BSF Study Questions People of the Promised Land 1: Lesson 14, Day 5: 1 Samuel 27

Image result for 1 samuel 27

Summary 1 Samuel 27:

David, still fearful for his life, decides to go to the Philistines, so Saul will stop pursuing him there. David goes to Gath where he fled before (1 Samuel 21:10) and pretended to be insane, and he and his men settle there. They are given their own land in Ziklag and stay for 1 year and 4 months. David raided some of Israel’s enemies while there, killing everyone and taking their possessions. He lied to Achish, telling him he was raiding the Israelites. David was protecting his own skin.

Image result for 1 samuel 27

BSF Study Questions People of the Promised Land 1: Lesson 14, Day 5: 1 Samuel 27:

12) David was afraid of Saul and feared for his life. He knew if he fled Israel, Saul would quit pursuing him, which he did. David’s reasons were valid but unnecessary. We’re not told if he prayed to God about it, but to me it seems as if he didn’t trust God to protect him, so he took the matter into his own hands.

13) Personal Question. My answer. Too many times to count: as a kid, divorce, bankruptcy, moves across country, jobs, etc. I prayed and trusted and tried not to worry and give it to God.

14) He will provide, protect, console, and never forsake those who trust him. God knows us. We are His. We are given eternal life. God is for us. We are justified. He gives us all things. We are never separated from the love of Christ. God works through us. All of God’s promises are encouraging as I walk in faith with Him.

Conclusions: BSF Study Questions People of the Promised Land 1 Lesson 14, Day 5: 1 Samuel 27:

Again, we see the imperfections of David. He’s having to lie to Achish in order to stay and kill people because he’s afraid and not trusting in God’s protection. People are dying. Granted, they are Israel’s enemies, but they are still dying needlessly. David is human just like us and makes mistakes.

End Notes BSF Study Questions People of the Promised Land 1 Lesson 14, Day 5: 1 Samuel 27:

Image result for 1 samuel 27

What we say in our heart has a tremendous power to shape our thinking, our actions, even our whole destiny.

David was discouraged and tired of trusting God for His continued deliverance. In his discouragement, David forgot God’s past deliverance. In his despair, he left God and His people behind.

This is the second time David flees to Achish — this time leading his army and family to sin as well. In 1 Samuel 21:10-15, we learn David briefly went over to Achish of the Philistines, believing there might be a place of refuge for him. God allowed that experience to quickly turn sour, and David pretended to be a madman, so he could escape.

Why Achish accept David this time with the Philistines?

  1. Both share the same enemy, Saul.
  2. David brings with him 600 fighting men, whom Achish can use as mercenaries.
  3. Achish believes David is fighting against his enemies when, in fact, David is not

IMPORTANT NOTE: David did not write any Psalms during his time with the Philistines. His heart was not with God.

David as a murderer

David needed his own city, Ziklag, to operate from unobserved.

The Hebrew word raided comes from the verb to strip, with the idea of stripping the dead for loot. David attacked these villages or encampments, killed the men, stripped them for treasure or armor, and robbed the people of the village or encampment. This was no way of life for a man after God’s own heart.

David attacks only Israel’s enemies. Still, he’s nothing more than a robber and a murderer. He is not fighting for God.

Why David kill all those people

  • David did not want his lie exposed
  • To cover his sin
  • David has to live out the lie to protect himself

Where is God?

God is allowing David free will, letting his decisions play out — like he does with us. But God has not abandoned David. On the contrary, he is hoping David will come back to His arms.

 

Advertisements

BSF Study Questions People of the Promised Land 1: Lesson 14, Day 3: 1 Samuel 25:14-44 with Psalm 37

Image result for 1 samuel 25

Summary 1 Samuel 25:14-44:

Abigail got wind of David’s request and how good he had been to them, guarding the sheep. Abigail decides to give David food without telling Nabal. She rides out to greet them as David is still seething over Nabal’s denial of his food request and is preparing to slaughter Nabal’s men.

Abigail prostrates herself before David, begging him to put the blame on her instead because her husband is a fool. She reasons with him to not kill them because then he’d have innocent bloodshed on his hands. David blesses her, saying she has saved him from killing all of Nabal’s men. Nabal dies. David marries Abigail. He had married Ahinoam of Jezreel as well but Michal had been given to another man.

Summary Psalm 37:

Don’t worry over evil people. Trust in God and He will give you the desires of your heart. Wait for the Lord. Refrain from evil. The Lord laughs at the wicked. The wicked will vanish and perish. Do good and the Lord will not forsake you. He will bless you.

BSF Study Questions People of the Promised Land 1: Lesson 14, Day 3: 1 Samuel 25:14-44 with Psalm 37:

6) Part Personal Question. My answer: Abigail is intelligent and beautiful. She is selfless, willing to take on Nabal’s punishment. She cares for her employees to save them. She is humble, brave, and courageous. She is sacrificial. I’d like to be more caring, humble, and more sacrificial as well.

7) Part Personal Question. My answer: God sent Abigail to prevent David from doing something he’d regret and from sinning. Every day God extends mercy to me as I fail and am flippant with others, impatient, and mean sometimes.

8 ) Part personal question. My answer: God blesses the good and condemns the evil in His time. I need to be more patient with God and allow Him to give me the desires of my heart.

Conclusions: BSF Study Questions People of the Promised Land 1 Lesson 14, Day 3: 1 Samuel 25:14-44 with Psalm 37:

Leave it to a woman to diffuse a male ego. Abigail, knowing something bad is going to happen, goes to David and makes peace. David realizes how wrong he was and then marries Abigail, probably recognizing her intelligence, courage, and selflessness.

End Notes BSF Study Questions People of the Promised Land 1 Lesson 14, Day 3: 1 Samuel 25:14-44 with Psalm 37:

Nabal’s servants read the handwriting on the wall. They knew that David would not take such an insult (theft, actually) lying down. For their own sake and for the sake of the household. they asked Abigail to do something, knowing Nabal would not (Proverbs 17:12).

The fact that Abigail was able to gather so much food so quickly shows how wealthy Nabal was. If this much food was on hand, it makes Nabal’s ungenerous reply to David all the worse.

In his angry, agitated state, something unexpected made David and his whole company come to an immediate stop: a great procession of gifts, and at the head of that procession, a beautiful woman bowing down before David. This had to make a startling impression on David.

What did Abigail do that saved her men?

  • Abigail came as a humble servant, not as a superior (as the beautiful, rich, and privileged often do).Image result for 1 samuel 25
  • Abigail acted quickly
  • Abigail took the blame on herself, knowing as a woman, David would punish her differently than Nabal
  • Abigail asked David’s permission to speak
  • Abigail told David he was about to make a mistake
  • Abigail brought gifts
  • Abigail asked for forgiveness
  • Abigail compliments David
  • Abigail told David to look at the bigger picture of what God has for him
  • Abigail tells David to act like a man close to God

What did Abigail do wrong in her interaction with David?

  • Abigail went to David without her husband’s consent
  • Abigail called her husband names and criticized him to others
  • Abigail insinuated Nabal should be killed
  • Abigail asked David to remember her
  • Abigail was not outstandingly submissive or respectful to her husband, Nabal.

Though there is no explanation in the Bible, perhaps Abigail’s behavior was justified because this was a life-or-death situation. If Abigail didn’t do what she did, then Nabal and scores of innocent men would die. But the point of the passage is how submissive and respectful Abigail is towards David, not Nabal.

The beauty of Abigail’s speech

  • Abigail focused David’s attention from Nabal back to God who could easily kill all of David’s enemies with a sling, referencing Goliath here.
  • Abigail lifted David up instead of beating him down. David was clearly in the wrong, and Abigail wanted to guide him into the right. But she didn’t do it by being negative, by emphasizing to David how wrong and angry and stupid he was – though in fact he was. Instead, Abigail emphasized David’s glorious calling and destiny, and the general integrity of his life, and simply asked him to consider if what his present course of action was consistent with that destiny and integrity.
  • Abigail is a marvelous model of “sweetly speaking submission.” Many Christian wives have the idea of “silent submission.” They say, “I know my husband is wrong, but I won’t tell him. Submission means I should shut up.” That is wrong, and they should look to Abigail as an example. Other Christian wives have the idea of “sharply speaking submission.” They say, “I know my husband is wrong, and God has appointed me to tell him. And boy, will I!” That is wrong, and they should look to Abigail as an example. Abigail gives the right example – submission that speaks, but speaks sweetly instead of sharply.
  • Abigail’s submission to Nabal was not outstanding but her submission to David was. And David’s submission to the Lord was equally outstanding; by giving up the fight, he had to trust God to take care of Nabal.

What do we learn from Abigail?

  • Our hurt feelings never justify disobedience. When others sin against us, we may feel justified in sinning against them, but we are never justified by disobeying.
  • It is a great blessing when we are kept from sin.

David knew God sent Abigail and was speaking through her. How many Abigails do we have in our lives?

Abigail reminded David of his destiny – to reign over Israel in righteousness and integrity. If David had slaughtered Nabal and his household, it would forever be a black mark against David among Israelites. They would forever wonder if they could really trust him. It might also seal his doom before Saul, because for the first time David would have given Saul a legitimate reason to hunt him down as a criminal.

Note Abigail also paid David what he was owed.

What do we learn from Nabal?

  • Nabal is a picture of the sinner who goes on rejecting God without regard to God’s coming judgment. It is certain that God will judge the sinner who continues to reject Him in His timing.
  • David did not need to avenge himself with his own hand; God was more than able to do it.

Jesus may have had Nabal in mind when He taught the Parable of the Rich Fool (Luke 12:15-21). That parable describes a man who dies with everything – and nothing.

Wasn’t David already married when he marries Abigail?

No. David was not married to Michal because Saul had taken her away and given her to another man to spite David (David will get Michal back in 2 Samuel 3:13-16).

David never followed God’s will in his marriage life, causing him some of his greatest trials. Although God did not forbid multiple wives, it is not God’s ideal for men and women and His plan for oneness. David had many passions, one of them being women. He was never blessed by God because, in this respect, he was not a man after God’s own heart.

Commentary Psalm 37:

Verse 25 tells us that the author is David in his older years, giving wisdom in the pattern of a song. This Psalm is roughly acrostic in arrangement with the lines arranged with Hebrew sentences that begin with the successive letters of the Hebrew alphabet. In style this is a wisdom psalm, directed not to man but to God, teaching after the manner of the Book of Proverbs.

Why do the wicked prosper?

Many people “fret” or are jealous of the wicked who proper despite their evil. Asaph was bothered by this problem in Psalm 73. Here’s what Bible commentators have to say about the matter:

  • “The words ‘do not fret’ literally mean ‘do not get heated,’ which is also how we might express it. Or we might Image result for psalm 37say, ‘Don’t get all worked up.’ Or even, ‘Be cool.’” (Boice)
  • “To fret is to worry, to have the heart–burn, to fume, to become vexed. Nature is very apt to kindle a fire of jealousy when it sees law–breakers riding on horses, and obedient subjects walking in the mire.” (Spurgeon)
  • Morgan wrote of this worry, this fret: “It is wrong; it is harmful; it is needless. Let the trusting wait. Events will justify the action.”
  • “It is as foolish as it is wicked to repine or be envious at the prosperity of others. Whether they are godly or ungodly, it is God who is the dispenser of the bounty they enjoy; and, most assuredly, he has a right to do what he will with his own. To be envious in such a case, is to arraign the providence of God.” (Clarke)

David gives the same answer Asaph came to in Psalm 73: any prosperity experienced by the workers of iniquity was only temporary.

“In the Middle East the lush spring vegetation may lose its beauty in a few days after a hot, dry desert wind (hamsin) has parched the land.” (VanGemeren)

We think of a wicked man eating a magnificent dinner while a godly man goes hungry. The wicked man eats anything and everything he wants, and his table is loaded as he enjoys his meal. Then we see the bigger picture: he eats his last meal on death row and in a moment will face terrible judgment.

How do we not worry about what evildoers are doing?

  • Trust God and do good for His glory. We can get distracted by looking at the prosperity of the wicked.
  • Enjoy the blessings God has given you.
  • Delight in the Lord, and God will give you the desires of your heart
  • Wait on the Lord
  • Do not be angry
  • Our reward is eternal; the wicked’s reward is temporary

“The Hebrew for commit is literally ‘roll’, as though getting rid of a burden ( Joshua 5:9). But it comes to be used simply as a synonym for ‘entrust’ (Proverbs 16:3) or ‘trust’; cfPsalm 22:8.” (Kidner)

All evildoers shall be cut off, and the blessed shall inherit the world.

Jesus quoted verse 11 in the Sermon on the Mount, in the third beatitude (Matthew 5:5). “It is right to say that Psalm 37 is an exposition of the third beatitude, even though it was written a thousand years before Jesus began his public ministry. It unfolds the character of the meek or trusting person in the face of the apparent prosperity of the wicked.” (Boice)

Why do the wicked plot against the just?

The wicked gnash their teeth, which shows the depth of their anger and hatred.

“If God can laugh at the wicked, shouldn’t we be able at least to refrain from being agitated by them?” (Boice)

The wicked will be broken; the righteous will be held by God.

Adam Clarke noted that some ancient manuscripts render verse 20 differently. “If we follow the Hebrew, it intimates that they shall consume as the fat of lambs. That is, as the fat is wholly consumed in sacrifices by the fire on the altar, so shall they consume away in the fire of God’s wrath.”

The wicked take; the righteous give.

The promise of earth-inheritance is repeated a three times.

How are the righteous rewarded?

  • God guides our steps
  • God delights in us (Romans 5:1-2).
  • God holds us up so we don’t fall

As we seek the Lord and delight in Him, we find our lives are the perfect will of God (Romans 12:1-2).

Geber is the original word for good, and it properly signifies a strong man, a conqueror or hero; and it appears to be used here to show that even the most powerful must be supported by the Lord.

God provides for His people

This was David’s testimony after many years. He saw God’s faithfulness to His people and wanted a younger generation to also trust in Him, learning from David’s wisdom.

David knew that among his ancestors were some who left Israel, fearful in a time of famine (Ruth 1). When they returned after several disastrous years in Moab, they found the people of Bethlehem in Israel provided for. God knew how to take care of those who trusted in Him in times of famine, and has done so since then.

One way that God provides for the righteous and their descendants is through the ethic of hard work that belongs to the redeemed, who know that all things should be done heartily, as unto the LORD – including working for a living.

Image result for psalm 37Do Godly men and women have to beg?

This Psalm is a wisdom psalm very much like Proverbs. In the Bible’s wisdom literature often times general principles are presented in the absolute.

We also note that David simply wrote of his experience. That being said, God provides no matter what and one must ask if you are begging, are your exercising every option available to you.

God’s judgments descend to posterity, not just His mercies.

We see the repetition of the same promise in the same terms throughout verses 9, 11, 22, 29, 34. This is a reference to the new heavens and the new earth of Isaiah 66:172 Peter 3:13.

What character traits do the righteous possess?

  • Wisdom and just words
  • Knowledge and love of God’s word  (Jeremiah 31:33)

FUN FACT: For the fifth time in this Psalm, David promised the people of God that they would inherit the land. For the sixth time in this Psalm, David promised that the wicked would be cut off or cut down in some sense. Their coming doom was just as certain as the coming blessing and security of the righteous.

David used a green tree as a picture of the wicked in their prosperity. Psalm 1 uses a flourishing tree as a picture of the righteous. “Here it is used in reverse, the wicked being compared to a green tree which flourishes for a time but soon passes away and is seen no more.” (Boice)

Final thought from David: Trust in God.

Image result for psalm 37

BSF Study Questions People of the Promised Land 1: Lesson 14, Day 2: 1 Samuel 25:1-13

Image result for 1 samuel 25

Summary 1 Samuel 25:1-13:

Samuel died, and David moved to the Desert of Maon. There, a wealthy man named Nabal and his wife, Abigail, lived. His men were shearing sheep when David asked him to give him whatever he could. Nabal refused, so David prepared to fight.

BSF Study Questions People of the Promised Land 1: Lesson 14, Day 2: 1 Samuel 25:1-13:

3) Part Personal Question. My answer: Nabal is “surly and mean in his dealings.” He is also greedy, ungenerous, and skeptical. I’m the same. I don’t believe people most of the time nor do I give out random things to people I don’t know. I bet Nabal got a lot of people begging from him, so he didn’t care who David was, the answer was no.

4) David immediately gets angry after a simple no. It seems David has gotten used to getting what he wants because of who he is since he identifies himself. He and his men put on their swords, seemingly with the intention to kill Nabal’s men and/or his livestock.

5) Personal Question. My answer: Those around me. Anger affects those closest to us. I need to be better when I don’t get my way. It all depends on what it is and how bad I want something. Still, we can’t have everything we want as David shows us here. We need to react calmly, not overreact, and move on with our lives.

Conclusions: BSF Study Questions People of the Promised Land 1 Lesson 14, Day 2: 1 Samuel 25:1-13:

David does act impulsively, believing he is owed something by a man he had no agreement with. Maybe he and his men are starving. Still, that’s no reason to go and fight. It also seems like Samuel died unceremoniously. I’m sure he was remembered, but the writer here doesn’t care to go into it.

End Notes BSF Study Questions People of the Promised Land 1 Lesson 14, Day 2: 1 Samuel 25:1-13:

Image result for map of maon bible

Samuel seemed to be unappreciated by Israel during his life (1 Samuel 8:1-7) but at least he was honored in his death. 1 Chronicles 9:22 suggests he organized the Levites in the service of the sanctuary which was completed by David and Solomon. 1 Chronicles 26:27-28 says Samuel began collecting treasures for building the temple in Solomon’s day. 2 Chronicles 35:18 reports that Samuel remembered the Passover and kept Israel in remembrance of God’s great deliverance. Psalm 99:6 and Jeremiah 15:1 commemorate Samuel as a man of great intercession. Hebrews 11:33 puts Samuel among God’s “Heroes of Faith.”

What are the 4 kinds of riches?

  1. What you have
  2. What you do
  3. What you know
  4. What you are

Nabal only was wealthy in what he had.

This was the “harvest time” for a sheep rancher, which was a time of lavish hospitality towards others.

“Sheep-shearing was traditionally celebrated by feasting with enough to spare.” (Baldwin)

Image result for 1 samuel 25

The name Nabal means fool. In ancient Israel, names were often connected with a person’s character. He was of the house of Caleb, which means dog. This was no compliment.

FUN FACT: Only Rachel (Genesis 29:17) and Esther (Esther 2:7) are described with the same Hebrew word as the one here that describes Abigail as beautiful.

Why was Abigail with Nabal?

  • We can understand it in that day of arranged marriages — a noble woman with a surly man. “It is remarkable how many Abigails get married to Nabals. God-fearing women, tender and gentle in the sensibilities, high-minded and noble in their ideals, become tied in an indissoluble union with men for whom they can have no true affinity, even if they have not an unconquerable repugnance.” (Meyer)

David believed because he protected Nabal’s sheep of his own accord that Nabal owed him compensation. How often do we do this?

Nabal had to have known who David was, because David was famous throughout all Israel (1 Samuel 18:5-7). Nabal said this as a direct insult to David – knowing who he was but refusing to recognize him. In our modern way of speaking, Nabal said, “Who does he think he is?”

Nabal looked at all of his material blessings as his instead of as God’s.

What do we learn by David’s overreaction?

This is not a high moment for David. He doesn’t respond the way God would have him respond to an insult.  We are supposed to bear insults with love and kindness, returning their evil with our good.  Whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also. (Matthew 5:38-39)

This is striking since we just saw in the previous chapter how David responds to Saul. David was able to be kind to Saul, but it seems to have been harder to do it towards someone he perceived as his equal or lower than himself. Often, this is true measure of our character – not how we treat our superiors, but how we treat our equals or those “beneath” us in some way or another.

BSF Study Questions People of the Promised Land 1: Lesson 13, Day 4: 1 Samuel 23 and Psalm 54

Image result for psalm 54

Summary 1 Samuel 23:

Despite the men’s fears, David, after inquiring of the Lord and gaining God’s assurance that he would deliver the Philistines into his hands, goes to Keilah and saves it. Saul interprets this as God handing David over to him, so Saul goes to Keilah to besiege David. David asks God if he will be surrendered to Saul and God answers that he would be handed over by the people.

David and 600 men flee Keilah and are on the move in the Desert of Ziph. God protects David from Saul who is looking for David. David rendezvous with Jonathan at Horesh who encourages David in his plight. This will be the last time they see each other.

The Ziphites, a tribe near Horesh, offers to capture David for Saul. Saul tells them to track David and then he’ll go with them to find David. David continues to run and as Saul is closing in, God sends the Philistines to distract Saul who must abandon the search for David and go and fight instead.

Summary Psalm 54:

Simultaneously, David prays for God to save him, for God to vindicate him and destroy his enemies, and he sings God’s praises and expresses his faith in God to do all that he asks.

BSF Study Questions People of the Promised Land 1: Lesson 13, Day 4: 1 Samuel 23 and Psalm 54:

9) Part Personal Question. My answer: David always consulted God first. I’m not very good at asking God first. I usually make the decision and then ask God to bless it. This is definitely my prayer this week!

10) Personal Question. My answer: God provides and protects. He sends Jonathan to encourage, probably when David needed it most. I loved how God keeps Saul at bay and the best part is how he sends the Philistines to attack Israel to protect David! God uses Israel’s enemies in ways to save Israel! How cool is that! God also warns and counsels. He is so good if we would only just listen! We also see an example of how people interpret God’s actions wrongly as Saul thinks God is giving David to him when God is really saving Keilah. This is a warning to us both to be wary of people who say “God told me to” and for ourselves when we tell ourselves “God told me to”. Did He REALLY???

11) Personal Question. My answer. Similar to #10 we just answered. I loved how God keeps Saul at bay and the best part is how he sends the Philistines to attack Israel to protect David! God uses Israel’s enemies in ways to save Israel! How cool is that! God encourages David through Jonathan, and, knowing Jonathan will die, allows David to see him one more time. This is a blessing to both men! David always stays one step ahead of Saul thanks to God.

God’s hand touches all we do, all we say, all that happens to us and around us. I need to have faith more in Him, and let Him handle things His way, not mine.

12) Part personal Question. My answer: God is faithful; God is his help; God sustains him; God destroys his enemies; God has delivered David from all his troubles. All of these are comforting. God is the giver of life and is responsible for all my blessings. He is faithful. He sustains me in all aspects: physical, mental, emotional, spiritual. He delivers me from my troubles and takes care of my enemies. God is good!

Conclusions: BSF Study Questions People of the Promised Land 1 Lesson 13, Day 4: 1 Samuel 23 and Psalm 54:

God is in control. Period. He works his magic behind the scenes to care for us, to protect us, to encourage us, to rid us of our troubles and our enemies, and to sustain us — all because He loves us. Undeserved love. If we would have faith like David, I think our lives would be much more content, calm, and peaceful as we trusted God in all that we do.

End Notes BSF Study Questions People of the Promised Land 1 Lesson 13, Day 4: 1 Samuel 23 and Psalm 54:

Commentary 1 Samuel 23:

The Israelites brought this plea for help to David and not to King Saul because Saul was not fulfilling his role as king over Israel. It was Saul’s job to protect Keliah and it was Saul’s job to fight the Philistines, but Saul wasn’t doing his job, so the Lord called David to do it.

David consulted God first (did not pawn off the job on Saul, saying this isn’t my job).

Saving Keilah was not in David’s best interest:

  • David had 400 men who were not trained and bad credit reports (1 Samuel 22:2).
  • David had enough trouble with Saul and he didn’t need to add trouble from the Philistines – one enemy is usually enough.
  • Saving Keilah would expose David to Saul. This was a dangerous course of action.

Why did David save Keilah?

  1. God commanded him to do so
  2. The Israelites needed him

God confirms His word (He does this frequently for us and for those in the Bible) AND adds a promise — something He does for us as well.

The results of obedience

  • David obeyed; God blessed

Saul assumed because David was his enemy that David is God’s enemy. The opposite is true. God’s enemies are ours.

David seeks God again, this time through the priest using the Urim and Thummim. Notice how the questions are presented in a “Yes or No” format, because that is how the Urim and Thummim were used.

David could have stayed and fought, and maybe there was something in him that wanted to. But David knew it was not the Lord’s will, and maybe a lot of innocent people would get hurt. So, David, who was a great warrior, humbled himself and escaped. David was not the kind of man to sneak away from a battle, but he didn’t let his pride get the best of him in this matter.

Image result for 1 samuel 23

The Desert of Ziph

Ziph was a town below the southern tip of the Dead Sea with a dramatically varied landscape. It was not a comfortable or easy place to be — it was a desert. God guided and protected David, but it wasn’t comfortable or easy. This was an essential time for God’s work in David’s life. He became a man after God’s heart in the shepherd’s field, but he became a king in the wilderness.

Many of us walk through our own deserts, and God is there, at work in our lives, too.

Saul was a determined enemy, unrelenting in his pursuit of David. Saul was so obsessed with killing David that he didn’t give attention to the work God called him to do.

Man can intend, attempt, and work all kinds of evil but God is still in charge.

Led by God, Jonathan encouraged David. Jonathan’s encouragement was a mix of divine promises and an expression of hope, desire, and love.

Saul was so spiritually warped that he said the betrayers of an innocent man were blessed. He believed it was David who was crafty when it was God protecting David the entire time.

Commentary Psalm 54:

There were actually two times the Ziphites betrayed David to King Saul: 1) in 1 Samuel 23 and 2) in 1 Samuel 26. David escaped both times, but the circumstances of this Psalm seem to best fit the circumstances of 1 Samuel 23, when David learned of the Ziphite betrayal but before God delivered (1 Samuel 23:26-29).

This is one of the few Psalms with a specific musical direction: with stringed instruments. It is also called A Contemplation. The Hebrew word for Contemplation (maskil) might be better understood as instruction.

David’s Feelings

David relied on both the name and the strength of God. God’s name speaks of the nature and character of God; strength (or might) of His great power. David’s rescue would be his vindication. His enemies would have greater evidence that David was in the right and they were in the wrong when God saved him.

Shortly after both times the Ziphites betrayed David, David had the opportunity to kill King Saul. Both times he spared Saul’s life (1 Samuel 24 and 26), and both times Saul admitted he was wrong.

It was common for David and others in their prayers to merely ask for God to hear or give ear to their cry. It was assumed that if God heard, He would act.

Image result for saul pursues david

Who were the Ziphites?

  • The Ziphites were Israelis; they were even of the same tribe as David (Judah). Yet their betrayal of David was so contrary to both David and God’s cause that David could rightly refer to them as strangers who sought David’s life. Who do you know today who does this same thing?
  • The Ziphites rejected God as well as David.

David’s troubles did not lead him to question the goodness of God, but, instead, to appeal to it.

God’s truth (or faithfulness) was under attack as well.

Destroy does mean death–dealing blow.

Should you pray for your enemies to be destroyed?

  • Some are uncomfortable with prayers that ask for the doom of enemies. It’s true that Jesus told us to pray in a more generous way for our enemies (Matthew 5:43-44). Yet there is nothing wrong with the basic principle of wanting to see good triumph and for God to do His work against those who do evil — to render the judgment and consequences that comes with evil and disobeying God.

Should you destroy your enemies?

  • David refused to take vengeance in his own hands. Immediately after the second betrayal of the Ziphites (1 Samuel 26:1) David had the opportunity to kill King Saul in his sleep, and he refused. David waited on God to do it.

What’s a freewill offering?

  • A freewill offering is one that is given to God without a specific reference to a previously made vow. There was no requirement to do so.

Note David praised God during his troubles and before his prayer was answered. So should we. How often do you thank God ahead of time?

God’s past faithfulness became the ground for future faith. David knew what it was like to defeat his enemies (Goliath is an example); he trusted that he would know it again.

Is Psalm 54 a Messianic Psalm?

We definitely see David as Jesus here:

  • Jesus was the anointed King yet to come into the fullness of His kingdom.
  • Jesus came to rescue and lead God’s people, and when He did, some among God’s people betrayed Him.
  • Some of these lines from the Psalm could have been spoken by Jesus to His Father.

BSF Study Questions People of the Promised Land 1: Lesson 13, Day 3: 1 Samuel 22 and Psalm 52

Image result for 1 samuel 22

Summary 1 Samuel 22:

David escaped Gath and went to a cave of Adullam. All the misfits of the world heard of his plight and how he was there, so they all gathered around him — about 400 in total.

Then David went to Mizpah in Moab and asked the king if his father and mother could come and stay with him until he know what God would do with him, which the king agreed. However, the prophet Gad told David to go to Judah, so David went to the forest of Hereth.

Saul learns of David’s whereabouts and takes officials to the tree of Gibeah. He rants about how everyone has conspired against him — even his own son (Jonathan) made a covenant with David. It’s a pity party to say the least.

Image result for 1 samuel 22Doeg the Edomite (1 Samuel 21:7) tattles that he saw David go to Ahimelech the priest at Nob who gave David provisions and Goliath’s sword. Saul sends for the priest and his family and asks him why he conspired against him. Ahimelech said he merely did what he was asked, knowing nothing of the inner workings of politics between them. David is a loyal servant to the king. Why wouldn’t he inquire of the Lord for him?

Saul orders the priests killed because, in his mind, they conspired against him as well. The officials refused, but Doeg agreed to do it. 85 priests were killed and Nob was destroyed — all who lived inside it.

One priest escaped named Abiathar. He fled to David and told him what happened. David felt responsible for the deaths and promised to protect Abiathar.

Summary Psalm 52:

Written about Doeg, David is angry, but knows God is just and will deal with Doeg. He knows Doeg is a disgrace and evil, God will bring him down, and the righteous will know God is not his stronghold. David trusts in God’s unfailing love, praising Him and hoping in Him.

BSF Study Questions People of the Promised Land 1: Lesson 13, Day 3: 1 Samuel 22 and Psalm 52:

6) Part personal question. My answer: Saul is a madman. Saul is throwing a pity party and, blinded by his own pride, kills innocent people. When Saul finds out the truth about the priest, he still accuses him of wrong doing and acts on this knowledge — killing them. How often do we do this as well? Throw a pity party, twist things in our minds — what others do or say — and then don’t believe the truth and still hold grudges against others? It’s definitely a warning to us to not get so caught up in ourselves and our conceived hurts and injustices, to find out the truth, and to act on the truth — not distort the truth.

7) Part personal question. My answer: David is sympathetic to the priests and blames himself for their deaths. He knew Doeg was evil and would tell Saul about him, but he did nothing (he probably thinks he should have killed Doeg — a sin of itself — to spare the priests). He also knows he lied to the priests, which made them vulnerable when Saul shows up, and they have no idea that Saul hates David and wants him dead.

David takes responsibility for the deaths of the priests. He knows his actions indirectly resulted in their deaths. He offers to protect the one remaining priest. Taking responsibility here for your role in how life plays out is the lesson I see here. So often we dismiss how our actions influenced others or caused this or that friction between others and deny it’s our fault. We need to be more like David — compassionate and willing to admit when we caused something as well as take into account how the lies we tell affects others.

8 ) Part personal Question. My answer: David understands that God will deal with evil and those who are good, God will bless. My views are the same. God is the judge not me, and evil He allows for His own purposes, and I trust God will deal with it. I also know if you obey the Lord, He will bless you, and you will flourish.

Conclusions: BSF Study Questions People of the Promised Land 1 Lesson 13, Day 3: 1 Samuel 22 and Psalm 52:

What a fascinating look into the mind of a madman and how people will twist whatever they hear to suit their needs. Saul is throwing a pity party and, blinded by his own pride, kills innocent people. It’s scary because we all do this on some level, especially when we read into situations or don’t have all the information. But here, when Saul finds out the truth about the priest, he still accuses him of wrong doing. How often do we do this as well? Don’t believe the truth and then still hold grudges against others?

The second lesson we see is how our lies affect others — even white lies. We never know how it plays out. It’s always best to tell the truth no matter the consequences than tell a lie and watch the consequences explode.

Great analysis of David and Saul here and great contrast. You gotta love the writer here who perfectly juxtaposes these stories for us so we can see how to act and how not to act. God is good!

End Notes BSF Study Questions People of the Promised Land 1 Lesson 13, Day 3: 1 Samuel 22 and Psalm 52:

Commentary 1 Samuel 22:

What a whirlwind of a life David has led! David rose to fame killing a Giant, married the king’s daughter, defeated the Philistines, avoided repeated attempts on his life, and said goodbye to his best friend, Jonathan, and his family and began a life as a fugitive for who knows how long. Then David had a brief, but intense period of backsliding, a dramatic turn to the Lord, and deliverance from a life-threatening situation.

What was the cave of Adullam?

  • Adullam means refuge
  • The cave became David’s physical refuge
  • God was David’s spiritual refuge

Most archaeologists believe that the cave of Adullam was not too far from the place where David defeated Goliath, in the hills of Judah.

Psalm 142 is David’s discouragement in the cave of Adullam. Psalm 57 describes David as the Lord strengthened him in the cave and prepared him for what was next.

Related image

Who were the people in the cave of Adullam?

  • First, David’s family came to him. This is a precious gift from God because previously all David had was trouble and persecution from his father and his brothers (1 Samuel 16:11 and 1 Samuel 17:28). Now they join him at the Adullam cave.
  • God called an unlikely and unique group to David in the Adullam cave. These were not the men David would choose for himself, but they were the ones God called to him. They were distressed, in debt, and discontented with life.

These are the people you want around you: those who come to you when you are in distress — not when life is going great. These men all came to David when he was down and out, hunted and despised. Once David came to the throne, there were a lot of people who wanted to be around him. But it’s the 400 men in the cave who are the loyal ones.

These are the people who come to Jesus — the forlorn, the distressed, the ones seeking something more from life.

This was not a mob. This was a team that needed a leader, and David became that leader. God doesn’t work through mobs. He works through called men and women.

This was a solid beginning to a rebel army if David wanted it. An unprincipled leader might make these 400 men into a gang of rebels or cutthroats, but David did not allow this to become a rebel army against King Saul.

David made them into the kind of men described in 1 Chronicles 12:8: Mighty men of valor, men trained for battle, who could handle the shield and spear, whose faces were like the faces of lions, and were as swift as gazelles on the mountains.

What do we learn from the men called at the cave of Adullam?

  • David was the one anointed by God to be the next king over Israel, and he became Israel’s greatest earthly king. But just as much as God called David, God called these four hundred to come beside David.
  • God leads through a called and anointed man (Noah and the ark, Moses and Egypt).
  • God rarely calls that man to work alone. David needed these 400 men, even if he never thought so before. There are those called to lead and those called to support the leader. Each is just as important as the other.

David took his parents to Moab because his great-grandmother Ruth was a Moabite (Ruth 4:18-221:4). He wanted his parents to be safe in whatever battles he may face in the future, and he feared Saul might retaliate against him and kill his parents.

David doesn’t know the whole story. He knew he was called and anointed to be the next king of Israel, but he had no idea how God would get him there. David had to trust and obey when he didn’t know what God would do.

Gad counseled David to leave his own stronghold and to go back to the very stronghold of Saul. This probably wasn’t what David really wanted to hear, but he obeyed anyway. David had to learn to trust God in the midst of danger, not on the other side of danger.

Saul enters the picture

When we see Saul with a spear, we know he’s out to kill. He calls David “the son of Jesse”, refusing to acknowledge his achievements.

In his fleshly, self-focused world, everything revolved around Saul. He became paranoid and whiny, and he led through guilt and accusation. He lied about Jonathan, and thus constructed elaborate lies and conspiracies in his own head against him.

Image result for psalm 52

Doeg the Edomite

Here’s an ambitious man out to take full advantage of Saul’s paranoia to advance himself. We last saw him in 1 Samuel 21:7 in Nob, at the tabernacle at the same time David came there.

Doeg implicated the priest Ahimelech as David’s accomplice. “Look at all the help Ahimelech gave David. Surely, they are working together against you Saul, and Ahimelech probably knows exactly where David is and where he is going.”

He knew how to divert Saul’s anger and suspicion from himself onto the priests.

Saul continues in his paranoia, thinking everyone is out to get him.

Why even white lies are dangerous

Here we see the effect David’s lies had on Ahimelech (that ultimately resulted in his death).

Ahimelech told the exact truth. When David came to Ahimelech, the priest questioned him carefully (Why are you alone, and no one is with you1 Samuel 21:1). Instead of telling Ahimelech the truth, David lied to him. This put Ahimelech in a very vulnerable position.

Ahimelech was unaware of the hatred Saul has for David, partly due to the lie David told him (1 Samuel 21:2).

Saul has turned to murdering in cold blood. Many scholars think Saul is angry at God for abandoning him and stripping him of his crown and, being unable to carry out his anger on the Lord, strikes out at the innocent such as Ahimelech and his family. This was the worst act Saul will commit.

To their credit, Saul’s servants feared God more than Saul and they refused to murder the priests. Doeg, who was not a Jew but an Edomite, didn’t hesitate to murder the priests and their families.

How did David cause the death of Ahimelech and his family?

  1. David’s mere presence with Ahimelech that made Ahimelech guilty in Saul’s eyes, and there really wasn’t anything David or anyone could do about that.
  2. David’s lying to Ahimelech made the priest vulnerable before Saul.i. David’s lies did not directly kill Ahimelech and the other priests. But at the very least, he kept Ahimelech from dying with greater honor. If Ahimelech knew of the conflict between David and Saul, he could have chosen to stand with David and die with greater honor.ii. We know from both 1 Samuel and the Psalms that David turned his heart back to the LORD and asked forgiveness after his lies to Ahimelech. David was restored, but there was still consequences to come of the lies, and now David sees those consequences.

David could not do anything about the priests who were already murdered. He confessed his guilt in the matter and sought forgiveness from the LORD. Now, all he can do is minister to the need in front of him – Abiathar, the surviving priest.

Commentary Psalm 52:

Though the condemnation of Doeg in this Psalm is strong, we sense it would be stronger in light of the mass-murder he committed. Yet this is David’s contemplation upon the incident, a careful examination of the root and end of Doeg’s evil.

Doeg took pride in his lies and murder.

“The thought conveyed in this Hebrew word (boast) is not necessarily that of a person strutting around making extravagant claims to others about his or her abilities. Rather it is that of a smug self-sufficiency that does not parade itself openly simply because it is so convinced of its superiority.” (Boice)

Doeg murdered 85 civilians, mostly priests who were not trained for battle – hardly the work of a true mighty man. Like several other commentators, Poole thought this was used in an ironic sense: “O mighty man! he speak ironically. O valiant captain! O glorious action! to kill a few weak and unarmed persons in the king’s presence, and under the protection of his guards! Surely thy name will be famous to all ages for such heroical courage.” (Poole)

Leaf from Psalter: Psalm 52, Initial D with Seated Apostle
Psalm 52 from manuscript from 1270 in Flanders

Spurgeon puts this more succinctly:  “A mighty man indeed to kill men who never touched a sword! He ought to have been ashamed of his cowardice.”

David earnestly believed that Doeg’s way would fail. God’s goodness would outlast his evil. It’s true that Doeg was a mighty man, but that was nothing compared to God and His never-ending goodness.

When David wrote the goodness of God, he used the word El to refer to deity instead of the more common Elohim. Some commentators believe the use of El emphasizes the strength and might of God.

David mentions the destruction and deaths that came from what Doeg reported (1 Samuel 22:18-19).

Some people love evil, and some people love to lie. Doeg fulfilled both aspects. He loved the destruction his devouring words brought.

Boice believes Doeg was just as calculating as evil as there is reason to believe there was a gap in time between David visiting the tabernacle at Nob and Doeg’s report to King Saul. “He knew he had a piece of valuable information and kept it to himself until it would best serve his interests to divulge it.” How many times do we do this?

Because the goodness of God endures forever (Psalm 52:1), Doeg and his kind would be destroyed forever.

The four images David uses to describe judgment

  1. The wicked will suffer everlasting ruin
  2. The wicked will be snatched up
  3. The wicked will have their tent torn away
  4. The wicked will be uprooted

Out of the land of the living. This phrase is seen elsewhere (Isaiah 53:8; Ezekiel 32:32)

When the coming judgment against Doeg happens, the people of God will notice it, and it will cause them to honor and revere God. It will also make them laugh in satisfaction at the destruction of such an evil man. This is righteous joy — something acceptable. This is not laughing at people because you are better than them.

Note it is the righteous that learn from this; not the evil who don’t care.

What can we learn from Doeg?

  • He fails to trust God and instead trusts riches (often what happens to people when you glean the favors of a king)
  • We often are drawn to evil and lying because we fail to trust God can and will work through goodness and truth. We lie to ourselves, saying that we have to lie, do evil, or deceive because it’s the only way. It’s never the way.

The significance of the olive treeImage result for psalm 52

“The olive is one of the longest-living trees; here the point is doubly reinforced, for he pictures an olive ‘in full sap’ and one that grows in a sacred courtyard.” (Kidner)

Psalm 92:13 may indicate that there were trees at or near the house of God.

“Hope” is also translated “wait”. Our strength is to wait on God and His will. Therein lies our honor.

What does Psalm 52 show us about David’s mindset?

What do we learn from Psalm 52?

  • We can be in the cave, but still have David’s unwavering faith, trust, and peace.
  • Just because men are evil does not mean we lose our faith in God

BSF Study Questions People of the Promised Land 1: Lesson 13, Day 2: 1 Samuel 21 and Psalm 34

Image result for psalm 34

Summary 1 Samuel 21:

David, now on the run, goes to Nob to the priest Ahimelech, asking for bread. He lies to obtain it since all the priestsImage result for 1 samuel 21 had was consecrated bread, which is bread reserved for the priests. But David is desperate. He is given the sword he killed Goliath with by the priest as well. One of Saul’s servants saw David at the priest’s place (which would later cost the priest his life).

David, desperate, flees to Achish, king of Gaul, who has heard of David. David pretends to be insane in order to stay.

Summary Psalm 34:

Written when David was with Achish and pretending to be insane, David is praising God for delivering him from evil, saving him from troubles, blessing him, and keeping him from want. David advises us to do good, seek peace, and don’t tell lies. He hears our cries and delivers us. He slays the wicked. He protects us and heals us.

BSF Study Questions People of the Promised Land 1: Lesson 13, Day 2: 1 Samuel 21 and Psalm 34:

3) David is desperate, so he lies to the priest. God is always present, and Jesus as well.

4) The fact that they knew who he was. Word might get out to Saul where he was hiding. David pretended to be insane in order to stay. Psalm 56 tells us that the Philistines captured David and have no intentions of letting go the man who killed Goliath.

5a) David is grateful to God for taking care of him and providing all that he needs. He knows God will punish those who pursue him and do evil.

b) Personal Question. My answer: David is very positive and confident in God as he is on the run. He knows God is taking care of him and in His time, all will be as it is supposed to be. This is encouraging to stay upbeat and know God is in control and to let Him be in control.

Conclusions: BSF Study Questions People of the Promised Land 1 Lesson 13, Day 2: 1 Samuel 21 and Psalm 34:

Unimpressed with the questions. I just felt they were cursory to say the least.

End Notes BSF Study Questions People of the Promised Land 1 Lesson 13, Day 2: 1 Samuel 21 and Psalm 34:

Commentary 1 Samuel 21:

David flees to the right place — a priest. The priest, however, is confused on why such a prominent person would be alone. David lies about his situation, which he will regret later (1 Samuel 22:22).

Many of us would have lied in the same circumstances; but that does not excuse it.

What is holy bread?

The tabernacle of the Lord had a table that held twelve loaves of bread, symbolizing God’s continual fellowship with Israel.

  • Literally, consecrated bread means showbread or “bread of faces.” It is bread associated with and to be eaten Image result for 1 samuel 21before the face of God. F.B. Meyer calls the showbread“presence-bread.” To eat the showbread was to eat God’s bread in God’s house as a friend and a guest of the Lord, enjoying His hospitality. In that culture eating together formed a bond of friendship that was permanent and sacred.
  • The bread was always to be fresh. David receives the leftovers.
  • One must be clean to eat the holy bread.
  • It was to be eaten by the priests: And it shall be for Aaron and his sons, and they shall eat it in a holy place (Leviticus 24:9).

Why did the priest give the bread to David?

  • The priest understood human need was greater than customs, as Jesus pointed out in Matthew 12:1-8

POWERFUL LESSON FOR US:

We cannot add to God’s word. God never said the bread was “only” for priests. Human traditions are never more important than God’s word itself, but we must never elevate our extension or application of God’s Word to the same level as God’s word itself.

Doeg the Edomite: The word translated chief means mighty but can also be used to mean violent or obstinate. Doeg will show himself to be a violent and obstinate man. We shall meet him again.

David continues in his lies to get his sword. It appears David is now trusting in weapons over faith in God, as shown by his continued lies. To us, God’s word should be our “give it to me” cry.

Why did David flee to Gath?

David’s next move is confounding. David is now among the Philistines. He must be discouraged or deceived to think he could find peaceful refuge among these enemies of Israel.

  • It didn’t make sense for the man who carried Goliath’s sword to go to Goliath’s hometown (1 Samuel 17:4). It didn’t make sense for the man who was sustained by the sacred bread of God to find refuge among the pagans. It didn’t make sense for the man after God’s own heart to lie.

The Philistines of Gath recognized David as the king of the land of Israel. These ungodly men understood David’s destiny better than King Saul. Here, we see the price of fame (1 Samuel 18:6-7).

David is captured by the Philistines as Psalm 56 tells us.David thought he could find anonymity or sympathy among the ungodly Philistines in Gath and disappear, but he was wrong. Psalm 56 describes David’s journey from fear to praising as a prisoner in Gath.

Psalm 56 shows that David turned back to the Lord here. Hence, the slide that had started since he left Jonathan to now stops. Saul never turned back on his path.

Why did David act like a madman?

Basically, David humiliated himself before the Philistines. The saliva on the beard was a sign of madness because men in that culture would consider this something only a man out of his right mind would allow.

David’s plan worked. Achish decided that this wasn’t David after all, or if it was he was such a pathetic specimen that he may as well let him go.

Was David walking in the Spirit or in the flesh when he pretended madness?

Some commentators believe that David was in the flesh and trusting in himself. But the change of Psalm 56 happened before David’s escape, and it made sense that the Lord would guide David into a path of escape that would humble him. When David tried to protect himself with lies and tried to find refuge among the ungodly, he really was acting crazy. Trusting in God was the only sane thing to do.

Commentary Psalm 34:

Psalm 34 is David’s declaration of joy when he escaped from Gath with his life. The title of Psalm 34 reads, A Psalm of David when he pretended madness before Abimelech, who drove him away, and he departed. Abimelech was probably a title given to rulers among the Philistines; the ruler’s proper name was Achish (1 Samuel 21:20).

A fugitive from Saul, David went to the Philistine city of Gath but found no refuge there and narrowly escaped (1 Samuel 21:10-22:1). Following that, David went to Adullam Cave where many desperate men joined him. This joyful and wise Psalm seems to have been written from that cave, and sung in the presence of those men.

The structure of this Psalm is acrostic, or nearly so. Each verse begins with another letter of the Hebrew alphabet, except for the letter waw. The purpose in this Psalm mainly seems to be as a device used to encourage learning and memorization.

Psalm 34 begins beautifully (Psalm 34:1-4) as David is full of gratitude to God who got him out of a mess he himself created.

Take away from 1 Samuel 21 and Psalm 34:

  • God’s amazing goodness is shown when He delivers us when we don’t really deserve it.

David was hiding in his heart from God. Paul, in his great passage on boasting, may have remembered this saying and this episode, and so recalled his own ignominious escape from another foreign king (2 Corinthians 11:30-33.

Glorify is magnify in Hebrew. David knew there was something magnetic about the true praise of God. When one genuinely praises God, he or she wants to draw others into the practice of praise.

Magnify means to make Him larger in one’s perception. Magnification does not actually make an object bigger, and we can’t make God bigger. But to magnify something or someone is to perceive it as bigger, and we must do that regarding God.

Keys to praying:

  1. David sought the Lord
  2. The Lord heard David
  3. The Lord delivered David

Commentators are divided as to if David sinned when he feigned madness among the Philistines or if he was obedient and guided by God.

“The more we can think upon our Lord, and the less upon ourselves, the better. Looking to him, as he is seated upon the right hand of the throne of God, will keep our heads, and especially our hearts, steady when going through the deep waters of affliction.” (Smith, cited in Spurgeon)

The idea is that they draw something from God’s own glory and radiance. Later, the Apostle Paul would explain much the same thought: But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord. (2 Corinthians 3:18) This radiance is some evidence that one has truly looked to Him.

Radiant is a word found again in Isaiah 60:5, where it describes a mother’s face lighting up at the sight of her children, long given up for lost.” (Kidner)

What is a cry to the Lord?

  • A cry is short and not sweet.
  • A cry is brief and bitter.
  • A cry is the language of pain.
  • A cry is a natural sound.
  • A cry has much meaning and no music.

David is at a low point. A rag-tag group of desperate losers gathered to him at Adullam. David was still filled with praise and trust, even knowing that God had an angelic camp of protection all around him.

Image result for guardian angelDo guardian angels exist?

Many times in the Old Testament, the angel of the LORD is an actual material appearance of Yahweh Himself (as in Judges 13 and some other places). We don’t know if David meant that is an angelic being sent by God, or God Himself present with the believer. Both are true.

“The fugitive, in his rude shelter in the cave of Adullam, thinks of Jacob, who, in his hour of defenceless need, was heartened by the vision of the angel encampment surrounding his own little band.” (Maclaren)

David challenged the reader (or singer) of this Psalm to experience God’s goodness for himself or herself. It could only come through a personal encounter, in some ways similar to a taste or to see.

Taste and sight are physical senses, ways in which we interact with the material world. In some ways, faith is how we interact with the spiritual world. In this sense to taste and to see are trusting God, loving Him, seeking Him, looking unto Him.

“Both Hebrews 6:5 and 1 Peter 2:3 use this verse to describe the first venture into faith, and to urge that the tasting should be more than a casual sampling.” (Kidner)

Spurgeon: “There are some things, especially in the depths of the religious life, which can only be understood by being experienced, and which even then are incapable of being adequately embodied in words.”

David thought to fear the LORD was much like trusting Him and experiencing His goodness. This fear is the proper reverence and respect that man has for Deity. If you really experience God’s goodness, if you really experience the blessedness of trusting Him, you will also have an appropriate fear of the Lord.

Image result for lion

“The word ‘lions’ may be a metaphor for those who are strong, oppressive, and evil.” (VanGemeren)

“Were there lions prowling around the camp at Adullam, and did the psalmist take their growls as typical of all vain attempts to satisfy the soul?” (Maclaren)

Hiding in Caves

Many who were in distress, in debt, or in discontent gathered at Adullam cave (1 Samuel 22:1-2) with David. Here, David teaches them and offers advice.

  • Fear the Lord by doing right and obeying
  • Don’t speak evil
  • Don’t lie or deceit
  • Do good
  • Pursue peace with man and God
  • God listens
  • God rewards and punishes

Spurgeon on this passage:  “To teach men how to live and how to die is the aim of all useful religious instruction. The rewards of virtue are the baits with which the young are to be drawn to morality.”

Meyer on this passage:  “A bird with a broken wing, an animal with a broken leg, a woman with a broken heart, a man with a broken purpose in life – these seem to drop out of the main current of life into shadow. They go apart to suffer and droop. Life goes on without them. But God draws near.”

According to the Gospel of John, David spoke not only of his own experience, but also prophetically of the Messiah to come, Jesus Christ. John explained that the Roman soldiers that supervised the crucifixion of Jesus came to His body on the cross, expecting to hasten and guarantee His death in the traditional way – breaking the legs of the crucified victim. When they looked carefully, they learned that Jesus was already dead, and they pierced His side to confirm it. John wrote, these things were done that the Scripture should be fulfilled, “Not one of His bones shall be broken” (John 19:36).

The evil-doers own evil destroy himself or the evil-doer will be in misery.

There is no condemnation

Many centuries later the Apostle Paul would write, There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus (Romans 8:1). Even under the Old Covenant, David knew something of this freedom from condemnation.

Image result for psalm 34

BSF Study Questions People of the Promised Land 1: Lesson 12, Day 5: Psalm 23 & Psalm 36

Image result for psalm 23

Summary Psalm 23:

David praises the Lord for his faithfulness. David wants nothing. God restores his soul; God guides him; God takes away his fear; God comforts him; God gives him an abundant life. Goodness and love will follow him, and he will dwell with God forever.

Summary Psalm 36:

The wicked do not fear God. They do not know they sin. The plot evil, do wrong, and follow a sinful course. God’s love, faithfulness, righteousness, and justice is unfailing. Men find refuge in God’s wings. In God’s light we see His love. God overcomes all evildoers.

BSF Study Questions People of the Promised Land 1: Lesson 12, Day 5: Psalm 23 and 36:

13) “He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he restores my soul. He guides me…surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life.” All of these. Guiding my life. Restoring me when I’m empty inside. Granting me rest when I am weary. Leading me on the path of righteousness. Dwelling with him forever. Love is with me every day.

14) Personal Question. My answer: David about sums it up perfectly. Most unbelievers don’t know they sin and don’t care. They plot evil, have no moral compass, and don’t fear God. But God will overcome. Sin does breed sin and perpetuates and is ignored.

15) Personal Question. My answer: David knows God overcomes all and is in control. His love is bountiful, and He grants us abundance. We will have hardships, but He is our shepherd, guiding us to Him. It’s good to know God is in charge and to rely on Him completely when the hardships come.

Conclusions: BSF Study Questions People of the Promised Land 1 Lesson 12, Day 5: Psalm 23 and Psalm 36:

With arguably the most famous Psalm in the Bible as out study, BSF doesn’t dive into it enough. So much comfort, goodness, and wonder woven in Psalm 23. Please see End Notes for complete discussion of David’s heart and beauty in this amazing Psalm.

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 5 : Psalm 23 & 36:

Commentary Psalm 23:

This beloved Psalm bears the simple title, A Psalm of David. Scholars believe this psalm is a remembrance of David’s youth when he was a shepherd. Spurgeon wrote, “I like to recall the fact that this Psalm was written by David, probably when he was a king. He had been a shepherd, and he was not ashamed of his former occupation.”

This famous psalm has been the last words of thousands before they left this side of heaven.

Where is the Lord a shepherd in the Bible?

  • A shepherd to Moses, the Stone of Israel (Genesis 49:24).
  • In Psalm 28:9 David invited the LORD to shepherd the people of Israel, and to bear them up forever.
  • Psalm 80:1 the LORD as the Shepherd of Israel, who would lead Joseph like a flock.
  • Ecclesiastes 12:11 speaks of the words of the wise, which are like well-driven nails, given by one Shepherd.
  • Isaiah 40:11 tells us that the LORD will feed His flock like a shepherd; He will gather the lambs with His arm.
  • Micah 7:14 invites the LORD to Shepherd Your people with Your staff… As in days of old.
  •  Zechariah 13:7 speaks of the Messiah as the Shepherd who will be struck, and the sheep scattered (quoted in Matthew 26:31).
  • John 10:11 and 10:14 Jesus clearly spoke of Himself as the good shepherd, who gives His life for the sheep and who can say, “I know My sheep, and am known by My own.”
  • Hebrews 13:20 speaks of Jesus as that great Shepherd of the sheep
  • 1 Peter 2:25 calls Jesus the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls
  • 1 Peter 5:4 calls Jesus the Chief Shepherd

Ancient Middle Eastern cultures thought of their kings as shepherds as well.

The idea of Jesus as the Good Shepherd was precious to early Christians. One of the more common motifs in catacomb paintings is Jesus as a shepherd with a lamb carried across His shoulders.

It’s remarkable that the LORD would call Himself our shepherd. “In Israel, as in other ancient societies, a shepherd’s work was considered the lowest of all works. If a family needed a shepherd, it was always the youngest son, like David, who got this unpleasant assignment.” (Boice)

“David uses the most comprehensive and intimate metaphor yet encountered in the Psalms, preferring usually the more distant ‘king’ or ‘deliverer’, or the impersonal ‘rock’, ‘shield’, etc.; whereas the shepherd lives with his flock and is everything to it: guide, physician and protector.” (Kidner)

“A sheep is an object of property, not a wild animal; its owner sets great store by it, and frequently it is bought with a great price. It is well to know, as certainly as David did, that we belong to the Lord. There is a noble tone of confidence about this sentence. There is no ‘if’ nor ‘but,‘ nor even ‘I hope so;’ but he says, ‘The Lord is my shepherd.’” (Spurgeon)

“The sweetest word of the whole is that monosyllable, ‘My.‘ He does not say, ‘The Lord is the shepherd of the world at large, and leadeth forth the multitude as his flock,’ but ‘The Lord is my shepherd;’ if he be a Shepherd to no one else, he is a Shepherd to me; he cares for me, watches over me, and preserves me.” (Spurgeon)

The idea behind God’s role as shepherd is a loving care and concern. David found comfort and security in the thought that God cared for him like a shepherd cares for his sheep.Image result for psalm 23

David felt that he needed a shepherd. The heart of this Psalm doesn’t connect with the self-sufficient. But those who acutely sense their need – the poor in spirit Jesus described in the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5:3) – find great comfort in the idea that God can be a shepherd to them in a personal sense.

“A sheep, saith Aristotle, is a foolish and sluggish creature… aptest of anything to wander, though it feel no want, and unablest to return… a sheep can make no shift to save itself from tempests or inundation; there it stands and will perish, if not driven away by the shepherd.” (Trapp)

“I shall not want”

  • “All my needs are supplied by the LORD, my shepherd.”
  • “I decide to not desire more than what the LORD, my shepherd, gives.

Sheep don’t always know what it needs and what is best for itself, and so needs the help from the shepherd.

Sheep lie down (rest) only when it is without fear, friction, flies, and famine.

Restores may picture the rescue of a lost one. “It may picture the straying sheep brought back, as in Isaiah 49:5, or perhaps Psalm 60:1 (Hebrew 60:3), which use the same verb, whose intransitive sense is often ‘repent’ or ‘be converted’ (egHosea 14:1f.; Joel 2:12).” (Kidner)

“In Hebrew the words ‘restores my soul’ can mean ‘brings me to repentance’ (or conversion).” (Boice)

The shepherd would guide the sheep to what he needed.

The valley of the shadow of death

  • A valley is a low point — not the exhilaration of a mountaintop
  • Death — the ultimate end
  • Shadow — not death itself but the lurking evil in his path

David walks through the shadow of death; it is not his destination or dwelling place. In fact, it is only the Lord’s presence that makes this bearable.

We face only the shadow of death because Jesus took death itself for us.

Those facing death have been comforted, strengthened, and warmed by the thought that the LORD will shepherd them through the valley of the shadow of death.

Light must exist in order to cast a shadow. God as light is casting the shadow; all we do is walk through it to Him

Evil still lurks, but we do not fear it for the shepherd is with us. It is at this moment that the “He” of Psalm 23:1-3 changes to “You.” The LORD as Shepherd is now in the first person.

The rod and staff

The rod and the staff were instruments used by a shepherd. The idea is a sturdy walking stick, which was used to gently guide the sheep and to protect them from potential predators.

There is some debate among commentators as to if David had the idea of two separate instruments (the rod and the staff), or one instrument used two ways. The Hebrew word for rod (shaybet) here seems to simply mean “a stick” with a variety of applications. The Hebrew word for staff (mishaynaw) seems to speak of “a support” in the sense of a walking stick.

Kidner notes: “The rod (a cudgel worn at the belt) and staff (to walk with, and to round up the flock) were the shepherd’s weapon and implement: the former for defence (cf1 Samuel 17:35), and the latter for control – since discipline is security.”

Maclaren writes: “The rod and the staff seem to be two names for one instrument, which was used both to beat off predatory animals and to direct the sheep.”

Either way you look at it, the rod and staff was a comfort to David, knowing God guided him and corrected him.

The significance of the table

  • Table is bounty
  • Prepare is foresight and care
  • Before me is personal attention
  • Presence of enemies is always overcoming obstacles

Image result for psalm 23“Here the second allegory begins. A magnificent banquet is provided by a most liberal and benevolent host; who has not only the bounty to feed me, but power to protect me; and, though surrounded by enemies, I sit down to this table with confidence, knowing that I shall feast in perfect security.” (Clarke)

In the Old Testament world, to eat and drink at someone’s table created a bond of mutual loyalty, and could be the culminated token of a covenant.

Mercy is the covenant-word rendered ‘steadfast love’ elsewhere. Together with goodness it suggests the steady kindness and support that one can count on in the family or between firm friends.” (Kidner)

Commentary Psalm 36:

This Psalm is titled, To the Chief Musician. A Psalm of David the servant of the LORD. Psalm 18 is the only other Psalm that uses the phrase “the servant of the LORD” in the title. Bible scholar Trapp observed that Psalm 18 comes from David’s old age and Psalm 36 from a younger David. From youth to old age, David was the servant of the LORD and “He took more pleasure in the names of duty than of dignity.” (Trapp)

An oracle of transgression could mean David were divinely taught by the sins of others or it’s the voice within a sinner.

We see “oracle of the Lord” in Genesis 22:16 and “oracle of David” in 2 Samuel 23:11.

It is likely that Paul had this Psalm in mind as he composed the opening chapters of his great letter since he quotes verse 1 in Romans 3:18.

The wicked thinks of himself much more highly than he should both in regard to his sins (his iniquity) and his prejudices (hates). Flattery can be us thinking we are more than we actually are; it doesn’t have to come from others.

How does one flatter himself with regards to sin?

Matthew Poole elaborates:

  • Sins “are not sins, which a mind bribed by passion and interest can easily believe.”
  • Sins “are but small and venial sins.”
  • Sins “will be excused, if not justified by honest intentions, or by outward professions and exercise of religion, or by some good actions, wherewith he thinks to make some compensation for them or some other way.”

“The phrase ‘on his bed’ is parallel with ‘on the way’. The ungodly considers evil both in his lying down and in his walking.” (VanGemeren)

Sin is found in what we don’t do as well as in what we do.

The translation of mercy here is inconsistent for the same Hebrew word hesed is translated as loving kindness is both Psalm 36:7 and 36:10. This wonderful word speaks of God’s love and mercy, but especially to His covenant people.

David can only describe these attributes of God with the biggest things he can think of – the heavens, the clouds that fill the sky, the great mountains, and the great deep of the sea.

“The word precious establishes the change from the immense to the intimate and personal.” (Kidner)

Loving kindness in verse 5 1s too great to grasp and in verse 7 is too good to let slip. (Kidner)

What does shadow of Your wings mean?

Bible commentators see the shadow of Your wings 2 ways:

  1. The wings of the cherubim that are over the throne of God and represented in His tabernacle and temple, including the ark of the covenant, the very representation of His throne.
  2. Like a mother hen covering her young chicks under her wings to protect, hide, and shelter them.

We saw this in Ruth with Boaz (Ruth 2:12), and when Jesus was speaking of Jerusalem (Matthew 23:37).

I’m inclined to think both.

Image result for psalm 36

The word fullness here is literally fatness. “The fattest is esteemed the fairest and the most excellent food; therefore the saint was enjoined to offer the fat in sacrifice under the law. As God expects the best from us, so he gives the best to us.” (Swinnock, cited in Spurgeon)

The fullness (abundance) of your house is will one of our great joys in heaven when we come to our Father’s house. With unmeasured satisfaction we will have the right to roam heaven and say, “Is this ours? And is this ours?” and say it unto eternity.

River of delight/pleasures: “Possibly a reference to Eden may be intended in the selection of the word for ‘pleasures,’ which is a cognate with that name.” (Maclaren)

What does “in your light we see light” mean?

We see light twice: light discovering and light being discovered and enjoyed.

Light is invisible by itself. Everything is invisible until light strikes it. So it is with God: we can’t see Him, but “in his light” (under his loving influence), we see and understand His love in all that surrounds us. God’s overwhelming generosity stands in complete contrast to the self-important plotting of wicked humans.

John wrote in the opening words of his Gospel: He was the true Light which gives light to every man (John 1:9). “It is hard to doubt that John was thinking of Psalm 36:9 as he composed the prelude.” (Boice)

“The Hebrew is, draw forth, or draw out thy lovingkindness: a metaphor either taken from vessels of wine, which being set abroach once, yield not only one cup, but many cups; so when God setteth abroach the wine of his mercy, he will not fill your cup once, but twice and seven times” (Greenhill, cited in Spurgeon).

Unlike the righteous who may fall seven times yet rise up again (Proverbs 24:16), the workers of iniquity remain in the dust as God protects His servants.

‘They are struck down,’ (thrown down) is the same word as in the picture of the pursuing angel of the Lord in Psalm 35.” (Maclaren)

THERE: Some scholars think it refers to the pride mentioned in the previous verse, others to the place where the workers of iniquity practiced their sin.

Image result for psalm 36