David Chose His Character


Photo by Rosan  Harmens


We have been on this journey to answer the question, “Can we rise above bad blood?”

Today, I thought we should take a step back and look at David and how he conducted himself in this situation. We’ve seen Saul’s side – and most of us can identify with it – we have been jealous of the success of others before, we’ve been irritated and angry with others, not all but some have hated others, and some have thought about murder – all we have to do is turn on our TV’s – CSI (Las Vegas, Miami, New York, Cyber Crimes); NCIS; Law and Order; to see the truth of this.

However, David never let Saul’s anger change who he was.



1 Samuel 17:34-36 “The Lord who rescued me from the claws of the lion and the bear will rescue me from this Philistine!” – David as a young man watching his father’s sheep was in the habit of trusting and depending on God.

1 Samuel 17:45-47“And everyone assembled here will know that the Lord rescues his people, but not with sword and spear. This is the Lord’s battle, and he will give you to us!”

  • And God did – using a boy with a slingshot and Goliath’s own sword.
  • Just a little aside: Saul who was a foot taller than most men had offered his armor to David. David had to turn it down because it was too big and he was not accustomed it. Instead, he faced Goliath as who he was, a shepherd boy empowered by God. – Just as Saul’s armor didn’t fit David, neither did his character thankfully.

1 Samuel 18:10-16“14 David continued to succeed in everything he did, for the Lord was with him. 15 When Saul recognized this, he became even more afraid of him. 16 But all Israel and Judah loved David because he was so successful at leading his troops into battle.”

1 Samuel 22:3-4 – David let his parents in Moab – “until I know what God is going to do for me.”

1 Samuel 23:1-6 – The Philistines had come to Keilah and were stealing grains from the threshing floor. – “David asked the Lord, “Should I go and attack them?” “Yes, go and save Keilah,” the Lord told him.

1 Samuel 23:7-14 – Saul learns that David is at Keilah and he plans to come and kill him there. However, “David learned of Saul’s plan and told Abiathar the priest to bring the ephod and ask the Lord what he should do. 10 Then David prayed, … 12 Again David asked,” David and his men leave Keilah to save their lives from Saul’s wrath with was kind of him since God had told him they were going to betray him to Saul.

1 Samuel 23:”14b – God hears David’s prayers and provides protection for him. -“Saul hunted him day after day, but God didn’t let Saul find him.”

1 Samuel 23:26-29We see God creating a diversion that prevents Saul from finding David

1 Samuel 24:1-8 – David is hiding in a cave in the wilderness of En-gedi where Saul comes to relieve himself. David’s men see this as God giving David a chance to kill Saul and finally become king – however David knows that it is up to God to place in and out of office. However, David does cut a piece from Saul’s skirt which God convicts him about. 4 “Now’s your opportunity!” David’s men whispered to him. “Today the Lord is telling you, ‘I will certainly put your enemy into your power, to do with as you wish.’” So David crept forward and cut off a piece of the hem of Saul’s robe. 5 But then David’s conscience began bothering him because he had cut Saul’s robe. 6 He said to his men, “The Lord forbid that I should do this to my lord the king. I shouldn’t attack the Lord’s anointed one, for the Lord himself has chosen him.” 7 So David restrained his men and did not let them kill Saul.”

1 Samuel 24:9-15 – After Saul leaves the cave David comes out to talk to him and lets him know that “the Lord placed you at my mercy back there in the cave. Some of my men told me to kill you, but I spared you. For I said, ‘I will never harm the king—he is the Lord’s anointed one.” After saying this he lets Saul know that he will let the Lord judge between them. — 12 “May the Lord judge between us. Perhaps the Lord will punish you for what you are trying to do to me, but I will never harm you. — 15 May the Lord therefore judge which of us is right and punish the guilty one. He is my advocate, and he will rescue me from your power!”

1 Samuel 24:16-22 – Saul asks David to promise in front of the Lord that he won’t kill off his remaining family members when he becomes king. (This was a custom of that day).

1 Samuel 26:1-25 – Saul is brought into close proximity to David again – this time David sneaks into his camp and takes his spear and then calls out to Abner to let him know that he hadn’t protected Saul so well. – “Abishai whispered to David. “Let me pin him to the ground with one thrust of the spear; I won’t need to strike twice!” 9 “No!” David said. “Don’t kill him. For who can remain innocent after attacking the Lord’s anointed one? 10 Surely the Lord will strike Saul down someday, or he will die of old age or in battle. 11 The Lord forbid that I should kill the one he has anointed! But take his spear and that jug of water beside his head, and then let’s get out of here!”

1 Samuel 27:1-3 – David realizes that Saul is going to get him if he doesn’t move – so he goes to live with the Philistines and Saul stopped hunting for him

1 Samuel 31 – David is finally set free from Saul’s hatred – Jonathan and Saul were killed in battle

David Trusts – God Protects

With each event David turned to God for help and answers. God heard David’s prayers and protected him.

David Writes a Psalm to Thank God

Psalm 57:1-11“For the choir director: A psalm of David, regarding the time he fled from Saul and went into the cave. To be sung to the tune “Do Not Destroy!” — Have mercy on me, O God, have mercy! I look to you for protection. I will hide beneath the shadow of your wings until the danger passes by. I cry out to God Most High, to God who will fulfill his purpose for me. He will send help from heaven to rescue me, disgracing those who hound me. Interlude My God will send forth his unfailing love and faithfulness. I am surrounded by fierce lions who greedily devour human prey—whose teeth pierce like spears and arrows, and whose tongues cut like swords. Be exalted, O God, above the highest heavens! May your glory shine over all the earth. My enemies have set a trap for me. I am weary from distress. They have dug a deep pit in my path, but they themselves have fallen into it. Interlude My heart is confident in you, O God; my heart is confident. No wonder I can sing your praises! Wake up, my heart! Wake up, O lyre and harp!  I will wake the dawn with my song. I will thank you, Lord, among all the people. I will sing your praises among the nations. 10 For your unfailing love is as high as the heavens. Your faithfulness reaches to the clouds. 11 Be exalted, O God, above the highest heavens.  May your glory shine over all the earth.

David Also Demonstrates How To Love Our Enemies

2 Samuel 1:11-1211 David and his men tore their clothes in sorrow when they heard the news. 12 They mourned and wept and fasted all day for Saul and his son Jonathan, and for the Lord’s army and the nation of Israel, because they had died by the sword that day.”


What battles are you going through today?

Let’s follow David’s example of pressing into God when we face difficult situations.  Most of us cannot make the situation go away – David could not stop Saul from hating him, but he could choose how he would respond.

If we are in good times lets search God’s word and learn how to deal with the different circumstances that can come up.  If we are going through difficult times, lets pray and ask God to help and encourage us. Let’s also sing songs of praise to God.  and read His word for encouragement. – all of us face difficult times, many which are out of our control, which can feel less daunting if we trust in God

As we’ve seen from David’s example the trouble doesn’t always go away but God is so much bigger than anything that can come our way

Trusting in God will help us to have His peace which  surpasses  our understanding.

Let’s write our own Psalm or song of praise to God. Please share in the comment box below.




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