David Spares Saul

To Remember: Love your enemies

Lesson     1 Samuel 23-26

  • Keilah: David defends Keilah from the Philistines. Saul hears about it and intends to trap David there. David asks God if the people of Keilah will protect him, and God says no. David escapes. 1 Sam. 23:12
    • Discussion Point: How should the people of Keilah treated David?
  • Saul pursued David through the wilderness. God always protected David, even sending a messenger to call Saul away when he was getting extremely close to David. 1 Sam. 23:26-27
    • Discussion Point: Many of the psalms of David seem to have been written at this time in his life. Have a student read Psalm 59:1-2.
  • Later, Saul brought 3,000 men to search for David near En Gedi. At one point, David and his men were hidden in the back of a cave. Saul entered the front of the cave. 1 Sam. 24:6
    • Act Out: Act out this scene, having students imagine what the men thought and felt. At first they were scared of discovery. Then they thought this was David's chance to kill Saul. God had delivered him into their hand. Show how David was torn, but his respect for Saul as King kept him from harming him. He only took a piece of Saul's robe to prove his good intentions.
    • When Saul left, David proves he would not hurt him and Saul is ashamed. 1 Sam 24:17
  • David stays in the wilds of Judah. The local people give him and his men food and supplies, and in exchange, David protects them from bandits and thieves. One of the men David helps is named Nabal. Nabal was proud and rude. He refused to help David despite what he'd done. David becomes angry, but before he acts, Nabal's wife Abigail brings supplies and men and begs David to forgive her husband. David does. Later, Nabal dies in his shame and Abigail becomes David's wife.1 Sam. 25:33
    • Discussion Point: While the people of Keilah were probably afraid of Saul, Nabal was simply arrogant and crude. What attributes did Abigail show that Nabal didn't? How important is it to know what characteristics we want in a spouse?
Activity: Add to the good and bad points of Saul and David on their charts. Be sure to include forgiveness and self-control for David.

Craft: Trace a robe on a piece of colored paper. Have students cut it out, tear off a corner and paste both to a page labeled Saul's coat. Allow students to decorate the Kingly robe.

Sing: He's Got the Whole World

Discussion Point: (for older youth) Many people in David's position would justify killing Saul in self-defense. Discuss how David knew he would be protected. (he'd been protected before, he'd been anointed to be King, he had access to God's advice). Others would say that God must have wanted him to kill Saul since 1) he'd been anointed, 2) God delivered him into his hands. Discuss how David knew that the king was holy, how God would handle everything in his own time, and how David's hands would be clean when he came to the throne. Also - if he kills the previous king, what example is he setting when he becomes king?

Memory Work:

Matthew 5:43-45 "You have heard that it was said, 'You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.' But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven; for he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust."

True or False
  1. David stole from the people where he stayed.         F
  2. The people of Keilah were afraid of Saul.             T
  3. David was too scared to kill Saul.           F
  4. God always protected David.     T
  5. Abigail was as foolish as her husband.        F
Review Questions for gameboard

 linguistic questions
  1. What is a psalm?
  2. Describe David's roles (e.g. psalmist, warrior, leader, fugitive)
  3. Recite the books of the OT.
  activity questions
  1. Locate Keilah on a map.
  2. Act out Abigail's pleas to David.
  3. Recite the memory verse as a group.
  emotion questions
  1. How do you think David felt when God told him Keilah would betray him?
  2. How did Saul feel when he realized David had spared him?
  3. How did David feel when Nabal spurned him?
  4. How did Abigail feel when she heard what Nabal had done?
application questions
  1. How should we treat those who are kind to us?
  2. How should we treat those who are mean to us?
  3. How should we treat anyone in authority, despite their actions?
  4. Will our kindness to others always be returned?
fact questions
  1. Name Abigail's two husbands in this lesson.
  2. Name two places David stayed in this lesson.
  3. How did David prove he was interested in killing Saul?
review questions
  1. Why was Saul pursuing David?
  2. Why wouldn't David kill Saul?
  3. How did David spend his time in the wilderness?