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.
We’ve seen God
begin to use David in a big way to help the nation starting with his victory
In a sense, David has developed a “ministry” – protecting the nation
against the Philistines.
With each of
David’s victories, Saul grew in jealousy of David. He has made attempts on David’s life by
throwing javelins at him. Even when
Jonathan tried to intercede for David, Saul responded by throwing a javelin at
David is now a man on the run. First
he flees to the Philistine city of Gath – bad idea …
22:1-5 Cave of
:1 David therefore departed from there and escaped to the cave of Adullam.
So when his brothers and all his father’s house heard it, they went down
there to him.
:1 cave of Adullam
– ‘Adullam – “justice of the
About ten miles
east of Gath. About 13 miles southwest
:1 his brothers
David’s brothers had been in Saul’s army, but now they desert the army and
join up with their little brother. It
could be that they sense that their own lives are at risk now. The whole family
senses that they are at risk.
:1 escaped to the
David wrote a couple of songs when he was hiding in caves. There were several times in David’s life when
this might have been written, but perhaps this was the occasion.
142:1-2 NKJV) — A Contemplation Of David. A Prayer When He Was in the Cave. 1 I cry out
to the Lord with my voice; With
my voice to the Lord I make my
I pour out my complaint before Him; I declare before Him my
:2 And everyone
who was in distress, everyone who was in debt, and everyone who
was discontented gathered to him. So he became captain over them. And there
were about four hundred men with him.
:2 distress … debt
Sounds like a group of losers.
These are the fellows who will one day be known as David’s “Mighty Men”.
Robin Hood had
his “Merry Men”, David had his “Mighty Men”.
David’s men would become famous for their great battles.
They didn’t start off as “mighty”.
They started off in trouble.
It seems that when God wants to do a great work, He often starts with
people that are not that special.
Gideon – Gideon
wasn’t the most famous man in Israel.
When he gathered an army, God had him send most of them home – they had
When Peter and
John gave their defense before the mighty Sanhedrin after being arrested:
(Ac 4:13 NKJV) Now when
they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were uneducated and untrained
men, they marveled. And they realized that they had been with Jesus.
Erwin’s “Foolish Things” clip.
Do you often
wonder if God could ever use you?
God can use anyone, as long as we’re in a place to realize that we must be
dependent upon Him.
:3 Then David went
from there to Mizpah of Moab; and he said to the king of Moab, “Please let my
father and mother come here with you, till I know what God will do for me.”
:3 Mizpah of Moab
Why does David take his parents to the pagan Moabites?
were enemies of Saul. (1Sa
So Saul established his sovereignty over Israel, and fought
against all his enemies on every side, against Moab, against the people of
Ammon, against Edom, against the kings of Zobah, and against the Philistines.
Wherever he turned, he harassed them.
The enemy of my enemy is my friend.
Jesse, is the grandson of a Moabite, Ruth. (Rut 4:17)
David takes his family to the country of his great
Take care of your family
David is taking responsibility for his family. He’s taking care of his parents.
(1 Ti 5:8 NKJV) But if
anyone does not provide for his own, and especially for those of his household,
he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.
:4 So he brought them
before the king of Moab, and they dwelt with him all the time that David was in
:5 Now the prophet Gad said to David, “Do not stay in the stronghold;
depart, and go to the land of Judah.” So David departed and went into the
forest of Hereth.
:4 the stronghold
– matsuwd – stronghold.
Play Masada map
A related word is “Masada”, where Herod would one day build a summer
palace, and where the Jews would make a last ditch effort to hold off the
Romans in AD 73, until finally all committing suicide. Some have suggested that David may have been
hiding out here for a while.
:5 the prophet Gad
Through his emails, he was known as “eGad”
:5 forest of Hereth
See map. David went from Gath to Adullam, then to Moab, then to Masada, then back to Hereth.
22:6-23 Saul kills
:6 When Saul heard that David and the men who were with him had been
discovered—now Saul was staying in Gibeah under a tamarisk tree in Ramah, with
his spear in his hand, and all his servants standing about him—
:7 then Saul said to his servants who stood about him, “Hear now, you
Benjamites! Will the son of Jesse give every one of you fields and vineyards, and
make you all captains of thousands and captains of hundreds?
:6 with his spear
in his hand
I guess he kept his spear in his hand in case he wanted to throw it at
someone. But as we’ve seen, Saul doesn’t
seem to have been too good at throwing spears, since every time he throws one,
:6 Hear now, you
Saul is from the tribe of Benjamin.
David is from Judah. If David
were king, he wouldn’t be so nice to the Benjamites.
:8 All of you have
conspired against me, and there is no one who reveals to me that my son
has made a covenant with the son of Jesse; and there is not one of you
who is sorry for me or reveals to me that my son has stirred up my servant
against me, to lie in wait, as it is this day.”
:8 not one of you
who is sorry for me
One of Saul’s greatest problems is that his focus is solely upon
himself. Look how many times the word
“me” or “my” is used in this one sentence.
The Bible says we ought to be more concerned about others than our own
2:3–4 NKJV) —3 Let nothing be
done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each
esteem others better than himself. 4 Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also
for the interests of others.
When you hear yourself talking about how much “you” have been hurt or
deprived, it’s possible that you’re heading down the wrong path.
Our focus ought to be more on others than ourselves.
5who, being in the
form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, 7Therefore God also
has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name,
:9 Then answered
Doeg the Edomite, who was set over the servants of Saul, and said, “I saw the
son of Jesse going to Nob, to Ahimelech the son of Ahitub.
:10 And he inquired of the Lord
for him, gave him provisions, and gave him the sword of Goliath the
:9 Doeg the Edomite
We saw him briefly when David first ran to Nob to get bread from the priest
Ahimelech (1Sam. 21). This was when David had lied to the priest in
order to get bread and a sword. We’re
now going to see the consequences of David’s lie.
Extra credit: Read Psalm
52 – David’s commentary about Doeg…
Why do you boast in
evil, O mighty man? The goodness of God endures continually. 2You love evil more
than good, Lying rather than speaking righteousness. Selah
:11 So the king
sent to call Ahimelech the priest, the son of Ahitub, and all his father’s
house, the priests who were in Nob. And they all came to the king.
:12 And Saul said, “Hear now, son of Ahitub!” He answered, “Here I am, my
:13 Then Saul said to him, “Why have you conspired against me, you and the
son of Jesse, in that you have given him bread and a sword, and have inquired
of God for him, that he should rise against me, to lie in wait, as it is this
:14 So Ahimelech answered the king and said, “And who among all your
servants is as faithful as David, who is the king’s son-in-law, who goes
at your bidding, and is honorable in your house?
Ahimelech is blown away with Saul’s accusations. Everyone knows how loyal David is.
:15 Did I then begin to inquire of God for him? Far be it from me! Let not
the king impute anything to his servant, or to any in the house of my
father. For your servant knew nothing of all this, little or much.”
This wasn’t the first time that the priest had inquired of God for
David. David was a man who wanted to
know God’s will.
:15 your servant
knew nothing of all this
Here’s where David’s responsibility lay.
Be up front.
I’m sure that David reasoned, “What Ahimelech doesn’t know can’t hurt him”.
And perhaps even if David had been honest with Ahimelech, Ahimelech might
have still helped David. But at least he would have had the responsibility of
deciding himself to betray King Saul.
The problem is that David didn’t give Ahimelech the chance to make up his
own mind. In a sense, David made the
decision for Ahimelech by not being honest with him.
:16 And the king
said, “You shall surely die, Ahimelech, you and all your father’s house!”
:17 Then the king said to the guards who stood about him, “Turn and kill
the priests of the Lord, because
their hand also is with David, and because they knew when he fled and
did not tell it to me.” But the servants of the king would not lift their hands
to strike the priests of the Lord.
Saul’s servants want nothing to do with killing priests.
Note from Warren Wiersbe – Saul
struggled to kill the Amalekites, but he doesn’t seem to have a problem
ordering the death of God’s priests.
:18 And the king said to Doeg, “You turn and kill the priests!” So Doeg the
Edomite turned and struck the priests, and killed on that day eighty-five men
who wore a linen ephod.
:19 Also Nob, the city of the priests, he struck with the edge of the
sword, both men and women, children and nursing infants, oxen and donkeys and
sheep—with the edge of the sword.
Not only were eighty-five priests killed, but when Doeg arrived at Nob, he
killed the families of the priests as well.
It may be that this was designed to strike fear in the nation to not
conspire against Saul, but I have this feeling that instead the nation will
become disgusted at Saul in having the priests killed.
:20 Now one of the sons of Ahimelech the son of Ahitub, named Abiathar,
escaped and fled after David.
Abiathar apparently escapes with the garments of the high priest (1Sam. 23:6,9).
:21 And Abiathar told David that Saul had killed the Lord’s priests.
:22 So David said to Abiathar, “I knew that day, when Doeg the Edomite was
there, that he would surely tell Saul. I have caused the death of all
the persons of your father’s house.
:23 Stay with me; do not fear. For he who seeks my life seeks your life,
but with me you shall be safe.”
David recognizes that he had a hand in causing the death of the priests
with his lie.
23:1-13 David saves
:1 Then they told David, saying, “Look, the Philistines are fighting
against Keilah, and they are robbing the threshing floors.”
Keilah is in the same vicinity as the Forest of Hereth and Adullam.
:1 they told David
This is the kind of thing that David used to take care of when he was
employed by Saul. David had been looked
at as a man who could take on the Philistines.
Even though David is “on the outs” with Saul, people are coming to him,
looking for help.
:2 Therefore David
inquired of the Lord,
saying, “Shall I go and attack these Philistines?” And the Lord said to David, “Go and attack the
Philistines, and save Keilah.”
:2 David inquired
of the Lord
It might seem that this was a “no-brainer”.
After all, David was the man to handle the Philistines.
But David asks God for direction. He
doesn’t assume anything.
It’s also a little more than dangerous.
:3 But David’s
men said to him, “Look, we are afraid here in Judah. How much more then if we
go to Keilah against the armies of the Philistines?”
:3 David’s men said
David’s men have a good point. Even their friends are chasing them. Do they need to get their enemies mad too?
Listen to counsel.
It is a wise thing to listen to the counsel of your friends.
(Pr 12:15 NKJV) The way of
a fool is right in his own eyes, But he who heeds counsel is
(Pr 24:6 NKJV) For by
wise counsel you will wage your own war, And in a multitude of counselors there
You might think, “He’s already asked God, why should he listen to his
Sometimes friends have a good bit of advice. Sometimes we’ve only talked ourselves into
thinking that we’ve heard from God.
We need to listen and weigh out the things others say.
:4 Then David inquired
of the Lord once again. And the Lord answered him and said, “Arise, go
down to Keilah. For I will deliver the Philistines into your hand.”
:3 David inquired
of the Lord once again
Obey God rather than men
In the end, David is faced with listening to the counsel of his friends
(who mean well), or doing what God has specifically said.
David chooses God.
When Peter and
John were arrested for having healed a lame man and preaching about Jesus (Acts 4-5), they were told by the
Jewish leaders to stop talking about Jesus.
NKJV) But Peter
and the other apostles answered and said: “We ought to obey God rather
David is known as the “man after God’s own heart” because he pretty
consistently chooses to obey God rather than man.
:5 And David and his
men went to Keilah and fought with the Philistines, struck them with a mighty
blow, and took away their livestock. So David saved the inhabitants of Keilah.
:5 David …fought
with the Philistines
Be careful about stopping your
In a way, David’s “ministry” was to fight the enemies of Israel, like the
David could have responded to this cry for help by saying, “Hey, I have
enough problems on my hands, I don’t have time to do my “Philistine Ministry”.
But he didn’t.
a time of difficulty in his ministry and he thought he would quit. God responded:
NLT) “If racing
against mere men makes you tired, how will you race against horses? If you
stumble and fall on open ground, what will you do in the thickets near the
It’s almost as if God is telling Jeremiah, “You think you
have it bad now, you aren’t even close to the difficulty I’m hoping you’ll take
Sometimes we quit too easily.
The enemy sees it and continues to throw the “little
stuff” at you because it works.
God is allowing the little stuff to train you for facing
the big stuff.
There is a time to take a break, but be careful that God is the one that’s
leading you, and not just because you’re discouraged.
:6 Now it happened,
when Abiathar the son of Ahimelech fled to David at Keilah, that he went
down with an ephod in his hand.
:6 ephod – a priestly robe that seems to have some kind of
connection with asking God for advice.
:7 And Saul was told that David had gone to Keilah. So Saul said, “God has
delivered him into my hand, for he has shut himself in by entering a town that
has gates and bars.”
Saul thinks that David has made a mistake by hiding in a city that only has
a few ways in and out.
:8 Then Saul called all the people together for war, to go down to Keilah
to besiege David and his men.
:9 When David knew that Saul plotted evil against him, he said to Abiathar
the priest, “Bring the ephod here.”
:10 Then David said, “O Lord
God of Israel, Your servant has certainly heard that Saul seeks to come to
Keilah to destroy the city for my sake.
:11 Will the men of Keilah deliver me into his hand? Will Saul come down,
as Your servant has heard? O Lord
God of Israel, I pray, tell Your servant.” And the Lord said, “He will come down.”
:12 Then David said, “Will the men of Keilah deliver me and my men into the
hand of Saul?” And the Lord said,
“They will deliver you.”
:12 They will
If I were David, I might think, “I’ve just rescued these people from the
Philistines. Surely they will stand with
me against Saul!”
God knows they won’t.
God knows that the men of Keilah, rather than showing gratitude to David
for rescuing them, will turn and betray David.
The fickle human heart
These people owe David their lives.
When they called for help with the Philistines, David was the one to
And now they’re eager to sell David out to Saul.
Don’t be surprised when people turn on you.
:13 So David
and his men, about six hundred, arose and departed from Keilah and went
wherever they could go. Then it was told Saul that David had escaped from
Keilah; so he halted the expedition.
23:14-29 Rock of
:14 And David stayed in strongholds in the wilderness, and remained in the
mountains in the Wilderness of Ziph. Saul sought him every day, but God did not
deliver him into his hand.
:14 strong holds – [email protected] –
fort, stronghold. Again, perhaps Masada.
Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil
walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.
:15 So David saw that Saul had come out to seek his life. And David was
in the Wilderness of Ziph in a forest.
:15 Ziph – Ziyph –
Warren Wiersbe writes, “This period of persecution in David’s life was a
part of the preparation for the throne. He was already a great soldier; now he
needed to suffer in the wilderness to learn not to trust men but to
trust the Lord. All of us need “wilderness testings” to bring us closer to the Lord
and to make us better equipped to serve Him.”
:16 Then Jonathan, Saul’s son, arose and went to David in the woods and
strengthened his hand in God.
:17 And he said to him, “Do not fear, for the hand of Saul my father shall
not find you. You shall be king over Israel, and I shall be next to you. Even
my father Saul knows that.”
:18 So the two of them made a covenant before the Lord. And David stayed in the woods, and Jonathan went to his
his hand in God
Even though Saul isn’t able to find David, somehow Jonathan is able to find
David. Perhaps David sent messengers to
Strengthen your friends in God
It’s good to encourage others. It’s
good to remind them of their strengths.
It’s good to encourage people to just keep going.
But most important of all, is that we encourage them to be strong in the Lord.
Jesus said that we couldn’t do anything without Him,
NKJV) “I am the
vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears
much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.
Paul said that with Christ, he could do anything,
(Php 4:13 NKJV) I can do all things through Christ
who strengthens me.
Don’t just be a cheerleader. Be a
person who encourages others to find courage in the Lord.
How can I do this?
Share Scripture. As you come across verses in your daily
reading that might be a blessing, be sure to share them with your friend.
Pray with your
friends. Grab their hands and talk to
“Pray for Your Neighbor”
:19 Then the Ziphites
came up to Saul at Gibeah, saying, “Is David not hiding with us in strongholds
in the woods, in the hill of Hachilah, which is on the south of
:19 the Ziphites
came up to Saul
David wrote a song when the Ziphites told Saul about him.
Credit: Read Psalm 54
Hear my prayer, O God; Give ear to the words of my mouth. 3For strangers have risen up against me, And oppressors have
sought after my life; They have not set God before them. Selah
:19 hill of Hachilah
This is in an area out in the middle of nowhere, in the “wilderness” of the
tribe of Judah. David is in the middle
of nowhere, and they still know where he is.
:20 Now therefore,
O king, come down according to all the desire of your soul to come down; and
our part shall be to deliver him into the king’s hand.”
:21 And Saul said, “Blessed are you of the Lord, for you have compassion on me.
Caution: Just because someone uses
religious language (“Blessed are you of the LORD”) doesn’t mean that they are a
:22 Please go and find out for sure, and see the place where his hideout
is, and who has seen him there. For I am told he is very crafty.
Saul doesn’t want David to get away again.
He wants the Ziphites to keep an eye on David.
:23 See therefore, and take knowledge of all the lurking places where he
hides; and come back to me with certainty, and I will go with you. And it shall
be, if he is in the land, that I will search for him throughout all the clans
:24 So they arose and went to Ziph before Saul. But David and his men were
in the Wilderness of Maon, in the plain on the south of Jeshimon.
– Ma‘own – “habitation”
David will stay here for a little while, will leave, and eventually return
to this area. Apparently while he is here, he is kind to
a group of shepherds belonging to a man named Nabal. This will come into play when we get to 1Samuel 25.
Maon is a city on the edge of the desert.
David is still in the desert.
:25 When Saul
and his men went to seek him, they told David. Therefore he went down to
the rock, and stayed in the Wilderness of Maon. And when Saul heard that,
he pursued David in the Wilderness of Maon.
:26 Then Saul went on one side of the mountain, and David and his men on
the other side of the mountain. So David made haste to get away from Saul, for
Saul and his men were encircling David and his men to take them.
It looks as if David is surrounded.
Saul has men completely surrounding David and his men. All looks hopeless.
:27 But a messenger came to Saul, saying, “Hurry and come, for the
Philistines have invaded the land!”
:28 Therefore Saul returned from pursuing David, and went against the
Philistines; so they called that place the Rock of Escape.
:29 Then David went up from there and dwelt in strongholds at En Gedi.
:29 En Gedi
– Eyn Gediy – “spring of the young
Play En Gedi map
En Gedi is an oasis of sorts on the edge of the Dead Sea. There is a spring up in the hills that runs
down the canyon into the Dead Sea.
The area is inhabited by wild goats that roam the hills. We’ll talk more about En Gedi next week.
:28 the Rock of
What an amazing coincidence. Saul
gets an important phone call and has to stop the chase, and it allows David to
make his escape.
Use the exit
This is a great illustration about how God can bring about deliverance.
The Bible says,
10:13 NKJV) No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man;
but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what
you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that
you may be able to bear it.
God will never allow us to be tested or tempted beyond what
we can handle.
He will always provide a way of escape.
Sometimes the escape will be to stand and fight the
Sometimes it will be to run away. It could even be through death.
But it’s up to us to take the exit.
David was about to be captured when Saul is suddenly
What does David do?
Does he settle down and make himself comfortable until Saul comes back
and takes up the chase?
No, he runs to a new hiding place.
When we are faced with a test or a temptation, God will
ALWAYS provide a way out. But it’s up to
us to take the way out. If you are faced with a temptation, and something comes
along that gives you a small break, take advantage of it.
Trunk Monkey Alien.
I have to tell you that God may not use a “Trunk Monkey”
to rescue you from aliens, but He will provide an escape.
There is no trunk monkey … but …
may be that you’re sitting at home alone when the most tempting thought
enters into your mind. You begin to
dwell on it. You wonder, “It wouldn’t
hurt if I just looked at the carton of ice-cream, would it?” And then out of the blue, the phone rings and
for a brief moment, the ice-cream’s power over you is broken. What do you do when you hang up? Don’t say to yourself, “Let’s see now, where
was I?” Take advantage of the exit.
It may be that you will simply remember a Scripture, and
that is your moment.
It might simply be the thought that you ought to just say
Take the exit.