May 5. A New Eternal Kingdom Promised

II Sam. 7:1-29; I Chron. 17:1-27

After a period of time, David had firmly established himself as king of Israel and was living in his own house. However, the ark of the covenant of God was being housed in a tent. David desired to build a permanent dwelling place for the presence of God and His ark. Upon conferring with the prophet, Nathan, he was told, “Go, do all that is in your heart, for the Lord is with you.”

Sometimes what man may think is noble, may not be according to God’s plan. That night, God spoke to Nathan and vetoed David’s request. Even when God says “No,” He may substitute a blessing far better. David was promised a house and throne that would be established forever. Fast-forward hundreds of years and that promise was fulfilled through David’s seed after his death. The earthly genealogy of Jesus came through him. David’s eternal kingdom was established as the spiritual kingdom of Christ, His church.

In humility, David accepted the disappointment of not being permitted to build the temple for God. However, he praised and glorified God for previous blessings and for the promise of an eternal kingdom.

#chronological-bible-study

May 4. Supreme God Cares for His People; Is Long-suffering

Ps. 96:1-13; 105:1-45; 106:1-48

The psalmist admonished his readers to sing praises to the Lord and to declare His glory to all nations. He is to be glorified and feared above all gods. In Him are honor, majesty, strength and beauty. As the creator of all things, God reigns over all nations as the righteous judge.

In introducing this psalm, the poet expressed that the people should give thanks and sing psalms to the One who had performed wondrous works before them. The psalmist recited the events beginning with God’s covenant with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob through Joseph’s trials and triumphs in Egypt. He continued with the famine that brought their fathers into Egypt, the land of Ham. The writer mentioned plagues against the Egyptians that resulted in their being released from their bondage. God’s care eventually led to the settling of His chosen people, the Israelites into the Promised Land, Canaan. We must remember that all of those events were in God’s plan to eventually bring His Son to earth to save all of mankind.

“Praise the Lord! Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for He is good! For His mercy endures forever.” That opening statement of praise and thanks soon faded into a series of laments over the rebellion of the Israelite fathers in the wilderness. God had freed them from Egypt, destroyed their enemies, fed and watered them. Many of the sins of Israel were recalled, including murmuring and turning to idols. Refusing to enter Canaan at the returning of the spies resulted in forty years of aimless wandering.

Even after entering Canaan, the Israelites continued to displease God. They neglected to destroy all of the people that He had commanded of them. Furthermore, they continued to worship foreign gods, even to the extent of sacrificing their children to those gods. God allowed Israel to be given over and oppressed by their enemies. However, when he would hear their cry for mercy, the Lord would remember His covenant and in His mercy deliver his people.

#chronological-bible-study

May 3. Ark Brought to Jerusalem and Placed in Tabernacle

II Sam. 6:1-23; I Chron. 13:1-13; 15:1-16:43

During the previous twenty years, the Ark of the Covenant of the Lord had been at Baale Judah, also known as Kirjath Jearim in the house of Abinadab. It had been housed there after being returned by the Philistines who had suffered plagues after having captured it earlier.

David had established himself in Jerusalem as the ruler of Israel. After inquiring of God, he took a group of thirty thousand men to move the ark to a permanent location in the City of David. Great care was taken to place the ark upon a new cart for transportation instead of being carried on poles by Levite men as God had previously commanded. They were attempting to improve upon the command of God.

No one was to touch the ark, but as the oxen pulling the cart stumbled, Uzzah held it to keep it from falling off. God struck him dead immediately because of his error. The death of Uzzah caused David to be afraid to take the ark on into his city. Instead, they left it in the house of Obed-Edom.

Three months later, after having prepared a new tabernacle for the ark of God, David took the proper Levite personnel to the house of Obed-Edom to continue its relocation. David had corrected his previous mistake. “And the children of the Levites bore the ark of God on their shoulders, by its poles, as Moses had commanded according to the word of the Lord.”

There was great joy and celebration because of the relocation of the ark to its permanent home. David and the people played their various musical instruments, sang and danced in their celebration.

After placing the Ark of the Covenant in its place in the tabernacle, King David offered burnt and peace offerings before the Lord. He presented each of the people a loaf of bread, a piece of meat and a cake of raisins. David also appointed administrative duties to various Levites. Everyone went home and he returned to his household.

During the celebration of the ark’s relocation, the king apparently had removed his robe of fine linen and danced clothed only in the linen ephod around his waist. That angered his wife, Michal who had seen the activities from a window. She severely rebuked her husband for his actions. David had the last word in the incident and, “Therefore Michal the daughter of Saul had no children to the day of her death.”

David continued writing poems of thanksgiving to God after the ark had been placed in its rightful place in the tabernacle. This psalm was passed to Asaph, one of the tabernacle musicians. It began with encouraging the people to give thanks and praise to God for His many blessings. They were admonished to seek Him in their lives.

The Israelites were reminded of the covenant that God had made with their fathers. That covenant had resulted in their presence in Canaan, the Promised Land. The psalm also related the history of God’s care up to the present time.

Because of God’s many blessings, man is encouraged to honor and fear Him above all of the gods, which are only lifeless idols. The Lord reigns over all the heavens and earth. They also rejoice in Him. “Blessed be the Lord God of Israel From everlasting to everlasting!”

#chronological-bible-study

May 2. David Begins to Establish His Rule

II Sam. 5:6-25; 23:8-39; I Chron. 11:4-12:40; 14:1-17

Jerusalem is a very ancient Canaanite city. It was probably called Salem during the lifetime of Abraham. Because of its geographical location, at the time the Israelites entered the Promised Land, it was not taken by them. The city continued to be inhabited by the Jebusites until David became king of all Israel. It was located in rough terrain and well-fortified by secure walls.

David had previously maintained his capitol at Hebron, approximately thirty miles to the southwest of Jerusalem. Saul’s capitol had been at Gibeah, less than ten miles to the north.

In one of his first acts as king of Israel, David invaded the city of the Jebusites and “took the stronghold of Zion” and renamed it the “City of David.” He then moved the capitol from Gibeah to Jerusalem.

Friendships with other rulers and increases within his own family added to the security of King David. Among those friendships was Hiram, king of Tyre who would be a longtime ally of the Israelites.

With David established as king over Israel, the Philistines began to prepare for another attack on God’s people. He depended upon God for His help to overcome his enemies. In answer to David’s inquiry, God assured him to go up and that He would deliver the Philistines into his hand. “And David did so, as the Lord commanded him; and he drove back the Philistines…”

David had many brave and mighty men in his army. They were heroes who had performed great feats of battle during the time that he had been running from Saul. Because of their loyalty, they were given prominent places of rank among the other warriors who fought for him. His chief commander was Joab. There were thirty-seven of the chief leaders. The total number of fighting men in Israel was approximately three hundred forty thousand.

#chronological-bible-study

May 1. Assassination of Ishbosheth; David King of all Israel

II Sam. 4:1-5:5; I Chron. 11:1-3

After the death of Abner, Ishbosheth was devastated. The nation of Israel was in turmoil. Two brothers, Rechab and Baanah who were captains of Ishbosheth’s army attempted to gain favor with David. They killed their king, beheaded him and took the head to David.

The young Amalekite man who had earlier reported the death of Saul to David had expected some kind of reward for ridding him of his enemy, Saul. Rechab and Baanah also probably expected high ranking positions in David’s army. That didn’t happen. “How much more, when wicked men have killed a righteous person in his own house on his bed?” David had them executed for their crime. He also had the head of Ishbosheth buried in the tomb of Abner.

With their king being dead and with no other successors to the throne, the elders of Israel went to David in Hebron and acknowledged that he had been chosen by the Lord to be ruler over them. At that time, they anointed the thirty-year-old David to be king over all of Israel. His total reign over Judah and Israel was forty years.

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Apr. 30. David Becomes King of Judah; Gains Additional Power

II Sam. 2:1-3:39

Unless an army commander rebelled and overthrew a king, the general rule of succession was for the oldest surviving son to follow his father as king. Since Saul had been the first king of Israel, there had been no precedent for his succession.

David inquired of God if he should move from Ziklag into Judah. With God’s guidance, David, his family and his men with their families settled in Hebron where he was anointed as king of Judah—not Israel.

God had taken the kingdom from Saul and his family. Abner, the commander of Saul’s army, however, made Saul’s son, Ishbosheth to be king of the remaining tribes of Israel.

Bitter fighting between the two kingdoms of the Israelites followed. Abner continued to lead the army of Israel while Joab, David’s nephew led the army of Judah. During the conflict, Abner killed Asahel, one of the brothers of Joab.

War continued to rage between the house of David and the house of Saul. During that time, Abner continued to increase his power over Saul’s house and Ishbosheth’s power was becoming more unstable.

In the culture of David’s day, concubines were taken into the household as sexual partners, but with lower status than a wife. A man could usurp another man’s authority by taking his concubine. Abner was angered at Ishbosheth’s inquiry into his taking of Saul’s concubine.

With the break in relations between himself and Ishbosheth, Abner sent messengers to David proposing a covenant to deliver Israel to him. That pleased David, but there was one condition. Several years earlier, Saul had taken his daughter, Michal, David’s wife and had given her to another man. In order for a meeting between David and Abner to occur, Abner must give her back to him. One may speculate whether it was his undying love for Michal or a move to strengthen his political position with the remaining portion of Saul’s house.

The covenant between David and Abner was agreeable to all concerned. However, Joab, David’s commander was not present at the meeting. He viewed the covenant as a deception by Abner. In seeking vengeance for his brother’s death at the hand of Abner, Joab sent messengers to bring him back. At that time, he stabbed Abner to death. In that act, he was also eliminating a possible rival for his position of army commander.

David was highly displeased with Joab for the murder of Abner and pronounced a curse against him and his father’s house. He led the people as they mourned for Abner. As for Joab, David said, “The Lord shall repay the evildoer according to his wickedness.”

#chronological-bible-study

Apr. 29. David Learns of Saul’s Death

II Sam. 1:1-27; Ps. 18:1-50

Following David’s battle with the Amalekites to regain the families and spoil taken from Ziklag, a young Amalekite man came from Saul’s camp and reported on the great slaughter of the Israelites and their defeat by the Philistines. He also reported the deaths of Saul and Jonathan to David.

Apparently, the Amalekite man knew of Saul’s hatred of David and of David’s fear of the king. It also appears that he came upon the bodies of Saul and his men and removed his crown and bracelet to present to David. His great mistake was in attempting to gain David’s favor by telling him that he had killed his enemy. David had previously spared the king twice and had refused to allow his men to kill Saul. The man’s lie about killing the Lord’s anointed cost him his own life.

Instead of rejoicing, David’s lamentation over Saul and his friend Jonathan led him to write “The Song of the Bow” as a tribute to them.

Even though David did not approve of all of the actions of King Saul, he did respect his position of authority and his might. That mighty man and his son, David’s friend had been brought low in death. He wrote of their good qualities and deeds.

Friendship with another person is one of the most precious gifts one can enjoy. Without it, man is most miserable. David and Jonathan had a special bond that endured through many trials.

On the occasion of Saul’s death, David penned a psalm of deliverance from his enemies. The poem began with an expression of the writer’s love for God. It continued with praises for the many blessings that he had enjoyed at the hands of God.

David further pointed out that it was through his own obedience that God had looked upon him with favor. He was not a self-righteous boaster, but he recognized that God loves righteousness and hates sin. David had accomplished many things, but God was the One who had provided the strength.

Pagan gods are lifeless images of wood, stone or precious metals. David concluded the psalm by recognizing Jehovah God as a living savior and deliverer.

#chronological-bible-study

Apr. 28. Saul Consults A Medium; Meets Tragic Death With His Sons

I Sam. 28:3-25; 31:1-13; I Chron. 10:1-14

The lowest state of soul that a man can reach is to be separated from God. Saul, king of Israel had found himself to be in that condition. The Philistines were making war against Israel and the Lord had refused to hear his pleas for guidance.

Sorcery was forbidden by the Law of Moses and was punishable by death. In years past, Saul had expelled those who practiced witchcraft from the land. Since he could not get God to respond to his call for advice regarding the Philistines, he resorted to the forbidden medium.

The medium of En Dor seemed to be in retirement because she feared for her life when asked to conduct a séance for her visitor. There is much trickery in sorcery and the woman was greatly surprised when the dead prophet, Samuel appeared. She then realized that her “client” was Saul and felt even more danger for her life. The king reassured her of her safety, but the news for Saul was devastating to him.

Samuel rebuked Saul for disturbing him. The king stated his case and the spirit of Samuel reminded him of his rebellion against God regarding Amalek. His punishment had been set at that time and it was too late for it to change. Samuel’s final prophecy revealed that Saul and his sons would die the next day and that Israel would fall to the Philistines.

Saul had not eaten that day. His physical and emotional conditions caused him to faint at the words from Samuel. After having been served a meal by the medium, he and his men went away.

The Philistines fought against Saul and the men of Israel at Mount Gilboa. During the intense fighting, Saul’s sons Jonathan, Abinadab and Malchishua were killed. Saul was then severely wounded. In order that he not be captured and tortured by the Philistines, Saul ordered his armor-bearer to end his life with his sword. He refused out of fear and after seeing Saul fall upon his own sword, the armor-bearer killed himself. Saul and all of the men close to him died that day. The remainder of his army fled, leaving the land open for the Philistines to move in.

As a symbol of their victory, the Philistines beheaded the body of Saul, took his armor and fastened his body and his son’s bodies to the wall of Beth Shan. Saul’s armor was displayed in the temple of the Philistine idols.

Years earlier, Saul had liberated Jabesh Gilead. As a final act of respect and tribute, men from Jabesh Gilead came and removed their bodies. Due to the condition of the bodies they were burned and their bones buried “under the tamarisk tree at Jabesh.”

#chronological-bible-study

Apr. 27. David Spares Saul Again; Joins the Philistines; Fights Amalekites

I Sam. 26:1-28:2; 29:1-30:31

Envy and jealousy are bitter emotions that eat a man’s soul like a cancer. Saul’s intellect told him that David was the future king and that he had done no wrong against him. His emotions kept goading him to destroy David.

Being informed that David was again hiding in the Wilderness of Ziph, Saul mobilized three thousand of his best soldiers to destroy his enemy. His army was commanded by Abner.

David, on the other hand chose his nephew, Abishai to accompany him by night into Saul’s camp. As Saul and his men were in a deep sleep from the Lord, David and Abishai came upon the king sleeping with his spear stuck in the ground near his head. As it had been earlier, David had another excellent opportunity to rid himself of his pursuer. Instead of killing “the Lord’s anointed,” he only took the spear and a bottle of water. He stated that, “The Lord shall strike him, or his day shall come to die, or he shall go out to battle and perish.” As the spear was a symbol of power, David added further insult by taking it from Saul.

After moving to a safe distance from the camp, David called out to Abner and chided him for failing to protect the king. Saul again confessed his sin and promised safety if he would return. “Indeed, I have played the fool and erred exceedingly.” David returned the spear, but both men went separate ways.

The Philistines were long-time enemies of Israel. Their main stronghold was in the southwestern coastal area of Canaan. Chief Philistine cities were Ashdod, Ashkelon, Ekron, Gath and Gaza. In an ironic twist, David, his wives, his six hundred man army and their families fled to Achish, the king of the Philistine city of Gath to seek refuge from Saul. He asked for a place to dwell and received Ziklag which became a long-time possession of the kings of Judah.

David was a shrewd and deceptive individual. In order to cultivate favor with Achish and to destroy enemies of Israel, David and his men went out and raided various lands. Achish was led to believe that David was destroying cities in the southern areas of Israel. He completely destroyed men, women and children to prevent the truth from being revealed to the Philistine king.

In time, the Philistines gathered their armies together to go to war against Israel. David and his men were also mobilized for the battle. When they appeared at the end of the review with Achish, the princes of the Philistines were suspicious of their presence. Even with Achish defending the “defected” David, the Philistine princes ordered that David and his men be sent back to their homes in Ziklag.

When David and his six hundred men returned home after being rejected by the Philistine princes, there were no homes. The Amalekites had raided the southern portion of Judah and also Ziklag, the home of David and his men. They had burned the city and taken their wives, children and livestock as captives and spoil. Saul’s rejection by God was due to his refusal to completely destroy the Amalekites. David and his men were suffering their losses because of Saul’s inaction.

David and his men were deeply distressed at their losses, even to the point that his men turned against their leader and spoke of stoning him. God replied to David’s inquiry that he should pursue the Amalekites and that he would recover all that they had taken.

As David and his men pursued the Amalekites, two hundred of them were too tired to go farther than the Brook of Besor. They were left behind to care for the supplies while he and the other four hundred men moved forward. They found a fallen Egyptian, who had been a member of the Amalekite raiders. After they had cared for his needs, he led David and his men to them.

The ensuing battle lasted from early morning until evening. David and his men with the help of God destroyed all of the Amalekites except for four hundred men who escaped on camels. They recovered their families, livestock and the spoils from southern Judah. David returned the rightful portion of property back to the southern Judeans.

The two hundred men left behind received their just portion of the spoils over the objections of some of the four hundred men who had fought the battle. David pointed out that all of them had a responsibility—from guarding the supplies to actually waging battle and should share alike. Additionally, it was not by their efforts, but that God had delivered the Amalekites over to them.

There are various opportunities that man has today. Some may seem insignificant, but they are as important as those that may seem major. Let each of us serve God according to the abilities that we may possess.

#chronological-bible-study

Apr. 26. Samuel’s Death; David and Abigail

I Sam. 25:1-44; Ps. 54:1-7

After many years as a prophet and servant of God, Samuel died. He had been given to the Lord by his mother before his birth and remained faithful to his ministry throughout his life. David moved from En Gedi to the Wilderness of Paran, also known as Maon.

Nabal was a very wealthy man with vast herds of sheep and goats. His shepherds had coexisted peacefully with David and had received his protection for a period of time. David sent ten of his men to request provisions for his army, but they were harshly refused.

In his anger, David gathered four hundred of his men, leaving two hundred others with the supplies and set out to destroy Nabal and his men. One of Nabal’s servants went to Nabal’s wife, Abigail with the report of his evil deed and the plot of David.

Sometimes it takes the actions of a good wife to rescue her husband from his misdeeds. Abigail realized that David was a good man and that the Lord had appointed him to be “ruler over Israel.” Because of her wisdom and kindness, David relented from his mission of revenge. After Abigail had told Nabal of David’s plans and his rescue, he suffered a medical catastrophe and died ten days later.

Saul had taken his daughter, David’s wife, Michal and given her to another man. David soon married Abigail. It is likely that he came into possession of Nabal’s property after marrying her. In an era when men were married to multiple wives, he also married Ahinoam.

During David’s exile from Israel, he spent much time in the Wilderness of Ziph. The Ziphites, loyal to Saul reported David’s location which added to his anxieties. Those periods of uncertainty led him to pen another Psalm of supplication to God.

As with other psalms the poet began with a prayer for deliverance from the oppressors who sought his life. He recognized God as his strong deliverer. His oppressors had failed to call upon God, but He was with those who would aid David. He ended the psalm with praise to God for His deliverance.

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Apr. 25. Saul Spared

I Sam. 24:1-22; Ps. 57:1-11; 142:1-7

After Saul had returned from following the Philistines, someone reported to him that David was in the Wilderness of En Gedi. That area was an oasis on the west shore of the Dead Sea.

As Saul was inside the cave in which David happened to be hiding, David had an excellent opportunity to kill the king. Instead of taking the life of “the Lord’s anointed,” he only cut off a corner of Saul’s robe.

Later, after David had confronted Saul with the piece of his garment, the king wept and stated, “You are more righteous than I; for you have rewarded me with good, whereas I have rewarded you with evil…” Saul affirmed to David that he would, indeed be king of Israel.

New kings usually killed the families of the previous king in order to prevent future uprisings. Saul pled with David to spare his descendants. They then made a covenant and David swore that he would not cut off Saul’s descendants nor destroy his name from his father’s house. However, not fully trusting Saul, David remained in the Wilderness of En Gedi.

David, the Psalmist continued to write about his frustrations and fears while protecting himself from Saul. He used colorful words to describe his troubles. Even though not deserved, God’s mercy covers His children as a bird covers her fledglings under her wings. David’s enemies had prepared elaborate methods to capture, but through God’s mercy he could be saved from them. The poet concluded his Psalm by praising God for His deliverance. He exalted God above the heavens and earth.

In his next Psalm, David expressed some of the same fears of his earlier writings. Without God, one is overwhelmed within his despair. With God, who knows one’s path, there is deliverance from persecution and a strong refuge for salvation. In recognizing His blessings, David praised God.

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Apr. 24. David’s Continuous Exile

I Sam. 23:1-29; Ps. 63:1-11

The Philistines began to rob the threshing floors of the city of Keilah. That was a severe blow to their food supply. After inquiring from God, David and his now six-hundred-man army attacked the Philistines and saved the inhabitants of the city.

Saul, in his relentless effort to kill David imagined that he would be an easy target surrounded by the walls of Keilah. Upon hearing the counsel of God, David and his men departed and went into the mountainous wilderness of Ziph to escape the king and his men.

While in Ziph, Saul’s son, Jonathan came to David to encourage him. They made a covenant and Jonathan pledged his loyalty to the future king.

David then moved on to another desolated area in the wilderness of Maon and from there to En Gedi where there were many caves in which to hide. Saul was forced to abandon his pursuit of David because of an invasion of the Philistines against his land.

During David’s flight from Saul, he had periods of time for meditation upon God and His protective love for him. In one of his psalms, David wrote of his dependence upon God when he was in a dry and thirsty land.

God’s children recognize His power and glory and are eager to express their praise to Him. David praised God and rejoiced for His protection under His wings. He had faith that God would continue to deliver him from those who sought to take his life and that they would fall by the sword.

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Apr. 23. David’s Flight Continues

I Sam. 22:1-23; Ps. 52:1-9

The fugitive, David realized that his family was also in jeopardy because of his deteriorated relationship with the king. Being a descendant of the Moabitess, Ruth he received permission for his family to dwell in their land until it was safe for them to return to their home in Judah. He assembled a small army of about four hundred men for protection from King Saul.

Previously, David, in his desperate situation had pretended to be insane. Saul also was desperate in his own mind regarding David, the successor-to-be of his throne. He intended to kill David at whatever cost that was necessary. Having received information from his servant Doeg about the aid that David had gotten from Ahimelech, the priest, Saul called for the priest to account for his action

Saul ordered his servants to kill Ahimelech. However, because of their loyalty to the priests of God, they refused the king’s order. Doeg, an Edomite executed Saul’s decree and killed Ahimelech and eighty-four other priests along with women, children and livestock of the priestly city of Nob. Abiathar, one of Ahimelech’s sons escaped to report to David the massacre of his family and found protection with the future king.

It is thought that David wrote about the acts of Doeg in this psalm. The first part addresses the man and his love of evil. Following the commitment of evil are the consequences of punishment and the derision of the righteous against evil doers. In contrast, the righteous are strong and full of vitality and praise for the Lord.

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Apr. 22. David and Jonathan Part Ways; David’s Flight

I Sam. 20:1-21:15; Ps. 56:1-13; 34:1-22

David continued to hide from Saul. He went to Jonathan to inquire of his safety. As the two friends talked, David made a covenant with Jonathan that he would not cut off his kindness toward his house forever. Jonathan evidently knew that David was the future king instead of himself. Years later, David respected that covenant in a very special way.

The day of the New Moon was a special feast day for Israel. David was expected to be at the king’s table during that time. However, fearing for his safety, he informed Jonathan that he would not be there. They devised a signal that would indicate if David could return to the king’s house or must stay away.

After the feast of the New Moon, David and Jonathan met one last time before parting. It was a touching farewell as the two men, “Kissed one another; and they wept together, but David more so.” David departed and Jonathan returned into the city. Only one more brief meeting between the two friends is recorded in the Scriptures.

After leaving Jonathan, David went to Nob. He went to the priest seeking food and weapons. The priest believed his story of being there on business for the king and gave him Goliath’s spear and holy bread from the tabernacle. Doeg, an Edomite, Saul’s chief herdsman saw what had taken place and later reported it to the king.

Sometimes desperate people do desperate things. David went from Nob to the Philistine city of Gath and to Achish, the king. When the king’s servants pointed out that he was David the king, he pretended to be insane. That allowed him some time to move on.

During his flight, David wrote other psalms. He lamented the fact that his enemies were seeking his destruction. Even in his wretched condition, David put his trust in God to care for him. He declared that he would continue to praise God because He had saved David’s soul from death in order that he could continue to walk with Him.

As David began another psalm, he invited his readers to join him in praising God. He pointed out that those who fear/respect and seek God have no reason to fear/be afraid of others. Those who do not have a proper respect for God are instructed to guard themselves from evil and seek to do good. He sees and cares for the righteous, but turns His face against the evil ones. No one is exempt from troubles and afflictions, but the Lord delivers the righteous and condemns the wicked.

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Apr. 21. Jealousy in the Palace

I Sam. 18:1-19:24; Ps. 59:1-17

Following the defeat of Goliath, Saul set David over the men of war. He and the king’s son, Jonathan became very close friends to the extent that they made a covenant. Jonathan gave David his robe, armor, weapons and belt as a sign of their friendship.

In time, David’s popularity grew because of his conquests in war. The women danced and sang, “Saul has slain his thousands, And David his ten thousands.” This made the king angry and from that time forward, because of his jealousy, he sought a way to kill David. He saw how the Lord had left him and was with David.

After two failures of his own to kill David, Saul demoted him to captain over a thousand men in hopes that he would be killed in battle. He also schemed that if he gave him his daughter as a wife, “The hands of the Philistines may be against him.” Saul thought that David would be killed as he brought one hundred foreskins of the Philistines for payment of Michal. He fulfilled the requirement of Saul and received Michal as his wife. That also failed to accomplish his desire as he saw that the Lord was still with David.

Evidence of an impending split among the Israelites began to show as, “All Israel and Judah loved David, because he went out and come in before them.” In time, that division would separate Judah from the rest of Israel.

Jealousy causes mental instability. Saul told his son, Jonathan and all of his servants that they should kill David. Jonathan informed him of Saul’s plan and advised him to hide out until morning and he would speak to his father. He persuaded the king that David had done well toward him and had risked his own life in confronting Goliath. Saul changed his mind about killing David and, “He was in his presence as in times past.”

There was another war with the Philistines. As before, David was victorious and the king became depressed from David’s popularity and tried again to kill him as he played music for Saul.

David escaped and fled to his home, but there was no safety there as the king’s men had orders to kill him the following morning. His wife, Saul’s daughter helped him to escape in the night. David then went to Ramah and reported to Samuel all that had taken place. Saul was unsuccessful in his attempts to take David.

It is probable that David wrote another of his psalms during his escape from Saul.

The beginning of the psalm was a prayer that God would deliver David from his enemies. He felt falsely accused because he had done nothing to deserve their wrath. The writer urged God to not only punish his enemies, but all nations of wicked transgressors. He likened his persecutors as vicious dogs.

David concluded the psalm by praising his God of mercy for deliverance. He compared his troubles and deliverance to the contrast of evening and morning. The evening brings on darkness and the morning ushers in the rays of light. “To You, O my Strength, I will sing praises; For God is my defense, My God of mercy.”

#chronological-bible-study