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Bible Narratives Devotional, Week 18: David and Saul

This entry is part 18 of 52 in the series

"Bible Narratives Devotional"

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Week 18: David and Saul

Weekly memory verse:

Psalm 18:1–2 – “I love you, O Lord, my strength. The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer, my God, my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.”

Weekly hymn:

“Be Thou My Vision”

Weekly catechism:

Is there any way to escape the punishment of God and be again received into communion with him?
God’s justice demands that I make full payment, either through myself or through a Redeemer.

Day 86: David and Goliath

Reading: 1 Samuel 17:1–58


Verse 4. Six cubits. This was approximately 9 feet 9 inches feet tall.

Verse 25. His father’s house. This would refer to an extended family of 50 to 100 people.

Verse 43. Gods. Goliath’s god’s were likely Dagon (1 Sam 5:2) and Ashtaroth (31:10).


Having already been anointed by Samuel as the true king of Israel, David now demonstrates God’s blessing upon him through his courageous defeat of Goliath. This begins to establish David as the man after God’s own heart who trusted in God and was the one God had chosen to both rule Israel and begin the royal line that would eventually bring the Messianic King.

Discussion Questions

  1. Why was Saul afraid of Goliath?
  2. Why was Eliab angry at David?
  3. What gave David confidence that he could defeat Goliath?

Day 87: David and Jonathan

Reading: 1 Samuel 18:1–30; Psalm 18


1 Samuel 18, Verse 4. Robe. Jonathan willingly gave David all of the garments that signified his princely role since he recognized God’s choice of David to be king.

Verse 13. Commander. Saul gave David command of a thousand troops as a way to exile him honorably.

Psalm 18. This psalm by David was written specifically in the context of David being delivered from Saul.


Saul’s own family members demonstrated a recognition of God’s choice of David to be king, yet Saul’s jealousy and anger toward David only grew. This tension between Saul and David would continue and cause strife in the nation for some time. God’s choice would be established, however, and would usher Israel into its most blessed period.

Discussion Questions

  1. Why did Jonathan love David? How did he show his loyalty and support for David?
  2. Why was Saul jealous of David?
  3. What was David’s response when he was in danger?

Day 88: Saul Tries to Kill David

Reading: 1 Sam 19:1–24; Psalm 59


1 Samuel 19, Verse 9. Harmful spirit. Saul’s actions against David are not only due to his own personal jealousy, but they are also because of the Lord’s judgment upon him.

Verse 13. Image. This was a household god, illustrating the fact that even the king’s household was not immune from the idolatry that plagued Israel during this time.

Verse 23. Spirit of God. This was the last time Saul would receive the theocratic anointing from God.

Verse 24. Stripped off his clothes. Like Jonathan earlier, this removal of his royal garments signified God’s rejection of Saul as king of Israel.

Psalm 59. This is another psalm written by David in the context of Saul’s attempts to kill him.


The division between Saul and David increases, with Saul’s own daughter demonstrating complete loyalty to David by deceiving her father. God’s rejection of Saul is confirmed by his continual sending of a harmful spirit, and even when Saul receives God’s anointing one final time, it is only in order to further establish God’s rejection of him.

Discussion Questions

  1. In what ways does God display his rejection of Saul?
  2. How does Michal show loyalty to David?
  3. What did God’s final anointing of Saul cause him to do?

Day 89: David Flees Saul

Reading: 1 Samuel 20:1–42; Psalm 52


1 Samuel 20, Verse 25. Abner. This was Saul’s cousin and chief military commander.

Verse 41. Bowed. This demonstrated David’s respect and affection for Jonathan.


Although Saul made careful plans to kill David, his own son once again displayed loyalty to David and to the Lord by warning and protecting David. Over and over God confirms his choice of David by protecting him against all odds. David’s ascendency to the throne is not easy, but God always accomplishes his purposes.

Discussion Questions

  1. In what ways did David and Jonathan display their close friendship?
  2. Why do you think God made David’s ascendency to his rightful throne so difficult?
  3. How does David display trust in God even in the midst of threats upon his life?

Day 90: Saul Pursues David

Reading: 1 Samuel 21:1–22:23; Psalm 34, 56


1 Samuel 21, Verse 4. Holy bread. This was consecrated for use in the tabernacle and was only to be eaten by priests. Ahimelech the priest received permission from the Lord to give the bread to David and his men considering the circumstances (22:10).

Psalm 34, 56. These psalms were written with reference to the events of 1 Samuel 21:10–15.


These events, filled with deception, disobedience to God’s laws, unqualified priests, and treachery continue to illustrate the dysfunction of both the priestly and kingly offices of Israel during this time. Israel needed a God-chosen leader who would follow God’s commands and lead the nation to repentance.

Discussion Questions

  1. Was it right for David to lie to Ahimelech?
  2. What was the result of this lie?
  3. How could David demonstrate such trust in God’s goodness even when he was being pursued by both Saul and the Philistines?
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About Scott Aniol

Scott Aniol is the founder and Executive Director of Religious Affections Ministries. He is director of doctoral worship studies at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, where he teaches courses in ministry, worship, hymnology, aesthetics, culture, and philosophy. He is the author of Worship in Song: A Biblical Approach to Music and Worship, Sound Worship: A Guide to Making Musical Choices in a Noisy World, and By the Waters of Babylon: Worship in a Post-Christian Culture, and speaks around the country in churches and conferences. He is an elder in his church in Fort Worth, TX where he resides with his wife and four children. Views posted here are his own and not necessarily those of his employer.