Family Bible Study lesson for Jan. 25L God Works in His Time : Friday, Jan. 9, 2004
January 9 2004 by Claude Frazier

Family Bible Study lesson for Jan. 25L God Works in His Time : Friday, Jan. 9, 2004
Friday, Jan. 9, 2004

Family Bible Study lesson for Jan. 25L God Works in His Time

By Claude Frazier
Focal passage: 1 Samuel 26:7-11,17-25

Embrace God's Timing

1 Samuel 26:7-11

The text describes a time when David was living as an outlaw hiding in the wilderness of Ziph, often pursued by King Saul. The story is similar in many ways to 1 Samuel 24:1-27. During one such pursuit, David planned a daring drive into the very heart of Saul's camp, when he found Saul sleeping soundly surrounded by his military chief, Abner and other soldiers. Saul's spear was stuck in the ground at his head and his water jug was behind him.

David could have easily killed Saul and was pressured by Abishai to do so. Abishai even offered to smite Saul.

But David did not kill Saul; he was under conviction that if he slew Saul he would be opposing God's plan. He decided not to take into his own hands the decision over life and death. The most David thought he could do was to take Saul's spear and water jug as evidence that he had penetrated the camp as Saul slept, but had not taken his life.

Evaluate Personal Actions

1 Samuel 26:17-20

David waited until he was a safe distance from Saul and his army. He cried aloud toward the camp and Abner, Saul's officer, answered him. Brandishing Saul's spear and water jug, David chided Abner because he and his men had not guarded and taken care of Saul, the Lord's anointed.

David asked Saul why he kept pursuing him and what he had done wrong. He told Saul that if the Lord had caused conflict, he was willing to repent, but it is clear that David did not believe this. By pursuing him into the wilderness, Saul was interfering in David's service to God.

When people do wrong to one another, they not only hurt their victims but undermine their own faith in God. Both the one who causes hurt and the one who receives it may feel alienated from God. David likened Saul coming after him to hunters searching for a single flea in the mountains. He pleaded with Saul not to force him to live in exile - to die in a foreign land away from one's inheritance was the worst fate that could befall a man in those days.

Submit to God's Authority

1 Samuel 26:21-25

God's purposes take priority over human plans and wishes. The account reports that Saul confessed his wrongdoing and promised that he would not harm David again.

David allowed Saul's soldiers to retrieve Saul's spear, and reminded Saul that God had delivered him into his hands, but that he had chosen not to stretch his hand against the Lord's anointed.

Saul responded by giving David a blessing, proclaiming that David would do great things and would prevail.

As with chapter 24, the encounter seemed to end in reconciliation with David and Saul each going his own way, but David did not return to the court with Saul, instead he moved his outlaw army to the Philistine city of Ziklag, beyond Saul's reach.

It is common for people, at times, to have dissatisfaction in their lives. Like Saul, they can become impatient and try to take matters into their own hands. We often want a "quick fix," but God's answer is always a permanent and better solution.

As followers of Jesus Christ, Christians are equipped to resist such temptations and need to continually remind themselves that God is in control. He will work out the details of people's lives in His time and according to His purpose and plan. We can know God's will through prayer and by seeking God's word, the absolute truth that can be fully relied upon now and forever.
1/9/2004 12:00:00 AM by Claude Frazier | with 0 comments

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