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 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 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,