance and handsome features” but the heart of this young man is more like that of the Lord. There is a humility and gentleness about this young man that is good to see. But that doesn't mean he is a sissy, far from it! This young man is a warrior who gained his apprenticeship killing lions and bears with his bare hands, simply to protect his sheep. This young warrior dares to take on giants, but the way he does it is the clue to his greatness: he comes in the name of the Lord! He comes knowing the relationship that he has with the Lord, comes knowing that God will look after him and provide for him. But not only that, he has an ability to accept all sorts of people and mould them into a fighting force that can act as one of the most efficient guerrilla forces recorded in the Bible. He is not only a warrior but someone who can work with men, training and moulding them and earning their loyalty and respect. Yes, virtually everything about this young man challenges us by his example.
3. In respect of GOD
We see several interesting things about the Lord in these stories. First he calls and anoints HIS man to be king, a man who will not be perfect, but He doesn't reject him when he fails. Then the Lord is clearly with His man and, whenever asked, He guides and helps Him. The picture of the Lord here is of Almighty God who enters into relationship with men.