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David Respects the Lord’s Anointed

INTRODUCTION: This lesson greatly illustrates a choice made by each person. Will they live their life by conviction (Proverbs 4:23-27) or by convenience (James 1:6-8)? David lived by conviction when he refused to kill Saul because he was the Lord’s anointed (1 Samuel 24:6). His men wanted to act out of convenience and give God the credit for the opportunity (1 Samuel 24:4). Each person must decide how they will live their life.

  1. DAVID SPARES SAUL (1 Samuel 24:1-7)
    1. Saul Comes after David (1 Samuel 24:1-2).
      1. In the wilderness of En-gedi (1 Samuel 24:1)
      2. With three thousand chosen men (1 Samuel 24:2a)
      3. Upon the rocks of the wild goats (1 Samuel 24:2b; Psalm 104:18)
    2. David Cuts Off Sauls Skirt (1 Samuel 24:3-5).
      1. Saul enters Davids cave (1 Samuel 24:3).
        1. A sheepcote is a sheepfold.
        2. The sheepcote was evidently at the mouth of the cave. This gave shelter to the shepherds.
        3. Saul goes in to cover his feet.
        4. The cave must have been large in order to hold Davids 600 men in the sides.
      2. David cuts Sauls skirt (1 Samuel 24:4).
        1. Davids men see the opportunity as a fulfillment of prophecy.
        2. David arises and cuts off the skirt of Saul's robe.
        3. Sauls skirt would be either the lower portion or a flap of his robe.
      3. David feels guilty for even this minor act (1 Samuel 24:5).
        1. Davids heart smites him.
        2. Because he has cut off Sauls skirt
    3. David Spares Sauls Life (1 Samuel 24:6-7).
      1. David spares the Lords anointed (1 Samuel 24:6; Psalm 105:14-15).
        1. David declares that it would not be the Lords will to kill Saul.
        2. David calls Saul my master; he still considers Saul as his king.
        3. Saul is the anointed of the LORD (1 Samuel 10:1).
      2. David restrains his men (1 Samuel 24:7).
        1. David stays his servants with his words.
        2. He suffers them not to rise against Saul.
        3. Saul departs from the cave and goes on his way.
  2. DAVID SPEAKS TO SAUL (1 Samuel 24:8-15)
    1. David Declares His Innocence (1 Samuel 24:8-11).
      1. David calls out to Saul (1 Samuel 24:8).
        1. David moves to a safe place.
        2. David calls out, My lord the king.
        3. David bows down before Saul.
      2. David speaks of his innocence (1 Samuel 24:9-10).
        1. He lays the blame on Sauls advisors (1 Samuel 24:9).
        2. He reveals his opportunity to kill Saul (1 Samuel 24:10).
        3. He states his respect for the Lords anointed (1 Samuel 24:10).
      3. David proves his innocence (1 Samuel 24:11).
        1. He shows the skirt of Sauls robe.
        2. He is guiltless in seeking Sauls life.
        3. He questions Sauls desire to hunt him.
    2. David Appeals to the Lord (1 Samuel 24:12-15).
      1. David leaves the matter to the Lord (1 Samuel 24:12-13; Genesis 18:25).
        1. The Lord will judge (1 Samuel 24:12).
        2. The Lord will avenge (1 Samuel 24:12; Leviticus 19:18; Deuteronomy 32:35; Psalm 94:1; Proverbs 20:22; Romans 12:17-19; 1 Thessalonians 5:15; 1 Peter 3:9).
        3. David refuses to take matters into his own hand (1 Samuel 24:12-13).
        4. David quotes a proverb of the ancients (1 Samuel 24:13).
      2. David questions Sauls actions (1 Samuel 24:14-15).
        1. David questions the severity of himself as an enemy of Saul (1 Samuel 24:14).
          1. Pursuing David is like pursuing after a dead dog.
          2. Pursuing David is like pursuing after a flea.
        2. David places his life and cause in the Lords hands (1 Samuel 24:15).
          1. The Lord shall judge between David and Saul.
          2. The Lord shall see and plead Davids cause.
          3. The Lord shall deliver David out of Sauls hand.
  3. DAVID SHAMES SAUL (1 Samuel 24:16-22)
    1. Saul Praises Davids Mercy (1 Samuel 24:16-19).
      1. Davids righteousness (1 Samuel 24:16-17)
        1. Saul understands that it is David that has spoken to him (1 Samuel 24:16).
        2. Saul is overcome and weeps; probably because he realizes his narrow escape from death (1 Samuel 24:16).
        3. Saul declares the greatness of Davids character Thou art more righteous than I (1 Samuel 24:17).
        4. Saul admits his guilt (1 Samuel 24:17).
          1. David has rewarded him good.
          2. He has rewarded David with evil.
      2. Davids kindness (1 Samuel 24:18)
        1. He has dealt well with Saul.
        2. He has not used his opportunity to kill Saul.
      3. Davids innocence (1 Samuel 24:19)
        1. Saul realizes that Davids actions are not those of an enemy.
        2. Saul seeks Gods blessing on David for sparing him; NOTE: This is in the heat of Saul realizing how close he comes to death. This attitude does not last for long and is akin to promises made to God when a persons life is in danger (see 1 Samuel 26:1-2).
    2. Saul Admits Davids Destiny (1 Samuel 24:20-22).
      1. He admits Davids future (1 Samuel 24:20).
        1. Thou shalt surely be king.
        2. The kingdom of Israel shall be established in thine hand.
      2. He seeks Davids mercy (1 Samuel 24:21).
        1. He asks for Davids oath.
        2. Sauls seed not to be cut off
        3. Sauls name not to be destroyed
      3. He goes home (1 Samuel 24:22).
        1. David swears to Saul.
        2. Saul goes home, but David and his men return to the hold.
        3. NOTE: Though Saul pulls back, the war is not over. David is not received, but returns with his men to a place of safety.

CONCLUSION: Consider the following Bible characters and decide in each case whether they lived by conviction or by convenience:

  1. Lot (Genesis 13:9-11)
  2. Abraham (Genesis 18:19)
  3. Joshua (Joshua 24:16)
  4. Paul (Acts 20:24; Acts 24:15)
  5. Felix (Acts 24:25)
  6. Demas (2 Timothy 4:10)

What do you think made the difference? Can you think of others and tell how they lived? In what ways can you live your life by conviction?