David Spares Saul

Scripture: 1 Samuel 24

Topics: Freedom, Opportunity

Study Guide

In 1 Samuel 24, David finds himself in a position of power with an opportunity to elevate himself to the position of king. However, he acts humbly, allowing God to write his narrative. David aligns himself with God’s story to such an extent that he shows mercy and loyalty to Saul, a man who has treated him unjustly. Here we see the continued reversal of fortune as David rises to power and Saul fails to obey God.
Application
  1. Consider how you view opportunity. Do you tend to spiritualize “open doors” that present themselves? Are there past opportunities you took advantage of that you should have refused?

  2. We all create stories of what we want our lives to look like. Often, this narrative is based on our culture’s idea of success. In what areas of your life do you need to align yourself with God’s story instead of your own? (i.e., family, finances, work, school)

  3. What you do in a position of strength reveals your true character. How have you seen this truth play out in your life?

  4. Have you ever been in a situation where you were treated unfairly or falsely accused? How could it change your thinking to recognize that you don’t have to be right because Jesus was right for you? What does it look like practically for you to give God control in this area?

  5. Is there an area of your life where you are merely admitting to God’s truth but not acting on it? What are some concrete steps you can take to actively align yourself with God’s truth?

Key Points
  • In Luke 14:11, Jesus teaches the importance of humility. This truth that pride leads to destruction while humility leads to exaltation by God is played out in the lives of Saul and David.

  • Opportunity does not equal freedom. When David is faced with the opportunity to defeat his enemy, he humbles himself and aligns with God’s plan, even though it presents him with personal difficulties.

  • In contrast, we often live as if we’re inviting God into our story instead of living as if God has invited us into his story. We want God to show up for us to make our story better. Instead, we need to align ourselves with God’s story and his purposes.

  • Although David is in a position to take vengeance on Saul, he understands that vengeance is God’s personal possession (Romans 12:19-20).

  • While Saul admits to the truth about his failure and David’s future kingship, he still fails to come under God’s authority. His confession is merely acknowledgment, not true repentance.

  • Saul’s disobedience leads to despair whereas his repentance would lead to delight.

  • We are a people who hear the truth often, and many of us are quick to acknowledge God’s truth. However, we must examine whether we are truly coming under God’s authority in humble obedience.

Other Scripture References