1 Samuel 27

Talks for Growing Christians

David’s Faith Falters

1 Samuel 27

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Lesson Number 31

Background Notes

Doctrinal Point(s)

  1. Believers can make the same mistake more than once.
  2. Believers should not justify the means by the ends.

Practical Application

  1. Try to see your dilemmas coming before they face you.


  1. What is the major theme in this second half of 1 Samuel?
  2. Where do we find David at the beginning of this chapter 27?
  3. Where did we previously see David seek protection from the Philistines? What was the outcome that time?
  4. Explain the expression “The end justifies the means.”
  5. What “good ends” was David accomplishing while hiding out in Ziklag?
  6. What ugly means did David use to accomplish these ends?


  1. Ups and downs in David’s life of faith
  2. Spiritually, he is down in the valley of little faith. He has gone back to King Achish and the Philistines for protection from King Saul. We do not see him seeking the Lord’s guidance in this major decision.
  3. In 1 Samuel 21, David sought protection from the Philistines and had to pretend insanity in order not to be killed.
  4. As long as the outcome is successful, the way you get there does not matter.
  5. He was protecting his family, building up support for his future kingdom, and eliminating some of Israel’s ancient enemies.
  6. David and his men became mercenaries for King Achish, massacring large settlements of people without the Lord’s direction. David used lying and deceit to cover his tracks in all of this.


  1. The second half of 1 Samuel traces the ups and downs of David’s life of faith. If you made a graph of your spiritual life over the years, would it peek and fall like David’s. Where are you spiritually right now? What can you do to either stay there or improve?
  2. David did not look ahead to see the dilemmas his deceit would cause. Discuss which examples struck you from the lecture about the dilemmas our country and we as believers face because we do not look ahead.


  1. Believers should not justify the ends by the means. Have you been justifying some ungodly attitude or activity in your life? Consider David and change your ways.

Key Verses

  • “There is nothing better for me than that I should speedily escape to the land of the Philistines.” 1 Samuel 27:1
  • “David would save neither man nor woman alive, to bring news to Gath.” 1 Samuel 27:11

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