Evening Bible Study
anointed to be the first king, but through Saul’s continued disobedience to
God’s commands, God has told Saul that he will no longer king. Samuel snuck off and
anointed a young man named David to be king.
In God’s eyes, David is the king, but in the nation’s eyes, Saul is
We’ve seen God
begin to use David in a big way to help the nation starting with his victory
was digging in the Negev Desert in Israel and came upon a casket containing a
mummy. After examining it, he called the curator of a prestigious
natural-history museum. “I’ve
just discovered a 3,000 year-old mummy of a man who died of heart
failure!” the excited scientist exclaimed. To which the curator replied, “Bring
him in. We’ll check it out.” A week later, the amazed curator called the
archaeologist. “You were exactly right about the mummy’s age and cause of
death. How in the world did you know?” “Easy. There was a piece of paper in his hand that said, ‘10,000
Shekels on Goliath.’”
With each of
David’s victories, Saul is growing increasingly jealous of the attention that
David is getting from others. Saul has even made
attempts on David’s life by throwing javelins at him or asking others to kill
:1 Then David fled from Naioth in Ramah, and went
and said to Jonathan, “What have I done? What is my iniquity, and what is
my sin before your father, that he seeks my life?”
David and Jonathan are close friends.
Jonathan is Saul’s oldest son, the “crown prince”. He’s the one in line to inherit the throne of
He who answers a matter before he hears it, It is
folly and shame to him.
:2 So Jonathan said to him, “By no means! You shall not die! Indeed, my
father will do nothing either great or small without first telling me. And why
should my father hide this thing from me? It is not so!”
:3 Then David took an oath again, and said, “Your father certainly knows
that I have found favor in your eyes, and he has said, ‘Do not let Jonathan
know this, lest he be grieved.’ But truly, as the Lord lives and as your soul
lives, there is but a step between me and death.”
While Jonathan is convinced that his father isn’t out to kill David, David
just thinks that Saul is hiding his intentions from Jonathan because Jonathan
is David’s friend.
:4 So Jonathan said to David, “Whatever you yourself desire, I will do it
:5 And David said to Jonathan, “Indeed tomorrow is the New Moon, and
I should not fail to sit with the king to eat. But let me go, that I may hide
in the field until the third day at evening.
:5 New Moon
No, this is not
talking about a vampire movie. The beginning of the
month was a time for a feast. The head of the family would expect everyone to
be present. David is now a part of Saul’s family by marriage, and as a military
leader. It was to be celebrated with burnt offerings and peace offerings. (Num. 10:10)
:5 the third day
This has to do with the nature of the feast they would be celebrating.
Peace offerings were the sacrifices where the family would offer part of the
sacrifice to God, and then the family would feast on the rest. There were rules
for the peace offering – you were supposed to eat all the meat in the first two
days. On the third day the feast was over, all leftovers
were to be burnt. (Lev.
the remainder of the flesh of the sacrifice on the third day
must be burned with fire. 18
In other words, David is going to hide out in the field for the two day
feast, and expect to hear back from Jonathan after the party has broken up, on
the evening of the third day.
:6 If your father
misses me at all, then say, ‘David earnestly asked permission of me that
he might run over to Bethlehem, his city, for there is a yearly
sacrifice there for all the family.’
This is actually a very plausible story.
For most people it would be a great excuse. But for a paranoid person, it would not
:7 If he says thus: ‘It is well,’ your servant will be safe. But if
he is very angry, be sure that evil is determined by him.
Saul’s anger would make it evident about where his heart was about David.
:8 Therefore you shall deal kindly with your servant, for you have brought
your servant into a covenant of the Lord
with you. Nevertheless, if there is iniquity in me, kill me yourself, for why
should you bring me to your father?”
Jonathan and David had promised to be friends forever. (1Sam. 18:1-4)
:9 But Jonathan said, “Far be it from you! For if I knew certainly that
evil was determined by my father to come upon you, then would I not tell you?”
Jonathan is not convinced that his father is out to kill David. And he’s wrong.
:10 Then David said to Jonathan, “Who will tell me, or what if your
father answers you roughly?”
David is worried that if Jonathan finds out there is trouble, that David
might not ever find out, or at least he might be in trouble if Saul starts to
:11 And Jonathan said to David, “Come, let us go out into the field.” So
both of them went out into the field.
:12 Then Jonathan said to David: “The Lord
God of Israel is witness! When I have sounded out my father sometime
tomorrow, or the third day, and indeed there is good
toward David, and I do not send to you and tell you,
:13 may the Lord do so and
much more to Jonathan.
Jonathan is swearing an oath that he will give David an answer.
The oath goes like this: If Jonathan
forgets to tell David that everything is okay, may the Lord do more to Jonathan
than what David was afraid of Saul doing to him.
But if it pleases my father to do you evil, then I will report it to
you and send you away, that you may go in safety. And the Lord be with you as He has been with my
:14 And you shall not only show me the kindness of the Lord while I still live, that I may not
:15 but you shall not cut off your kindness from my house forever, no, not
when the Lord has cut off every
one of the enemies of David from the face of the earth.”
:14 show me the
kindness of the Lord
Jonathan promises to tell David what he finds out about his father.
Jonathan also has this sense that David will one day be king, and he wants
David to look favorably on Jonathan and his descendants.
I find it amazing that Jonathan is only more than willing to hand over what
some could consider his “birthright”, and even support David in becoming king.
To Jonathan, God’s kingdom is more important than Jonathan’s kingdom.
:16 So Jonathan
made a covenant with the house of David, saying, “Let the Lord require it at the hand of
The idea is that should David or any of his descendants ever cause harm to
any of Jonathan’s descendants, then may the Lord cause the enemies of David to
:17 Now Jonathan again caused David to vow, because he loved him; for he
loved him as he loved his own soul.
:17 again caused
David to vow
This covenant will come into play later on when David does indeed become
king. David will send his servants out to search for any living relatives of
Jonathan’s. When he finds Mephibosheth, while another
king might have eliminated all others who might have a claim to the throne,
David welcomes him. (2Sam. 9:7)
:18 Then Jonathan
said to David, “Tomorrow is the New Moon; and you will be missed,
because your seat will be empty.
:19 And when you have stayed three days, go down quickly and come to
the place where you hid on the day of the deed; and remain by the stone Ezel.
:20 Then I will shoot three arrows to the side, as though I shot at a
:21 and there I will send a lad, saying, ‘Go, find the arrows.’ If I
expressly say to the lad, ‘Look, the arrows are on this side of you; get
them and come’—then, as the Lord
lives, there is safety for you and no harm.
:22 But if I say thus to the young man, ‘Look, the arrows are beyond
you’—go your way, for the Lord
has sent you away.
:23 And as for the matter which you and I have spoken of, indeed the Lord be between you and me
Just in case Jonathan is being followed when he returns and he can’t risk
exposing David to danger, there would be a special signal between the two of
:24 Then David hid in the field. And when the New Moon had come, the king
sat down to eat the feast.
:25 Now the king sat on his seat, as at other times, on a seat by the wall.
And Jonathan arose, and Abner sat by Saul’s side, but
David’s place was empty.
Abner is the commander of Saul’s army.
:26 Nevertheless Saul did not say anything that day, for he thought,
“Something has happened to him; he is unclean, surely he is
Being ritually “unclean” would be an acceptable excuse for missing a
:27 And it happened the next day, the second day of the month, that
David’s place was empty. And Saul said to Jonathan his son, “Why has the son of
Jesse not come to eat, either yesterday or today?”
:28 So Jonathan answered Saul, “David earnestly asked permission of
me to go to Bethlehem.
:29 And he said, ‘Please let me go, for our family has a sacrifice in the
city, and my brother has commanded me to be there. And now, if I have
found favor in your eyes, please let me get away and see my brothers.’
Therefore he has not come to the king’s table.”
:30 Then Saul’s anger was aroused against Jonathan, and he said to him,
“You son of a perverse, rebellious woman! Do I not know that you have
chosen the son of Jesse to your own shame and to the shame of your mother’s
:30 the shame of
your mother’s nakedness
Jonathan is the one in line to become the next king.
acts as if he thinks David ought to be the next king, he’s disgracing himself
as well as his father, the one who impregnated his mother. Some might even question whether Jonathan was
a legitimate son of Saul.
:31 For as long
as the son of Jesse lives on the earth, you shall not be established, nor your
kingdom. Now therefore, send and bring him to me, for he shall surely die.”
:32 And Jonathan answered Saul his father, and said to him, “Why should he
be killed? What has he done?”
:33 Then Saul cast a spear at him to kill him, by which Jonathan knew that
it was determined by his father to kill David.
:33 Saul cast a
spear at him
Things are getting pretty bad with Saul.
Now he’s even trying to kill his own son.
the peacemakers, For they shall be called sons of God.
If it is possible, as
much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men.
could be that Saul is really bad at throwing javelins. We don’t have any record
of him actually hitting anyone with one.
:34 So Jonathan
arose from the table in fierce anger, and ate no food the second day of the
month, for he was grieved for David, because his father had treated him
:35 And so it was, in the morning, that Jonathan went out into the field at
the time appointed with David, and a little lad was with him.
:36 Then he said to his lad, “Now run, find the arrows which I shoot.” As
the lad ran, he shot an arrow beyond him.
:37 When the lad had come to the place where the arrow was which Jonathan
had shot, Jonathan cried out after the lad and said, “Is not the arrow
Jonathan gives the signal indicating that things are bad, that Saul wants
:38 And Jonathan cried out after the lad, “Make haste, hurry, do not
delay!” So Jonathan’s lad gathered up the arrows and came back to his master.
:39 But the lad did not know anything. Only Jonathan and David knew of the
:40 Then Jonathan gave his weapons to his lad, and said to him, “Go, carry them
to the city.”
:41 As soon as the lad had gone, David arose from a place toward the
south, fell on his face to the ground, and bowed down three times. And they
kissed one another; and they wept together, but David more so.
David comes out of hiding because it’s obvious that Jonathan is alone.
These are not the actions of a person who is plotting to overthrow the
government. These are the actions of a humble young man who respects and honors
the Crown Prince Jonathan.
:42 Then Jonathan said to David, “Go in peace, since we have both sworn in
the name of the Lord, saying,
‘May the Lord be between you and
me, and between your descendants and my descendants, forever.’ ” So he arose
and departed, and Jonathan went into the city.
This won’t be the last time David will see Jonathan, but there will only be
one more brief time (1Sam.
:42 the Lord be between you and me
The value of friendships
There’s a picture here of what true friendship, true fellowship ought to be
bar is possibly the best counterfeit there is to the fellowship Christ wants to
give his church. The bar is an imitation dispensing liquor instead of grace, escape
rather than reality, but it is permissive, it is accepting and it is an
inclusive fellowship. It is unshockable. It is
You can tell people secrets and they usually don't tell others or even want
to. The bar flourishes not because most people are alcoholics, but because God
has put into the human heart, the desire to know and be known, to love and be
loved. And so many people seek a counterfeit at the price of a few beers.
trees of California tower as much as 300 feet above the ground. Strangely,
these giants have unusually shallow root systems that reach out in all directions to capture the
greatest amount of surface moisture. Seldom will you see a redwood standing alone because
high winds would quickly uproot it. That's why they grow in clusters. Their
intertwining roots provide support for one another against the storms.
How can I find these kinds of friendships?
Frankly, I don’t think it’s going to happen simply by sitting in church.
There comes a point where you need to step out. I think one of the ways it can
get started is when you get involved with other people. Get involved in a small
group. Get involved in serving. Go on a retreat. But don’t stop there. Learn to
go out to lunch. Learn to invite people over to the house. Learn to help. Learn
21:1-9 David visits Nob
:1 Now David came to Nob, to Ahimelech the
priest. And Ahimelech was afraid when he met David,
and said to him, “Why are you alone, and no one is with you?”
:1 Nob – “high place”
Play Nob map
David had been at Naioth in Ramah with
Samuel. Saul has his home in Gibeah. Nob
is about 3 miles from Gibeah where Saul is.
It is about 6 ˝ miles from Nob to Bethlehem.
:1 Ahimelech the priest
Ahimelech is the high priest. He is Eli’s great-grandson.
:2 So David
said to Ahimelech the priest, “The king has ordered
me on some business, and said to me, ‘Do not let anyone know anything about the
business on which I send you, or what I have commanded you.’ And I have
directed my young men to such and such a place.
:3 Now therefore, what have you on hand? Give me five loaves of
bread in my hand, or whatever can be found.”
:2 The king has
David is lying to Abimelech.
David’s lie is going to bring a lot of pain.
Abimelech is going to help David without
realizing that he is putting himself into jeopardy with Saul.
It’s one thing if Abimelech helps David knowing
that he might be getting into trouble, then the decision and responsibility is Abimelech’s. But
because of David’s lie, Abimelech doesn’t know what
he’s getting into.
Sometimes we tell little “lies” to people in order to get them to do what
we want them to do.
It’s better to be up front about it and have them say “no” to you than it
is to manipulate them and they find out that you lied to them.
Lying leads to trouble
The truth is, we all have a tendency to lie. It’s not hard to find yourself stretching the
truth every once in a while, especially if it doesn’t seem like it’s going to
hurt anyone. And especially if you think
it might help you out a little.
David’s lie will cause Ahimelech and 85 priests
to die (1Sam. 22:11-23)
:4 And the priest
answered David and said, “There is no common bread on hand; but there is
holy bread, if the young men have at least kept themselves from women.”
:4 there is holy
This is the showbread,
the “bread of the Presence”.
Every week, the
priests were to bake twelve large loaves of bread, each loaf weighing six
pounds for a total of 72 pounds of bread. On Saturday, the Sabbath, a priest was to take the
loaves into the Tabernacle and place them on the golden table along with
frankincense. The old bread was then taken out …
(Le 24:9 NKJV) And it
shall be for Aaron and his sons, and they shall eat it in a holy place; for it is
most holy to him from the offerings of the Lord
made by fire, by a perpetual statute.”
The bread was for the priests to eat.
But David is hungry, so he and his men will eat anything. Have you heard of those new coffee makers
:5 Then David
answered the priest, and said to him, “Truly, women have been kept from
us about three days since I came out. And the vessels of the young men are
holy, and the bread is in effect common, even though it was consecrated
in the vessel this day.”
:5 the bread is
in effect common
David is reasoning a little with the priest here about the matter of the
bread being special.
probably happening on Saturday, the Sabbath day, the day that the bread is changed in the
Tabernacle. Because the bread had earlier been inside the Tabernacle, there was
a sense in which it was “consecrated this day”.
Yet David isn’t asking the priest to take away the bread that is now in the
Tabernacle, he’s only
asking for the bread that has just come from the Tabernacle, bread that is now
available for human consumption (though supposed to be for priests). In this
way it is “in a manner common”.
:6 So the priest
gave him holy bread; for there was no bread there but the showbread
which had been taken from before the Lord,
in order to put hot bread in its place on the day when it was taken
:6 the priest gave
him holy bread
Keep in mind that this event is taking place most likely on a Sabbath Day.
Jesus used this story of David and the showbread to teach a truth regarding
the Sabbath. Turn to …
(Mt 12:1–8 NKJV) —1 At that
time Jesus went through the grainfields on the
Sabbath. And His disciples were hungry, and began to pluck heads of grain and
to eat. 2 And when
the Pharisees saw it, they said to Him, “Look, Your disciples are doing
what is not lawful to do on the Sabbath!” 3 But He said to them, “Have you not
read what David did when he was hungry, he and those who were with him: 4 how he
entered the house of God and ate the showbread which was not lawful for him to
eat, nor for those who were with him, but only for the priests? 5 Or have
you not read in the law that on the Sabbath the priests in the temple profane
the Sabbath, and are blameless? 6 Yet I say to you that in this place there is One greater
than the temple. 7 But if you had known what this
means, ‘I desire mercy and not sacrifice,’
you would not have condemned the guiltless. 8 For the Son of Man is Lord even of
Jesus used this story of
David’s to show that God was concerned about people, “I desire compassion, and
not a sacrifice”.
The Jews had taken the
Law and made their traditions so detailed and intricate that they made life
strict and harsh.
They would have rather
let David and his men starve than break their interpretation of the Law.
Mercy or sacrifice?
What is our motivation for living? Do we do things out of love for the Lord
and love for others, or are we motivated by the “I have to” things, the
mindset of having to “sacrifice” all the time?
Be careful here – sometimes we can stop doing the right things and use
“legalism” as our excuse to stop.
For example – some people start off reading their Bible every day, and end
up doing it out of a sense of legalism.
They begin to think that they will be in sin if they stop, or they
believe they are better than others because they read every day.
But you don’t stop reading your Bible if you are doing it out of
legalism. Learn to change your attitude,
not your behavior.
Learn to read every day because it’s a great thing,
because you love the Lord, because you can hardly wait to spend time with him.
Do you stop
telling your wife that you love her every day because you are afraid of
becoming legalistic? What would your
wife think if you stopped telling her you love her?
Change the motives, not the actions.
:7 Now a certain man
of the servants of Saul was there that day, detained before the Lord. And his name was Doeg, an Edomite, the chief of
the herdsmen who belonged to Saul.
:7 Doeg, an Edomite – “fearing”
When David is talking to Ahimelech, Doeg is around to hear it all.
David will write a Psalm about this occasion and what happens as a result
Extra credit: Read Psalm 52.
To the Chief
Musician. A Contemplation of David Told Saul, and Said to Him, “David Has Gone
to the House of Ahimelech.” 14God shall likewise
destroy you forever; He shall take you away, and pluck you out of your
dwelling place, And uproot you from the land of the living. SelahThe righteous also
shall see and fear, And shall laugh at him, saying, 7But I am like
a green olive tree in the house of God; I trust in the mercy of God forever and
ever. 9I will praise You
forever, Because You have done it; And in the presence of Your saints I
will wait on Your name, for it is good.
:8 And David
said to Ahimelech, “Is there not here on hand a spear
or a sword? For I have brought neither my sword nor my weapons with me, because
the king’s business required haste.”
At this point if I were Ahimelech, I’d be
wondering, “Geez, this kid doesn’t think of packing a lunch and didn’t even
bring his weapons with him!”
:9 So the priest said, “The sword of Goliath the Philistine, whom you
killed in the Valley of Elah, there it is, wrapped in
a cloth behind the ephod. If you will take that, take it. For there
is no other except that one here.” And David said, “There is none
like it; give it to me.”
It is interesting that David is now going to be wielding a Philistine
Goliath is from what city? Gath.
:10 Then David arose and fled that day from before Saul, and went to Achish the king of Gath.
Play Nob to
Gath map video
Gath is 25 miles west of Nob. Gath
is one of the five main Philistine cities.
They were famous for growing tall men (Goliath).
:10 went to Achish the king of Gath
Chasing David away
Why Gath of all places?
David was the one who killed their champion. You would think that would be
the last place David would go.
Sometimes life is hardest among people we should be at home with. Sometimes
we can be more comfortable with the wrong people.
Sometimes it’s easier to get along with non-Christians than it is with
Christians. It shouldn’t be so. We ought
to be careful we aren’t chasing any David’s into Philistine cities.
:11 And the servants
of Achish said to him, “Is this not David the
king of the land? Did they not sing of him to one another in dances, saying:
‘Saul has slain his thousands, And David his ten thousands’?”
That victory tune had been on the Philistine hit-charts as well. Poor Saul.
Even the Philistines see David as being greater than Saul.
It’s interesting that the Philistines think of David as the king.
:12 Now David took these words to heart, and was very much afraid of Achish the king of Gath.
David is beginning to wonder if he’s made the right choice, running to
:13 So he changed his behavior before them, pretended madness in their
hands, scratched on the doors of the gate, and let his saliva fall down on his
:14 Then Achish said to his servants, “Look, you
see the man is insane. Why have you brought him to me?
:15 Have I need of madmen, that you have brought this fellow to play
the madman in my presence? Shall this fellow come into my house?”
:15 Have I need of
The Jews have a tradition that the wife and daughter of Achish were “mad”.
While David was acting like a madman out in the streets, Achish
was living with it at home.
Though Achish will drive David out of town this
time, David will be back. David will continue to run from Saul, and one day he
ends up running back to Gath and asks Achish for help
(1Sam. 27) because he
doesn’t know of anywhere else to go. Achish will
receive David warmly and a sort of strange friendship will form.
But for now, David was …
:12 very much
Trust cures fear
I have heard it suggested that David is operating out of the “fear of man”.
He is running from Saul out of fear. Now he is afraid of Achish.
And the Bible does say,
(Pr 29:25 NKJV) The fear of man brings a snare,
But whoever trusts in the Lord
shall be safe.
But David gives us a clue as to what is going on in his heart in his songs.
David is learning what to do with fear.
David wrote several Psalms around this same period:
NKJV) — To the
Chief Musician. Set to “The Silent Dove in Distant Lands.” a Michtam of David When the Philistines Captured Him in Gath.
1 Be merciful to me, O
God, for man would swallow me up; Fighting all day he oppresses me. 2 My enemies would
hound me all day, For there are many who fight against me, O Most
High. 3 Whenever I am
afraid, I will trust in You. 4 In God (I will praise His word), In God I have put my trust; I will
not fear. What can flesh do to me?
They gather together, They hide, they mark my steps, When
they lie in wait for my life. 7You number my wanderings; Put my tears into Your bottle; Are
they not in Your book? 9Vows made to You are binding upon me, O God; I
will render praises to You, 13
Even though David was afraid at times, he handled his fear
by trusting in the Lord. He kept putting himself into God’s hands.
Another Psalm – Achish is referred to as “Abimelech” (“my father is king”, a common title for
NKJV) — A Psalm of
David When He Pretended Madness Before Abimelech, Who
Drove Him Away, and He Departed. 1 I will bless the Lord at all times; His praise shall continually be
in my mouth. 2 My soul shall
make its boast in the Lord; The
humble shall hear of it and be glad. 3 Oh, magnify the Lord with me, And let us exalt His name together. 4 I sought the Lord, and He heard me, And delivered me from all
This poor man cried out, and the Lord heard him, And saved him out of all his troubles.
7Oh, fear the Lord,
you His saints! There is no want to those who fear Him. 10The young lions lack and suffer hunger; But those who seek
the Lord shall not lack any good thing.
11Keep your tongue from evil, And your lips from speaking
deceit. 14The face of the Lord
is against those who do evil, To cut off the remembrance of them from
the earth. 17 cry out, and the Lord
hears, And delivers them out of all their troubles. 18The Lord is
near to those who have a broken heart, And saves such as have a contrite
spirit. 19Evil shall slay the wicked, And those who hate the righteous
shall be condemned. 22
I understand how folks criticize David for living with the
Philistines for a time while he was running from Saul.
But I’d hate to say he was in sin. He was trusting the Lord.
Are you afraid of something right now? Anxious over something?
Trusting God is the answer to our fears.