Lessons from the Life of David – David and Saul

February 3 – 9, 2019

Key Text

“The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? the Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid” (Psalm 27:1)?

Study Help: Patriarchs and Prophets, 661–663; Ibid., 675–689.


“There is joy and consolation for the true-hearted, faithful Christian, that the world knows not of. To them it is a mystery.” Sons and Daughters of God, 354.



  • What can we all learn from David’s attitude when Saul was asleep? 1 Samuel 26:2, 7–12.

Note: “When Saul was repeatedly placed in his power, and his followers would have killed him, David would not permit them to do so, although he was in continual fear of his own life, and was pursued like a wild beast by Saul.” Spiritual Gifts, vol. 4a, 91.

  • How did David put Abner and Saul to shame in the wilderness of Ziph? 1 Samuel 26:13–20.



  • What confession did Saul make? 1 Samuel 26:21. What was the character of Saul’s confession?

Note: “The enmity that is cherished toward the servants of God by those who have yielded to the power of Satan changes at times to a feeling of reconciliation and favor, but the change does not always prove to be lasting. After evil-minded men have engaged in doing and saying wicked things against the Lord’s servants, the conviction that they have been in the wrong sometimes takes deep hold upon their minds. The Spirit of the Lord strives with them, and they humble their hearts before God, and before those whose influence they have sought to destroy, and they may change their course toward them. But as they again open the door to the suggestions of the evil one, the old doubts are revived, the old enmity is awakened, and they return to engage in the same work which they repented of, and for a time abandoned. Again they speak evil, accusing and condemning in the bitterest manner the very ones to whom they made most humble confession. Satan can use such souls with far greater power after such a course has been pursued than he could before, because they have sinned against greater light.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 662, 663.

  • How did Saul respond to David’s mercy? 1 Samuel 26:23–25.

 Note: “The second instance of David’s respect for his sovereign’s life made a still deeper impression upon the mind of Saul and brought from him a more humble acknowledgment of his fault. He was astonished and subdued at the manifestation of such kindness. In parting from David, Saul exclaimed, ‘Blessed be thou, my son David: thou shalt both do great things, and also shalt still prevail’ (1 Samuel 26:25). But the son of Jesse had no hope that the king would long continue in this frame of mind.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 671, 672.

“[Saul] listened to every false witness, eagerly receiving anything that was detrimental to the character of David, hoping that he might find an excuse for manifesting his increasing envy and hatred of him who had been anointed to the throne of Israel. Every rumor was credited, no matter how inconsistent and irreconcilable it was with the former character and custom of David.

“Every evidence that the protecting care of God was over David seemed to imbitter and deepen his one engrossing and determined purpose. The failure to accomplish his own designs appeared in marked contrast to the success of the fugitive in eluding his search, but it only made the determination of the king the more unrelenting and firm. He was not careful to conceal his designs toward David, nor scrupulous as to what means should be employed in accomplishing his purpose.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 2, 1019.



  • What was the effect of envy in Saul’s life? Proverbs 14:30, last part; 27:4.

 Note: “It was envy that made Saul miserable and put the humble subject of his throne in jeopardy. What untold mischief has this evil trait of character worked in our world! … Envy is the offspring of pride, and if it is entertained in the heart, it will lead to hatred, and eventually to revenge and murder. Satan displayed his own character in exciting the fury of Saul against him who had never done him harm.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 651.

  • What other character trait was treacherous to Saul and many others? John 12:43.

Note: “One great defect in the character of Saul was his love of approbation. This trait had had a controlling influence over his actions and thoughts; everything was marked by his desire for praise and self-exaltation. His standard of right and wrong was the low standard of popular applause. No man is safe who lives that he may please men, and does not seek first for the approbation of God.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 650.



  • What warning from Scripture should cause every God-fearing soul to beware? Proverbs 26:24–27.

Note: “It was not the man David, who had done him no harm, against whom the king was contending. He was in controversy with the King of heaven; for when Satan is permitted to control the mind that will not be ruled by Jehovah, he will lead it according to his will, until the man who is thus in his power becomes an efficient agent to carry out his designs. So bitter is the enmity of the great originator of sin against the purposes of God, so terrible is his power for evil, that when men disconnect from God, Satan influences them, and their minds are brought more and more into subjection, until they cast off the fear of God, and the respect of men, and become bold and avowed enemies of God and of His people.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 2, 1019.

  • How can bitterness cherished in the heart affect anyone? Psalm 52:2–5; Isaiah 3:12, last part.

Note: “What an example was Saul giving to the subjects of his kingdom in his desperate, unprovoked persecution of David! What a record he was making to be placed upon the pages of history for future generations! He sought to turn the full tide of the power of his kingdom into the channel of his own hatred in hunting down an innocent man. All this had a demoralizing influence upon Israel. And while Saul was giving loose reign to his passion, Satan was weaving a snare to compass his ruin, and the ruin of his kingdom. While the king and his councilors were planning for the capture of David, the affairs of the nation were being mismanaged and neglected. While imaginary foes were constantly presented before the minds of the people, the real enemies were strengthening themselves without arousing suspicion or alarm. By following the dictates of Satan, Saul was himself hastening the very result which, with unsanctified ability, he was endeavoring to avert.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 2, 1019.



  • When Saul was deceived by spiritualism, what message goaded him to final despair? 1 Samuel 28:5–8, 14–20. How is this a warning to any believer or church laced with hypnotism or similar trends?

Note: “All through his course of rebellion Saul had been flattered and deceived by Satan. It is the tempter’s work to belittle sin, to make the path of transgression easy and inviting, to blind the mind to the warnings and threatenings of the Lord. Satan, by his bewitching power, had led Saul to justify himself in defiance of Samuel’s reproofs and warning. But now, in his extremity, he turned upon him, presenting the enormity of his sin and the hopelessness of pardon, that he might goad him to desperation. Nothing could have been better chosen to destroy his courage and confuse his judgment, or to drive him to despair and self-destruction.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 680, 681.

  • In contrast to Saul, how can we be inspired by the attitude of David in the wilderness, even during his most disheartening times? Psalms 27:1–3; 59:1–3, 17; 142:1–7.

Note: “David composed many of the Psalm in the wilderness, to which he was compelled to flee for safety. … While David was thus passing through severe trials and hardships, he manifested an unwavering trust in God, and was especially imbued with his Spirit, as he composed his songs which recount his dangers and deliverances, ascribing praise and glory to God, his merciful preserver. In these Psalm is seen a spirit of fervor, devotion and holiness.” Spiritual Gifts, vol. 4a, 93.

“You need not be surprised if everything in the journey heavenward is not pleasant. There is no use in looking to our own defects. Looking unto Jesus, the darkness passes away, and the true light shineth. Go forth daily, expressing the prayer of David, ‘Hold up my goings in Thy paths, that my footsteps slip not’ (Psalm 17:5). All the paths of life are beset with peril, but we are safe if we follow where the Master leads the way, trusting the One whose voice we hear saying, ‘Follow Me.’ ”  “Ellen G. White Comments,” The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 3, 1143.



1     How did David recompense Saul’s evil with good?

2    Explain why envy is such a dangerous trait.

3    How can love of self-approbation lead to envy?

4    Describe the method Satan used to obliterate any last trace of hope in Saul.

5    How can we be encouraged by David’s psalms composed in moments of trial?