David Flees from Saul

Scripture: 1 Samuel 21-22:2

Topics: Fear, Mercy, Suffering

Study Guide

In 1 Samuel 21, David, who has shown that he is not afraid of those who oppose God, is now fearful and on the run as Saul, who is still God’s appointed king, tries to kill him. In this low point of desperation, David allows fear and folly to dictate his actions, but we see that God’s blessing and anointing are on him even though his circumstances are difficult.
Application
  1. We see David at a low point in his life. He is fearful and has not done anything wrong to cause the difficult circumstances he is in, but God is with him. Is there a time when things were going poorly for you, but you can see now how God was still in the midst of it blessing you? How did you respond to being “squeezed” at the time? What have you learned from God’s demonstration of his faithfulness?

  2. How are you being squeezed by your current circumstances? What has your response been (e.g., self-awareness, poor decisions, reflection, bitterness, etc.)? How do David’s words from Psalm 34:1-22 encourage or help you?

  3. What excuse (personal agenda, circumstance, rule, ritual, etc.) is preventing you from being kind, merciful, and generous to those around you? What step do you need to take to put others first and honor God? How does the fact that Jesus has been merciful to you make your heart tender toward others and motivate you?

  4. What rights or opportunities are you holding onto that you need to forego to serve others in God’s Kingdom?`

Key Points
  • To follow God and his kingdom requires personal cost and sacrifice.

  • David’s circumstances are going poorly even though he has done nothing wrong, but God’s hand is still with him at this low point.

  • David is being humbled and learning that he is not the king and that the true King will raise him up when he is ready.

  • We should remember that God really is the King, not us. He is the one who actually does the work and frees us to do what he has put in front of us, to persevere, and to be able to rest and trust him.

  • We should not give people credit for the work that God does.

  • We have a responsibility to humble ourselves and be merciful, kind, and generous to those around us instead of clinging to our own agenda and control.

Other Scripture References