David Showed Mercy
David’s relationship with King Saul was complicated. Early on, David served the king by playing the lyre for him whenever he felt unwell. After David killed Goliath, he became good friends with Saul’s son Jonathan. But David’s success made Saul jealous. Saul could see that David was rising in popularity. He won victory after victory. Saul made several attempts on David’s life, and David fled to the land of Moab.
David wasn’t alone. His family and other men—anyone who was “desperate, in debt, or discontented” (1 Sam. 22:2)—joined David, and he became their leader. About 400 men were with David. Once in Moab, the prophet Gad instructed David to return to the land of Judah. When Saul found out David’s location, he pursued David, intending to kill him. Yet God protected David from Saul.
Saul was in pursuit of David when he stopped to relieve himself. Imagine David’s surprise when Saul entered the very cave in which David and his men were hiding. This was David’s chance! Saul was outnumbered and could easily be defeated. David got up and secretly cut off the corner of Saul’s robe, but he did not allow his men to hurt Saul.
When Saul left the cave, David followed after him. He acknowledged Saul’s authority—”My lord the king!” (1 Sam. 24:8)—and showed Saul the corner of his robe, proof of David’s passed-up opportunity. Saul wept upon realizing David’s mercy toward him. God had put Saul in David’s hand, and David let him go unharmed. Saul realized God had clearly chosen David to be Israel’s king.
David showed mercy to Saul, his enemy, because David trusted God’s plan. Jesus also trusted His Father’s plan. He died on the cross so His enemies could experience God’s mercy and live forever as part of God’s family.
Check this session’s Activity Page and Big Picture Card as well as the Gospel Project for Kids Family App for ways to interact with the Bible content this week.
FAMILY STARTING POINTS
| Babies and Toddlers
Jesus is our King.
King Saul wanted to hurt David.
David showed mercy to King Saul.
Jesus shows us mercy when we do not deserve it.
How is Jesus the perfect King? Jesus perfectly rules over everything.
David showed mercy to Saul.
How is Jesus the perfect King? Jesus perfectly rules over the universe as the King of kings.
David showed mercy even though Saul hated him.
UNIT KEY PASSAGE
“God’s Covenant with David” (2 Samuel 6–7)