Summary: Learning from the mistakes of others is the best way to learn. These two lessons consider David's great life and some of the roots behind his worst failures. Based on the book by Charles Swindoll, "David: A man of passion and destiny."

“A tree is best measured when it’s down.” David was a man after God’s own heart. And yet, he made tons of mistakes. As we learn from his mistakes, let’s also learn from his response to those mistakes! Not only did David leave us a lifetime of lessons about things NOT to do, he also left us a lifetime of lessons about how to repent. And that sadly, there are some things that even repentance cannot change.

1. Don’t lean on anyone BUT God!

A. After the great defeat of Goliath, and a short lived time of prosperity,

David spirals into a depression that would cripple even the strongest will!

1. Saul becomes jealous and tries to kill him, 1 Samuel 18:10-11

2. David’s position is taken from him even though he’s done no wrong!

3. David’s wife lies for him, but that lie only makes his situation worse –

1 Samuel 19:12-18

4. He lost his mentor Samuel after running to him for help – 1 Samuel 25:1

5. David’s best friend Jonathan abandons him – 1 Samuel 20:41-42

6. Finally David loses his self-respect! – 1 Samuel 21:10-15

B. I Samuel 22:1a- he ends up in a cave of self-pity and despair! He’s lost

everything! He must feel so alone! It’s in the moments of brokenness

that God does His best work! - 2 Corinthians 12:8-10

C. His family comes to him and ministers to him, 1 Samuel 22:1b

D. Misery loves company – 1 Samuel 22:2,will become mighty men of valor!

E. David trains these malcontents, and learns to stand on his own w/ God!

F. Learn from his mistakes, get rid of your crutches, and lean on God!

2. Never give up on God!

A. At this point David is tired of running from Saul. He obviously isn’t happy

with his life, or how he is forced to live his life. Running and gunning is no fun.

B. Remember, David had spared Saul once before, had enjoyed great victories,

and been taken care of by the wealthy men whom he protected. David knows

He’s the Lord’s anointed – 1 Samuel 16:12-13, Galatians 5:7-9

C. Now he allows Saul to live again, but what happens next throws David for a

loop. 1 Samuel 26:25. Saul always gets to go back to the palace and David

continues to run for his life! It’s getting old.

D. So David makes a wrong decision, desiring some peace, 1 Samuel 27:1

E. Let’s learn from this mistake! You cannot live with one foot in the world and one

foot in the church! You can’t please both your selfish desires and God!

F. 1 Peter 2:9-12 – Don’t succumb to the desires of the world! Don’t give up on God!


When a man of God fails, nothing of God fails. When a man of God changes, nothing of God changes. When someone dies, nothing of God dies. When our lives are altered by the unexpected, nothing of God is altered or unexpected. Isaiah wrote; “Before they call, I will answer; and while they are yet speaking, I will hear.” (Isa. 65:24) There’s still hope for you and me!!!


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