Songs and Praise



1 Samuel 22:1-2; 1 Samuel 22:6-19; 1 Samuel 23:1-29; Psalm 52:1-9; Psalm 56:1-13; Psalm 120:1-7; Psalm 142:1-7;

Lesson 213 Senior Lessons

MEMORY VERSE:  "I will praise thee for ever, because thou hast done it: and I will wait on thy name; for it is good before thy saints" (Psalm 52:9).


I David and the Distressed and Discontented

1 David escaped to the cave Adullam and was joined by his father's household, I Samuel 22:1; Hebrews 11:37, 38; Psalm 56:1-13

2 David became the captain of an army of volunteers, I Samuel 22:2; Hebrews 2:10; Mark 12:37; Psalm 142:1-7

II The Slaying of the Lord's Priests

1 Saul charged his lieutenants with disloyalty, I Samuel 22:6-8

2 Doeg spoke against David, I Samuel 22:9, 10; Psalm 52:1-9

3 The priests declared their innocency, but Saul commanded that they be slain, I Samuel 22:11,16

4 Saul's officers rightly refused to slay the priests, but the diabolical deed was done by Doeg, I Samuel 22:17-19; Psalm 120:1-7; Acts 4:19

III Saul's Pursuit of David

1 The people of Keilah were rescued from the Philistines by David, I Samuel 23:1-5

2 David was hunted by Saul at Keilah, I Samuel 23:7, 8

3 The ingratitude of the inhabitants of Keilah was shown to David by God, I Samuel 23:9-12

4 Jonathan strengthened David's hand in the Lord, I Samuel 23:13-18 5 The invasion of the Philistines prevented David from being captured by Saul and his army, I Samuel 23:19-29


David's Flight

Our lesson opens with the incident where David was in the cave Adullam. He went there to escape from Saul. We remember his previous parting with Jonathan and that Jonathan had comforted and encouraged him. After leaving Jonathan, David had gone to Nob to Ahimelech, the priest, who lived there with the other priests. David asked for bread and Ahimelech gave him some of the hallowed bread, which only the priests were allowed to eat.

Jesus referred to this incident when He and His disciples walked through a cornfield one Sabbath day. The disciples were hungry and be­gan to pick and eat the ears of corn. At that time the Pharisees said, 'Behold, thy disciples do that which is not lawful to do upon the sabbath day.' But Jesus answered: 'Have ye not read what David did, when he was an hungred, and they that were with him; how he entered into the house of God, and did eat the shewbread, which was not lawful for him to eat, neither for them which were with him, but only for the priests? . . . and are blameless?' (Matthew 12:3-5). David and his companions were starving; and Jesus showed that, in a case of absolute necessity, such a breach of ritual law was not sin.


At this same time David asked for a sword, and Ahimelech gave him the sword of Goliath that had been hung in the Tabernacle as a memorial. David said, 'There is none like that.' This sword would be especially valuable to David since it would be a constant reminder to him of the time when the Lord gave him the victory over Goliath, his enemy; and, of all people, David surely was the one who was entitled to it.


David a Type of Jesus

From. Nob, David had escaped to the cave Adullam. David's father and mother came down to him They were getting old and David did not want them to be endangered; so he went to the king of Moab and got his permission for them to dwell with him. From secular history we are told that the king of Moab was related, through Ruth, to the house of Jesse. The king of Moab was also an enemy of Saul and that would naturally make David feel that his parents were more secure there than anywhere else.

The people who were distressed, and those who were in debt and discontented, gathered around David, and he became their captain. Here we have a wonderful type of Jesus who was rejected by His own nation but who, nevertheless, said, 'Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest' (Matthew 11:28).

Saul had promised David half the kingdom if he would kill Goliath; but now Saul is trying to chase David out of the kingdom. We read, of the saints of old, that 'they wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins; being destitute, afflicted, tormented; (of whom the world was not worthy: ) they wandered in deserts, and in mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth' (Hebrews 11:37, 38). This was David's lot for some time. While David was in this cave the Lord put him through this schooling that he might better understand the trials and troubles of the poor, and be better fitted to rule over the kingdom.

Saul's Servants Upbraided

Saul suspected everyone. He accused Jonathan and David of con­spiring against him to overthrow the kingdom. He appealed to the patriot­ism of his own tribe, the Benjamites: 'Will the son of Jesse give every one of you fields and vineyards, and make you all captains of thousands, and captains of hundreds; that all of you have conspired against me, and there is none that sheweth me that my son hath made a league with the son of Jesse, and there is none of you that is sorry for me ... ?' What an exhibition of self-pity and self-sympathy!

Slaying of the Priests

Doeg, the Edomite, a man just as wicked as Saul and one who had absolutely no regard for the servants of the Lord, told Saul that he had seen David at Nob when Ahimelech had inquired of the Lord for David and had given him victuals and the sword of Goliath. Saul sent for Ahimelech and all the priests at Nob, and accused them of conspiracy. Ahimelech knew nothing of the trouble between Saul and David, and pled his in­nocency. But Saul said, 'Thou shalt surely die, Ahimelech, thou, and all thy father's house.' Then Saul called his footmen to slay them. But the foot­men would not fall upon the priests of the Lord, fearing God more than the command of the king. The wicked Doeg had neither the fear of God nor the love of mankind in his heart so he readily obeyed the command of Saul and killed the priests, the women and children of the city, and all the livestock that belonged to them.

David wrote this of Doeg: 'Thou lovest evil more than good; and lying rather than to speak righteousness.... Lo, this is the man that made not God his strength; but trusted in the abundance of his riches, and strengthened himself in his wickedness' (Psalm 52:3, '7).

A Jewish historian placed the total number slain at 'three hundred and eighty-five,' which probably included the priests and their families — all the inhabitants of the city of Nob which Saul wiped out. This brutal slaying of the priests of Nob was the most diabolical act of Saul's reign. A well-established Jewish tradition states that Doeg was the armor-bearer mentioned in the account of Saul's death (I Samuel 31:3-5). When Saul was mortally wounded in the battle with the Philistines he fell upon his armor-bearer's sword, and then the latter took his own life. Thus these two men perished; and if this man was Doeg, then they both probably took their lives with the same weapon with which Doeg slew the priests at Nob.

The Philistines at Keilah

The Philistines were robbing the threshing floors of the people at Keilah. David took his men and smote the Philistines, delivering the people from their enemy. It was told Saul that David was in Keilah; and Saul thought that this was the time to capture David, while he was shut up in a city. But David had his trust in God and he inquired of the Lord if the people of Keilah would deliver him into Saul's hands. The Lord told him they would disregard their obligation to him and favor Saul in the matter. So David and his men left Keilah and abode in strongholds in a mountain in the wilderness of Ziph.

Jonathan's Visit

It was in this wooded country that Jonathan visited David. We do not know if there had been any secret communication between Jonathan and David, but at this time Jonathan knew where David was, and he visited him and 'strengthened his hand in God.' Think of what courage this must have put in David's heart! When we are strengthened in the Lord we are indeed strengthened It is something that stays with us, putting stamina in us. Jonathan seemed to have sufficient confidence that this father would not find David, and fully believed that one day David would be king over Israel.

We next find Saul on one side of the mountain and David on the other. From all natural appearances, David's little band was about to be swallowed up by Saul's huge army. How many times, when the devil has stood ready to devour a saint of God, the hand of God intervened to prevent it! The Lord knew just the right time to allow the Philistines to invade the land. A messenger came to Saul saying, 'Haste thee, and come; for the Philistines have invaded the land.' Saul left his search for David and went to fight the Philistines. Then David could again say, 'The angel of the LORD encampeth round about them that fear him, and delivereth them' (Psalm 34:7).


1 What kind of people came to David in his flight from Saul?

2 Where did David take his father and mother for safety?

3 Why did Saul want the priests of the Lord slain?

4 Who did Saul first tell to slay them? and what was their attitude toward the command?

5 Who did finally slay them?

6 Tell us something about the sword that was used to slay the priests.

7 Who visited David in the wood? and what did he do?

8 How near was Saul's army to David?

9 How .did God intervene to prevent David from being captured?

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