1 Samuel 24-27

Saul comes back once the Philistine threat is over, and pursues David again.  David gets a chance to kill him in a cave, but David refuses.  He does point it out to Saul, though, once Saul leaves the cave. Saul acknowledges the wrong, and that David will be king, and asks David to spare his family when he is!  David promises, but when Saul leaves, he stays away from Saul.

Samuel dies.  David moves to Nabal's territory in Carmel.  He and his men protect Nabal from Philistine raiders (25:15-16).  He asks Nabal for a little something at a sheep-shearing festival, but Nabal calls him a rebel and wonders why he should give David anything.  David goes to attack him.  But Nabal's men warn his wife Abigail what happened.  She gets a bunch of food ready for David and intercepts him.  She petitions wisely and successfully, and David blesses her.  She tells Nabal the next morning, and God strikes him dead.  David takes her as his wife.

David spares Saul again.  Saul acknowledges it even more than before, blessing David.
David goes to the Philistines for refuge.  They accept him now, seeing how much Saul hates him.  David keeps his distance from King Achish, though, and raids Israel's enemies, not Philistia's.

How this is about Jesus
He used his strength to protect Israel through teaching and miracles.
He was supported by faithful women (Luke 8:1-3).
God built up His ministry through these things, as he built David's house, before his sacrifice, ascension and coronation.


  • Like with David, allegiance to Jesus takes precedence over any other loyalty, including a marriage.  Abigail calls her husband a worthless fellow to David, because of his rejection of the King of Israel.
  • Don't try to get something for nothing, like Nabal.
  • Diplomacy can go a long way to cooling tempers.  A soft answer turns away wrath.


  1. Steve, I am enjoying these. As I preach through Chronicles the allegiance idea is dominant. In fact one of the most famous verses in Chronicles, I Chronicles 12:32 is about this idea. The men of Issachar knew the time had come to be loyal to David. Have you read any of Dale Davis' commentaries on I & II Samuel? Good stuff.

  2. We used this lesson about David and Saul from 1 Samuel 24 to illustrate self-control as a part of our "Fruit of the Spirit" series. You'll find it here: