August 31, 2011

The Heart of a Mighty Warrior: A Study of the Life of David

Through The Heart of a Mighty Warrior: A Study of the Life of David, Wendy helps you discover the heart of one of God’s most beloved servants, King David.  You will spend six weeks journeying through various books of the Old Testament studying David’s life from the time God called him from the sheepfold to his last days as King of Israel. Through this study, you will…

  • Increase your knowledge of Old Testament history
  • Gain a deeper understanding of the character of God
  • Learn what it means to be “a women after God’s own heart”
  • Study the psalms of David in depth and learn to apply them to your own life
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September 12, 2010

Announcing Wendy’s New On-Line Study – The Heart of a Mighty Warrior: A Study of the Life of David

If you are visiting my blog for the first time from Monday’s (September 13th) Encouragement for Today devotion, Sanctifying Discipline, welcome!! If you stopped by as one of my long-time bloggy friends, I am so thankful you are here.

Please know I have prayed for you.

What do I mean?

Well, let me explain. I have been counting the days for this post because I knew I would be announcing our next on-line Bible Study today. I have prayed since the end of our last study for God to draw women who are seeking to know Him more but just can’t seem to find the time to do it.

Guess what? Since you are reading these words, you are one of those women, sweet friend. I have been praying for you!!

If God brought you here today, please prayerfully consider joining us for our next on-line Bible study, The Heart of a Mighty Warrior: A Study of the Life of David beginning Monday, September 20th. Below is a short 5 minute video sharing a bit about my devotion and introducing the new study.

I intentionally chose my Encouragement for Today devotion, Sanctifying Discipline, to coincide with the announcement of the new study because in our David study we will watch God teach David some very difficult lessons through His sanctifying discipline.

In the last on-line study, we had over 1800 women studying the book of Ephesians!! Can you believe that? Women from nearly every state in the Union and from across the globe.

For this study, we will embark on an amazing journey through the life of one of God’s most beloved servants, King David….known by so many as “the man after God’s own heart.” We will spend six weeks with David, from the time God called him from the sheepfold to his last days as King of Israel. Through his life, God will teach us powerful life-changing truths.

Each Monday, I will post a video blog like the one above, but it will be about 10 minutes. I will post homework questions and invite you to share the answers to your questions and any other thoughts you have in the comments. You can visit our Ephesians Study to see more of how the study works.

My prayer for us is that as David’s story unfolds, our hearts would change and become more like His. I pray that we would leave different women because of the time we have spent with Him in His Word.

In our last study, I claimed God’s promise found in Isaiah 55:11:

So is my Word that goes out from My mouth:
It will not return to Me empty,
but will accomplish what I desire
and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.

I claim this promise again for us today!!

If you want to join us, please leave your first name and e-mail address. I am compiling a list for my records so that I can pray for you by name and contact you via e-mail if necessary. If you have difficulty leaving a comment, please feel free to e-mail me at deuteronomysix@aol.com and leave your contact information.

I have tried to make it simple to leave a comment. Follow these instructions.

Click on “Comments.”

When you do, a “Post a Comment” box will appear at the end of all posted comments.

Write your comment in the box.

Then click on the “Comment as” box underneath. If you do not have blog or account, select “Anonymous.”

Then click on “Post Comment.”

See you Monday, September 20th for Bible Study!

Blessings,

September 19, 2010

Introductory Lesson for the David Study

My heart is so full as I write and record the message for today. You have been in my prayers each and every day. Your words of encouragement and your excitement to begin this study have blessed me beyond measure. We have nearly 2000 women from across the globe studying the life of David together for the next six weeks. How I wish we could all gather together in one place for our lesson so I could see each one of your precious smiling faces. But this is how God has chosen to bring us together, and I know He will be at work in and among us!!

We are about to embark on a six week journey to discover the heart of one of God’s most beloved and favored servants, King David. In preparation for this study, know I am praying for you and for our time together. My prayer, sweet friends, is that as we commit to give God our whole hearts, He will stretch us and grow us in such a way that not a single one of us will ever be the same again!

Over the next six weeks, we will cover David’s entire life! We will have 10 -15 questions each week. Please do them as you have time. Do not be overwhelmed…you have one week to do them. Remember, it is the time you spend with God in His Word that will teach, bless, and transform you.

To sign up for the study, you may leave a comment on my blog with your first name and e-mail address or e-mail me at Deuteronomysix@aol.com.

You may also subscribe to the study and receive each week’s lesson in your in-box each week by clicking on the “Subscribe via e-mail” link located at the top of my sidebar. However, you will not be able to see the videos or comments unless you visit my blog directly at http://www.wendyblight.com/.

Below please find our Introductory Lesson, memory verse, and homework assignment for this week.

This Week’s Memory Verse: The Lord does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart. 1 Samuel 16:7
Powerful Name. AMEN

Reading Assignment: Read 1 Samuel 8:1-22.

Homework Questions: Please do as many questions as time allows. Your time reading and studying is when God will do His greatest work!

Prayer:

Heavenly Father, today I begin a new journey with You. Thank You that before time began You knew I would meet you here in Your Word to study the life of David. Father, You say David is a man after Your own heart. That is what I want to be, Lord, a woman after Your own heart. I desire to live my life to honor and glorify You in all I say and do. Father, I pray from Psalm 119, open the eyes of my heart these next few months so that I may see the wonderful truths, promises, and lessons found in Your law. Give me eyes to see, ears to hear, a heart to receive, and a mind to understand all that You will teach me. Your Word says that it is living and active like a double-edged sword meant to penetrate to my heart and soul, joints and marrow. I invite You to do that in my life. Father, take Your Word and excise out anything in my life that keeps me from having a heart like Yours. Replace it with the fruit of Your Spirit. Give me a heart of humility to receive all You have to teach me. Change my heart, Oh God, make it every true…change my heart, Oh God, make it more like You. I ask this in Jesus’ Name.

1. Read 1 Samuel 8:1-22.
a. For what did the Jews ask Samuel? (1 Samuel 8:5)

b. What was their reasoning?

c. In reality, who were the people really rejecting?

Samuel anointed Saul as the first King of Israel If you would like to go deeper and read about Saul, his anointing by Samuel, and the early part of his reign, read 1Samuel Chapters 9-12.

2. Read 1 Samuel 10:8 and 1 Samuel 13:3-14. In 10:8, Samuel tells Saul to go down to Gilgal and wait seven days for Samuel’s arrival. When Samuel arrives, he says that he will sacrifice burnt offerings and fellowship offerings.
a. What did Saul do (or fail to do)?

b. What was Samuel’s response?

c. What do Saul’s actions speak about his heart?

3. Today we read about another confrontation between King Saul and Samuel the prophet. Read 1 Samuel 15:1-35.
a. What are Samuel’s instructions to Saul in 1 Samuel 15:3?

b. What did Saul actually do? (1 Samuel 15:7-9)

c. Describe God’s response to Saul’s disobedience in verse 10? **

d. What was Samuel’s response?

4. When Samuel went to meet Saul, he was told that Saul had gone to Carmel to set up a monument in his honor.
a. What do Saul’s actions reveal about his heart?

b. When Samuel confronted Saul, what reason did Saul give for sparing the livestock?

c. Describe Saul’s attitude about obedience. (1 Samuel 15:20-21)

d. Read verse 22 and share what it speaks to you about obedience

e. What does Samuel say in 1 Samuel 15:26-28?

f. How does this chapter conclude? (1 Samuel 15:32-35)

5. Today we finally meet David as we study a familiar passage in Scripture. I invite you to read it with fresh eyes and a heart seeking to hear a fresh word from God.
a. Read 1 Samuel 16:1-13. What was Samuel’s next assignment?

b. Samuel was drawn first to Jesse’s oldest son, Eliab. Why?

c. Looking at God’s response in verse 7, on what did Samuel base his selection?

d. Below write the Lord’s words in verse 7.

6. Jesse answered that he had one more son, his youngest, who was tending sheep. Samuel asked to see him.
a. Describe this son.

b. Write below the words God spoke as this young shepherd entered the room.

c. How did the Spirit of God manifest himself in David’s life “from that day on?”

7. 1 Samuel 16:7 is a crucial verse for our culture today. Everybody evaluates people on their outward appearances. We see it around us everyday…even in our own lives.
a. Share examples of how our culture chooses people based on outward appearances.

God rejects this standard. He looks at each person’s heart.

b. In your own words, share what it means to be a woman after God’s own heart.

c. Do you see yourself as a woman after God’s own heart?

d. If you answered “yes,” share what God has done in your life to bring you to this point?

e. If you answer “no,” what is it that you need to change in your heart to make it more like His?

8. It’s a story that for generations has captivated children and adults alike…the all familiar tale of David and Goliath. Today I invite you to read it as if you were reading it for the very first time. Read 1 Samuel 17:1-58.
a. What reasons did Saul state for thinking David was unable to fight this battle.

b. What was David’s response? (verses 34-37) What does his response say about his heart?

c. Has there been a time in your life when you had to rely on God this way, trusting Him based upon what He has done in the past to help you face the present or the future? What happened?

d. Why didn’t David wear the armor Saul gave Him?

e. Read 1 Samuel 17:40-47.

f. What three items did David take into battle?

g. Read verse 45 again and write it below.

h. What was the most powerful weapon David carried into battle that day?

i. Describe what happened in verses 46-50.

j. Read Psalm 71:5-8. What does this Psalm say about David’s heart?

k. Read 1 Corinthians 1:26-27. How does this Truth relate to David’s story?

(1)Is there someone in your past or present who constantly discourages you, criticizes you, and makes you feel unworthy?

(2)What lessons have you learned from this story that may help you with this situation?

9. Read 1 Samuel 18:1-29.
a. 1 Samuel 18:5-16 tell us David performed all his duties with great success. According to verse 14, why did David have great success in everything he did?

b. Saul noticed David’s favor with God. He resented it and feared it. Three times Scripture points out Saul’s fear, fear that led to jealousy, jealousy that prompted anger, rage, even murderous actions. Note the three verses (1 Samuel 18:12-29) and what happened in them.

10. What was lacking in Saul’s life to keep his fear and jealousy in check? 1 Samuel 16:14, 18:10)

Saul’s life teaches us what life is like without the presence of the Holy Spirit. David’s life teaches us what life is like with the presence of the Holy Spirit.

Friends, we have an incomprehensible gift. Because we are believers in Jesus, the Spirit of the Living God chooses to reside in you and me. Never ever forget the significance of this gift. This presence of God in us enables us to survive all things, overcome all things, and do all things.

Blessings to you,

September 26, 2010

Heart of a Mighty Warrior – Week One Lesson

Good Morning!

Welcome to The Heart of a Mighty Warrior, an on-line study on the life of David. It’s not too late to join us. To register, please leave a comment with your first name and e-mail address or e-mail me at Deuteronomysix@aol.com.

Every day as I sit at the computer and read your comments, I am touched and moved by what God is doing. All He asks is that we seek Him, and look what happens when we do!!!

Thank you, thank you for faithfully doing your homework and for openly and honestly sharing your answers. It blesses me beyond measure to see God working through the questions He laid on my heart. This week we travel through many chapters and cover much material. There are thirteen multi-part questions. Feel free to divide the assignment throughout the week to spread out the reading. David’s life is full of many significant stories. It is so very hard to pick and choose, and I trust the Lord with the choices I have made…that they will be meaningful and speak to you.

How are you doing with your memory verses? I pray that as you commit this week’s verse to memory, the Lord will plant it deep in your heart. Know that these verses are God-given just for you. Trust that He will reveal the perfect time for you to share them…whether in your own life or the life of someone you love.

Below please find the lesson for Week One and the homework and reading assignment for Week Two. This week, we watch as God strips David of everything so that he can learn to trust in God and God alone. We find David on the run, desperately trying to escape from the throes of Saul’s jealousy.

Don’t forget you can subscribe by e-mail and receive this post in your in-box each week. However, you will not be able to see the videos or comments unless you visit my blog directly.

Reading Assignment: Read as assigned through the homework.

This Week’s Memory Verse: Trust in Him at all times, O people; pour out your hearts to Him, for God is our refuge. Psalm 62:8

Homework Questions: Please do as many questions as time allows. It is in your reading and studying that God will do His greatest work.

Prayer:

Heavenly Father, I am ready to begin another week spending precious time with You in Your Word. As I begin this week’s lesson, make my heart tender to hear Your voice as You speak to me. Give me ears to hear and a heart to receive what You have for me in each and every lesson. Speak a fresh Word to me…especially the familiar stories. Allow me to read each story as if for the first time. You tell me Your Word is living and active meant to speak to me today. You tell me that when Your Word goes out, it will achieve what You desire and accomplish the purposes for which You sent it. Father, do that in my life. Speak to me. Move me. Change me. Accomplish everything in my life that You desire. Thank You for giving me this opportunity to spend time alone with You. Help me to carve out the time no matter how busy I think I am. Help me to put You first. I ask this in Jesus’ powerful and effective Name. Amen.


1. Read 1 Samuel 19.

a. How did Jonathan respond to his father’s orders to kill David?

b. How did Saul respond at first? (1 Samuel 19:6)

c. What happened to change that response? (1 Samuel 19:7-10)

2. Saul was clearly out of control. Jealousy overtook every fiber of his being. His son and daughter both appeared to choose David over him. He became relentless in his pursuit to kill David.

Remember, Samuel anointed Saul. Don’t you think by now David was questioning the anointing on his life? He stayed with Samuel while Saul sent more and more men after him. But God proves He is still in charge.

a. What happened in 1 Samuel 19:19-24? Share how God’s reveals His plan is still in place?

b. Read 1 John 4:4. Write the verse below.

c. Does it encourage you that when evil confronts godliness, godliness wins out?

God makes it quite clear, doesn’t he? The Spirit of God is more powerful than anything!

(If you would like to learn more about the friendship between David and Saul’s son, Jonathon, read 1 Samuel Chapter 20. Due to time constraints, I will not spend time on this relationship in our lesson. But it is a beautiful friendship worth learning about).

3. Read 1 Samuel 21. David at age twenty finds himself homeless, without family, without employment, and without friends. David is now running for his life from a madman who also happened to be Israel’s king. We meet him in 1 Samuel 21:1 in a place called Nob, also known as the “city of priests.”

a. Why do you suppose he chose this city?

b. What is the first sin David commits here? (1 Samuel 21:1-2)

c. What lie did he tell?

d. For what did David ask first? (1 Samuel 21:3)

e. What did the priest have to offer?

f. Do you think it significant that the only bread the priest had to offer was holy, consecrated bread, the bread of the Presence?

Friends, I absolutely believe that by making this the only bread available, God was reminding David of His Presence and His promise to David that he was going to be king. David knew these promises of God, but he was desperate and fearful.

Exodus 25:30 speaks of the Bread of the Presence required to be always present on the Table in the Temple. “Presence” here refers to the actual presence of God. The bread represented a perpetual offering to the Lord and served as a reminder of God’s presence to His people. Perhaps God made this bread available here because He wanted David to remember that His Presence was with him wherever he went.

4. What is so precious for you and me is that God does the same for us.

a. Read John 6:48? What does Christ call Himself int this verse?

b. What is His promise in Hebrews 13:5? (quoting from Deuteronomy 31:6, Moses’ words to Israel)?

c. Share a time in your life when God clearly reminded you of His presence.

5.David runs again at the end of Chapter 21. Read 1 Samuel 22:1-5. Sadly, David felt he had nowhere else to run, so 1 Samuel 22:1tells us that he “escaped to the cave of Adullam.” David wrote eight different Psalms while on the run from Saul. Below we will study two that he wrote while taking refuge in the cave.

Read Psalm 57.

a. What does this psalm reveal about David’s heart?

b. What are your thoughts about David’s words in verses 7-11?

Read Psalm 142.

a. What is David doing in verse 1?

b. What about in verse 2? How does this encourage you?

c. What does he recognize in verses 3 and 5?

d. What is he feeling in verses 4 and 6?

e. In verse 7, his tone changes. What do you think happened as he moved through verses 1-6 to arrive at verse 7?

David’s life is such an encouragement because his life and heart mirror ours. He was a godly man who desired to honor God with his life. Yet he struggled with living out that faith in the midst of difficult circumstances. He ran away from God rather than toward God. He tried to solve problems his way rather than God’s way, and the consequences as we will soon learn were severe.

Before we finish, I want to encourage you with one more Psalm written by David.

Read Psalm 62. Write verses 5-8 below.

6. Read 1 Samuel 22:6-23. Let’s get back to Saul and David. Today we have a difficult story to read. We will see the magnitude of Saul’s madness and hatred for David.

a. Read 1 Samuel 22:6-23. What did Saul accuse his men of doing?

b. In verse 9, we meet Doeg again. Do you remember when we met him before? To refresh your memory, reread 1 Samuel 21:7.

* Who is Doeg?

* What does he tell Saul?

* What does Saul do in response?

* How many priests were killed that day? Who else did Doeg kill?

7. Read Psalm 52. Theologians believe David wrote this psalm in response to what happened that terrible day in Nob. David surely blamed himself for this terrible tragedy since his presence in Nob is the reason Saul ordered the priests and the entire town slaughtered. But he did not allow himself to stay in that place of blame and self-pity. He cried out to God. He placed the blame exactly where it should have been…on Saul and Doeg. He reminded himself of some very important truths.

a. What are those truths?

* Verse 5?

* Verses 6-7?

* Verse 9?

These are powerful truths. They are truths to stand as we watch horrors like 911 and the Columbine shooting. We cannot fathom how anyone can kill in such a heartless and depraved manner, taking the lives of innocent men, women, and children. In the face of such horror, we must

look to our Sovereign God

trust in His justice

believe in His goodness, and

cling to His hope.

He alone is our Refuge and our Strength, our Strong Tower, and our most Faithful Father.

We continue to see David on the run from Saul. There are some great lessons tucked in the next two chapters.

8. Read 1 Samuel 23. I just love the lesson David teaches us in this chapter.

a. What is David’s first act before moving forward with any decisions regarding the Philistines? (1 Samuel 23:2)

b. How did David’s men respond to his decision to go to battle?

c. What did David do in verse 4?

d. Why did he inquire of the Lord a second time?

e. Do you think it’s wrong to ask God repeatedly for something you have already asked? Explain your answer.

f. Now read verse 7. What does Saul believe? What did he do in response?

g. What does David do in response in verses 11 and 12?

h. What happens in verse 14?

i. What is the clear difference between Saul and David?

9. Read Psalm 54. Throughout this study we will read many Psalms written by David. This is one of the few psalms where we know exactly when it was written. David wrote this Psalm when the Ziphites told Saul his whereabouts.

a. Write the first line of Psalm 54 below. How does David ask God to save Him?

b. What does this Psalm reveal about David’s heart and his relationship with God?

10.God has taken David through some very difficult trials this week. Clearly God is preparing David for this magnificent call He has on David’s life.

a. In what ways is God equipping David? In other words, what is God building in David through his trials that will help him be a better leader for God’s people?

b. Think back through your biggest trials. Can you look back now and see that God was building something in you…equipping you for what He is calling you to do now? If yes, please share what you have learned.

11. Read 1 Samuel 24. What a powerful lesson David teaches us today. Saul continues to pursue David. 1 Samuel 24 tells us that Saul hand-picked three thousand men from Israel and set out after David and his six hundred men. Saul and his men stopped for a rest. There were no Chick-fil-A’s or rest stops along the way. So Saul went into a cave to relieve himself.

a. Who was in the cave? (verse 3). What did David’s men say? (verse 4)

b. At that point, what did David have the opportunity to do? Did he take it?

c. What did David do?

d. What reason did David give for not “lifting a hand against his master?” (verse 6)

e. What do these verses reveal about David’s heart?

12. David had no guarantee that Saul would not come after him again. Saul promised nothing! Yet David refused revenge, offered reconciliation, and restored the relationship.

a. What truth do we learn for dealing with those who have hurt us?

b. David confronted Saul with grace and respect. Do you think this result would have been different had David had a different attitude?

c. Read Psalm 7. What does this Psalm reveal about David’s attitude…

* about himself?

* about his enemies?

* about God?

13. The author of 1 Samuel 25 tells us that upon learning of Nabal’s death, David sent for Abigail to make her his wife. The only problem is David already had a wife, Ahinoam. Part of me thinks what a wonderful love story, but the other part of me says this “godly” man, this man after God’s own heart, is now a polygamist, in direct violation of God’s law.

a. Read Deuteronomy 17:14-20. What is its specific direction to kings regarding wives? What is the reason?

b. Read verses 18 and 19 again. How does God ensure the kings know these laws?

Sadly, David’s actions here show us his heart is beginning to stray. As we continue in our journey, we will see David make some devastating choices that move him further and further from His Father’s heart.

This story is a powerful one to teach us that it is the first step toward sin that makes next steps much easier.

Let’s pray together to end our week.

Heavenly Father, fill my heart with Your Truth. Plant it deep within me so that it takes root. Keep me close to Your heart. Keep my heart tender so that I never stray from living in Your Truth. And Father, if I ever do begin to stray, do what You need to do to draw me back. Convict my heart, open my eyes to see, give me ears to hear, bring me an Abigail. Give me a heart of humility to see my sin. Move me to confession. Allow me to return to You. Thank You for this chapter to remind me that even when I think I am at my strongest and best in my walk with You, I am susceptible to sin and disobedience. I love You, Lord. Draw me close each and every day and make my heart more and more like Yours. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Blessings,

October 3, 2010

The Heart of a Mighty Warrior – Week Two Lesson

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.

Registration: If you have not officially registered for the study by providing your first name and e-mail, please do that for me. It will ensure that you receive all future e-mails about new studies, giveaways, and other good stuff. You can provide it by leaving a comment on my blog, e-mailing me at deuteronomysix@aol.com, or sending me a message on Facebook. I will never share your information.

Subscribing via e-mail: Don’t forget you can subscribe by e-mail and receive this post in your in-box each week. However, you will not be able to see the videos or comments unless you visit my blog directly.

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.

Prayer:

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!!!

Blessings,

October 10, 2010

The Heart of a Mighty Warrior – Week Three Lesson

Important Change in Schedule.

Many of you have written and said life is busy and you are behind on your lessons. So, guess what? We are taking a one week vacation!!

We will not meet here next Monday, so you will have two weeks to either catch up and/or complete this week’s homework. To make it really clear…we will take a week off and meet back here on October 25th.

We learned some wonderful new truths together this past week. Thank you for all the great questions and answers. I just LOVE reading your comments and learn so much from you as you share what God speaks to you.

This is such a difficult time in David’s life. My heart broke as I read his words in 1 Samuel 27:1, “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 hte Philistines. then Saul will give up searching for me anywhere in Israel…” How sad that he is so desperate that he would choose to go and live in enemy territory.

Let’s jump right into our lesson. Below please find the lesson for Week Three and the homework and reading assignment for Week Four.

Registration: If you have not officially registered for the study by providing your first name and e-mail, please do that for me. It will ensure that you receive all future e-mails about new studies, giveaways, and other good stuff. You can provide it by leaving a comment on my blog, e-mailing me at deuteronomysix@aol.com, or sending me a message on Facebook. I will never share your information.

Subscribing via e-mail: Don’t forget you can subscribe by e-mail and receive this post in your in-box each week. However, you will not be able to see the videos or comments unless you visit my blog directly.

Reading Assignment: Read as assigned through the homework.

This Week’s Memory Verse: And he became more and more powerful, because the Lord God Almighty was with him. 2 Samuel 5:10

Homework Questions: Please do as many questions as time allows. It is in your reading and studying that God will do His greatest work.

Prayer:
Heavenly Father, what a wonderful week ahead we have in David’s life. He finally steps up to take his rightful place as King of Israel. Lord, thank You for showing me David’s life and his heart. Continue to show me what it is to be a woman after Your heart…to have a heart like You. Teach me to wait upon You. Teach me to see You in all things. Father, before I take a single step toward something new, remind me to come before You and seek Your will. For Your Promise is You know the plans You have for me, plans to prosper and not to harm me, plans to give me hope and a future. When I don’t hear the answer I want to hear, Lord, help me trust in You with all my heart and lean not on my own understanding. Help me to acknowledge You in all my ways because then and only then will You direct my paths. Keep my eyes straight ahead, focused on You. Help me to never turn to the left or to the right without Your approval. Thank You that You are with me and promise to never leave me or forsake me. Open my heart this week to receive all that You have for me. I ask this in Jesus’ Name. AMEN.

Today, we begin an exciting chapter in the life of David. The man anointed by God fifteen years earlier is about to occupy his long awaited throne. As we have learned over the past several weeks, this throne did not come easily. God did not hand it to him on a silver platter. God needed to equip David before He would allow him to serve and lead His people. That equipping required David to walk through some very difficult trials and struggles.

1. Read 2 Samuel Chapter 2.

a. What is the first thing David does? (verse 1)

b. What does God say to David?

c. What lesson do you learn? How are you at asking God’s direction before making a big decision? Give examples.

It seemed David did not want to take a single step without first seeking God’s direction.

We should do the same. Today, we may not meet God in a burning bush, hear His voice call from heaven, or see answers revealed in Urim and Thummin, but we have something so much better. We have the written Word of God. It is available whenever and wherever we need it. Please never ever forget this valuable gift.

2. What happened when David got to Hebron? (2 Samuel 2:4).

3. Read Psalm 145. This is truly a magnificent hymn. What change do you see in this psalm from the psalms we read in previous chapters?

4. Who was Abner?

5. Who was Joab? (for background read 1 Chronicles 2:13-17)

6. Who happened at Gibeon?

7. Read 2 Samuel Chapter 3. Joab is back in the picture. Remember Joab is the one who pursued Abner for killing his brother. Of what did Joab accuse Abner in verses 23-25?

a. What happened next? What was Joab’s motivation? (verse 27, 30)

b. How did David respond upon hearing the news (verses 28-29, 31-35)?

c. What does this tell us about David’s heart?

8. Read Psalm 18.

a. Share David’s names for God in verses 1-3.

b. How does David describe his plight in verses 4-5?

c. How does David describe his faith in verses 20-24?

e. How does David explain God’s nature and how He works in verses 25-29?

f. Again, what does David tell us about our God in verses 30-36?

g. How does David end this Psalm?

9. Read 2 Samuel 5. Today David will experience the fulfillment of God’s grand plan for him as he takes his rightful place as King of Israel. 2 Samuel Chapter 5 begins by telling us that all the tribes of Israel met with David at Hebron.

a. How old was David when He became King?

b. How old was Jesus when he began His ministry? (Luke 3:23)? Do you think it significant they both began their ministry at the same age?

10. Before we move on, we need to pause and reflect on what a momentous day this was for David. It had been fifteen years since Samuel had anointed David King. Reread 1Samuel 16:6-13. Now read 2 Samuel 5:2 again:

Fill in the blank: You will ________________ my people Israel, and you will become their ruler.”

11. According to verse 10, what happened to David? Why?

12. Read verse 12. What great insight we get into David’s heart. Write the verse below and underline the key verbs.

13. The end of chapter 5 finds David again in a battle against the Philistines. He is back where he started so many years ago, except no Goliath!

a. What does David do before he ever goes into battle? (verse 19)

b. What about in verse 23?

c. What does David do in response in verses 20 and 25?

14. Read 2 Samuel 7.

a. What does verse 1 reveal about David’s heart?

b. It is interesting that David did not go to the Lord with his thoughts and his plan. Instead he went to Nathan. But the all-knowing Lord knew David’s heart, and He intervened immediately to speak to David through Nathan.

* What does God ask David in verses 5-7?

* What does God promise?

* Who will build God’s permanent house?

15. Read 1 Chronicles 22:7-8, 28:3-7.

a. What reason did David give to his people for God not allowing him to be the one to build a royal house for God?

b. Who did David say would build the house for God?

16. Read 2 Samuel 7:18-29. Instead of getting angry with God when He said “no” to David’s grand plan, David responds with humility and praise.

Through this prayer, God allows us to dive into the depths of David’s heart and soul.

a. What did David physically do in verse 18?

b. Have you ever been so touched by God at work in your life that you intentionally “go” somewhere and sit before Him? If so, when was the last time and why?

c. What do verses 18 and 19 reveal about David’s heart?

d. What happens beginning in verse 22? Share what David says about God and what He has done for his people.

Friend, hear what God says to Israel…

one nation on earth that…

God went out to redeem as a people for Himself

God went out to make a name for Himself

God went out to perform great and awesome wonders

God has established as His very own forever

Please hear a wonderful truth! Through Christ’s death, we too are God’s chosen people. We have been redeemed. We too are God’s very own children!

ENJOY your extra week. I will be praying for you!!

Blessings,

October 24, 2010

Heart of a Mighty Warrior – Week Four Lesson

Hi girls! Although I missed being with you this past week, it sounds like many of you needed this time off. I appreciated it because my sweet husband invited me to join him on a business trip this past week. So I spent a few days with him in the fun and sun of Miami Beach. It was my first time to Miami, and we had a wonderful time together!! I must say South Beach is a most fascinating place. We had so much fun people watching. When we would wake up in the morning, some people were just getting to bed!

Can you believe we are now over half way through with this study? I have loved every minute of it! What I love about this week’s lesson is how often we see David seeking God for direction in his life. What a powerful example he sets for us. A few of you have asked “how can we know God’s will for our lives?” David lives out the answer to this question.

When we need guidance and direction:

Stop and pray.

Ask God very specifically for what you need.

Invite Him to speak very specifically (through the Word, His Spirit, friends, circumstances, even media)

Stay in communication with Him daily so you will hear Him speak.

Pray for eyes to see, ears to hear, and a heart to receive the answer.

God will be faithful!

Below please find the lesson for Week Four and the homework for Week Five.

Registration: If you have not officially registered for the study by providing your first name and e-mail, please do that for me. It will ensure that you receive future e-mails about new studies, giveaways, and other good stuff. You can provide it by leaving a comment on my blog, e-mailing me at deuteronomysix@aol.com, or sending me a message on Facebook. I will never share your information.

Subscribing via e-mail: Don’t forget you can subscribe by e-mail and receive this post in your in-box each week. However, you will not be able to see the videos or comments unless you visit my blog directly.

This Week’s Memory Verse: The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, You will not despise. Psalm 51:17

Homework Questions: Please do as many questions as time allows. It is in your reading and studying that God will do His greatest work.

Prayer:
Heavenly Father, this week brings us to some of the most painful parts of David’s story. Father, these chapters are filled with powerful truths that require a humble heart to read and receive. Father, make my heart so very tender to Your Word. Give me ears to hear. Take Your living and active Word and penetrate my heart deep down to its core. Help me not to judge David’s acts, but to focus on the lessons taught him and how to apply them in my own life. Father, thank You that although he lived so many years ago, his life is of great value to You and, thus, to me. Thank You for recording his story so that I may learn from his mistakes. If I harbor sin in my heart, silent or otherwise, Father open my eyes to see it; humble my heart to confess it, and heal my heart to restore it. I ask this in the Name of Jesus Christ my Lord. Amen.

After spending this past week celebrating with David as he takes his rightful place as king, today we return to the battlefield with David. Last week we learned much about David’s heart. We saw his humility and reverence for God. We experienced his praise and worship. But today we meet up again with the warrior.

1. Read 2 Samuel 8:1-18. Why do you think the author included this chapter? (verses 6, 11-15).

Reading these battle stories is difficult. David seems harsh and cruel. Like why did he measure people with a line and kill two-thirds of them, or why did he “hamstring” all but one hundred of the horses? We must trust that David had his reasons. We cannot judge him by our standards or even by Christ’s standards because he lived before His time. We know he sought God in his battles. We must trust He listened and obeyed…at least at this point in his career.

Scholars believe David hamstrung the horses in obedience to God’s command in Deuteronomy 17:16 where it says that the king must not acquire great numbers of horses for himself. Interestingly, David’s son Solomon was guilty of breaking this very law (1 Kings 4:26).

The next chapter reveals another reason why David is a man after God’s own heart. I love this story. Last week, Scripture briefly introduced us to Mephibosheth. Do you remember?

2. Read 2 Samuel 9:1-13. What does this reveal about where David’s heart was in that moment?

I find it interesting that after reading about the horrific battles and killing that God follows with this beautiful story. He shows us David’s honor, his compassion, his tenderness, and his loving-kindness. He exhibits the very traits of His Heavenly Father. Reread 1 Samuel 20:14-17. David had pledged to Jonathan that he would never forget the covenant of friendship. David sought Mephibosheth out and brought him home just as God our Father seeks us out and brings us to Him.

Now we will read about one of the darkest and most infamous days in David’s life. For four weeks we have explored the best parts of David’s heart. But now we join David on the roof of his grand palace, standing in a place he should not have been standing, looking where he should not have been looking.

3. Read 2 Samuel 11:1-5. Reread verse 1. What time of year was it?

Why is the time of year significant? Because David’s disobedience began long before he stepped out on the roof. First, it was spring. The customary time for battle. Kings usually led their troops into battle. But this time David chose not to go. Instead, David sent Joab and the entire Israel army to launch the invasion. He stayed in Jerusalem. If he had been where he should have been, leading his men, his sin with Bathsheba might never have happened. Second, David for the past several years had been collecting wives in direct disobedience to God’s Word.

4. Let’s revisit Deuteronomy 17:17. What does God command in this verse?

a. What did David do in 2 Samuel 2:2, 5:13?

b. What does Deuteronomy 17:17 say are the consequences of David’s behavior?

c. Read Jeremiah 17:9 and Proverbs 4:23. State what these verses say in your own words.

d. Relate them to David’s choices.

e. Read 2 Corinthians 10:5.

o How would this verse have helped David?

o List the key verbs in this verse.

o How can this command help you when you find yourself in a position of temptation? Give a specific example if you have one.

5. Reread 2 Samuel 11:2-4. List the progression of David’s sin (thought, word, deed).


6. Read 2 Samuel 11:8-13. What was David’s plan and what was he hoping to accomplish with his plan?

7. Read 2 Samuel 11:14-27.

a. Explain David’s latest scheme.

b. Who did David involve in his plan?

c. Was David’s plan successful? What happened?

8. Read verse 25. What do his words reveal about his heart?

a. What did David do next?

b. Write out the last sentence of verse 27 below.

How far David’s heart was from the Lord at this time! He had many opportunities to stop this downward spiral of sin, but he never did.

9. Knowing David as we do now, why do you think he failed to stop and repent as he did in times past? Remember the Spirit of the Living God indwelt Him.

10. Read Psalm 32.

a. How does David describe what it feels like when you keep silent about your sin?

b. What about when we acknowledge and confess our sin?

Friends, we may read stories like this and others like it and wonder what they have to do with us. We need always remember every word of Scripture is God-breathed and useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting, and training in righteousness so that we may be thoroughly equipped for every good work God has planned for us to do. (2 Timothy 3:16).

Isaiah 55:11 says that when God sends His Word into our lives it will not return empty but will accomplish what He desires and achieve the purposes for which He sent it.

When talking about Israel’s history, 1 Corinthians 10:11-12 tells us,

These things happened to them as examples and were written down as warnings for us, on whom the fulfillment of the ages has come. So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall.

But God did not leave David here. God never wants us to stay in a state of unrepentance. He wants forgiveness, reconciliation, and restoration. God knows that spiritual sickness many times leads to physical and emotional illness. God rebuked David through Nathan. He set up a confrontation that would force David to deal with his sin.

11. Read 2 Samuel 12:1-14.

a. Why do you think Nathan used a parable…a sheep parable at that? Identify the characters in this parable (poor man, rich man, little lamb).

b. What did Nathan say in verses 8-9?

c. What powerful words Nathan spoke in verse 9. In the NIV, Nathan asks, “why did you despise the word of the Lord by doing what was evil in His sight?” What do you think David felt in his heart as he heard those words?

d. Read John 14:21, 23-24. How does this relate to what we are reading?

Friends, David’s story makes it ever so clear: sin has consequences. Even for a man after God’s own heart. God forgives, but He does not make consequences disappear. Nathan lays out those consequences for David in the next few verses. In verses 9 and 10, he says because you struck down Uriah with the sword and killed him, the sword “will never depart from your household because you despised me and took the wife of Uriah the Hittite to be your own.” David would now suffer as had Uriah. Nathan gets more specific in verses 11 and 12.

12. David’s sin created a chain of events that would plague him for the rest of his life. List the consequences you find in verses 10-12.

a. When did David confess his sin?

b. Explain Nathan’s response in verses 13b and 14.

c. How did David respond in verse 16-17 to his child’s illness?

d. What happened in verse 18?

Friends, read the words of Hebrews 12:5-6, “My son, do not make light of the Lord’s discipline, and do not lose heart when He rebukes you, because the Lord disciplines those he loves, and he punishes everyone he accepts as a son.”

13. Read the rest of this Hebrews passage, 12:7-11. Write verse 11 below.

a. Are these verses hard for you to accept? If you answered “yes,” explain why?

b. Now read verse 12 and write it below.

Do you see God sometimes needs to discipline us, rebuke us, and train us, so that we may be healed!! He wants us to be strong and healthy, living in His image, filled with His holiness, living the life He planned for us to live. Sometimes sin gets in the way of that. We get “off” the right path because we have wandered away.

If you don’t like this idea of discipline and consequences, really study these verses. Ask God for insight and understanding. Cry out to Him for discernment. James 1:5 says, “If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him.” God wants you to understand. These are hard truths, but they are TRUTHS…spoken from the very mouth of God.

Now let’s revisit David’s time of confession by reading Psalm 51, one of the most beautiful psalms ever written. In this psalm, David gives us a blueprint, a wonderful model of confession.

Before you begin, find a quiet place, invite God’s presence into your time, and read the powerfully intense words that poured out of David’s broken and contrite heart. Friends, we are blessed to be able to see so deeply into David’s heart…to feel what he was feeling…to know what he was thinking.

14. Read Psalm 51.

a. For what does David ask in verses 1-2?

b. What do words like this require of him that we have not seen recently?

c. What does he acknowledge in verses 3-5? Why do you think he says, “Against you, you only, have I sinned,” when he hurt so many?

d. What does he recognize in verse 5?

o Do you believe this?

o Read Romans 3:10-12 and Romans 5:12. What do they say?

e. Name at least six requests David makes of the Lord in verses 8-12.

As we end our time in Psalm 51, I feel compelled to ask a question. As you have studied this part of David’s life, is there some unconfessed sin in your life? Has God continually brought to mind something from your past, something in your present for which you have failed to come to God? If something has come to mind, please know that your Father in heaven brought you to this study to bring it to light. I believe that with all my heart. Will you believe with me right now that God is ready and waiting to forgive all your unconfessed sin? By Christ’s death on the cross, they are forgiven and removed as far as the east is from the west! It might be an abortion, an affair, a lie you are living, a hardened heart, unbelief, addiction, depression, fear, the list goes on. These are all strongholds that keep you in bondage to sin and apart from your heavenly Father. I encourage you to pray David’s psalm. Make it your own. Place your name in the verses. There is complete freedom in Christ, my friend!!!

Read verse Psalm 51:13.

There is no better feeling than walking in the freedom of forgiveness and healing. When God has brought you to that place, He has given you a testimony…a powerful story to tell. There is no greater evidence for the existence of the Living God than one who has been humbled, cleansed, forgiven, renewed, reconciled, and restored. A changed life has a story to tell and wants to shout it from the rooftops!

I am one of those lives. God uses transformed lives just as David says…to teach others His ways, to point them to His Truth, and to declare His praises.

May God pour out His blessings on you this week as you study His Word!


October 31, 2010

Heart of a Mighty Warrior – Week Five Lesson

What a difficult week this was as we watched David tumble straight into a pit of sin and disobedience. I don’t know about you, but the first few readings were very difficult for me. How hard to watch such a good and godly man fall so far so fast. But as we will see in our lesson, it was not something that happened over night.

Below please find the lesson for Week Five and the first half of the homework for Week Six.

There is so much rich material in Week Six, that I am splitting the homework into two weeks. So we will meet here again next week for the second half of the homework. Hope that works with your schedules!!

Registration: We are nearly finished with our David study. If you have not officially registered for this study but are interested in any further on-line studies we do, please register now. It will ensure that you receive future e-mails about new studies, giveaways, and other good stuff. Register by leaving your first name and e-mail address in a comment on my blog, e-mailing me at deuteronomysix@aol.com, or sending me a message on Facebook . I will never share your personal information.

Subscribing via e-mail: Don’t forget you can subscribe by e-mail and receive this post in your in-box each week. However, you will not be able to see the videos or comments unless you visit my blog directly.

This Week’s Memory Verse: …acknowledge the God of your father, and serve Him with wholehearted devotion and with a willing mind, for the Lord searches every heart and understands every motive behind the thoughts. 1 Chronicles 28:9

Homework Questions: Please do as many questions as time allows. It is in your reading and studying that God will do His greatest work.

Prayer:

Father, thank You for revealing powerful Truths, sometimes very hard Truths, each and every week. Be with me this week as I end my study. Father, give me an abundance of Your wisdom and knowledge, give me discernment to find the treasures hidden in these last chapters. I started this study wondering what You meant when You said David was “a man after Your own heart.”

Week after week, You have given me glimpses and windows into David’s heart. I have seen David at his best and at his worst. Help me to learn from both. When I step out of line due to sin and disobedience, humble my heart and ready me to receive Your discipline. Give me the strength to endure the consequences.

Father, breathe fresh wind and fresh fire into my dry and parched heart. Fill me with the fullness of Your Spirit. Empower me to live out what I have learned. Give me insight so I can do all that You call me to do. I desire for my life to be one long, obedient response to Your call. Let Your love and Your Word shape my life. I ask this in Jesus’ name. Amen.

Sadly, this week begins the fulfillment of Nathan’s prophecy spoken in Second Samuel Chapter 12. The Lord had already taken the life of David’s son for his sin with Bathsheba. But God also promised the He would bring calamity t0 David and his household (2 Samuel 12:10-11).

To fully grasp the truths in this chapter, let’s review the members of David’s family. We learned earlier that David disobeyed God’s law by taking many wives. One of his wives gave birth to a son named Amnon, the heir to the throne. One of his other wives gave birth to a son, Absalom, and a daughter, Tamar.

1. Read 2 Samuel Chapter 13:1-22.

a. Share what you learn about each of these children.

o Amnon

o Tamar

o Absalom

b. Who is Jonadab? How is he related to Amnon?

c. How did Amnon’s behavior mirror David’s actions with Bathsheba?

What a tragic and devastating event. Amnon’s lust destroyed this beautiful young virgin’s life in a single moment. Tamar pled with him to stop, but Scripture says “he refused to listen to her, and since he was stronger than she, he raped her.” Such relationships were forbidden in Israel and Amnon knew it!

2. How do Absalom’s words to Tamar in verse 20 make you feel? How do you think they made Tamar feel?

3. Read the last few words of verse 20. What word does the author use to describe how Amnon left Tamar?

This comes from the Hebrew word “shamem.” It means to deflower, to devastate, to ravage. “Deflower,” means to destroy the innocence, integrity, and beauty of a woman. Amnon stole something from Tamar that she would never recoup. Absalom’s response did nothing to help move Tamar to a place of healing. In fact, his words hurt and heaped more shame and grief upon her.

Now we turn to another disappointing day in David’s life. He learned that his son, the heir to his throne, raped his daughter. Scripture tells us in verse 21 that he was “furious.” But what did he do about it? Absolutely nothing. There is no record that he took any disciplinary or punitive action against Amnon. Sadly, David’s abdication of his responsibilities will eventually lead to greater trouble for David in the next chapter. David may have been effective and powerful as a king, but not so much as a father.

4. Why do you think David did not discipline Amnon?

Two years have passed, and the consequences of David’s sin continue.

5. What do you think has been going on in Absalom’s heart during this time? Who was he watching and what was he wanting?

6. Read 2 Samuel 13:23-38. Describe Absalom’s plan.

7. Share the parallels between Absalom’s actions against his brother and David’s actions against Uriah (find 3 to 4 similarities)?

The time of sheep-shearing was a festive occasion and a time for family celebrations. Absalom planned a party and invited his father to come. David refused. Absalom requested Amnon’s presence instead.

8. What happened at this family “celebration?”

David had now lost both of his oldest living sons. And once again, we find him failing to hold his son accountable for what he did. For years there seemed to be no communication between the two. Yet, Scripture tells us in verse 39 David longed to go to Absalom. Joab, David’s loyal servant, had enough of this and finally intervened to reconcile the two.

9. Read 2 Samuel 14:1-33. Why do you think Joab concocted such an elaborate scheme?

10. David finally agreed for Absalom to come home on one condition. State his condition? (verse 24)

Sadly, too much time had passed for there to be reconciliation and restoration. Oh, that David would have stepped up to the plate years before and disciplined his sons. When Amnon raped Tamar, David did nothing. When Absalom killed Amnon, David did nothing. When Absalom finally came back home, David did nothing. He never held his children accountable. He never disciplined them with truth and in love. It seemed that at this meeting, their hearts were cold. They reunited…did what they were “supposed” to do…but did not reconcile.

11. Do you have someone in your life who has hurt you or whom you have hurt? Have you resisted reconciliation? If so, why? Or have you experienced painful consequences because of the lack of reconciliation? If yes, what are they?

12. Has God used this story to speak to you? If He has, will you take steps today to begin reconciliation? Your first step is to pray for God to open a door…to create an opportunity for a first step. Your next step is when God opens that door, walk through it in obedience…a phone call, a note, an apology, a listening ear, a tender heart. Whatever it looks like you can be assured of God’s promise that blessings will follow your obedience.


Second Samuel Chapter 15 in the NIV begins, “In the course of time…”

13. 2 Samuel 15:1-12.

a. What do Absalom’s actions reveal about his heart?

b. Absalom asked his father’s permission to go to Hebron. What was his ultimate plan? (verses 10-11).

c. Was his conspiracy successful? (verse 12)

Absalom spent years seething with bitterness and revenge. He waited two years for David to punish Amnon. He spent three years hiding from his father after killing Amnon. Once back in Jerusalem, he spent two years waiting for his father to acknowledge him and another four years plotting revenge. Friends, he allowed unforgiveness and hatred to steal eleven years of his life.

14. Read Luke 6:37. If you struggle with any kind of bitterness, anger, or unforgiveness, please let this Truth soak deep into your heart.

Nathan’s prophecy in 2 Samuel 12:10-12 came true. There was now division in David’s house.

15. Read verses 13-14. Does it surprise you that David, the one who defeated Goliath and conquered the Philistines, the one hand picked by God to be Israel’s king, so easily ran away from his throne?

As you read the next verses, remember the Mount of Olives is where Jesus went to pray on the night of His betrayal (Matthew 26:30, 39) and where Jesus ascended into heaven (Acts 1:9,12)

16. Read 2 Samuel 15:30-31. How does the author describe David?

Not only had Absalom rebelled, but then David learned that one of his most trusted advisors, Ahithophel, had joined Absalom’s cause.

David’s actions signified deep sorrow and despair. The covering of the head in David’s time was a sign of sorrow, and being barefoot was a sign of mourning and shame.

It was on the Mount of Olives that David humbled himself before God and prayed.

17. Read Psalm 3. This is the prayer David prayed on the Mount of Olives.

a. Examine the words of this prayer and share the state of David’s heart and mind.

b. What verbs stand out to you as you read David’s psalm?

Friends, we have many more issues to discuss to finish out the lesson, so please remember to return here next week for the second half of Week Six’s homework questions. See you then!

God bless you and know I will be praying for you.

November 7, 2010

Heart of a Mighty Warrior – Week Six Lesson

Welcome to my Proverbs 31 friends visiting from Encouragement for Today. I am so thankful you stopped by. We are in the last week of The Heart of a Mighty Warrior, an on-line Bible study on the life of David. Please take a few minutes to listen to the video below. It ties in perfectly with the devotion because it shares Truths, powerful truths from God Himself, about the significance of walking in obedience to His Word and the blessings that abundantly flow when we do!

If you have never joined us for a study, I would love to register you for the next one. Please leave a comment today, send me a message on Facebook, or send an e-mail to deuteronomysix@aol.com with your first name and e-mail address, and I will register you and let you know about any future studies. You can also subscribe to my blog to learn about new studies, giveaways, Proverbs 31 news, and other great stuff!

Now on to the homework. Congratulations, my sweet sisters in Christ. Today is a day for celebration! You have spent the last six weeks journeying through one of the most beautiful yet most painful stories in all of Scripture. Thank you for your hard work and discipline to walk this journey. My prayer is that your hearts have been forever changed because of the time we have spent together in God’s Word.

We have one last set of questions below covering the last days of David’s life. We will meet here again one more time next week. I am truly sad our study is at an end. You have been the most wonderful big “small” group ever!! I am praying about what our next study will be.

Registration: We are nearly finished with our David study. If you have not officially registered for this study but are interested in any further on-line studies we do, please register now. It will ensure that you receive future e-mails about new studies, giveaways, and other good stuff. Register by leaving your first name and e-mail address in a comment on my blog, e-mailing me at deuteronomysix@aol.com, or sending me a message on Facebook . I will never share your personal information.

Subscribing via e-mail: Don’t forget you can subscribe by e-mail and receive this post in your in-box each week. However, you will not be able to see the videos or comments unless you visit my blog directly.

This Week’s Memory Verse: …acknowledge the God of your father, and serve Him with wholehearted devotion and with a willing mind, for the Lord searches every heart and understands every motive behind the thoughts. 1 Chronicles 28:9

Homework Questions: Please do as many questions as time allows. It is in your reading and studying that God will do His greatest work.

Prayer:

Father, thank You for revealing powerful Truths, sometimes very hard Truths, each and every week. Be with me this week as I end my study. Father, give me an abundance of Your wisdom and knowledge, give me discernment to find the treasures hidden in these last chapters. I started this study wondering what You meant when You said David was “a man after Your own heart.”

Week after week, You have given me glimpses and windows into David’s heart. I have seen David at his best and at his worst. Help me to learn from both. When I step out of line due to sin and disobedience, humble my heart and ready me to receive Your discipline. Give me the strength to endure the consequences.

Father, breathe fresh wind and fresh fire into my dry and parched heart. Fill me with the fullness of Your Spirit. Empower me to live out what I have learned. Give me insight so I can do all that You call me to do. I desire for my life to be one long, obedient response to Your call. Let Your love and Your Word shape my life. I ask this in Jesus’ name. Amen.

Today is a tragic day in the life of David. These last few weeks of reading have been difficult and painful as we have watched his family disintegrate before our very eyes. As we near the end of our study, let us remember that God placed David’s life in Scripture to teach us. So although we are sometimes shocked, saddened, disappointed, even disgusted by what has gone on, God has a purpose for it. He desires us to take the story of David’s life and allow it to teach us and transform us so that we will have a heart like his.

1. Read 2 Samuel 18:1-18. David’s men did not want him to lead them into battle, so he stayed behind.

a. What specific instructions did David give to Joab, Abishai, and Ittai in verse 5?

b. What happened to Absalom?

c. When Joab asked the soldier why he did not kill Absalom, what did he say?

d. Read verses 14-17. What did Joab do next?

e. Why do you think Joab killed Absalom in direct disobedience to David’s order?

What comes to mind as we come to the tragic end of Absalom’s life is how different it could have been had he responded appropriately and chosen differently after Amnon raped his sister. He had the choice to respond in wisdom and forgiveness or in hate and unforgiveness. He chose the latter. And that is why we end up where we are today.

2. Read 2 Samuel 18:19-33.

a. Where did David go when he learned his son was dead?

b. What did he do and what did he say?

The intensity of David’s grief is apparent in his words, “O, my son Absalom! My son, my son Absalom! If only I had died instead of you – O Absalom, my son, my son.” David found himself with two sons dead as a consequence of his one stolen moment of self-indulgent sin.

Read 2 Samuel 20:1-26.

The fighting between the Israelites and the Judeans was heating up. In this chapter we meet Sheba. He led a revolt against David. David knew he had to stop Sheba, so he sent Amasa, who had replaced Joab as David’s new commander, to do the job. In the process of this battle, Joab committed a terrible crime. What makes this crime even worse is that Joab and Amasa were in fact cousins (sons of two of David’s half sisters)

3. What did Joab do and why? (see 2 Samuel 19:13)

We see again Nathan’s prophecy in 2 Samuel 12:10 coming true, “The sword will never depart from your house.”

There are still a few chapters left in David’s life, and we do not have time to cover them all. Let’s jump ahead to 2 Samuel 24.

Read 2 Samuel 24.

Chapter 24 relays a story that I personally struggle to understand. It is believed this event happened late in David’s reign, during his most prosperous and successful period. It begins with these words, “The anger of the Lord burned against Israel, and He incited David against them, saying, ‘go and take a census of Israel and Judah.’”

There is a parallel account of this story in 1 Chronicles 21:1. It says, “Satan rose up against Israel and incited David to take a census of Israel.”

There have been other times in Scripture where God allows Satan to work in the lives of His children to accomplish His ultimate purposes. If you would like more understanding of this truth, please read Job 1:6-12, 2:1-6 and reread 1 Samuel 16:14 (about Saul).

What I want to make clear is that God did not incite David to do evil. He allowed Satan to provoke David to number his people.

4. Read James 1:13. What does it say? How does it shed light here?

Scholars believe that because David counted only the fighting men, he was trying to determine his military strength, and herein lay his sin. It was the sin of pride. Friends, Scripture clearly teaches that sometimes God allows us to be tempted to test us, to train us, to prune us, or to grow us.

First Corinthians 10:13, tells us

“…And God is faithful; He will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, He will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.”

David ordered Joab and his men to take the census. Joab knew this was contrary to what God wanted and offered David a way out. But David did not take it, so Joab obeyed, took the census, and brought the numbers back to David.

5. As soon as David received the report, what happened in 2 Samuel 24:10 and 1 Chronicles 21:8?

6. Can you believe God gives David a multiple choice question for his punishment? It is the only time we see this in Scripture. What did David choose?

7. What were David’s words to God in verse 17?

8. What happened when the angel stretched out his hand to destroy Jerusalem?

9. Read 2 Samuel 24:18-24. Do you think David’s offering had anything to do with God’s action in verse 16?

Why did 70,000 have to die? Remember, the first verse of this chapter also said that God’s anger burned against the Israelites. Most likely Israel was living in disobedience to God and His law. Deuteronomy Chapter 28 warned Israel what would happen as a direct result of their disobedience. So although we do not know exactly what Israel did, we can be assured this punishment was consistent with what God promised would happen in the event of disobedience in Deuteronomy 28.

Now let’s travel back to 2 Samuel Chapter 22 and read how David celebrates God as his Deliverer.

10. Read Chapter 22. This is a beautiful memorial written by David to honor His God.

a. As you read, pay attention to the words David used to describe God and share them below.

b. Please take a few moments today and write your own memorial. Share times in your life where you have seen God at work…where He has rescued you…where He has disciplined you, blessed you, spoken to you, and/or used you.

Now we come to the end of David’s life. David decides he wants to build a permanent place of worship. But earlier in his life, God told David that it was not him that was to build the structure, it was Solomon.

11. Read 1 Chronicles 22:5-19. What did David say and do in these verses?

In First Chronicles Chapters 23 through 27, David organized his kingdom for his successor….the army, the government, and the priesthood. In chapter 28 and 29, he designed the architectural plans for God’s Temple.

12. In 1 Chronicles 28:5-6, who chose Solomon as king?

13. Read 1 Chronicles 28:8-10, 12. What charge does David give Solomon? Who gave David the plans for the Temple?

14. How can you apply this charge in your own life and in your own family?

First Chronicles 29:10-20 is another beautiful outpouring of David’s heart.

15. Read 1 Chronicles 29:10-20. What do David’s words reveal about his heart at the end of his life?

a. What does David pray for his son in verse 19?

b. In your own words, what does it mean to have “wholehearted” devotion to God? How can we achieve this?

16. Read verses 21-25. What happened the next day?

We end our time together with David’s death. Yes, it is a sad day, but how wonderful to read verses 21 through 25 and see how David’s life ended…with people praising and celebrating…with people loving and accepting his son as king…with people pledging their submission to him. Listen to these words,

“The Lord highly exalted Solomon in the sight of all Israel and bestowed on him royal splendor such as no king over Israel ever had before.”

David’s life ended well.

17. Read Psalm 71:14-24. Does this psalm accurately reflect David’s life?

18. Read Psalm 78:70-72. Write verse 72 below.

David served God well. He shepherded God’s flock. He lived his life to the glory of God. 1 Kings 2:10 says of the end,

“Then David rested with his fathers and was buried in the City of David.”

Life went on in Israel. But it was forever changed by God’s anointed one, the “man after God’s own heart.”

November 14, 2010

Heart of a Mighty Warrior – Final Lesson

Where do I begin? This has been an INCREDIBLE few months as we have studied the life of David together!! Thank you for sharing this journey with me. You have worked so hard! Even if you were unable to complete each and every week’s homework, you set your heart on studying God’s Word. I pray that through this study you have grown closer to God and that you have experienced Him in new and fresh ways that have changed and transformed your hearts forever.

Time and time again, your comments have brought tears to my eyes. They reveal the work God has done in and through our time together, and that blesses me more than you will know. It is why I do what I do.

For just a moment, let me pray over you,

Abba Father, thank You for instructing us and teaching us through the life of King David. Thank You for taking each one of us deeper still with You. Thank You for the privilege of walking alongside these beautiful women. As we end our time together, I ask that You continue to counsel and watch over these precious sisters in Christ. Thank You that Your eyes will be upon them and Your ears attentive to their hearts. Father help them pursue a heart that reflects that of your servant David. Give them an undivided heart set on You and submitted to You. Through the power of Your Holy Spirit enable them to surrender every area of their lives so that they can live in a way that pleases You each and every day. May they continue to hunger and thirst for Your Word. Bless each on of my sisters as they faithfully continue their journey with you. I ask this in Jesus’ Name. Amen.

Below please find our last and final video for this study. I recorded it with a sadness in my heart because our time together is over. Thank you for your sweet words of appreciation. They mean so much to me and feed my soul. Bible study is what makes my heart sing!!

Please leave a comment today and share one way God has changed your heart to make it more like His. From your comments, I will select one name to receive a copy of the One Year Chronological Bible. I will announce the winner a week from today.

My dear friend, Wendy Pope, hosts a year long walk through the Chronological Bible, and I encourage you to stop by her blog to see what it is all about. It is a wonderful way to stay in the Word, and Wendy is a great Bible teacher.

Although our study is over, please be sure to stop by and say hello as time allows. Also, please don’t forget that I do have a Bible study E-book available for purchase through Proverbs 31, All Things Wise and Wonderful: Applying God’s Wisdom in Everyday Life. The cost is $10, and it is a great study to do individually or with a small group. You can also find my book, Hidden Joy in a Dark Corner: The Transforming Power of God’s Story , for sale on the web site as well.

Please remember to be notified of any upcoming studies, I need your first name and e-mail address. If you have friends who might like to participate in future studies, please send them my way. They can contact me on my blog, via facebook, or via e-mail at deuteronomysix@aol.com.

Blessings to you today!