Lessons from the Life of David – The Humble Exalted

February 17 – 23, 2019

Key Text

“For whosoever exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted” (Luke 14:11).

Study Help: Patriarchs and Prophets, 695–706; Spiritual Gifts, vol. 4a, 85, 86.


“Israel had a king by divine appointment. He who had waited patiently for the Lord, beheld the promise of God fulfilled.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 702.



  • How did David react to the death of Saul? 2 Samuel 1:4, 11, 12, 17–21; Matthew 5:43–45.

Note: “David’s grief at the death of Saul was sincere and deep, evincing the generosity of a noble nature. He did not exult in the fall of his enemy. The obstacle that had barred his access to the throne of Israel was removed, but at this he did not rejoice. Death had obliterated the remembrance of Saul’s distrust and cruelty, and now nothing in his history was thought of but that which was noble and kingly. The name of Saul was linked with that of Jonathan, whose friendship had been so true and so unselfish.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 695, 696.

  • What were David’s activities following his mourning? 2 Samuel 2:1–7.



  • How did Abner cause problems for David in Judah? 2 Samuel 2:8–11.

Note: “The circumstances under which Abner was placed served to develop his real character and showed him to be ambitious and unprincipled. He had been intimately associated with Saul and had been influenced by the spirit of the king to despise the man whom God had chosen to reign over Israel. His hatred had been increased by the cutting rebuke that David had given him at the time when the cruse of water and the spear of the king had been taken from the side of Saul as he slept in the camp. … [1 Samuel 26:15, 16 quoted.] This reproof had rankled in his breast, and he determined to carry out his revengeful purpose and create division in Israel, whereby he himself might be exalted. He employed the representative of departed royalty to advance his own selfish ambitions and purposes. He knew that the people loved Jonathan. His memory was cherished, and Saul’s first successful campaigns had not been forgotten by the army. With determination worthy a better cause, this rebellious leader went forward to carry out his plans.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 698, 699.

  • After malice, ambition, and treachery had led to Abner’s death at the hand of Joab, how did David further demonstrate a noble spirit? 2 Samuel 3:27–39.

Note: “David’s magnanimous recognition of one who had been his bitter enemy won the confidence and admiration of all Israel. …

“Abner had been sincere in his offers and representations to David, yet his motives were base and selfish. He had persistently opposed the king of God’s appointment, in the expectation of securing honor to himself. It was resentment, wounded pride, and passion that led him to forsake the cause he had so long served; and in deserting to David he hoped to receive the highest position of honor in his service. Had he succeeded in his purpose, his talents and ambition, his great influence and want of godliness, would have endangered the throne of David and the peace and prosperity of the nation.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 700.



  • How did David react to the treachery employed by some who wished to gain his favor? 2 Samuel 4:5, 6, 9–12.

Note: “David, whose throne God Himself had established, and whom God had delivered from his adversaries, did not desire the aid of treachery to establish his power.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 701.

  • What principles followed by David won for him the support of all the tribes of Israel? 2 Samuel 5:1–5, 10. What principles should we have in view in the selection of church officers today? 1 Timothy 3:1–12.

Note: “Through the providence of God the way had been opened for him to come to the throne. He had no personal ambition to gratify, for he had not sought the honor to which he had been brought.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 701.

“His (David’s] firmness, humility, love of justice, and decision of character, qualified him to carry out the high purposes of God, to instruct Israel in their devotions, and to rule them as a generous and wise monarch.

“His religious character was sincere and fervent. It was while David was thus true to God, and possessing these exalted traits of character, that God calls him a man after his own heart.” Spiritual Gifts, vol. 4a, 85, 86.

“The same principles of piety and justice that were to guide the rulers among God’s people in the time of Moses and of David, were also to be followed by those given the oversight of the newly organized church of God in the gospel dispensation. In the work of setting things in order in all the churches, and ordaining suitable men to act as officers, the apostles held to the high standards of leadership outlined in the Old Testament Scriptures.” The Acts of the Apostles, 95.



  • How did David plan to officially acknowledge God’s supremacy over Israel? 2 Samuel 6:1, 2.

Note: “Now that David was firmly established upon the throne and free from the invasions of foreign foes, he turned to the accomplishment of a cherished purpose—to bring up the ark of God to Jerusalem. For many years the ark had remained at Kirjath-jearim, nine miles distant; but it was fitting that the capital of the nation should be honored with the token of the divine Presence.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 704.

  • What happened to Uzzah, and why? 2 Samuel 6:3–7; Deuteronomy 10:8; Numbers 3:29–31; 4:15.

Note: “The fate of Uzzah was a divine judgment upon the violation of a most explicit command. Through Moses the Lord had given special instruction concerning the transportation of the ark. … In the bringing of the ark from Kirjath-jearim there had been a direct and inexcusable disregard of the Lord’s directions.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 705.

“Upon Uzzah rested the greater guilt of presumption. Transgression of God’s law had lessened his sense of its sacredness, and with unconfessed sins upon him he had, in face of the divine prohibition, presumed to touch the symbol of God’s presence. God can accept no partial obedience, no lax way of treating His commandments. By the judgment upon Uzzah He designed to impress upon all Israel the importance of giving strict heed to His requirements. Thus the death of that one man, by leading the people to repentance, might prevent the necessity of inflicting judgments upon thousands.” Ibid., 706.



  • What difference does the Lord make between those who have the light of truth and those who are in ignorance? Luke 12:47, 48.

Note: “David and his people had assembled to perform a sacred work, and they had engaged in it with glad and willing hearts; but the Lord could not accept the service, because it was not performed in accordance with His directions. The Philistines, who had not a knowledge of God’s law, had placed the ark upon a cart when they returned it to Israel, and the Lord accepted the effort which they made. But the Israelites had in their hands a plain statement of the will of God in all these matters, and their neglect of these instructions was dishonoring to God.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 705, 706.

“It is not enough to have good intentions; it is not enough to do what a man thinks is right or what the minister tells him is right. His soul’s salvation is at stake, and he should search the Scriptures for himself. … He has a chart pointing out every waymark on the heavenward journey, and he ought not to guess at anything.” The Great Controversy, 598.

“Those who claim to know the truth, and yet lay every obstacle in the way so that light shall not come to the people, will have an account to settle with God that they will not be pleased to meet. God manages His own work, and woe to the man who puts his hand to the ark of God.” Manuscript Releases, vol. 16, 114.

  • What did David, as should each of us learn about the sacredness of the law of God? 2 Samuel 6:8–10. How was Obed-edom exalted? 2 Samuel 6:11.

Note: “David was astonished and greatly alarmed, and in his heart he questioned the justice of God. He had been seeking to honor the ark as the symbol of the divine presence. Why, then, had that fearful judgment been sent to turn the season of gladness into an occasion of grief and mourning?” Patriarchs and Prophets, 705.

“Feeling that his own heart was not wholly right with God, David, seeing the stroke upon Uzzah, had feared the ark, lest some sin on his part should bring judgments upon him. But Obed-edom, though he rejoiced with trembling, welcomed the sacred symbol as the pledge of God’s favor to the obedient. The attention of all Israel was now directed to the Gittite and his household; all watched to see how it would fare with them. ‘And the Lord blessed Obed-edom, and all his household’ (2 Samuel 6:11).

“Upon David the divine rebuke accomplished its work. He was led to realize as he had never realized before the sacredness of the law of God and the necessity of strict obedience.” Ibid., 706.



1     What should we learn from David’s respect for Saul?

2    In what ways can we be sure to avoid being Abners who cause problems for church leaders today?

3    Just as some tried to enthrone David by wrong methods, how do some today seek to promote church leaders by man’s methods?

4    What message does the judgment upon Uzzah bring to us today?

5    What must we understand about sincerity and good intentions?


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