Each week we webcast Lord's Day Sabbath School at 10a, morning public worship at 11a, and p.m. singing and sermon at 2:30p (sermon at 3:30); and the Weds. Prayer Meeting at 6:30p

Wednesday, November 25, 2020

2020.11.25 Hopewell @Home ▫ 1 Samuel 24

Read 1 Samuel 24

Questions from the Scripture text: From what had Saul returned in 1 Samuel 24:1? What was told him? Whom did he take with him in 1 Samuel 24:2? To do what? To where does Saul come in 1 Samuel 24:3? Where does he go to do what? Who else is in there? What do David’s men say to him in 1 Samuel 24:4? What does David do? But what happens to David in 1 Samuel 24:5? To whom does he speak in 1 Samuel 24:6? What does he say about his situation, and how does this compare to what they had said in 1 Samuel 24:4? What did David do to his servants in 1 Samuel 24:7? What does Saul do? Where does David go in 1 Samuel 24:8? What does he call Saul? What does David do when Saul looks back? What does David now ask (1 Samuel 24:9)? What does he point out in 1 Samuel 24:10? What does he call Saul now in 1 Samuel 24:11? What does he point out about his own actions? What does he point out about Saul’s actions? Upon Whom does David call to set things right (1 Samuel 24:12)? What does he promise about his own hand? What does he quote in 1 Samuel 24:13 (cf. Proverbs 20:11)? What does he call Saul in 1 Samuel 24:14? What does he call himself? Again, upon Whom does he call to vindicate and deliver him (1 Samuel 24:15)? What does Saul now call David in 1 Samuel 24:16? What does Saul do? What does he say about David in comparison to himself (1 Samuel 24:17)? Upon what basis? Whom does Saul say delivered him into David’s hand (1 Samuel 24:18, cf. 1 Samuel 24:4)? What does Saul now acknowledge that David is not (1 Samuel 24:18-19)? What does Saul say, in 1 Samuel 24:20, that he surely knows? What does he say will happen to Israel? What does he ask David to swear (1 Samuel 24:21)? What does David do (1 Samuel 24:22)? Where does Saul go? Where does David go?

“This is the day which the Lord has made; let us rejoice, and kill Saul in it!” So might have sung the men of David in v4. Indeed, the Lord had promised to David that he would be king, and the question of how that promise might or might not get answered is on people’s minds (cf. 1 Samuel 24:20).

But that’s not the question that should have been on David’s mind, and it’s not the question that the Spirit places on our minds in this chapter. No, that question is: “will David try to compel God’s promise, or will he rather comply with God’s precepts?”

At first David listens to his men. He’s got the fabric to prove it at the end of v4. But thankfully, he doesn’t smite Saul. Instead, his heart smites (literal translation of 1 Samuel 24:5) him. David didn’t even kill Saul, and he’s still remorseful for doing as much as he did do. Praise God! And just in time, because he has to give his men the theological reasoning (1 Samuel 24:6) by which he restrains them from finishing the job (1 Samuel 24:7).

But then David becomes an example of Christ for the Christian. Do not repay evil for evil, but overcome evil with good; leave room for the vengeance of the Lord (1 Samuel 24:17, cf. Romans 12:17–21, 1 Peter 2:20–25). Rather than prove himself the enemy that Saul suspected (cf. 1 Samuel 24:131 Samuel 24:17-19), David has shown himself the son that Saul has betrayed (cf. 1 Samuel 24:111 Samuel 24:16). 

The key to keeping your head like this, forgiving like this, and restraining yourself like this is to trust that the Lord is in control, and that He takes seriously, and judges, and responds to the things that men do. So David won’t touch Saul because Saul is the Lord’s anointed (1 Samuel 24:6). And David is content to let the Lord judge Saul (1 Samuel 24:12a), so he doesn’t need to avenge himself on Saul (verse 12b). And David is content to let the Lord judge himself (1 Samuel 24:15a), and entrust both his case and his deliverance to the Lord (verse 15b). 

Even Saul learns to talk this way, at least for a moment (1 Samuel 24:19-21). David doesn’t put much stock in it; rather than go home to be son-in-law, he and his men go back up to the stronghold (1 Samuel 24:22). Will the language of God judging, controlling, avenging, and rewarding be just a way of talking that we use around others who talk the same way? Or will it control what we do so that our heart smites us when we do wrong, and we are enabled by trust in God to overcome evil with good?

Who has been giving you the “opportunity” to bless the one cursing you and do good to the one abusing you?

Suggested songs: ARP109A “God of My Praise” or TPH256 “God Moves in a Mysterious Way”


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