David and Saul

Free Bible Study Materials for Christian Discipleship
October 2018

photo courtesy of Steve Evans

Story of David and Saul from I Samuel

Dear Fellow Disciple-Maker,

This fall, I have participated in a study of the life of David from the Old Testament books of I & II Samuel. One obvious truth which has surfaced numerous times is the glaring contrast between the heart of Saul and the heart of David, the first two kings of Israel. Both men were chosen by God, but in the end, the most significant difference between them was the desires of their heart.

David, although imperfect, had a heart that continually sought guidance from God. By contrast, Saul's heart turned cold toward God. There are two verses that best summarize their differences. The first verse describes Saul; the second describes David.


Saul died for his breach of faith. He broke faith with the Lord in that he did not keep the command of the Lord, and also consulted a medium, seeking guidance. He did not seek guidance from the Lord (I Chronicles 10:13-14).


One thing have I asked of the LORD, that will I seek after: that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the LORD and to inquire in his temple (Psalm 27:4).

Inquired of the Lord

When David did not know what to do, he sought God's guidance. The Scriptures teach that he "inquired" of the Lord. Here is one example: David inquired of the Lord, "Shall I go and attack these Philistines?" And the Lord said to David, "Go and attack the Philistines and save Keilah." David inquired of the Lord again. And the Lord answered him, "I will give the Philistines into your hand" (I Samuel 23:2; 4).

One of the great benefits of a personal relationship with God is having the confidence that He will guide us when we do not know what to do. David did not have a Bible verse to instruct him in I Samuel 23. So, he sought direct guidance from God. In the Bible, when God's people did not have a scripture to draw upon, God directed them in different ways, such as a dream, a voice, an angel, a person, a sign, or a visible answer to prayer. But the method God used is not important.

photo courtesy of lrargerich

One thing

The important thing is that when there is no Bible verse to instruct us, God guides his people by the direct impression of the Spirit of God upon the spirit of man. In Psalm 27:4, this is the "one thing" David wanted more than any other. Regardless of his circumstance, he wanted immediate access to the Lord and unlimited freedom to ask God what he should do. God gives us the same privilege. 

When we are facing an important decision, we have unlimited freedom to ask God to show us what to do. Jesus promised his followers that they can ask for the power and guidance of the Holy Spirit as confidently as children can ask their father for bread (Luke 11:13).

Are you facing a crossroads? Are you at a place where you don’t know what to do? Are you in a situation in which you have no Bible verse to specifically address your predicament? Do not despair. God knows what you are facing and will show you what to do. God guides his people by the direct impression of the Spirit of God upon the spirit of man. Ask and you shall receive. Seek and you shall find. Knock and the door will be opened to you.

I sought the LORD, and he answered me; he delivered me from all my fears (Psalm 34:4).

Author: Paul Schlieker  www.bible-study-lesson-plans.com

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