Escaping Danger - 1 Samuel 23


Questions and Thoughts on 1 Samuel 23

1. What types of Christ can be seen in 1 Samuel 23 (Luke 24:27; John 12:21; John 16:14; Hebrews 5:7-11)?

A. David was a type of Christ, in that he was afflicted by the enemy, in the wilderness, for the benefit of his people. (Matt. 4:1–11; Rom. 5:3–5; Heb. 2:10).          

B. David was a type of Christ who was betrayed by the people he came to save (city of Keilah). They rewarded him evil for good (John 1:10; 10:32).

C. Jonathan was a type of Christ, our friend who sticks closer than a brother, and who offers us hope and encouragement in times of distress (Proverbs 18:24; John 15:15; 2 Timothy 4:17).

2. What Psalms did David write during the persecution in the wilderness, and what did he conclude about it?

A. Psalm 54 is attributed to David "'When the Ziphites Went and Said to Saul, "Is David Not Hiding with Us?'"

            1. David appealed to God for deliverance from His enemies (54:1-3)          

            2. David trusted God to help him and to repay his enemies (54:4-5).                      

3. David offered the sacrifice of praise to God for the deliverance and vindication He provided (54:6-7)                      

            B. Psalm 57 says it was written when David fled from Saul into the cave.               

                        1. David cries out to God for mercy (57:1a, 2)                      

                        2. David takes refuge in God (57:1b)             

                        3. David puts his hope in God's mercy (57:3)            

                        3. David praises God for His mercy (57:7-11)            

3. What theology tidbits are found in 1 Samuel 23?

God's Omniscience: God not only knows all things factual, but all things potential. He knows what would happen, if any of the variables were changed. For example, God knew that if David stayed in Keilah, the people would deliver him to Saul. Jesus said that if He had performed the miracles He did in Sodom and Gomorrah, they would have repented in sackcloth and ashes (1 Samuel 23:9-12; Matthew 11:20-24). God's guidance can be trusted, because He not only knows all things factual, but all things future and all things potential.                       

Hezekiah gives a rare illustration into this as well. God told him to put his house in order, because he was about to die. Hezekiah pleaded for more time, and God gave him 15 additional years to live. During that extra time, Hezekiah showed the Babylonians the temple treasures and fathered Manasseh. This had disastrous effects on the whole nation. Based on what we could have known on our own, it seemed unfitting for Hezekiah to suffer from a premature death. Knowing all things potential, God's knew it would have been best for the nation.                    

4. How does 1 Samuel 23 apply to our lives today? 

    It shows several ways to escape God's enemies.

            1. By seeking God's guidance (23:1-4, 6, 9-13)         

                        A. David repeatedly inquired of the LORD (23:2, 3b, 6).

B. God informed David of what would happen (23:2b, 4b, 9-12). 

C. David followed God's advice, even when his own men questioned it (23:3a)

E. Because of the advice God gave David, he was able to escape his enemies.

F. James says we should pray for wisdom (James 1:5). Joshua tells us to meditate on God's word (Joshua 1:8).  Jesus and James exhort us to heed God's word in our daily life (Matthew 7:24; James 1:22-25).

            Only God's counsel can enable us to effectively cope with opposition.                   

            2. By fighting God's enemies (23:5)   

A. David recognized the danger Philistines posed to God's people in Keilah. He desired to defend God’s people.

B. David sought God's counsel, then fought God's enemies, according to God's advice.

C. Who are God's enemies today, and how should we fight them?             

1. The enemies of God's people are principalities and powers (Ephesians 6:10-20). We should put on the armor of God.

2. Love for the world system is an enemy of God (1 John 2:15). We should avoid love for the corrupt world system, and guard ourselves from idols (cf. 1 John 5:21).

3. God's peole also struggle with their old nature, which is an enemy of God (Romans 6, 8:7). Romans 6 offers a solution. It says we should know we died with Christ to sin, and rose with Him to newness of life. It tells us to count this to be true, then yield our members as instruments of righteousness to God. 1 Corinthians 10:13 promises that God will not suffer us to be tempted above that which we are able, but will, with the temptation, provide a way of escape, that we may be able to bear it.

3. By encouraging one another (23:16-18; cf. Hebrews 10:25)

A. Jonathan encouraged David by arising and going to him (1 Samuel 23:16). Christ stands with those who suffer persecution for His name (2 Timothy 4:17).

B. Jonathan strengthened David's hand in God, by reminding him of God's promises for the future (23:16b-17).

C. Jonathan made a commitment to David for a future alliance (23:18; cf. Matthew 25:31-40).

D. Hebrews 10:25 says we should encourage one another by gathering together, and by "exhorting one another". Exhorting someone is like cheering on your favorite team to win ("Go, team, Go!"). Telling someone to do something isn't necessarily an attempt to act as a dictator or Lord. Exhorting people to take action for God can be an encouragement in difficult times.                         

4. By warning others of danger (23:24-26).

A. David's "men" were in the Wilderness of Maon (23:24). They informed David about the approach of Saul and his men (23:25).

B. The Bible warns us of potential dangers to our faith (e.g. 1 Peter 5:8). We should be aware of current events, and warn God's people about potential dangers.           

5. By taking refuge in God (23:27-29).

God ultimately had to deliver David, by sending a messenger to divert Saul. They named the place the "Rock of Escape". David specifically credited and praised God for delivering him from these enemies in Psalms 54 and 57. He called this taking "refuge in God".


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