1 Samuel 24
Saul was jealous of David and hated him, even though David had never done anything against Saul. When Saul came after David to try to kill him, David could have taken revenge. Instead David chose to trust God to deal with Saul, and he showed him forgiveness and honor!
“Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.” – Eph 4:32b ESV
Have you ever been in a situation where somebody was being really mean to you? Maybe that person was saying mean things, or even doing things to hurt you. For instance, imagine you were building a block tower and then that bully came and broke the thing that you were building! How would that make you feel? Now, imagine you had the opportunity to hurt that person to get back at them. Maybe you had the chance to break something of theres! What would you do?
Did you know that David in the Bible was in that situation? No! … Nobody came and broke his block tower, but king Saul was jealous of young David and was being really mean to him. King Saul wanted to hurt him really badly. Why was Saul so jealous? It was because when David slayed Goliath, the people of Israel were really happy and made up a song that went:
“Saul has killed his thousands, but David has killed his tens of thousands!”
They didn’t intend it to be mean to Saul but it made Saul mad!
David Spares Saul
Props: Old sheet to be used as a robe, scissors
Tell the story (or have someone help read it) from 1 Samuel 24.
Wow, that was a pretty amazing thing that David did. David’s friends all said that he should kill Saul but David trusted God to deal with Saul. David forgave Saul and treated him with honor and respect. David didn’t want to dishonor God, do he chose to forgive Saul and he fought Saul’s meanness with kindness.
David the Suffering King
Did you know that in God’s eyes David was the chosen king of Israel? Remember a few weeks back we heard about Samuel anointing David as king? David was chosen by God to be king but here he was living in a cave in the wilderness. He couldn’t go home because Saul hated him so much. Can you think of another king in the Bible who people did not recognize as king and who suffered? Think of Jesus! Jesus is the King of the whole world, yet when he came he was rejected by his own people and he suffered for our sins. Just as forgiveness was important for David, Jesus made his whole mission about forgiveness. Jesus didn’t suffer for nothing, he died so that all our sins could be forgiven!
Next time someone does something mean to you, instead of being mean back to them or looking for a way to hurt that person, rather be like David in this story. Use the power of forgiveness that Jesus has given you to forgive that person. When we do wrong things God is quick to forgive us when we turn to him, and we can do the same for others!
Prayer: Thank God that he loves us and cares for us, and that it makes him sad when people are mean to us. Pray that God would give us the courage to be like Jesus and not to act selfishly and angrily but to forgive in the way that he forgives us.
- Why did Saul go after David?
- Why was David and his men living in a cave?
- What did Saul go into the cave for?
- What did David’s men tell him to do?
- What did David do?
- Is it easy to forgive others?
- How does Jesus help us forgive others?
Image Credit: Landscape With David At The Cave Of Adullam by Claude Lorrain