1 Samuel 17:55-19:24

  1. How were fear and jealousy like a cancer in Saul’s spirit?
    How did they show themselves?
    How do you explain God’s action in this matter?
    By what means were Saul’s attempts to destroy David foiled?
  2. How did Jonathan and Michal show their love for David?
    Do we ever risk any thing for our friends?
    See 1 John 3:16, 18.

 Notes

  1. 18:5. ‘So successfully’: a pregnant Hebrew word is used meaning ‘deal wisely’ with the implied consequence of success. Cf. Is. 52:13a
  2. 18:10. Cf. 1Kgs. 22:22.
  3. 19:13. ‘An idol’: Hebrew ‘teraphim’, i.e., household gods; cf. Gen. 31:19.
    This deceived Saul’s messengers into thinking that David was ill in bed.
  4. 19:23, 24. Cf. Is 20:2; Mic. 1:8, Saul lay in a trance for a day and a night.
    The origin of the proverb about Saul is recorded in 10:12.
    His behavior here evidently caused men to recollect it
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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.

Notes

  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.

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 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 14

  1. How was it that Jonathan was so courageous?
    Cf. verse 6 with 2 Chr. 14:11; 1 Sam. 2:9, 10.
  2. What indications do you find of Saul’s impatience, and how did it lead him to hasty and wrong decision?
    Yet what evidence is there that with all his self-will Saul was anxious not to offend the Lord?
    How do you account for this?

Notes

  1. Verse 6. ‘The Lord will act on our behalf’: the Old Testament is full of the God who acts in different ways. Cf. 1 Kgs. 8:32; Jer. 14:7; Ps. 22:30, 31.
  2. Verse 24. Saul’s purpose was probably religious, viz., by fasting in order to obtain God’s favour.

 

1 Samuel 13

  1. Consider the Israelites’ great danger. Se verses 5, 6. 19-22.
    In such a situation what ought they to have known to be the one indispensable and sure secret of survival and victory?
    See 12:14, 15.
  2. What was wrong with Saul’s professed desire to entreat the favour of the Lord, and with the action he took to further it?
    What warning do you take from the irreparable consequences following on one specific sinful act? Why does God expose men to such searching tests See Deut. 8:2.

Notes

  1. Verse 1. Some numbers are lacking here. Thirty would in each case suitably fill the gap.
  2. Verse 2. Many years must have elapsed. In 9:2 Saul is described as a ‘young man’. Here his son Jonathan is old enough to command a fighting force.

 

1 Samuel 12

  1. What was the point of Samuel’s historical recital? Unlike the Israelites, do we:
    (a) Remind ourselves constantly of the great things God has done for us, and
    (b) Allow this reminder to have a full effect on our behavior?
  1. What were the outstanding features in Samuel’s character as seen in this chapter?
  2. Summarize the counsels and warning of verses 20-25.
    Note especially what Samuel says about prayer.
    Yet, if the people will not turn from their wicked ways, will prayer avail?
    See verse 25; cf. Jer. 15:1; Ps. 99:6, 8.