Book information

Life-Study of 1 & 2 Samuelby Witness Lee

ISBN: 0-87083-805-9
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry

Currently in: Chapter 17 of 38 Section 1 of 5

LIFE-STUDY OF FIRST AND SECOND SAMUEL

MESSAGE SEVENTEEN

THE HISTORY CONCERNING DAVID

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PREPARED BY GOD
TO BE A MAN ACCORDING TO THE HEART OF GOD
1 SAMUEL 16—2 SAMUEL 1

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PERSECUTED AND TRIED BY SAUL

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Scripture Reading: 1 Sam. 28:3—30:31

From the tragic end of Saul we can learn many things concerning God's economy. The tragedy suffered by Saul was altogether due to his not being properly related to God's economy. God is carrying out His economy on earth, and He brought Saul into His economy. Instead of participating in God's economy and cooperating with it, Saul was selfish. God wanted to build up His kingdom among His chosen people, but Saul usurped God's kingdom to build up his own monarchy. With David the situation was entirely different. When David was anointed by Samuel, he had a clear understanding that he had been assigned by God to be the king, but he did not have any thought about kingship. After Saul was appointed to be the king, he was immediately filled with thoughts of the kingship, including how his son would succeed him (20:31). In this Saul was selfish and wrong to the uttermost. He sought to build his selfish monarchy rather than the kingdom of God.

Eventually, God gave Saul up and cut him off, tearing the kingdom away from him. In 15:28 Samuel said to Saul, "Jehovah has torn the kingdom of Israel away from you today and has given it to an associate of yours, who is better than you." Because Saul was given up by God, he was left alone, like an orphan, having no provision of help when trouble came. Even though David was the most skillful and experienced fighter, he was of no use to Saul because of Saul's selfishness and envy. Actually, because Saul wanted to do away with him, David was forced to go to a country that was Israel's biggest enemy (27:1-2).

David went to the Philistines, in particular to King Achish. When the Philistines gathered their camps to fight against Israel, David, who had become the bodyguard to King Achish, was in a dilemma of being one with the Philistines to fight against Israel. This dilemma was the result of Saul's selfishness. The people of Israel suffered defeat and were slaughtered also because of Saul's selfishness. But God in His sovereignty came in to deal with Saul and to rescue David from his dilemma.

We need to muse upon every aspect of this story, for it contains some lessons that we need to learn. First, from this story, this illustration, we should learn the lesson of crucifying our flesh. Next, we should learn to condemn our selfishness—our self-interest and self-seeking. Furthermore, Saul was full of self, and from his tragic end we must learn to deny our self. As the Lord Jesus said, if we would follow Him, we must deny the self and take up the cross (Matt. 16:24).

At this juncture let us consider some further matters concerning David's being persecuted and tried by Saul.


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