Old Testament
Lesson 23
“The Lord Be Between Thee and Me For Ever”


Lesson Highlights

A study of this lesson will encourage us to be true to their friends, as Jonathan and David were, and avoid being consumed by jealousy and hatred, as Saul was.

Scripture references for study:  1 Samuel 18–20; 1 Samuel 23–24
    Note: Underlined scripture references have been hyperlinked to the LDS Scriptures at LDS.org and will open in a new window.

Lesson 23 Handout (PDF format)


Jonathan & David - 1 Samuel 18:1-16

  1. After David killed Goliath, he was taken before Saul.
  2. "AND it came to pass, when he had made an end of speaking unto Saul, that the soul of Jonathan was knit with the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as his own soul" (v1).
  3. Saul honored David by bringing him into his home and setting him up as head of the army (1 Samuel 18:2, 5).
  4. READ 1 SAMUEL 18:6-9. Saul displeased with the acclaim David received.
  5. We find in these verses an interesting contrast in the way that Saul and Jonathan reacted to David.

Saul Fails In His Attempts To Take David's Life - 1 Samuel 18:17-19:18

  1. "And Saul said to David, Behold my elder daughter Merab, her will I give thee to wife: only be thou valiant for me, and fight the LORD'S battles" (18:17).
  2. Saul's daughter Merab was given to another, but his daughter Michal loved David (18:19-20).
  3. Saul spoke to Jonathan and all his servants to conspire against David's life (19:1).
  4. One again David went to war with the Philistines and returned with great success (18:8).

David & Jonathan Renew Their Covenant of Friendship - 1 Samuel 20


Saul Is Consumed By Hatred For David - 1 Samuel 23-24

  1. After inquiring of the Lord, David went to the town of Keilah to fight against the Philistines.
  2. READ 1 SAMUEL 23:7-10. Saul to pursue David at Keilah.
  3. WHAT CHANGED SAUL FROM A RIGHTEOUS KING TO SOMEONE WHO WAS WILLING TO DESTROY AN ENTIRE CITY IN PURSUIT OF DAVID?
  4. WHY ARE JEALOUSY AND HATRED SO CONSUMING?
  5. HOW CAN WE RID OURSELVES OF JEALOUSY AND HATRED?
  6. When David learned that Saul was pursuing him, he took his men and departed from the city of Keilah.
  7. The opportunity arose for David to slay Saul, but he did not. WHY?
  8. READ 1 SAMUEL 24:17-19. Saul's response to David.


Gospel Doctrine Notebook

  1. Through the stories contained in this lesson we observe the amazing contrast between Saul and Jonathan. Jonathan saw the good in David and became a loyal, loving friend. He was willing to stand on the side of right and oppose his wicked father. No person could ask for a better friend than Jonathan. Saul had allowed sin to enter his life and felt threatened by the rise of David. Rather than befriend this noble man, Saul became consumed with jealousy, envy, and hatred. He pursued David's life. He was a man who lost control. As Jonathan learned, David was not an enemy. Saul destroyed his own life by treating David as an enemy instead of a friend. We should follow the example of Jonathan and let the actions of Saul serve as a solemn warning.
  2. Record your thoughts on the relationship between David and Jonathan. How did it differ from David's relationship with Saul? What principles from this lesson can you incorporate in your life as you establish and maintain relationships with others?

Resources Used In This Lesson


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Changes last made on:  26 May 2014