Lesson 2

In Saul's Court

Chronology Summary

The People's Favorite (I Samuel 18)

Following the stunning triumph over the Philistine giant, David and Jonathan, Saul's son, became the very close friends. The friendship between these two men was powerful and deep. Saul prevented David from returning home to the house of Jesse. Instead, he capitalized on the military prowess of David. David dutifully obeyed the king. In doing so, David experienced dazzling success and grew in the favor of Israel. The Israelite women granted David ten times the praise they offered to Saul. This deeply angered Saul. Saul attempted to murder David on several occasions. Saul knew the Lord was with David now and no longer with him. (I Samuel 18:1-13)

David continued to prosper in his military achievements. David grew in favor with the people. This perplexed Saul and caused him to grow fearful. Nonetheless, Saul offered to give his daughter Merab to David as a wife. However, in a strange turn of events, Merab was given to another man. Saul gave another daughter, Michal, to David. Perhaps in a devious attempt to kill his future son-in-law, Saul requested a rather strange marriage gift from David. He asked for 100 Philistine foreskins. Saul figured that David would perish in his efforts to acquire the Philistine foreskins. David went out with his men against the Philistines. He prevailed and presented Saul twice the number of foreskins. David became Saul's son-in-law. (I Samuel 18:14-30)

Conspiracy to Kill David (I Samuel 19)

Saul attempted again to kill David. He ordered Jonathan to execute him. The friendship between Jonathan and David carried the day. Jonathan told David of his father's order and encouraged him to flee. Jonathan helped his father to reconsider the execution order. Saul changed his mind. (I Samuel 19:1-7)

Again, David achieved excellence in his military efforts. This renewed Saul's anger. Once again, Saul attempted to spear David but failed. Saul again prepared David's execution orders. David fled while his wife, Michal, created a diversion to provide him time to put distance between himself from Saul. David went to see Samuel. Saul tried three times to send people to take David from Samuel. (I Samuel 19:8-24)

On The Run (I Samuel 20-22)

David approached Jonathan to learn what was causing Saul to hate him. David and Jonathan devise a signal to let David know the heart and intent of Saul. The signal came after three days wait. David was warned to continue avoiding Saul. David and Jonathan exchanged farewells before David left. Saul's anger continued to rage against David. David ran for his life. (I Samuel 20:1-42)

David's running took him to Nob. In Nob, he met with Ahimelech. He fled further to Gath, Moab (where he left his parents), and Judah (where Saul ordered the execution of Ahimelech). David agreed to take care of Ahimelech's son Abiathar. (I Samuel 21:1-22:23)

Psalm 11 - In the Lord I put my trust

  1. When challenges came, who did David turn? Why?
  2. Did this display weakness or strength?
  3. How might David have considered the continual assaults from Saul as a "test"?
  4. Why did David behave the way he did towards the man who was trying to kill him?

Psalm 34 - I will bless the Lord at all times

  1. What comes to those who trust the Lord?
  2. When did David resolve to trust the Lord? What lesson can we learn from this?

Psalm 56 - Be merciful to me, O God, for man would swallow me up

  1. During his flight from Saul, David felt the pains of oppression and fear. Discuss how he placed his confidence in the providence of God.
  2. How does David describe the pursuit of his enemies?
  3. What is the relationship between "fear" and "trust"?

Psalm 59 - Deliver me from my enemies, O my God

  1. How did David describe those who sought to harm him?
  2. List the terms and imagery that David used to describe God. Why are these important?
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