Lesson 8: David, a heart that trusts God (part 1)

David was a young man when Samuel anointed him as the next king of Israel (1Samuel 16.12-13). He remained in his father’s house, not knowing when he would come to the throne, but assured that it would happen because the Lord had proclaimed it. The Lord’s promise seemed confirmed following David’s victory over Goliath (1Samuel 18.6-7), but as we know the people’s adoration provoked the jealousy of king Saul (1Samuel 18.8-9). The enmity of Saul led to some of the darkest days of David’s life. But no matter how great the trial, he retained his trust in his God as evident in the Psalms he penned during this period. In this lesson and the next we will focus on some of the particular events as David fled from Saul and the corresponding Psalms were we see how he continued to trust his God.

When Saul sought to kill David in his home
(1Samuel 19.11-17; Psalm 59)

By the time we come to this episode Saul had twice tried to kill David with a spear (18.10-11; 19.9-10) and set a trap by demanding the foreskins of 100 Philistines in exchange for the hand of his daughter (18.20-29). Saul then sought to kill David in his own home, but he escaped thanks to warning of his wife, Michal, the daughter of Saul (19.11-17). Where could David find safety if not in his own home? In the Lord, his stronghold (Psalm 59). 

When Doeg informed Saul of David’s whereabouts
(1Samuel 21.7; 22.6-19; Psalm 52)

Once Jonathan confirmed to David that Saul was seeking his life (1Samuel 20), David fled to Ahimelech the priest at Nob.David Flees 1 The priest gave David the only provisions he had: consecrated bread and the sword of Goliath (1Samuel 21.1-6,8-9). However, one of Saul’s shepherds, Doeg the Edomite, witnessed this and reported it to Saul (21.7; 22.9-10). Saul confronted Ahimelech the priest and ordered Doeg to slay him and his household. Doeg slew 85 priests! (22.14-19). Only one son of Ahimelech escaped to tell David (22.20-23). Who could punish the wickedness of Doeg and other evildoers like him? The Lord would execute justice on the wicked and preserve the righteous! (Psalm 52). 

When David fled to Achish, king of Gath, and had to feign madness (1Samuel 21.10-15; Psalm 56; 34). 

After leaving Ahimelech at Nob, David fled to the Philistine king of Gath (21.10). Gath was the home city of Goliath (17.4) and we can only assume that David believed the Philistines would receive him because they shared a common enemy in Saul. David was mistaken and only escaped the Philistines by feigning madness (21.11-15). What could explain David’s narrow escape? David had put his trust in the Lord! (Psalm 56).

David also penned Psalm 34 at this time. This Psalm is a call to praise the Lord (vss.1-3) because He gives salvation (vss. 4-18). The righteous may suffer many afflictions, but they have assurance that the Lord will deliver them and redeem them (vss. 19-22). Vs. 20 has added significance because of its use in John 19.33,36. The fact that Jesus’ bones were not broken was confirmation that while God’s Righteous One was greatly afflicted, His deliverance was assured!

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