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Scripture Story: 1 Samuel 18–27.

Commentary: Patriarchs and Prophets (or Beginning of the End), chapters 64 and 65.


Photo by Jennifer and Company


“May the Lord judge between you and me. And may the Lord avenge the wrongs you have done to me, but my hand will not touch you.”

(1 Samuel 24:12, NIV)


“Though Saul was ever on the alert for an opportunity to destroy David, he stood in fear of him, since it was evident that the Lord was with him. David’s blameless character aroused the wrath of the king; he deemed that the very life and presence of David cast a reproach upon him, since by contrast it presented his own character to disadvantage. It was envy that made Saul miserable and put the humble subject of his throne in jeopardy. What untold mischief has this evil trait of character worked in our world!” (Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 651).

what do you think?

Complete the following statement in your own words: I dislike people who are jealous because

What are some qualities about themselves that jealous people overlook when envying others?

did you know?

Paul opened his heart to the spirit of jealousy by which his soul was poisoned. . . . The monarch of Israel was opposing his will to the will of the Infinite One. Saul had not learned . . . that he should rule his own spirit. He allowed his impulses to control his judgment, until he was plunged into a fury of passion. . . ready to take the life of any who dared oppose his will.”—Ellen G. White, Prophets and Kings, p. 650.


“After David had finished talking with Saul, Jonathan became one in spirit with David, and he loved him as himself. From that day Saul kept David with him and did not let him return home to his family. And Jonathan made a covenant with David because he loved him as himself. Jonathan took off the robe he was wearing and gave it to David, along with his tunic, and even his sword, his bow and his belt.

“Whatever mission Saul sent him on, David was so successful that Saul gave him a high rank in the army. This pleased all the troops, and Saul’s officers as well.

“When the men were returning home after David had killed the Philistine, the women came out from all the towns of Israel to meet King Saul with singing and dancing, with joyful songs and with timbrels and lyres. As they danced, they sang: ‘Saul has slain his thousands, and David his tens of thousands.’

“Saul was very angry; this refrain displeased him greatly. ‘They have credited David with tens of thousands,’ he thought, ‘but me with only thousands. What more can he get but the kingdom?’ And from that time on Saul kept a close eye on David.

“The next day an evil spirit from God came forcefully on Saul. He was prophesying in his house, while David was playing the lyre, as he usually did. Saul had a spear in his hand and he hurled it, saying to himself, ‘I’ll pin David to the wall.’ But David eluded him twice.

“Saul was afraid of David, because the Lord was with David but had departed from Saul. So he sent David away from him and gave him command over a thousand men, and David led the troops in their campaigns. In everything he did he had great success, because the Lord was with him. When Saul saw how successful he was, he was afraid of him. But all Israel and Judah loved David, because he led them in their campaigns.”

(1 Samuel 18:1-16, NIV)


Who are the main players or characters in this biblical narrative? Circle their names.

What is the relationship between them? Are they family members, friends, acquaintances?

What events have brought these people to the place where their lives intersect?

Underline the Scriptures in which you see a significant shift in the story.

Do you see God in this passage? Where is He mentioned?

Whom do you admire most in the passage? Why?

How can you emulate that person in the way you live today? This week?

What are two lessons that you think God wants you to take from this biblical episode?

If you could share one point from this story with a friend, which would it be? Mark that place in the story with a star.

punch lines

It was just before the Passover Festival. Jesus knew that the hour had come for him to leave this world and go to the Father. Having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end” (John 13:1, NIV).

For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it” (Matthew 16:25, NIV).

Pride brings a person low, but the lowly in spirit gain honor” (Proverbs 29:23, NIV).

For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you” (Romans 12:3, NIV).

“Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls” (Matthew 11:29, NIV).

The Lord replied, ‘My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest’” (Exodus 33:14, NIV).

further insight

“When by the jealousy of Saul driven a fugitive into the wilderness, David, cut off from human support, leaned more heavily upon God. . . . Through years of waiting and peril, David learned to find in God his comfort, his support, his life.”—Ellen G. White, Education, p. 152.



Read 1 Samuel 18:8.

Long before Shakespeare (check out the Did You Know? section), Israel’s first king, Saul, was giving new meaning to the word “jealousy.”

Refer to your answers for the What Do You Think? section of the lesson. What was it that got Saul so angry at David?

Did David do anything to warrant Saul’s response? What blessing or blessings did Saul overlook in his jealous rage at David?


Read 1 Samuel 18:1-16.

The Into the Story biblical narrative for this week’s lesson begins a dark chapter in the lives of David, Jonathan, and Saul. After reading 1 Samuel 18:1-16, complete the Out of the Story study questions.

Having completed the study questions, list two specific ways that Saul could or should have addressed his feelings of envy toward David.


Read 1 Samuel 19:1; 1 Samuel 20:1; 1 Samuel 21:1, 2; 1 Samuel 22:1; and 1 Samuel 23:7.

This week’s Key Text captures a scene at the end of a long chase. Read the following scriptures to get up to speed on what’s going on: 1 Samuel 19:1; 1 Samuel 20:1; 1 Samuel 21:1, 2; 1 Samuel 22:1; and 1 Samuel 23:7. By the time the story gets to 1 Samuel 24:12, our key text for this week, David has been on the run for some time, struggling to stay out of Saul’s sight.

In his pursuit of David, Saul stopped to rest in the very cave where David and his men were hiding (1 Samuel 24). While Saul slept, David took a knife and cut off a piece of the king’s robe, proof that he could have killed him if he had wanted to do so.

What reason does David give for refusing to hurt Saul? (1 Samuel 24:10).

How can that reason help us in our disagreements with fellow believers?


Read Proverbs 29:23.

Read this week’s Flashlight quotation. Did any part of the quotation stand out to you? Notice the first part of the second sentence: “David’s blameless character aroused the wrath of the king.”

What was it about David’s life and character that made Saul’s character seem so bad? Do you think the slaying of Goliath by David exposed flaws in Saul’s character? Explain.


Read the Punch Lines for this week. Choose the scripture that really speaks to you, then complete the following statements:

This scripture is meaningful to me because

If I follow the lesson taught in this scripture, it will help me deal with


Read Matthew 11:29.

This week you studied about Saul’s all-consuming jealousy of David’s success in military endeavors, popularity with the subjects of his kingdom, and the favor of God that seemed to rest on David’s life.

Have you ever been jealous of a family member or friend? How did you deal with your feelings? Did you tell the person of whom you were jealous how you felt about them? Did you tell God?


Read Exodus 33:14

One of the most beautiful themes in this week’s lesson is the friendship that developed between Jonathan, Saul’s son, and David. Jonathan risked his life to save David from his father’s wrath. How is what Jonathan did for David similar to what Jesus Christ did for us on the cross?

We may not all be asked to risk our lives for a friend. However, the depth of love that Jonathan felt for David is a beautiful example of godly friendship. How can you develop this type of godly friendship in your life?

Texts credited to NIV are from the Holy Bible, New International Version. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

this week’s reading*

Patriarchs and Prophets (or Beginning of the End), chapters 64 and 65.

*Beginning of the End is a special adaptation of Patriarchs and Prophets, created for you by the Ellen G. White Estate and Pacific Press. Get more information about it at By following the weekly reading plan, you will read at least one book of the Conflict of the Ages Series each year.