BSF Study Questions People of the Promised Land 1: Lesson 12, Day 4: 1 Samuel 20

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Summary 1 Samuel 20:

David leaves Samuel at Naioth and goes to Ramah to see Jonathan. David asks Jonathan why his father is trying to kill him. Jonathan didn’t know his father was trying to kill David again and offers his help. David devises a test to see if Saul still wants to kill him or not: Jonathan is to go to a dinner David is supposed to show up to during the New Moon festival. If Saul loses his temper when he finds out David has fled, then it is not safe to return. If Saul is indifferent, then it is safe to return.

David makes Jonathan re-swear his oath because he is afraid Jonathan will lead him into a trap and tell him the wrong thing. Jonathan will go to David’s hiding place and shoot 3 arrows. He will tell his boy to say different things, one meaning it is safe, one meaning David must flee.

When David doesn’t appear at the festival, Saul gets angry and accuses Jonathan of siding with David over him. Saul was so angry he hurled his spear at Jonathan to try and kill him as well. Jonathan then went to where David was hiding and gave the signal for him to flee. They wept and kissed and David fled, while Jonathan returned to the town.

BSF Study Questions People of the Promised Land 1: Lesson 12, Day 4: 1 Samuel 20:

10) Jonathan has a great heart who believes the best in people. He puts his own life at risk to save his best friend, David. He doesn’t believe his father is capable of hurting David, even though he’s seen his father throw a spear at David. He thinks he can convince his father he’s wrong. Jonathan trusts in the Lord as shown when he single-handedly took on the Philistines. I like how he does believe the best in people, even when it’s obvious they are evil inside.

11) Jonathan knows right from wrong. He knows David is innocent and had done nothing to deserve death, yet Saul is bent on it. It angers Jonathan (1 Samuel 20:34), and he’s ashamed of how his father is acting. His own father even hurled his spear at him to try to kill him (1 Samuel 20:33). Jonathan seems to understand that David is the chosen king. He sees this in all the blessings God has heaped upon him in his victories against the Philistines and protections from Saul. He also understands David is doing God’s will; whereas, his own father is not.

As we’ll see, Jonathan knows David will be king, and he’s fine with being number 2 (1 Samuel 23:17).

12) Personal Question. My answer: True friendship is sacrificial. When you’re willing to sacrifice for the other person (time, help, money, etc), then you are true friends. And you stand with the friend who does right, not wrong. They loved each other deeply and were willing to do anything for the other — even risk their own life. This is true friendship.

Conclusions: BSF Study Questions People of the Promised Land 1 Lesson 12, Day 4: 1 Samuel 20:

We see God at work in friendships as well and what a true friendship looks like. This is important in this day and age when people have thousands of “friends” on social media — relationships that aren’t real. Sacrificial love these days are rare and pretty much exclusive to immediate family members. This is definitely inspiring!

See this great summary video of the book of 1 Samuel HERE

End Notes BSF Study Questions People of the Promised Land 1 Lesson 12, Day 4 : 1 Samuel 20:

Here, we see a heart-to-heart with best friends. We just saw the Spirit of God protect David in Naioth. David could have simply stayed there for however long it took Saul to give up or die. However, David needed to know if there was still a chance to reconcile with Saul.

David needed to know where Jonathan stood. Jonathan reassured David of his love, telling him he had no idea of the attempted arrest. He warned him of Saul’s intentions.

David is discouraged, but Jonathan reassures him — the hallmark of a true friendship.

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David tests Saul

David comes up with a test to see where Saul’s heart lies. At a feast, David asks Jonathan to observe his father’s reaction, which will tell where Saul’s heart is. Since Jonathan is next in line for the throne and Saul’s son, David is unsure. Jonathan, however, is not.

Jonathan agrees to warn David of his father’s attitude and intentions

In those days when one royal house replaced another, it was common for the new royal house to kill all the potential rulers from the old royal house. Jonathan knew that one day David and his descendants would rule over Israel, and he wanted a promise that David and his descendants will not kill his descendants.

Jonathan and David agreed to care for one another. Jonathan agreed to care for David in the face of Saul’s threat, and David agreed to care for Jonathan and his family in the future. David fulfilled this promise to Jonathan (2 Samuel 9:1-8 and 21:7).

Jonathan would use arrows as a sign of Saul’s heart.

The test is put into play

Ceremonial uncleanliness might cause a person to miss a feast such as this, but ceremonial uncleanliness only lasted a day (Leviticus 22:3-7). So when David’s place was empty the next day, Saul demanded an explanation.

Speaking of David derisively as ‘the son of Jesse,’ accentuated his lowly birth and place in the royal family.

Jonathan covered for David, trying to give Saul a plausible (and truthful) explanation for David’s absence.

Saul’s response said it all as Saul would ignore his previous oath not to kill David  (1 Samuel 19:6)

Jonathan knew what was right before the Lord — and this wasn’t right.

Lesson from 1 Samuel 20

  • A lifetime is nothing but small moments. One small moment can change your life forever.Image result for 1 samuel 20

The weeping is because both men knew they might never see each other again. In fact, Jonathan only sees David once more shortly before he is killed. A sad part of life sometimes how we don’t see loved ones again.

Why does God put David on such a path in life?

  • David needed to depend on God and God alone. Nothing does this more than solitude and persecution — especially unwarranted
  • God wanted to grow David and often uses bleak roads to do so — think Job, Joseph, Paul, and even Jesus
  • God needed to be David’s defense and promoter
  • God must alone be the authority in David’s life

Redpath: “A throne is God’s purpose for you; a cross is God’s path for you; faith is God’s plan for you.”

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BSF Study Questions People of the Promised Land 1: Lesson 12, Day 2: 1 Samuel 18

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Summary of 1 Samuel 18:

After David killed Goliath, he was not allowed to return home. Jonathan, Saul’s son, became best friends with David and made a covenant with David. David rose quickly in the army ranks. After the Philistines were defeated, the army returned home. The women of the towns ran out to greet the army and sang how David killed more men than Saul. This angered Saul, and he became jealous.

An evil spirit from God came upon Saul, which caused him to hurl a spear twice at David, who eluded it. Saul feared David because the Lord was with David and not him. Saul sent David away to fight his battles, which he did successfully since God was with him, winning the hearts of the people. In everything David did, he had great success.

David turned down the marriage of Saul’s oldest daughter, Merab, but gathered 200 foreskins from the Philistines as a bride price for Saul’s second daughter, Michal, who loved David. Saul kept sending David out to battles, hoping the Philistines would kill him. Instead, David had success after success, making his name well-known with the Israelites.

BSF Study Questions People of the Promised Land 1: Lesson 12, Day 2: 1 Samuel 18:

3) Saul is very human; he is jealous of David because of his success and popularity with the people. This would be most people’s reaction. He’s feeling insecure as it is, knowing God is not with him, and he’s not the chosen king of Israel. Jonathan and David are fast friends. They probably shared a lot in common, both being close to the King and having high expectations put upon themselves. They are the epitome of best friends. Michal loved David and presumably he loved her since he did as Saul asked him to do (fulfilled the bride price of 100 Philistine foreskins) for her hand in marriage.

All David’s relationships mirror ours: messy. It’s a ubiquitous human condition, and it’s comforting to know my personal life isn’t as bad as I thought!

4) Personal Question. My answer: Saul is jealous of David. This is a lesson we all need to be better at and improve in our lives since it is usually the first reaction we have to others who get something we want like a promotion or beautiful kids. Then Saul tries to trap David, which backfires miserably. We should not try to do this to others, although it can be tempting to do. No one said following Jesus and being like him was easy.

5) Part personal Question. My answer: All that David does (battles to marrying the King’s daughter) is blessed by God. Yet, that puts a target on his back as people are jealous of him, and when people are jealous, most will stop at nothing to bring that person down. As we’ll see, David has to go into hiding because Saul is out to kill him. I am thoroughly blessed in my life, living for something greater than myself and my own needs. That being said, doing what Jesus would do is a daily challenge in my interactions with my work colleagues, others, and my family. Overcoming my innate selfishness to put others first is challenging and fighting all the temptations the devil throws at me is exhausting. Still, all is for Him, and I’d want it no other way.

Conclusions: BSF Study Questions People of the Promised Land 1 Lesson 12, Day 2: 1 Samuel 18:

Good lesson on the price of being a Christ-follower: blessings and costs involved. You will be enriched beyond imaging, but it won’t be easy with sacrifices along the way. Also, we see David as human with the same struggles we all have, which helps us to not try to be so perfect in all that we do.

End Notes BSF Study Questions People of the Promised Land 1 Lesson 12, Day 2 : 1 Samuel 18:

We met Jonathan in 1 Samuel 14 where he attacked the Philistines single-handedly.

How are Jonathan and David alike?

  • Both Jonathan and David were around the same ageImage result for 1 samuel 18
  • Both Jonathan and David were bold
  • Both Jonathan and David trusted God
  • Both Jonathan and David were men of action
  • Both Jonathan and David had a real relationship with God, loved God, and had God as their center

How were Jonathan and David different?

  • Jonathan was the first-born son of a king (1 Chronicles 9:39), while David was the last-born son of a farmer. This made Jonathan more than a prince, he was the crown prince. By everyone’s expectation Jonathan would be the next king of Israel.

Jonathan understandably should have been the one jealous of David since David was the biggest threat to taking the throne. Instead, their friendship was stronger than jealousy, envy, and ambition. They loved each other more than the throne of Israel because they loved God more than the throne of Israel.

David would never again be a shepherd — but he’d always have the heart of a shepherd.

How were Jonathan and David submitted to the Lord?

  • Jonathan gave David the robe and his armor, the action in effect recognizing God’s choice of the next king.  Because Jonathan was surrendered to God he could see the hand of the LORD upon David. He knew David’s destiny and was perfectly willing to set aside his ambition to honor the LORD’s choice.
  • David, who had already been anointed as king by Samuel (1 Samuel 16:13), would wait 20 years before he’d be king. David was willing to let God put him on the throne, and to do it in God’s timing.

Why was David well-known and popular amongst the Israelites?

  • David became popular because he was a man after God’s own heart and people could see the lovewisdom, and peace of God in him.
  • David was now a general in the Israeli army and worked hard to please Saul.
  • David did not let his popularity go to his head.
  • As a shepherd, David put God first. He lived a simple life, which God had prepared for him. He was humble.

What fueled Saul’s jealousy of David?

  • Since Saul did not have God’s heart, all he had was man’s praise. When David was praised more, Saul became jealous.
  • It’s the sign of a bad leader when you’re threatened by a subordinate.
  • Saul has a guilty conscience. He knows he’s not God’s chosen leader of Israel any more, but he won’t step down.

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Saul’s attempt to kill David

This evil spirit was first mentioned in 1 Samuel 16:14. It came upon Saul, permitted by the LORD, when the Spirit of the LORD departed from Saul (1 Samuel 16:14). David was brought into Saul’s royal court to play music, so that Saul would be ministered to and soothed when suffering from this spirit.

Prophesy is a poor translation here from the Hebrew. It more means idle ravings. Saul was babbling and not in his right mind.

Most men would think playing music was beneath them once they had garnered the kind of success David had. Not David.

Moved by the spirit, Saul chooses to throw a spear at David with the intent to kill.

David could have retaliated with no personal repercussions; but, he didn’t. Saul’s life is in God’s hands. Twice!

The throwing of the spear proved God was with David. Saul became afraid and wanted David dead. Saul promotes David in the army with the intent David will die in battle.

Saul sets a trap for David

Saul had promised to give… his daughter to the man who killed Goliath (1 Samuel 17:25). Now, Saul makes good on the promise, offering his older daughter, Merab, to David.

Saul concocts a plan to get rid of David, using his daughters. In ancient times, a dowry was required whenever a man married. The dowry was paid to the bride’s father, and the more important and prestigious the bride and her family, the higher the dowry price. Since David was from a humble family, there was no way he could pay the dowry for the daughter of a king. Saul knew this and will demand that David kill 100 Philistines as a dowry. Saul figured that the job was too big and too dangerous for David, and he would be killed gaining the dowry to marry a king’s daughter.

Saul is a clever manipulator. He takes advantage of David’s loyalty, patriotism, courage, and heart for the LORD. Yet David, whose name is being sung all over Israel, is humble and refuses the marriage proposition. Saul tried to make David jealous by giving his daughter to another man. Didn’t work.

Michal will be a snare to David as we shall see in (2 Samuel 6:16-23).

Why ask for 100 foreskins?

  • The dowry price was designed to goad David on (“Go get those uncircumcised Philistines”).
  • The dowry price was designed to be difficult because the Philistines would obviously have to be dead.
  • The dowry price was designed to make the Philistines completely outraged at David, because from their perspective, not only were their men killed, but also their dead bodies were desecrated.
  • The foreskins proved they were from unbelievers (the Philistines) since the Israelites were all circumcised.

David, who had already qualified for the marriage with the death of Goliath, humbly agrees. He suspects nothing. David brings back more just to solidify the bargain.

Did Saul’s plan against David work?

  • In Saul’s mind, yes. The Philistines went out to war against David in retaliation for what they felt was a terrible disgrace against the Philistine people. Saul wanted to make David a marked man, and he succeeded.
  • In reality, Saul’s plan backfired. David is not only alive, but he’s also more popular and closer to the LORD than ever.

Saul isn’t finished, and will use more manipulation, cunning, and outright violence to attack David.

However, David’s wise behavior and high esteem were both closely connected to his humble heart. Here, we see Jesus, the Son of David. Philippians 2:9 says of Jesus, Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name.