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1 Samuel 18

The Lord blesses David’s efforts and Saul grows increasingly jealous and fearful.

  • Why would Saul be suspicious of David? Why did Saul fear him?
  • What was the cause of David’s prosperity and success?

1 Samuel 17

The Philistine warrior Goliath defies the Lord and Israel; David kills him.

  • By defying Israel (v. 10) who was Goliath really fighting against (cp. v. 36)?
  • Who did Goliath depend on? Who did David depend on?
  • Carefully read and meditate on what David says in verses 46–47. David spoke and acted with faith and confidence. Did he have a biblical basis for this?

1 Samuel 16

Saul anoints David to be King; he receives the theocratic anointing to enable him to lead Israel and it is removed from Saul.

  • What is the difference between the Lord’s and man’s appraisal (v. 7)? How should this affect and control you (cp. 2 Cor 5:16)?
  • Note verses 13–14. The Spirit-given enablement that helped Saul lead Israel was removed and given to David. This is called the “theocratic anointing.” It does not refer to the new birth. How does this help you understand David’s request in Psalm 51:11?

1 Samuel 15

Saul destroys the Amalekites but not utterly. The Lord rejects Saul as king.

  • What did God command Saul to do? How did he “obey”?
  • Note verse 12—what did Saul do? Note verse 13—what did Saul do? Who did Saul blame in verse 14?
  • How did Samuel respond to Saul’s assertion in verse 21 that the end justifies the means?
  • What can you learn about God in this chapter?

1 Samuel 14

The Philistines are defeated by Jonathan and followed by Saul. Saul gives a foolish order and Jonathan is almost killed by him. Saul’s military efforts are summarized.

  • Think and meditate on verse 6, especially the last part (cp. Lev 26:8; Josh 23:10; Judg 7).
  • Who was credited with the victory (v. 23)?
  • Saul’s request to “roll a great stone” in verse 33 sounds puzzling, but read it with verses 34–35. What was Saul doing? How often had he done this? What does that say about where he was spiritually?

1 Samuel 13

After defeating a Philistine garrison, the Philistines surround Saul and his army. Saul sins by offering the sacrifice; Samuel condemns Saul.

  • After the great victory over the Amorites and the public reaffirmation of the previous chapter come the events of this chapter. What application can you make from this?
  • What is the mark/evidence of one whose heart belongs to the Lord (vv. 13–14)?

1 Samuel 12

Samuel reviews the Lord’s deliverance and protection of Israel despite their sin and unbelief. He urges them to love and serve the Lord for their good and God’s glory.

  • In verses 9–10, how did Israel “forget” the Lord?
  • What role did all Israel have in the establishment of the kingdom and the king (v. 14)?
  • What was it that motivated, or moved, God to make Israel His people (v. 22)? How is this true in believers’ lives today? How should that affect and control you?

1 Samuel 11

The Amorites attack, and Saul leads Israel to victory.

  • What was Saul’s appeal in verse 7? How did the Lord use it, and what was the effect?
  • Verse 14 was a public reaffirmation that Saul was the king God had chosen. It also served to emphasize who Saul was ultimately responsible to. What Samuel said at this meeting is set forth in the next chapter.

1 Samuel 10

The Lord changes Saul’s heart; Samuel anoints Saul king.

  • How did the Lord equip Saul to lead Israel? Did Saul seek this?
  • How did Samuel prepare Israel for a king (v. 25)? What does this say about the importance of God’s Word for every aspect of your life? What should you do then?

1 Samuel 9

Saul searches for his lost donkeys, comes to Samuel, and eats with him.

  • Why were prophets called “seers” (v. 9)?
  • Note verse 16—what was the people’s prayer? Trace through this chapter how the Lord answered this prayer.

1 Samuel 8

Israel demands a king like the nations; Samuel warns what such will be like.

  • What kind of leader did Israel want? Compare also verse 20; 12:12.
  • What was God’s evaluation of the people’s request?

1 Samuel 7

The Ark is brought to Kiriath-jearim; Samuel leads Israel to seek the Lord and He protects them against the Philistines.

  • Note the actions Samuel directs Israel to take in verse 3. Meditate on these and apply them to your life.
  • In verse 12, “Ebenezer” means “the stone of help.”
  • How did Samuel lead Israel in their response to the Philistines? Compare this with Proverbs 3:5–6.