Bible Study Guides – Lessons from the Life of David – The Exalted Humbled

March 10, 2019 – March 16, 2019

Key Text

“Blessed is the man unto whom the Lord imputeth not iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no guile” (Psalm 32:2).

Study Help: Patriarchs and Prophets, 717–726; Steps to Christ, 23, 25, 35, 36.


‘’Those who, by pointing to the example of David, try to lessen the guilt of their own sins, should learn from the Bible that the way of transgression is hard.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 724.



  • Trace the course which led David to go astray. 2 Samuel 11:1–4. How are we warned against this sin? Hebrews 13:4.

Note: “It was the spirit of self-confidence and self-exaltation that prepared the way for David’s fall. Flattery and the subtle allurements of power and luxury were not without effect upon him. Intercourse with surrounding nations also exerted an influence for evil. According to the customs prevailing among Eastern rulers, crimes not to be tolerated in subjects were uncondemned in the king; the monarch was not under obligation to exercise the same self-restraint as the subject. All this tended to lessen David’s sense of the exceeding sinfulness of sin. And instead of relying in humility upon the power of Jehovah, he began to trust to his own wisdom and might. …

“David was surrounded by the fruits of victory and the honors of his wise and able rule. It was now, while he was at ease and unguarded, that the tempter seized the opportunity to occupy his mind. The fact that God had taken David into so close connection with Himself and had manifested so great favor toward him, should have been to him the strongest of incentives to preserve his character unblemished. But when in ease and self-security he let go his hold upon God, David yielded to Satan and brought upon his soul the stain of guilt. He, the Heaven-appointed leader of the nation, chosen by God to execute His law, himself trampled upon its precepts.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 717, 718.

  • How did Jesus explain what makes a person vulnerable to sin? John 15:5, last part. What admonitions are given to help us in this regard? 1 John 2:15, 16.

Note: “Whatever diverts the mind from God, whatever leads to self-exaltation or to self-dependence, is surely preparing the way for our overthrow. …

“As soon as Satan can separate the soul from God, the only Source of strength, he will seek to arouse the unholy desires of man’s carnal nature. The work of the enemy is not abrupt; it is not, at the outset, sudden and startling; it is a secret undermining of the strongholds of principle. It begins in apparently small things—the neglect to be true to God and to rely upon Him wholly, the disposition to follow the customs and practices of the world.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 717, 718.



  • What further complicated David’s situation? 2 Samuel 11:5. Explain why God could not prosper David’s attempt to cover his sin. 2 Samuel 11:10–13.

 Note: “Every effort which David made to conceal his guilt proved unavailing. He had betrayed himself into the power of Satan; danger surrounded him, dishonor more bitter than death was before him.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 718, 719.

  • How did David feel when he was induced to add sin to sin? 2 Samuel 11:14–17, 26, 27; Psalm 32:3, 4. What should we remember when tempted by the enemy? Proverbs 14:12; James 2:10–12.

Note: “He [David] had excused his own sinful course to himself, until his ways seemed passable in his own eyes. One wrong step had prepared the way for another.” Spiritual Gifts, vol. 4a, 86.

“There appeared but one way of escape, and in his desperation he was hurried on to add murder to adultery. He who had compassed the destruction of Saul was seeking to lead David also to ruin. Though the temptations were different, they were alike in leading to transgression of God’s law.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 719.



  • What message of rebuke did God send to David through Nathan the prophet? 2 Samuel 12:1–9.

 Note: “It was when David was pure, and walking in the counsel of God, that God called him a man after his own heart. When David departed from God, and stained his virtuous character by his crimes, he was no longer a man after God’s own heart.” Spiritual Gifts, vol. 4a, 87.

“God in His mercy did not leave David to be lured to utter ruin by the deceitful rewards of sin.

“For the sake of Israel also there was a necessity for God to interpose. As time passed on, David’s sin toward Bathsheba became known, and suspicion was excited that he had planned the death of Uriah. The Lord was dishonored. He had favored and exalted David, and David’s sin misrepresented the character of God and cast reproach upon His name. It tended to lower the standard of godliness in Israel, to lessen in many minds the abhorrence of sin; while those who did not love and fear God were by it emboldened in transgression.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 720.

  • Relate the response of David and the immediate mercy of God. 2 Samuel 12:13. Nevertheless, what were to be some of the inevitable consequences of David’s sin? 2 Samuel 12:10–12, 14.

Note: “David awakens as from a dream. He feels the sense of his sin. He does not seek to excuse his course, or palliate his sin, as did Saul; but with remorse and sincere grief, he bows his head before the prophet of God, and acknowledges his guilt.” Spiritual Gifts, vol. 4a, 86.

“The sentence of death was transferred from David to the child of his sin.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 722.

“David’s transgression had changed his relation to God. The Lord could not in any wise sanction iniquity. He could not exercise His power to protect David from the results of his sin as he had protected him from the enmity of Saul.” Ibid., 723.

“God shows his displeasure at David’s having a plurality of wives by visiting him with judgments, and permitting evils to rise up against him from his own house.” Spiritual Gifts, vol. 4a, 87.



  • Describe the depth of David’s heartfelt repentance. Psalm 51:1–4, 7, 10–14. Through sacred song, what public appeal does he make even to the last generation?

Note: “This experience was most painful to David, but it was most beneficial. … The conviction of his guilt was the saving of his soul. He saw himself in another light, as the Lord saw him.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 2, 1023.

“He [David) did not flatter himself that sin was a matter with which he had nothing to do, and that should not concern him. As he saw the depths of deceit in his heart, he was deeply disgusted with himself, and prayed that God would keep him back by His power from presumptuous sins, and cleanse him from secret faults.” Ibid., vol. 3, 1147.

“Instead of endeavoring to conceal his guilt he desired that others might be instructed by the sad history of his fall.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 725.

  • What evidence did David have that his repentance was not in vain? Psalms 51:16, 17; 32:1, 2, 5–7.

Note: “David did not in despair give over the struggle. In the promises of God to repentant sinners he saw the evidence of his pardon and acceptance.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 725.



  • What should all realize about sin? Ezekiel 33:12, 13, 18; 1 John 3:4.

Note: “Sin is sin, whether committed by one sitting on a throne, or by one in the humbler walks of life. The day is coming when all who have committed sin will make confession, even though it is too late for them to receive pardon. God waits long for the sinner to repent. He manifests a wonderful forbearance. But He must at last call the transgressor of His law to account. …

“It is not safe for us to close our eyes and harden our consciences, that we shall not see or realize our sins. We need to cherish the instruction we have had in regard to the hateful character of sin in order that we may repent of and confess our sins.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 3, 1147.

  •  How can David’s repentance encourage us? Isaiah 55:7; 1 John 1:9.

Note: “Many have murmured at what they called God’s injustice in sparing David, whose guilt was so great, after having rejected Saul for what appear to them to be far less flagrant sins. But David humbled himself and confessed his sin, while Saul despised reproof and hardened his heart in impenitence.

“This passage in David’s history is full of significance to the repenting sinner. It is one of the most forcible illustrations given us of the struggles and temptations of humanity, and of genuine repentance toward God and faith in our Lord Jesus Christ. Through all the ages it has proved a source of encouragement to souls that, having fallen into sin, were struggling under the burden of their guilt. Thousands of the children of God, who have been betrayed into sin, when ready to give up to despair have remembered how David’s sincere repentance and confession were accepted by God, notwithstanding he suffered for his transgression; and they also have taken courage to repent and try again to walk in the way of God’s commandments.

“Whoever under the reproof of God will humble the soul with confession and repentance, as did David, may be sure that there is hope for him. Whoever will in faith accept God’s promises, will find pardon. The Lord will never cast away one truly repentant soul. He has given this promise: ‘Let him take hold of My strength, that he may make peace with Me; and he shall make peace with Me’ (Isaiah 27:5). ‘Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the Lord, and He will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for He will abundantly pardon’ (Isaiah 55:7).” Patriarchs and Prophets, 726.



1     What made David and could make us wide open to temptation?

2    How does God seek to help us avoid adding sin to sin?

3    Why are the sins of leaders especially grievous?

4    Name some point of particular significance from Psalm 32 or 51.

5    How can we – like David – be believers after God’s own heart?