David Spares Saul’s Life (1 Samuel 24)

Scripture Text:

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1 Samuel 24

Questions:

1. What do you do when your parent, teacher or boss turn his or her back on you? When have you used that occasion to slack off? To show yourself 100 percent faithful?

2. I think David:

  • missed a good chance
  • let his heart rule his head
  • showed amazing restraint
  • made his point with Saul
  • had an overactive conscience
  • honored the Lord

3. If you were writing this scene as fiction, how would you have Saul respond to David’s rebuke? Do you think Saul’s repentance here is sincere? Does David think so?

4. Think of the person you have the hardest time getting along with. What would happen if you treated this “Saul” the way David did?

  • nothing
  • “Saul” would faint in amazement
  • “Saul” would cry
  • it would transform the relationship
  • I would change more than “Saul”

5. How do you deal with conflict (and how would you like to change)?

  • avoid it
  • approach it cautiously
  • thrive on it
  • with anger
  • with careful words
  • with actions rather than words

6. When have you let your friends talk you into taking revenge against someone? How did you feel afterwards?

7. What is your attitude toward authority figures? Which of the following do you see as “God’s anointed” and as people’s anointed: parents? spouse? clergy? employer? police? corrupt politicians? Explain.

8. Is there an authority figure in your life whom you have a difficult time submitting to? How would David act in your position?

9. Are you as content as David seems to be to simply let God effect His will, His way, in His time? Or are you likely to “help God out” in some way? Give a recent example.

10. How can you tell if someone is sincere in wanting to “turn over a new leaf”?

11. By your own standards, how would you do on that sincerity test?

12. In what way does this story remind you of your relationship with your boss/employer?

  • Very little – thank God!
  • My boss seems out to get me
  • I find myself wanting to hide from my boss
  • I feel guilty for how I’ve felt and acted toward my boss
  • I’d have a hard time not striking out at my boss if I had an opportunity
  • I need to see persons in authority as part of God’s plan for my life

13. How does this story relate to your experience of abuse?

  • I have struggled to forgive my abuser
  • I have struggled with not seeking revenge
  • I have confined myself to protective caves and strongholds for a long time
  • I don’t think my abuser, like Saul, will ever change
  • I am trying to let the Lord “avenge the wrongs done to me”
  • I am starting to realize what God has delivered me from

Additional Note:

Notice Saul’s words in verse 21. Slaughtering the rival’s entire family was normal practice when one would-be king won out over another. Such action tended to lessen the chance that the rival family would compete for the throne again. Because of his sworn oath, David let Jonathan’s son Mephibosheth live (2 Samuel 9).

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A Psalm of David – When Doeg the Edomite Had Gone To Saul and Told Him: “David has gone to the house of Ahimelech.” (Psalm 52)

Scripture Text:

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Psalm 52

Questions:

1. When you were a child, did any three words strike more terror than “I’m gonna tell”? Did you tend to get told on or were you the tattler?

2. What type of man was Doeg the Edomite (see 1 Samuel 22:6 – 23)? What was he willing to do that Jewish soldiers were not?

3. Doeg was someone who used people and loved things. Where do you see that attitude in others or in yourself today?

4. Has anyone ever suffered for helping or taking a risk for you? What happened? What did you feel: Guilt? Regret? Shame? Nonchalance?

5. Are you “flourishing in the house of God”? What is lacking in your spiritual commitment? What helps you flourish?

6. Why are the righteous often compared to trees (verse 8; also Psalm 1:3)? What did trees provide in David’s time?

7. What does David trust (verses 8, 9)? How is that trust in God evident in what David does?

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A Psalm of David: When the Ziphites Had Gone To Saul and Said, “Is not David hiding among us?” (Psalm 54)

Scripture Text:

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Psalm 54

Questions:

1. How do you feel when members of a strange religious sect come to your door? Do you invite them in or hide?

2. What strangers (verse 3) attack David (see 1 Samuel 23:1 – 20)? Why do they betray the man who saved them from the Philistines?

3. How does David feel? How do you account for the switch in tone in verses 6, 7 (see 1 Samuel 23:26 – 29)?

4. Has your faith ever been attacked? Was the attack: (a) intellectual? (b) theological? (c) emotional? (d) social? How do you respond?

5. Have you seen evil recoil back on those who promote it? When has this happened to you?

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