David Spares Saul s Life (twice) 1 Samuel 23:14-24:22; 26

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1 Lesson 081 David Spares Saul s Life (twice) 1 Samuel 23:14-24:22; 26

2 MEMORY VERSE 1 S AMUEL 26:23 The LORD deliv ered you into m y hand today, but I w ould not stretch out m y hand against the LORD S anointed. WHAT YOU WILL NEED: Five small toys or balls. Raisins, Cheerios, marshmallows, apples (pre-cut into small triangles) and toothpicks. Blue, brown and black construction paper, glue, crayons or chalk. ATTENTION GRABBER! Wait on the Lord Game When David was in the wilderness he had to learn how to wait upon the Lord. Sometimes waiting is not easy. Use this game to illustrate waiting and how it is sometimes tough. Divide the class into two even groups. Have one group on one side of the room and the second group on the other side of the room. Have each child count off from 1-10 (or up to the number of children in each group). You can give the younger children a small piece of paper with their number to help them remember. Lay out five small toys or balls in the center of the room. Pick two numbers and call them out. The children with those numbers will run, try to get as many toys as possible, and run back to their line.

3 Now, place the toys back in the center of the room. The second time that you call out numbers, call the same exact numbers. Do this again 3 or 4 times. By this time, the other children will be wondering when they will get called. After you have done this a while, stop the game and talk to the children. Ask them what was happening (the same children were being called). How did that make them feel? (Left out, etc.). How do you think David felt when he had to wait 10 years to be king? Say: Sometimes it is not easy to wait for the Lord s timing; It helps to know He always has our best in mind. That s what we will learn in our story today. Have the children line up and resume play. This time begin to call on the rest of the children and declare a winning team. You can award all of the children for being good sports by giving them a small prize (pencil, eraser, etc.). LESSON TIME! In today s lesson, David is running from the wrath of King Saul. So fierce was Saul s jealousy that he had tried to kill David. In the midst of his difficult situation, David will find an opportunity to get back at Saul. Will David seize this opportunity? Saul certainly had caused him problems. 1 S AM U EL 23:14-18 An d D av i d s t ay e d i n s t r o n gh o l d s i n t h e w i l d e r n e s s, an d r e m ai n e d i n t h e m o u n t ai n s i n t h e Wi l d e r n e s s o f Z i p h. S au l s o u gh t h i m e v e r y d ay, bu t G o d d i d n o t d e l i v e r h i m i n t o h i s h an d. S o D av i d s aw t h at S au l h ad c o m e o u t t o s e e k h i s l i f e. An d D av i d w as i n t h e Wi l d e r n e s s o f Z i p h i n a f o r e s t. T h e n J o n at h an, S au l ' s s o n, ar o s e an d w e n t t o D av i d i n t h e w o o d s an d s t r e n gt h e n e d h i s h an d i n G o d.

4 An d h e s ai d t o h i m, " D o n o t f e ar, f o r t h e h an d o f S au l m y f at h e r s h al l n o t f i n d y o u. Y o u s h al l be k i n g o v e r I s r ae l, an d I s h al l be n e x t t o y o u. Ev e n m y f at h e r S au l k n o w s t h at. " S o t h e t w o o f t h e m m ad e a c o v e n an t be f o r e t h e L O R D. An d D av i d s t ay e d i n t h e w o o d s, an d J o n at h an w e n t t o h i s o w n h o u s e. David and his small army of about six hundred men had been fighting for Israel while hiding from Saul in the town of Keilah. They had beaten the Philistines and saved the city, but the people of Keilah repaid David s kindness by betraying him to Saul. So David had to withdraw his six hundred men, the ones who remained faithful, and flee to the desert of Ziph. He was there briefly, joined by Jonathan who encouraged him and reaffirmed him of his calling and anointing to the kingship of Israel. How faithful God is to encourage us when we need it; Jonathan the rightful heir to the throne, encourages David, who is running for his life, that he will in fact one day be king. God is faithful to encourage us when we get sad and discouraged. Perhaps, He will use His Word, our parents, or Christian friends. No doubt, David needed that encouragement. How sad it would be to be betrayed by a people you tried to help. Anger or desire for revenge could have filled David s heart. But, instead he is learning the valuable lessons of patience and faith that can only come through such difficult experiences. We should wait on the Lord not take matters into our own hands. 1 S AM U EL 23:19-29 T h e n t h e Z i p h i t e s c am e u p t o S au l at G i be ah, s ay i n g, " I s D av i d n o t h i d i n g w i t h u s i n s t r o n gh o l d s i n t h e w o o d s, i n t h e h i l l o f H ac h i l ah, w h i c h i s o n t h e s o u t h o f J e s h i m o n?

5 " N o w t h e r e f o r e, O k i n g, c o m e d o w n ac c o r d i n g t o al l t h e d e s i r e o f y o u r s o u l t o c o m e d o w n ; an d o u r p ar t s h al l be t o d e l i v e r h i m i n t o t h e k i n g' s h an d. " An d S au l s ai d, " B l e s s e d ar e y o u o f t h e L O R D, f o r y o u h av e c o m p as s i o n o n m e. " Pl e as e go an d f i n d o u t f o r s u r e, an d s e e t h e p l ac e w h e r e h i s h i d e o u t i s, an d w h o h as s e e n h i m t h e r e. F o r I am t o l d h e i s v e r y c r af t y. " S e e t h e r e f o r e, an d t ak e k n o w l e d ge o f al l t h e l u r k i n g p l ac e s w h e r e h e h i d e s ; an d c o m e bac k t o m e w i t h c e r t ai n t y, an d I w i l l go w i t h y o u. An d i t s h al l be, i f h e i s i n t h e l an d, t h at I w i l l s e ar c h f o r h i m t h r o u gh o u t al l t h e c l an s o f J u d ah. " S o t h e y ar o s e an d w e n t t o Z i p h be f o r e S au l. B u t D av i d an d h i s m e n w e r e i n t h e Wi l d e r n e s s o f M ao n, i n t h e p l ai n o n t h e s o u t h o f J e s h i m o n. Wh e n S au l an d h i s m e n w e n t t o s e e k h i m, t h e y t o l d D av i d. T h e r e f o r e h e w e n t d o w n t o t h e r o c k, an d s t ay e d i n t h e Wi l d e r n e s s o f M ao n. An d w h e n S au l h e ar d t h at, h e p u r s u e d D av i d i n t h e Wi l d e r n e s s o f M ao n. T h e n S au l w e n t o n o n e s i d e o f t h e m o u n t ai n, an d D av i d an d h i s m e n o n t h e o t h e r s i d e o f t h e m o u n t ai n. S o D av i d m ad e h as t e t o ge t aw ay f r o m S au l, f o r S au l an d h i s m e n w e r e e n c i r c l i n g D av i d an d h i s m e n t o t ak e t h e m. B u t a m e s s e n ge r c am e t o S au l, s ay i n g, " H as t e n an d c o m e, f o r t h e Ph i l i s t i n e s h av e i n v ad e d t h e l an d!"

6 T h e r e f o r e S au l r e t u r n e d f r o m p u r s u i n g D av i d, an d w e n t agai n s t t h e Ph i l i s t i n e s ; s o t h e y c al l e d t h at p l ac e t h e R o c k o f Es c ap e. T h e n D av i d w e n t u p f r o m t h e r e an d d w e l t i n s t r o n gh o l d s at En G e d i. The Ziphites went up to Gibeah to betray David to Saul by telling Saul that David was hiding in the woods up on their mountains. And for this treachery, King Saul blessed them. In Saul s evil conscience, he thought David wanted to murder him and thanked God that the Ziphites had compassion upon him. Saul was worried that David would escape so he told them to watch him carefully. However, David, aware of what was happening, escaped to the Desert of Maon. Saul pursued and found David on a mountain in the Wilderness of Maon and encircled him and his men. Saul had a few thousand men and David just a few hundred! It looked like Saul would finally kill David. But God in His faithfulness protected David. Just when it looked the scariest for David, a messenger brought an urgent message to Saul. While Saul was busy chasing after David, the Philistines had invaded his land. Saul had to go back and defend the land from the Philistines. David now had opportunity to escape to the strongholds at En Gedi. God delivered David from the hand of Saul. When we put our trust in the Lord, He will deliver us from all of our fears, our problems, and even our enemies. God keeps His promises. We need to trust Him. We should wait on the Lord not take matters into our own hands.

7 1 S AM U EL 24:1-8 N o w i t h ap p e n e d, w h e n S au l h ad r e t u r n e d f r o m f o l l o w i n g t h e Ph i l i s t i n e s, t h at i t w as t o l d h i m, s ay i n g, " T ak e n o t e! D av i d i s i n t h e Wi l d e r n e s s o f En G e d i. " T h e n S au l t o o k t h r e e t h o u s an d c h o s e n m e n f r o m al l I s r ae l, an d w e n t t o s e e k D av i d an d h i s m e n o n t h e R o c k s o f t h e Wi l d G o at s. S o h e c am e t o t h e s h e e p f o l d s by t h e r o ad, w h e r e t h e r e w as a c av e ; an d S au l w e n t i n t o at t e n d t o h i s n e e d s. (D av i d an d h i s m e n w e r e s t ay i n g i n t h e r e c e s s e s o f t h e c av e. ) T h e n t h e m e n o f D av i d s ai d t o h i m, " T h i s i s t h e d ay o f w h i c h t h e L O R D s ai d t o y o u, ' B e h o l d, I w i l l d e l i v e r y o u r e n e m y i n t o y o u r h an d, t h at y o u m ay d o t o h i m as i t s e e m s go o d t o y o u. ' " An d D av i d ar o s e an d s e c r e t l y c u t o f f a c o r n e r o f S au l ' s r o be. N o w i t h ap p e n e d af t e r w ar d t h at D av i d ' s h e ar t t r o u bl e d h i m be c au s e h e h ad c u t S au l ' s r o be. An d h e s ai d t o h i s m e n, " T h e L O R D f o r bi d t h at I s h o u l d d o t h i s t h i n g t o m y m as t e r, t h e L o r d ' s an o i n t e d, t o s t r e t c h o u t m y h an d agai n s t h i m, s e e i n g h e i s t h e an o i n t e d o f t h e L O R D. " S o D av i d r e s t r ai n e d h i s s e r v an t s w i t h t h e s e w o r d s, an d d i d n o t al l o w t h e m t o r i s e agai n s t S au l. An d S au l go t u p f r o m t h e c av e an d w e n t o n h i s w ay.

8 D av i d al s o ar o s e af t e r w ar d, w e n t o u t o f t h e c av e, an d c al l e d o u t t o S au l, s ay i n g, " M y l o r d t h e k i n g!" An d w h e n S au l l o o k e d be h i n d h i m, D av i d s t o o p e d w i t h h i s f ac e t o t h e e ar t h, an d bo w e d d o w n. Saul returned from his fight against the Philistines. Informed that David had fled to En Gedi, Saul headed out with 3,000 men to find David and his men. While there, Saul found a cave and went into it to rest for a while. It just so happened that it was the same cave that David and his men were hiding in! When David s men heard this, they told David, This is the day which the Lord said to you, Behold, I will deliver your enemy into your hand that you may do to him as it seems good to you. Saul s life was now in David s hands. In fact, so close was Saul to David that he secretly cut off a corner of Saul s robe. How easily David could have killed Saul. He could have put an end to his life as a fugitive and become the new King of Israel. David had left home, family, and his dear friend because of Saul s obsession of killing him. The chance to end the bitter fighting had come. Yet David did not kill Saul; he only cut off a corner of his robe. From the world s perspective, David missed his hour of opportunity and would prolong his suffering. But, what was God s perspective of the situation and David s reaction? Because David saw Saul as God s anointed, he felt bad for cutting off the corner of Saul s robe. David had no intention of harming Saul in any way; he would leave the situation in God s hands. If God wanted to punish Saul for his sin, God would do it. Through these situations, God was training David for his kingship, teaching him to be a kind and just king. Has there ever been a time in your life when you have had opportunity to get back at someone who was being mean to you? What did you do? The Bible tells us that vengeance is the Lord s (Romans 12:17-20). That means that the Lord will take care of

9 people who treat us wrong. We should not get back at people who mistreat us. We need to pray for them and allow the Lord to take care of them and us. We should wait on the Lord not take matters into our own hands. David Spears a Meal David always had to trust in the Lord for everything. During snack time reinforce how that God took care of all of David s needs. You will need raisins, cheerios, marshmallows, apples and toothpicks for the snack time. Give a toothpick to each child. Tell them that this was like David s spear. Have separate piles of raisins, cheerios, and marshmallows. Pre-slice the apples into small triangles (or spear heads). Have the children spear some raisins, cheerios and marshmallows. Then put the apple spearhead on the front tip of the toothpick. Then, the children enjoy their snack. 1 S AM U EL 26 N o w t h e Z i p h i t e s c am e t o S au l at G i be ah, s ay i n g, " I s D av i d n o t h i d i n g i n t h e h i l l o f H ac h i l ah, o p p o s i t e J e s h i m o n?" T h e n S au l ar o s e an d w e n t d o w n t o t h e Wi l d e r n e s s o f Z i p h, h av i n g t h r e e t h o u s an d c h o s e n m e n o f I s r ae l w i t h h i m, t o s e e k D av i d i n t h e Wi l d e r n e s s o f Z i p h. An d S au l e n c am p e d i n t h e h i l l o f H ac h i l ah, w h i c h i s o p p o s i t e J e s h i m o n, by t h e r o ad. B u t D av i d s t ay e d i n t h e w i l d e r n e s s, an d h e s aw t h at S au l c am e af t e r h i m i n t o t h e w i l d e r n e s s. D av i d t h e r e f o r e s e n t o u t s p i e s, an d u n d e r s t o o d t h at S au l h ad i n d e e d c o m e.

10 S o D av i d ar o s e an d c am e t o t h e p l ac e w h e r e S au l h ad e n c am p e d. An d D av i d s aw t h e p l ac e w h e r e S au l l ay, an d Abn e r t h e s o n o f N e r, t h e c o m m an d e r o f h i s ar m y. N o w S au l l ay w i t h i n t h e c am p, w i t h t h e p e o p l e e n c am p e d al l ar o u n d h i m. T h e n D av i d an s w e r e d, an d s ai d t o Ah i m e l e c h t h e H i t t i t e an d t o Abi s h ai t h e s o n o f Z e r u i ah, br o t h e r o f J o ab, s ay i n g, " Wh o w i l l go d o w n w i t h m e t o S au l i n t h e c am p?" An d Abi s h ai s ai d, " I w i l l go d o w n w i t h y o u. " S o D av i d an d Abi s h ai c am e t o t h e p e o p l e by n i gh t ; an d t h e r e S au l l ay s l e e p i n g w i t h i n t h e c am p, w i t h h i s s p e ar s t u c k i n t h e gr o u n d by h i s h e ad. An d Abn e r an d t h e p e o p l e l ay al l ar o u n d h i m. T h e n Abi s h ai s ai d t o D av i d, " G o d h as d e l i v e r e d y o u r e n e m y i n t o y o u r h an d t h i s d ay. N o w t h e r e f o r e, p l e as e, l e t m e s t r i k e h i m at o n c e w i t h t h e s p e ar, r i gh t t o t h e e ar t h ; an d I w i l l n o t h av e t o s t r i k e h i m a s e c o n d t i m e!" An d D av i d s ai d t o Abi s h ai, " D o n o t d e s t r o y h i m ; f o r w h o c an s t r e t c h o u t h i s h an d agai n s t t h e L o r d ' s an o i n t e d, an d be gu i l t l e s s?" D av i d s ai d f u r t h e r m o r e, " As t h e L O R D l i v e s, t h e L O R D s h al l s t r i k e h i m, o r h i s d ay s h al l c o m e t o d i e, o r h e s h al l go o u t t o bat t l e an d p e r i s h. " T h e L O R D f o r bi d t h at I s h o u l d s t r e t c h o u t m y h an d agai n s t t h e L o r d ' s an o i n t e d. B u t p l e as e, t ak e n o w t h e s p e ar an d t h e j u g o f w at e r t h at ar e by h i s h e ad, an d l e t u s go. "

11 S o D av i d t o o k t h e s p e ar an d t h e j u g o f w at e r by S au l ' s h e ad, an d t h e y go t aw ay ; an d n o m an s aw i t o r k n e w i t o r aw o k e. F o r t h e y w e r e al l as l e e p, be c au s e a d e e p s l e e p f r o m t h e L O R D h ad f al l e n o n t h e m. N o w D av i d w e n t o v e r t o t h e o t h e r s i d e, an d s t o o d o n t h e t o p o f a h i l l af ar o f f, a gr e at d i s t an c e be i n g be t w e e n t h e m. An d D av i d c al l e d o u t t o t h e p e o p l e an d t o Abn e r t h e s o n o f N e r, s ay i n g, " D o y o u n o t an s w e r, Abn e r?" T h e n Abn e r an s w e r e d an d s ai d, " Wh o ar e y o u, c al l i n g o u t t o t h e k i n g?" S o D av i d s ai d t o Abn e r, " Ar e y o u n o t a m an? An d w h o i s l i k e y o u i n I s r ae l? Wh y t h e n h av e y o u n o t gu ar d e d y o u r l o r d t h e k i n g? F o r o n e o f t h e p e o p l e c am e i n t o d e s t r o y y o u r l o r d t h e k i n g. " T h i s t h i n g t h at y o u h av e d o n e i s n o t go o d. As t h e L O R D l i v e s, y o u d e s e r v e t o d i e, be c au s e y o u h av e n o t gu ar d e d y o u r m as t e r, t h e L o r d ' s an o i n t e d. An d n o w s e e w h e r e t h e k i n g' s s p e ar i s, an d t h e j u g o f w at e r t h at w as by h i s h e ad. " T h e n S au l k n e w D av i d ' s v o i c e, an d s ai d, " I s t h at y o u r v o i c e, m y s o n D av i d?" An d D av i d s ai d, " I t i s m y v o i c e, m y l o r d, O k i n g. " An d h e s ai d, " Wh y d o e s m y l o r d t h u s p u r s u e h i s s e r v an t? F o r w h at h av e I d o n e, o r w h at e v i l i s i n m y h an d?

12 " N o w t h e r e f o r e, p l e as e, l e t m y l o r d t h e k i n g h e ar t h e w o r d s o f h i s s e r v an t : I f t h e L O R D h as s t i r r e d y o u u p agai n s t m e, l e t H i m ac c e p t an o f f e r i n g. B u t i f i t i s t h e c h i l d r e n o f m e n, m ay t h e y be c u r s e d be f o r e t h e L O R D, f o r t h e y h av e d r i v e n m e o u t t h i s d ay f r o m s h ar i n g i n t h e i n h e r i t an c e o f t h e L O R D, s ay i n g, ' G o, s e r v e o t h e r go d s. ' " S o n o w, d o n o t l e t m y bl o o d f al l t o t h e e ar t h be f o r e t h e f ac e o f t h e L O R D. F o r t h e k i n g o f I s r ae l h as c o m e o u t t o s e e k a f l e a, as w h e n o n e h u n t s a p ar t r i d ge i n t h e m o u n t ai n s. " T h e n S au l s ai d, " I h av e s i n n e d. R e t u r n, m y s o n D av i d. F o r I w i l l h ar m y o u n o m o r e, be c au s e m y l i f e w as p r e c i o u s i n y o u r e y e s t h i s d ay. I n d e e d I h av e p l ay e d t h e f o o l an d e r r e d e x c e e d i n gl y. " An d D av i d an s w e r e d an d s ai d, " H e r e i s t h e k i n g' s s p e ar. L e t o n e o f t h e y o u n g m e n c o m e o v e r an d ge t i t. " M ay t h e L O R D r e p ay e v e r y m an f o r h i s r i gh t e o u s n e s s an d h i s f ai t h f u l n e s s ; f o r t h e L O R D d e l i v e r e d y o u i n t o m y h an d t o d ay, bu t I w o u l d n o t s t r e t c h o u t m y h an d agai n s t t h e L o r d ' s an o i n t e d. " An d i n d e e d, as y o u r l i f e w as v al u e d m u c h t h i s d ay i n m y e y e s, s o l e t m y l i f e be v al u e d m u c h i n t h e e y e s o f t h e L O R D, an d l e t H i m d e l i v e r m e o u t o f al l t r i bu l at i o n. " T h e n S au l s ai d t o D av i d, " M ay y o u be bl e s s e d, m y s o n D av i d! Y o u s h al l bo t h d o gr e at t h i n gs an d al s o s t i l l p r e v ai l. " S o D av i d w e n t o n h i s w ay, an d S au l r e t u r n e d t o h i s p l ac e.

13 Now the Ziphites came to Saul, to tell him where David was, and Saul knowing that David is anointed of the Lord to someday be king, tried once more to upset the plan of God by seeking David s life. So Saul took with him three thousand chosen men of Israel and went down to the wilderness of Ziph. David, hearing of Saul s arrival, sent out spies. When the spies confirmed that Saul had come, David went near to his camp and asked his men, Who will go down with me? Abishai agreed to accompany David, and they proceeded down to the place where Saul was sleeping. A deep sleep from the LORD had fallen on them. David removed Saul s water jug and spear without any man hearing. David once again showed Saul amazing kindness in sparing his life. Saul was again trying to kill David, and again David finds opportunity to put an end to Saul s life and, thus, an end to his troubles. Once more, David determined to let God be his avenger; he would not have the king s blood on his hands. David stopped Abishai from killing Saul with his own spear. David then went a good distance away and called to Saul s personal guard, Abner. He asked him why he did not protect his king. Saul recognized David s voice and asked if that was he speaking. David then revealed to the king what he had done that night and how God had delivered him into his hand. Saul, in the light of this kindness, sees the fool he has been. So evident to him was God s protection of his rival that he could only confess his own wickedness and recognize fully and finally that David was to be the shepherd of Israel. This was to be David and Saul s last meeting. Kindness won in the end, without bloodshed. David learned valuable lessons through these difficult times. He learned how to treat people the way God would treat them. It could not have been

14 easy for David to be kind to Saul, for Saul had certainly not shown him kindness; but David hung in there, and the most important battle was won. As David, let us represent God s heart to others. One of the chief characteristics of God is kindness, to the just and unjust. It is easy to be kind to those who are kind to us; but, to represent God s heart, we must show kindness to those who are unkind to us. God will deal with those who are unjust to us, if they do not turn from their sins. Remember, as David modeled, we should wait on the Lord not take matters into our own hands. Cave Craft Our story today centers around how David did the right thing twice when he had the opportunity to take matters into his own hands. David learned to wait on the Lord. This craft will help the children to remember the story. Use a sheet of dark blue construction paper for the night sky (background). Using brown construction paper, cut out a cave and glue to the blue paper. Next, cut out a black circle using black construction paper. Glue the black circle onto the cave for an entrance. Using white or yellow crayon or chalk, write the memory verse on top of the night s sky and color in stars and moon. For some of the children as an option they can draw the characters from the story in and around the cave. PRAYER Lead the children in a prayer of commitment to wait upon the Lord and not to take matters into their own hands. May others see kindness in their lives and glorify God. If there are any children who have not yet responded to the gospel, give them opportunity.

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