1 Samuel 15 – 17

1 Samuel 15

1. Trace the course of Saul’s disobedience – his excuses (verses 20, 21 24) and his self-interest (verse 30). Trace also the course of Samuel’s warning (verse 1), denunciation (verses 14, 18, 19), and declaration of divine judgment (verses 22, 23, 26, 28, 29). What may we learn here concerning God’s ways and the demands of his service?

2. From verse 11, and from Samuel’s reply to Saul in verses 22, 23, what do we learn concerning the divine reaction against ritual without obedience, against outward religious observance that masks an inner disobedience? Have God’s requirements or his attitude changed?

 Note. Verse 15. The whole points about the sacred ban was that everything must be destroyed; not one thing must be spared or looted. Cf. Josh. 7:1.

1 Samuel 16

1. How is true obedience illustrated in Samuel’s behavior? What can you learn from his example?

2. What great truth was brought home to Samuel at Bethlehem? Consider how this truth is emphasized in Jesus’ teaching. See Matt. 6:1; 7:15, etc. Cf. Rom. 2:28, 29.

3. Here men twice sent to fetch David; why? When he comes into sight, what do we learn about him? Make a list of his characteristics. What was the chief evidence that God had chosen him and rejected Saul? Cf. 2 Cor. 1:22.

 Note.Verses 21, 22. David became an ‘armour-bearer’ – possibly a military title.


1 Samuel 17:1-54


1. What was it that made David view the situation differently, and gave him courage, when all the men of Israel were much afraid? Cf. Ps. 42:5, 11; Is. 51:12, 13.

2. How did David’s past experiences of the Lord’s deliverance give him confidence to face the present challenge? What practical lessons does this teach about: (a) the value of remembering, and (b) the importance of proving God’s presence and power in ordinary daily living?

3. What do you think of Saul’s reasoning (verse 33), and of his provision for David (verses 38, 39)? What was lacking? See verse 47.


  1. Verses 4ff. The giant was over nine feet (3 metres) tall, and carried 125 pounds (about 57 kg) of armour.
  2. Verses 18. ‘Some assurance’: i.e., that they are well, etc.

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