Scripture Read: Psalm 51
Title: David's Prayer of Brokenness
(H) Highlight verse: "The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, o God you will not despise." Psalm 51:17
(E) Explain: This is the prayer of David that he composes after the sin with Bathsheba is exposed. The king comes to the realization that he has sinned and he disries restoration and cleanshing but he also acknowledges that his cleansing and new life does not come through ritualistic means. Most people in this time knew that if they sinned they would just have to go through the rituals of cleansing and then they would feel alright with God. This is the ritual of religion… trying to do something for Go and ultimately not really doing anything to change or guard yourself from it happening again. David acknowledges what God truly desires of him...
(A) Application: In this Psalm we see the heart of a man who is truly broken and repentant. As I look over this Psalm I see four "plea's" from king David and they make for good application for us when we seek the forgivenness of God when sin has overtaken us in our lives.
(R) Respond: LORD, when I fall into sin, may I truly come to you in full repentance... Seeking mercy, repentance, and restoration. May I never become so prideful to where I cannot see my sinful ways and refuse to repent. May I continual have a broken and contrite heart before you.
Scripture Read: 2 Samuel 11 -12
Title: David's Sin With Bathsheba
(H) Highlight verse: "Nathan said to David, 'You are that man! Thus says the LORD, the God of Israel, 'I anointed you king over Israel and I delievered you out of the hand of Saul... Why have you despised the word of the LORD, to do what is in His sight? You have struck down Uriah the Hittite with the sword and have taken his wife to be your wife and have him killed with the sword of the Ammonites'" 2 Samuel 12: 7 & 9
(E) Explain: King David was hanging out on the rooftop relaxing while all the other men of Israel were out fighting battles. As he was walking around he caught a glimpse of a beautiful woman named Bathsheba taking a bath. As he was gazing his lust overtook him and he has Bathsheba come over to his place and they end up having an adulterous affair. After his romp in the hay he finds that she has become pregnant with David’s child. She was a married woman. David tries to cover his sin by trying to manipulate the situation.
(A) Application: Sin is a nasty thing. When we become followers of Jesus this does not make us perfect or shielded from sin. No, as believers we are all prone to sin. Everyday we face the decision as to whether we will give in to the temptation of sin or not. Unfortunately we all give in to temptation and end up sinning. The good news is God is a loving and merciful God and He will forgive when we truly repent and seek his forgiveness. We read in the Bible that a broken and contrite heart the LORD will not despise.
The troubling thing about this passage is that David tried to cover his sin, he tried to get away with it, but God sent the prophet Nathan to confront him and call him out. I am sure in the moment David may have felt that Nathan was being harsh with him and being unmerciful, but Nathan was being a true friend by calling David out for his sins. I pray that you and I can have Nathan's in our lives to confront us in our sins and lovingly help us along the road to restoration.
(R) Respond: LORD, I thank you for the Nathan's in my life. Without these people I would probably be living a life of unchecked sins. Thank you for your forgiveness and thank you that in Jesus Christ we are forgiven.
Scripture Read: Psalm 18; 2 Samuel 9
Title: David Shows Kindness
(H) Highlight verse: "And David said to him, 'Do not fear for I will show you kindness for the sake of your father Jonathan, and I will restore to you all the land of Saul your father and you shall eat at my table forever." 2 Samuel 9:7
(E) Explain: David inquires about any living relatives of Saul in the land. He is told that there is a man, who was lame, named Mephibosheth who was a son of Jonathan. He sought out the son and met him. Upon meeting him the king showed Mephibosheth great kindness. He gives him back the land of his grandfather, Saul and tells Ziba, the former kings servant, and place Mephibosheth master over the whole household. David also told him that he would eat at the kings table always. Mephibosheth responds in humility and wonder as he says, "What is your servan, that you should show regard for a dead dog such as I?" So Mephibosheth lived in Jerusalem and ate at the kings table.
(A) Application: In this passage we see King David showing kindness to a socially unworthy outcast. Mephibosheth was crippled and he would have been considered a burden of society. He couldn't work, he continually needed help from others, and he couldn't really contribute to society. But as King David finds out about him he shows Mephibosheth kindness for the sake of his father Jonathan.
When I read this passage I am reminded of what Jesus has done for his people. Because of Jesus, the King, He shows kindness to us for the sake of his Father. We are so undeserving of His kindness, but because of the Father love, we are lavished with kindness and mercy. That is what makes Jesus so marvelous. We deserve nothing, but we have received everything because the Father is so generous.
(R) Respond: LORD, thank you for taking a "dead dog" like me and showing me mercy, grace, and kindness. I am so unworthy, but because of your great love for us, you have given it, in spite of who I am. Thank you!
Scripture Read: 2 Samuel 6, 7
Title: David Desires to Bless God, But God Blesses Him
(H) Highlight verse: "When your days are fulfilled and you lie down with your fathers, I will raise up your offspring after you, who shall come from your body, and I will establish his kingdom. He shall build a house for my name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever..'" 2 Samuel 7:12,13
(E) Explain: David realizes that He is a blessed man. God has provided for him and protected him for his whole life. He tells God that it is not right that he has a home to live in, but God, via the Ark of the Covenant, does not have a home. So, David tells the LORD he wants to build Him a home, or a temple. He wants to bless God with this gift, but God graciously refuses the blessing and in turn He blesses David by establishing a covenant with him. God promises to establish an eternal kingdom through David and that one day the eternal King will come from his lineage and he will build a house for the LORD's name. Of course God is speaking about the Messiah, Jesus. When we look at this account we see God's unwavering grace and love. David had a plan for God, to build Him a home, but God had a bigger plan for him, to promise an eternal Kingdom through his lineage, and this shows us how amazing our God is. We try to bless Him, but we can't outbless. God.
(A) Application: We plan. We set goals. We create and cast vision and mission statements. But we often fail to seek God’s plan over our desires. Sometimes our will and God’s will do not line up. Our desires and plans may not be bad, sinful or selfish but they are not what God has willed at this specific moment. This can be frustrating on a personal level because we put a lot of time, effort and resources into our plans just to see the door closed on us. We think we have wasted all of our time, effort and resources when in reality the closed door is pointing us in the God’s direction. Pastor James Montgomery Boice writes, “We need to understand that ‘closed doors’ though they are a type of negative guidance, are nevertheless true guidance.” It is important to be sensitive to the Spirit of God and flexible to change when God is the one who initiates the change.
 Boice, James Montgomery: Acts, Grand Rapids, Baker Books, 1997 p. 274
(R) Respond: LORD, I want to be a blessing to you. I so often think there are things that I can do to make you love me more, but in reality you love me regardless of what I do or do not do. I am blessed and I acknowledge that every day. I am so thankful that you have great pleasure in blessing your children.
Scripture Read: 2 Samuel 3:1; 5; Psalm 23
Title: David Inquires of the LORD
(H) Highlight verse: "And David inquired of the LORD, 'Shall I go up against the Philistines? Will you give them into my hand?' And the LORD said to David, 'Go up, for I will certainly give the Philistines into your hands.'" 2 Samuel 5:19
(E) Explain: David was anointed king over Israel by the elders of Israel at Hebron. and he reigned for 40 years. David became more powerful and the LORD was with him. He began as a king who ruled and reigned under the authority and blessing of God. However, we see in his rise to power he begins to slip morally as he takes on concubines and wives. This may have been a custom, but it was never God's intended purpose for humanity. I think this was put smack dab in the middle of this chapter to let the reader know that David was a powerful and obedient king, but he also did not take the necessary precautions to set up accountability around him.
Regardless, the main point of this passage, I believe, is to show that God was with David and how he depended on God as he ruled and reigned as king. We read twice (2 Sam. 5:19 & 5:23) that David inquires of the LORD before entering into battle. Inquiring of God is a great discipline that David has as he doesn't just rashly go into battle for the sake of battle, he seeks the counsel of God about what he should do.
(A) Application: David was a powerful and great king only because God was with him. Although we will see in future passages that David was far from a perfect man or king, he was a man and a king who was dependant on God. David did not make impetuous decisions as a king, he inquired of the LORD before going into battle.
We can learn much about David's wisdom in seeking God when making a big decision. I believe we would all benefit greatly if we would seek God's counsel in all matters of life, and not necessarily just the "big decisions". This is why prayer and quiet time with the LORD is important for believers today. During our quiet time we should and can inquire of the LORD about ALL matters of our lives. I know I have the tendency to be obsessive in making decisions and I would benefit greatly if I would just take the time to inquire of the LORD and seek his counsel when I am making decisions or just doing life. I encourage all of us to take time everyday to simply inquire of God and ask him what He wants us to do in our lives.
(R) Respond: LORD, I am completely dependent on you in my life. There are, however, times when I feel like I need to take the reigns of my life and do what I want to do and ignore what you want me to do. Help me to be humble and wise enough to inquire of you in my everyday life and decisions.
Scripture Read: 2 Samuel 1; 2:1 - 7
Title: David Mourn's Saul's Death/ David is Anointed King
(H) Highlight verse: "Now may the LORD show steadfast love and faithfulness to you. And I will do good to you because you have done this thing. Now therefore let your hands be strong, and be valiant, for Saul your lord is dead, and the house of Judah has anointed me king over them." 2 Samuel 2:6, 7
(E) Explain: When David hears about the death of King Saul and his sons, he is devastated. He hears about their death from an Amalekite who assisted in killing Saul. Upon hearing his testimony, David has the Amalekite executed for his crime of killing the king.
David is anointed king over the house of Judah. When he heard about the men of Jabesh-gilead giving Saul a proper burial David honors them by giving them a blessing for their kindness. He encourages them to be strong and valiant since their king is dead and to know that he is now the anointed king of Judah.
(A) Application: One would think that David would be celebrating in the streets now that the man who pursued him and sought to kil him was dead. This was not the case. David had high respect and regard for the position of the king. On numerous occassions David spared the life of Saul when he could have easily killed him. David gives us a true picture of what mercy, respect, forgiveness, and kindness look like. We read earlier in 1 Samuel that the LORD chose David to be the next king because he was a man after God's own heart. David could easily have been bitter against Saul because of the anguish and pain he caused him, but he wasn't. He was grieved because David may not have had high regards for Saul the person, but he respected the position of being the LORD's anointed. I know I can learn a thing or two about forgiveness from David's response to Saul's death.
(R) Respond: LORD, you know my heart. You know how I can be when it comes to forgiveness. Help me to become more like David when it comes to showing forgiveness.
Scripture Read: 1 Samuel 28 & 31
Title: Saul's Tragic Downfall
(H) Highlight verse: "Thus Saul died, and his three sons, and his armor bearer, and all his men on the same day." I Samuel 31:6
(E) Explain: We now come to the tragic end of King Saul's life and ultimately his kingdom. Before his last battle, Saul goes to a medium incognito, to have her summon the recently departed Samuel because God had departed from him and stopped speaking to him. When Samuel is summoned he rebukes Saul and informs him of his pending demise on the following day.
The next day Saul goes to war with the Philistines and he, his sons, and all his men are killed in battle. The Philistines desecrate his lifeless body by piercing him to a wall and removing his head. The book of 1 Samuel ends with some valiant men reclaiming his body and giving him a proper burial.
(A) Application: I refer to King Saul's death as a tragedy because it is a sad story. The beginning of Saul's kingdom had so much potential. He was a man filled with the Spirit and served the LORD, but then he started to be disobedient and his downfall began. He was tormented throughout his life with evil spirits, jealousy, and anger. His disobedience led to the Spirit departing from him and ultimately led to his death.
I think this passage serves as a good reminder that disobedience leads to death. Now, I am not saying that if you are disobedient to God today He is going to kill you. What I am saying is that when we allow sin to control us, God will stop blessing. God desires for His children to walk in obedience to Him and to bring Him glory in all we do and say. So, may we learn from the life of Saul about the importance of walking upright and in obedience to God and in doing so we can live a life filled with his blessings and if we choose to do the opposite God will not bless those who walk in rebellion.
(R) Respond: LORD, help me to walk in your ways and obedience to your Word. Keep me from walking in rebellion and bringing dishonor to your name.
Scripture Read: Psalm 22; I Samuel 24 - 25:1
Title: David Spares Saul
(H) Highlight verse: "May the LORD judge between me and you, may the LORD avenge me against you, but my hand shall not be against you" I Samuel 24:12
(E) Explain: In today's reading we see the true integrity, godliness and humily of David. But we also see in the Psalm that he was a man who was in despair because of the evil pursuits of the King. He trusted and worshiped God during this time, but that didn't take away from the fact that his heart was heavy and troubled because of this relationship with the King.
In the account found in 1 Samuel 24 we read about an opportunity that David has to take care of the problem of King Saul in the cave. As King Saul is in a cave relieving himself, he is unaware that David and men are in the cave. David's men encourage him to strike down his enemy and all of this running, torment and pain could be done with. However, David does not agree to this. Instead he cuts off a part of the king's robe and later uses this to show the king that he could have killed him easily but he chose to not "put out his hand" against the king.
David's mercy does not mean that all is forgiven and that the relationship is restored, not by any means, because he says, "May the LORD judge between me and you, may the LORd avengenge me against you..." This was David's way of saying, "I will not kill you with my own hands, but I will trust that God will avenge in this case." He is being honorable to the king, yet trusting that God will be the one to deal with the king and not him.
(A) Application: David was the man chosen by God to be the king of Israel. The throne was rightly his, he was God's anonted, and he had every right to "put away" the current King Saul. But in the passage we see the true heart of David. He was a man of integrity, humilty, and a true leader. He shows mercy to Saul because he does not believe he should be the one who "deals with" the king. This is God's job and David, although in despar, trusts that God will deal with the problem at hand, in his own way.
This account should serve as a reminder to us that revenge and vindication is not our job, it is God's. When we are wronged, hurt or falsley accused we need to trust that God will prevail and He will right the wrongs. This doesn't mean that we can't defend ourselves and seek restitution because we do need to advocate for ourselves. What we ultimately need to do is
(R) Respond: I want to put all of my effort in the Kingdom of God, the only Kingdom that matters. I pray that if I ever try to build a kingdom for me that it would crumble before it even is established.
Scripture Read: I Samuel 21 - 22
Title: Saul's Rage Continues
(H) Highlight verse: "And the king said to the guard who stood about him, 'Turn and kill the priests of the LORD, because their hand also is with David, and they knew that he fled and did not disclose it to me.' But the servants of the king would not put out their hand to strike the priests of the LORD. Then the king said to Doeg, 'You turn and strike the priests.' Doeg the Edomite turned and struck down the priests, and killed on that day eighty five persons who wore the linen ephod." I Samuel 22:17, 18
(E) Explain: King Saul is fully engrossed in his rage and hot pursuit to kill David. He will stop at nothing until he has the head of David. His actions are so outrageous that he has eighty five priests of the LORD murdered just because they helped David. In this passage we are continuing to see how the spirit of the LORD had departed from Saul and that he has a spirit of darkness and evil dwelling in him.
(A) Application: This passage reads more like a Game of Thrones episode than an account in the Holy Bible. It is in this story we see full blown evil at work in a man who was once a vessel of God. His rage, bittterness and hatred for David has fully consumed him and he will stop at nothing to ridding the planet of his nemesis. This really is a sad story, but it is also a disturbing one as well.
I see in this passage that when one is fully engrossed in their sins and have allowed sin to rule their lives they will stop at nothing to preserve themself. Saul has eighty five priests of the LORD murdered just because they were loyal to David. I have read about and met people who have dedicated their lives to building their own kingdom and will stop at nothing to see their kingdom preserved. This happens in business, entertainment, and in ministry. Be careful when you spend the majority of your time trying to maintain the kingdom that YOU build, you will fall into the depths of sin and start doing sinful things to preserve your kingdom. This is the main reason why you should not even pursue building a kingdom of me, but invest in building the Kingdom of God.
(R) Respond: I want to put all of my effort in the Kingdom of God, the only Kingdom that matters. I pray that if I ever try to build a kingdom for me that it would crumble before it even is established.
Scripture Read: I Samuel 19 - 20
Title: Jonathan and David's Friendship
(H) Highlight verse: "Then Jonathan said to David, 'Whatever you say I will do for you'... And Jonathan made David swear again by his love for him, for he loved him as he loved his own soul." I Samuel 20:9 & 17
(E) Explain: David and Saul's son, Jonathan had a friendship that was rock solid. Jonathan loved David as his own soul. Both of them had a friendship that was glued together by love, loyalty and brotherhood.
King Saul, wanted to kill David because of his jealousy and hatred for David and this concerned his son. Jonathan was put in a peculiar situation because as a son he was to love and respect his father, but as a friend he needed to remain loyal and loving. David and Jonathan's friendship was so deep that they would stop at nothing to ensure that David was safe from the violent and raging pursuits of King Saul.
(A) Application: Good friendships are rare, but hopefully we all have at least one relationship in our lives that model the kind of loyalty and love that Jonathan and David had for one another. So what is it that you look for in a friendship with strong bonds? Below are some qualities that I look for in a friendship.
5 qualities of a Great Friend…
(R) Respond: LORD, I thank you for the friends in my life. I thank you that my friends care enough for me to speak hard truths when I am off base and who are also there for me during the dark days of my life. Thank you for sending me multiple Jonathan's into my life.
Jeff has been in full-time ministry for thirty years. He currently serves as Executive Director at Anchor House Ministry at SeaPort Manatee in Palmetto, FL and he is a part-time Campus Pastor at West Bradenton Southside in Bradenton, Florida.
Jeff Has authored A Lent Devotional (A Spiritual Journey to Lent) an Advent Devotional (The Advent of Jesus) and a devotional on the book of James (James: Where Faith and Life Meet). All three are available on Amazon.
He is married to Carrie and they have four children, Micaiah, Gabe, Simon, and Berea.
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