Journey Through – David and Persecution – 05/02/23

Passages: 1 Samuel 22-24

Saul the Persecutor

With God no longer central to his life. Saul spiralled and became the persecutor of God’s anointed ruler. We see:

  • He focused on himself
  • He desired power
  • He was jealous
  • He imagined the worst
  • He falsely accused others
  • He hated and loathed
  • Those around him saw his unreasonable behaviour
  • He looked for someone to agree with him
  • He persecuted

Each of the above can be areas we all struggle with and can be symptoms of our distance from God. It is important that we carefully consider ‘are these behaviours present in our lives?’ because if we don’t address them they could cause us to spiral into self centred behaviours that may hurt others.

David the Persecuted

David was on the run from Saul, but even in the midst of this persecution he continued to live as a anointed person of God, with God at the centre of his life. We see:

  • His Heart for justice
  • His dependance of God
  • His willingness to follow God in the face of opposition
  • His example strengthened his followers
  • His confidence in God in the face of disappointment and retreat
  • He didn’t seek revenge
  • His example demonstrated his righteousness
  • He let God be the judge

As we seek to live as disciples of Jesus, persecution will come from many different sources. We shouldn’t be surprised as we know we are in a spiritual war, Jesus said:

John 15:18 “If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. 19 If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you. 20 Remember the words I spoke to you:‘No servant is greater than his master. ’ If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also. If they obeyed my teaching, they will obey yours also. 21 They will treat you this way because of my name, for they do not know the One who sent me.

Think about different sources of persecution, and how can they affect the church?

How do the verses below build on what we have looked at and how do they encourage you?

Romans 12:17 Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everybody. 18 If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. 19 Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written:“It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord. 20 On the contrary: “If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.” 21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

1 Peter 2:12 Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us.

Matthew 5:16 light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.

As we seek to become more like Jesus and introduce others to him, let us learn from David and keep God in the centre of our lives.

As we journey through the Bible let us ask, how does knowing this help me to become wise for salvation through faith in Jesus?

  1. What does it teach me? 
  2. How does it rebuke me?
  3. Is it correcting something in my life?
  4. What training can I put into place to help me live a righteous life?
  5. How is this equipping me for every good work?

Additional questions you may wish to consider for personal study or in Life Groups.


As I reflect what have I found interesting? 

As I reflect what has challenged my life, attitudes and actions

Is there one practical step I can apply to my life to help me to become more like Jesus?

How would this help me to introduce others to Jesus?

Is there there anything I need to pray about, explore further or extra help I need?

Is there someone I should share with, pray with or encourage?


Passage: John 21:1-19

So far as we have thought about leadership we have considered the character and values of a leader, the concept that a leader is a shepherd as we looked at Jesus as the ‘Good Shepherd’ in John 10 and at God ‘the Shepherd’ in Psalm 23. We have seen the importance of willingness, a servant heart and the example that leaders are to set.

This week the two quotes below challenged me because I think they are important for us all as we finish this series and move to voting for elders.

“Leaders must be close enough to relate to others, but far enough ahead to motivate them.” John C. Maxwell

“The hardest thing about leadership is the intimacy it requires.” Dallas Willard

Leaders are called to Intimacy

The Power of Intimacy

  • Jesus came to Peter 
  • Jesus brought Peter close to himself 
  • Jesus prepared and ate with Peter
  • Jesus restored Peter 
  • Jesus gave Peter his calling 

How can doing these help us to be good leaders?

Why are these hard to do?

The Power of Intimacy Means: 

  • We can have the difficult interactions
  • We can take the difficult interactions
  • Together we glorify God

‘Good leaders can only do the tough conversations from a place of intimacy’ – Do you agree with these statement and why?

The Problem

  • Substituted intimacy for numerous connections – Jesus prioritised people 
  • Substituted intimacy for distraction – Jesus prioritised the truth 
  • Substituted intimacy for achievement  – Jesus showed the way to the kingdom
  • Substituted intimacy for pleasure – Jesus served and sacrificed

How can we fight against the things we have substituted for intimacy?

Why is this important?

In Intimacy We 

  • Build friendship 
  • Build trust
  • Build dependence
  • We are open
  • We are vulnerable 
  • We are honest
  • We receive help
  • We receive encouragement 
  • We receive direction
  • We know love
  • We know sorrow
  • We know joy 
  • We find fulfilment 
  • We have people to walk with us
  • We flourish

All of the above we see in Jesus’ ministry and leadership. Let us seek to benefit from the power of intimacy in our lives.

The two quotes below remind us of the importance of Intimacy:

We need to trust to be vulnerable, and we need to be vulnerable in order to build trust. Brene Brown ‘dare to lead’

I define a leader as anyone who takes responsibility for finding the potential in people and processes, and who has the courage to develop that potential. Brene Brown ‘dare to lead’

How do these make someone a good leader?

Intimacy with other comes for a place of Intimacy with God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit 

  • Intimacy with God – James 4:8, 2 Timothy 3:15-17
  • Intimacy with Jesus – Revelation 3:20
  • Intimacy with the Holy Spirit – John 13:15-17

What steps can you take to develop your Intimacy with God and how will that help your leadership?

Intimacy is hard but it’s worth it. As you read through 1 Peter 4:7-11, note how it all works together.