1 Samuel 22:20 through 24:22

Daybreak for Students

1 Samuel 22:20 through 24:22

1 Samuel 22
1 Samuel 23
1 Samuel 24
The Lord therefore be judge, and judge between me and thee, and see, and plead my cause, and deliver me out of thine hand. — 1 Samuel 24:15

The man was consumed by revenge. Thugs had beaten his son so badly that he had a skull fracture. The doctors suspected brain damage and possible permanent vision loss. The father tried everything he could to locate the perpetrators. Meanwhile, the son showed no signs of improvement. One Sunday in church the father was considering what he would do if he caught these fellows. Even though he was not really listening, he realized the minister was preaching about forgiveness, and he did not care for the subject! As the preacher continued, though, the man realized he could not pray for his son’s healing without first forgiving those who had hurt his son. That morning he asked God to help him forgive. God released his soul from the hatred, and he prayed for both the son and the attackers. That day, when he went to the hospital, his son was sitting up! New x-rays were taken, and the fracture had been healed. His son left the hospital on Monday, completely well. (1)

This father knew that his son needed a touch from God to deliver him from his injuries. However, the father also needed a touch from God to deliver him from his own vengeful spirit. In today’s society, many need deliverance — from addictions, troubling situations, financial difficulties, or broken relationships. Others need deliverance from wrong attitudes and fears.

God can bring true deliverance, and David found this out. In our text, we read repeatedly about David’s desire for deliverance. Each step of the way, David continued to seek God’s will, and the Lord helped him every time.

Do you need deliverance in your life today? Open your heart to God, and tell Him your needs, because He answers prayer. God does not answer or deliver according to our will. For example, His deliverance may be the grace to cope with a situation. However, He never fails, and He wants to deliver us in the best possible way.


David loved God with all his heart. Before any major decision he sought God’s direction and will. In our text, David was being pursued by Saul almost continually. Saul was obsessed with finding and killing David, because he was jealous of David, and he knew David would be the king someday. Although David wanted deliverance from his enemy, he still wanted God’s will in the situation.

Abiathar, a priest, escaped Saul’s massacre of the priests of Nob, and he managed to take an ephod with him. This means that he had the Urim and Thummin with him when he came to David. The Urim and Thummin were two flat stones that were used to discern the will of God. David welcomed Abiathar and promised him protection. Although Saul had spies looking for David, Abiathar was able to give the Word of God to David and advise him on what God wanted him to do.

The meeting between Jonathan and David that is mentioned in this text may have been the last time they saw each other. Being a true friend, Jonathan encouraged David.

At one time, Saul and his army were within one mountain ridge of David and his men. Then a messenger came to call Saul to battle with the Philistines, and God once again delivered David.

En-gedi is a natural fortress that overlooks the Dead Sea. The area has many caves, and some were used as houses or tombs. Some caves were big enough that thousands of people could get inside them.

“To cover his feet,” means that Saul went into a cave to relieve himself. The Law of Moses had strict rules regarding sanitation, so Saul was probably away from his camp. He no doubt left his robe at the cave’s entrance. Since David and his men were hidden in the sides of the cave, they had easy access to Saul. David’s respect for God and also for Saul’s position as king provided deliverance for Saul.

As our focus verse mentions, David called on the Lord, asking Him to declare David innocent and keep him from Saul. God did not fail. David was safe in God’s hands and was delivered from his enemy.


(Hannah’s Bible Outlines - Used by permission per WORDsearch)
II.   The reign of Saul
     B.   The decline of King Saul and the rise of David
           2.   David in exile from Saul
                 g.   Saul’s vengeance on Ahimelech
                       (3)   The escape of Abiathar (22:20-23)
                 h.   David’s defeat of the Philistines at Keilah (23:1-13)
                       (1)   David’s defeat of the Philistines (23:1-5)
                       (2)   Saul’s pursuit of David Saul (23:6-13)
                 i.   His flight in the wilderness of Ziph (23:14-23)
                 j.   His flight in the wilderness of Maon (23:24-27)
                 k.  His flight in the wilderness of Engedi (23:28 — 24:22)
                       (1)   The sparing of Saul’s life (23:28 — 24:7)
                       (2)   The words of David to Saul (24:8-15)
                       (3)   The reply of Saul to David (24:16-22)


  1. Why do you think Saul wanted David killed?

  2. How did David receive deliverance from Saul and his pursuing army?

  3. What types of deliverance might God give today from hard situations?


Let us be like David and rely on the Lord in every situation. God is waiting for us to ask Him to work in our lives.

1.   William J. Petersen and Randy Petersen, “With a Baseball Bat in His Car,” 100 Amazing Answers to Prayer, p. 207-209.