Before we begin today, I want to announce the winner of Rachel Olsen’s new book, It’s No Secret. The winner is Traci, who commented on September 12th at 1:20 p.m. Congratulations, Traci! Thank you to all of you who shared your favorite chapter title and Starbucks drink with us. Please be sure to visit our Proverbs 31 web site and buy Rachel’s new book. On this journey with Rachel, you will discover the many treasures, truths, and promises tucked away inside the pages of God’s Word.
Now back to our study. Wow! What a week!! How hard it was for me to see David make such tragic decisions…one in particular that would haunt him for the rest of his life.
How are you coming with your memory verses? This week’s verse if very short. May God hid this verse deep in your heart so the next time you need strength outside yourself, you will remember these words spoken directly from the heart of David.
Below please find the lesson for Week Two and the homework and reading assignment for Week Three. In our upcoming homework, we will see David continue to make decisions that will take him deeper and deeper into despair.
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Reading Assignment: Read as assigned through the homework.
This Week’s Memory Verse: But David found strength in the Lord his God. 1 Samuel 30:6b.
Homework Questions: Please do as many questions as time allows. It is in your reading and studying that God will do His greatest work.
Heavenly Father, I am excited to meet You in Your Word this week. Thank You for giving me Your Word. Thank You that it is Truth, written to speak to me today. As I read about the life of Your anointed, David, please show me what it is You would have me to learn. I know You brought me to this study to teach me, to change me, and to make me more like You. Father, open the eyes of my heart to hear what You have to speak to me each and every time I open Your Word. If there is anything in me that will keep me from hearing You, Father, cleanse my heart. I want Your highest and best for my life. I want my heart to be more like Your heart. I want to learn what it is that pleases You. Give me wisdom and understanding; give me a spirit of revelation. You tell me not to forsake wisdom, that she is supreme; You tell me to esteem wisdom above all else, and she will exalt me. You teach me that if I follow wisdom all the days of my life, she will set a garland of grace on my head and present me with a crown of splendor. That is what I desire above all else. Help me to seek hard after wisdom, to esteem wisdom, and to follow wisdom all the days of my life. May my life honor You in all I say and do. I ask this in Jesus’ Name. Amen.
1. We begin our week again with David on the run. Read 1 Samuel 26.
a. What significant event happened again in this chapter?
b. In verse 21, Saul asked forgiveness and invited David back into his life. Why do you think David did not go back with Saul?
c. How do you think David was feeling in verse 25 as he “went on his way?”
Clearly this was one of the lowest points in David’s life. His words in 1 Samuel 27:1 reveal his hopelessness: “But David thought to himself, ‘One of these days I will be destroyed by the hand of Saul. The best thing I can do is to escape to the land of the Philistines. Then Saul will give up searching for me anywhere in Israel, and I will slip out of his hand.’” Remember, Scripture tells us that Saul pursued David from the time he awoke to the time he went to bed. Saul’s hatred for him ran deep, and there was nothing David could do about it.
2. Is there something in your own life that you cannot control, something that burdens you night and day? Perhaps it is a chronic illness, insurmountable debt, long term unemployment, a wayward child, a struggling marriage, a longing to be married, or estrangement from family. All consuming emotions and feelings accompany each of these trials. The enemy of our soul relentlessly uses those feelings and emotions to steal our peace and our joy. Read the following verses from some of David’s psalms. Can you relate? If so, share how.
a. Psalm 10:1
b. Psalm 22:1-2, 14-15
3. What do we see David doing in the following verses?
a. Psalm 10:12-16
b. Psalm 22:3-11, 19-31
Don’t these Psalms encourage you more now that you know what was happening in David’s life as he wrote them? David knows that He should not trust his feelings and not focus on his circumstances. He cries out to God for help. It is in his tears that he lifts his eyes and his heart to the One in Whom he can trust. I want to remind you of that today if you find yourself in difficult circumstances. God has not forgotten about you…about your circumstances, sweet friend. His Word says that He sees every tear you cry. He knows every feeling you feel. He knows when you reach that point of desperation where you believe you cannot take another step. He promises that He will never leave you or forsake you. If you find yourself in a trial and struggling like David, follow his lead…
Cry out to God,
Stay in the Word,
Stand on God’s promises,
Believe He is able,
Pray without ceasing.
If you feel weary and hopeless, feed on the following verses and ask the Lord to use them to fill you and encourage you.
• 1 Corinthians 15:58
• Galatians 4:9-10
• Hebrews 12:2-3
• 1 Peter 4:19
4. Read 1 Samuel 28.
a. What happened in verse 5 when Saul saw the Philistine army?
b. What did Saul do in verse 6?
c. What happened when he did this?
d. What did Saul do in response? (Yet what had Saul done in verse 3 after Samuel died?)
e. What did he want the medium to do for him? (1 Samuel 28:11)
When the woman brought up the spirit, Saul asked the spirit who looked like Samuel to tell him what to do.
5. What Saul did was a terrible violation of God’s law and Saul knew it. The Bible ABSOLUTELY forbids divination, seeking spirits and mediums. This is serious business to God, and He is very clear (for more on this, read Leviticus 20:27, Deuteronomy 18:10-11, Isaiah 3:2-3, and Ezekiel 14:7-8)
a. Why did God refuse to answer Saul? (1 Samuel 28:16-18)
b. What two prophecies did Samuel issue? (1 Samuel 28: 19)
It seems harsh, doesn’t it, that God would not respond to Saul’s cries? But Scripture teaches that there are times when God will be silent.
6. Read Isaiah 59:1-3. What do you learn? Do you think this applies to Saul?
In David’s absence, Amalekite raiding parties came into the town of Ziklag where David and his men had settled. They burned the town and took David’s family and everyone else as prisoners.
7. Once David’s men reached Ziklag, what did they find? How did they respond? (1 Samuel 30:4)
a. Read verse 6. Why was David distressed?
b. Where did David go in his distress?
c. What does it mean to “find strength in the Lord?” What does that look like to you?
Friend, do you have times in your life when you feel very alone…like no one understands your circumstances? Sometimes God takes you to that place so that you will not turn to others but instead will turn and press hard into Him. I have had times where I have actually been angry with friends for not “being there” for me. Later I came to see that their absence caused me to go directly to God with my circumstances. God knew that I needed to strengthen myself in Him and Him alone. It may hurt to feel abandoned by a friend, but it creates a wonderful new trusting place with God where He provides what you need when you need it.
8. Read 1 Samuel 30:7-31. How did David decide what next steps to take?
9. David made his inquiry by means of the ephod. An ephod was the high priest’s apron-like garment which contained the Urim and Thumim, sacred stones used to discern the will of God. Exodus 28:29-30 (it was said if the Urim dominated when the lots were cast, the answer was “no,” but if the Thummin dominated it was “yes”).
a. Who stayed behind and why? (1 Samuel 30:10)
b. Who led David to the men who raided Ziklag?
c. What happened when David found the men? (1 Samuel 30:17-20)
d. How did David resolve the issue about sharing plunder from the raid?
Today we find ourselves in the last chapter of the book of 1 Samuel. Can you believe all that you have learned these last few weeks?
10. Read 1 Samuel 31. It opens announcing the Philistines quick and decisive victory over Israel. The first few verses are replete with death and sadness. Sadly, Saul watched his men run away in fear of the Philistines. He watched others, including his own sons, die at the hands of the Philistine army on Mount Gilboa.
a. Read Deuteronomy 11:22-25. Knowing what God says here, why do you think Israel lost this battle?
b. Verse 2 breaks my heart as I read what happened to Jonathan. What happened to Saul’s sons?
11. What happened to Saul and what request did he make of his armor-bearer?
a. Why do you think his armor-bearer would not kill him?
b. What did Saul do next?
The last act of Israel’s chosen king was to kill himself with his own sword. Sadly Saul took a path that led him away from the Lord. We watched it happen little by little.
12. Trace the steps of Saul’s journey away from the heart of God.
a. 1 Samuel 13:8-16
b. 1 Samuel 15:3, 9-19
c. 1 Samuel 22:17-19
d. 1 Samuel 28:8
13. What lessons do you take away for your own life from his story?
Read 2 Samuel Chapter 1.
14. After getting to know David these past few weeks and ending with this beautiful song of lament in Chapter 1, what have you learned about his heart? What is it that makes David “a man after God’s own heart?”
ENJOY your time with God this week. I will be praying for you!!!