Lessons from the Life of David – Crisis

January 13 – 19, 2019

Key Text

“Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution” (2 Timothy 3:12).

Study Help: Patriarchs and Prophets, 649–659; The Signs of the Times, September 21, 1888.


“Every failure on the part of the children of God is due to their lack of faith. When shadows encompass the soul, when we want light and guidance, we must look up; there is light beyond the darkness.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 657.



  • What triggered jealousy in the heart of Saul against David? 1 Samuel 18:5–9. What explains why Saul’s actions followed his sentiments? 1 Samuel 18:11; 1 John 3:15.

Note: “It was the ambition of Saul to be first in the estimation of men; and when this song of praise was sung, a settled conviction entered the mind of the king that David would obtain the hearts of the people and reign in his stead.

“Saul opened his heart to the spirit of jealousy by which his soul was poisoned.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 650.

  • Why does God allow Christians to undergo situations such as the one experienced by David at this particular point in time? 2 Timothy 3:12; 1 Peter 4:12–17.

Note: “It was the providence of God that had connected David with Saul. David’s position at court would give him a knowledge of affairs, in preparation for his future greatness. It would enable him to gain the confidence of the nation. The vicissitudes and hardships which befell him, through the enmity of Saul, would lead him to feel his dependence upon God, and to put his whole trust in Him.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 649.



  • When Saul saw that God had protected David from being murdered, what other plans did he arrange to destroy him? 1 Samuel 18:12, 13, 17, 20, 21, 25. What preserved the life of God’s faithful servant? 1 Samuel 18:14, 30.
  • How did Saul again relate to David? 1 Samuel 19:9, 10. What arrested Saul’s pursual of David at Ramah? 1 Samuel 19:19–24; 20:1, first part.

Note: “He [Saul] was determined to wait for no further chance to kill David; as soon as he should come within reach of him, he intended with his own hand to slay him, whatever might be the consequences.

“But an angel of God met him on the way and controlled him. The Spirit of God held him in Its power, and he went forward uttering prayers to God, interspersed with predictions and sacred melodies. He prophesied of the coming Messiah as the world’s Redeemer. When he came to the prophet’s home in Ramah, he laid aside the outer garments that betokened his rank, and all day and all night he lay before Samuel and his pupils, under the influence of the divine Spirit. …

“Again the persecutor was defeated in his purpose. He assured David that he was at peace with him, but David had little confidence in the king’s repentance. He took this opportunity to escape, lest the mood of the king should change, as formerly.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 654.



  • How did David attempt to save himself and with what result? 1 Samuel 21:1–7.

Note: “The young man [David] was in constant fear of discovery, and in his extremity he resorted to deception. David told the priest that he had been sent by the king on a secret errand, one which required the utmost expedition. Here he manifested a want of faith in God, and his sin resulted in causing the death of the high priest. Had the facts been plainly stated, Ahimelech would have known what course to pursue to preserve his life. God requires that truthfulness shall mark His people, even in the greatest peril. David asked the priest for five loaves of bread. There was nothing but hallowed bread in the possession of the man of God, but David succeeded in removing his scruples, and obtained the bread to satisfy his hunger.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 656.

  • Again facing perceived danger, what course did David take? 1 Samuel 21:10–15.

Note: “The first error of David was his distrust of God at Nob, and his second mistake was his deception before Achish. David had displayed noble traits of character, and his moral worth had won him favor with the people; but as trial came upon him, his faith was shaken, and human weakness appeared. He saw in every man a spy and a betrayer. In a great emergency David had looked up to God with a steady eye of faith, and had vanquished the Philistine giant. He believed in God, he went in His name. But as he had been hunted and persecuted, perplexity and distress had nearly hidden his heavenly Father from his sight.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 656, 657.

“David ought not to have distrusted God for one moment. He had cause for trusting in Him: he was the Lord’s anointed, and in the midst of danger he had been protected by the angels of God; he had been armed with courage to do wonderful things; and if he had but removed his mind from the distressing situation in which he was placed, and had thought of God’s power and majesty, he would have been at peace even in the midst of the shadows of death.” Ibid., 657.



  • How did David’s weakness before Ahimelech result in Satan gaining a chance to instigate the worst passions of Doeg and Saul? 1 Samuel 22:7–11, 16–19.

Note: “The partial and exaggerated statement of the chief of the herdsmen, was suited for the use of the adversary of God and man. It was presented to the mind of Saul in such a light that the king lost all control of himself, and acted like a madman. If he had but calmly waited until he could have heard the whole story, and had exercised his reasoning faculties, how different would have been the terrible record of that day’s doings!” “Ellen G. White Comments,” The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 2, 1020.

  • What can we learn from David’s humble recognition of his own degree of guilt in the slaying of the priests at Nob? 1 Samuel 22:20–23.
  • What words of Jesus should strengthen us when faced with persecution? Matthew 10:28.

Note: “The rack, the stake, the many inventions of cruelty, may kill the body, but they cannot touch the life that is hid with Christ in God.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 5, 1123, 1124.



  • How did David show nobility of character on several occasions? 1 Samuel 22:1, 3, 4; 2 Samuel 23:13–17.

Note: “David’s anxiety was not all for himself, although he realized his peril. He thought of his father and mother, and he concluded that he must seek another refuge for them. He went to the king of Moab, and the Lord put it into the heart of the monarch to courteously grant to the beloved parents of David an asylum in Mizpeh, and they were not disturbed, even in the midst of the enemies of Israel. From this history, we may all learn precious lessons of filial love.”  “Ellen G. White Comments,” The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 2, 1018.

“In the cave of Adullam the family were united in sympathy and affection. The son of Jesse could make melody with voice and harp as he sang, ‘Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity’ (Psalm 133:1)! He had tasted the bitterness of distrust on the part of his own brothers; and the harmony that had taken the place of discord brought joy to the exile’s heart. It was here that David composed the fifty-seventh psalm.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 658.

  • Who else were compelled to separate from Saul’s influence and join David in the cave? 1 Samuel 22:2; Zephaniah 3:12. How does God develop the faith of persecuted believers? Hebrews 11:37–40.

Note: “It was not long before David’s company was joined by others who desired to escape the exactions of the king. There were many who had lost confidence in the ruler of Israel, for they could see that he was no longer guided by the Spirit of the Lord. ‘And everyone that was in distress, and everyone that was in debt, and everyone that was discontented,’ resorted to David, ‘and he became a captain over them: and there were with him about four hundred men’ (1 Samuel 22:2). Here David had a little kingdom of his own, and in it order and discipline prevailed.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 658.

“When by the jealousy of Saul driven a fugitive into the wilderness, David, cut off from human support, leaned more heavily upon God. The uncertainty and unrest of the wilderness life, its unceasing peril, its necessity for frequent flight, the character of the men who gathered to him there—‘everyone that was in distress, and everyone that was in debt, and everyone that was discontented’ (1 Samuel 22:2)—all rendered the more essential a stern self-discipline. These experiences aroused and developed power to deal with men, sympathy for the oppressed, and hatred of injustice.” Education, 152.



1     Explain the root of Saul’s hatred of David.

2    How was Saul prevented from succeeding with his murderous plot?

3    What mistakes did David make in Nob and Gath?

4    How did David respond to the tragedy at Nob?

5    Where, specifically, are some guidelines written to ensure that meekness, sound doctrine, order, and discipline can prevail among twentieth-century Reformers cast out for righteousness’ sake?