1. In general, what are some common actions of a selfish person? (Concerned for his own success, constantly turns conversations to himself, unwilling to give to others, constant desire to be in the spotlight, etc.)
2. What percentage of people do you believe view the majority of others as selfish?
3. What percentage of people do you believe view themselves as selfish?
(Consider these verses: Philippians 2:3-4; James 3:14-16; 2 Timothy 3:1-5; Psalm 119:36; 1 Timothy 5:6)
4. Which guides our decision making, opportunity or principles of God’s Word learned before opportunity presents itself? (See Gal. 5:24-25; Psalm 119:11)
5. So, is your life defined by the opportunities you encounter or principles from God’s Word that guides your decisions?
We will consider three basic concepts in this session:
First, God’s plans are always better than our plans!
Second, selfish tendencies can lead to premature victories (complete with additional problems and guilty conscience).
Third, God’s plans require us to filter opportunities through the lens of respect for others and godly principles.
Opportunity Knocks! Read 1 Samuel 26:1-8
1. Did Abishai’s proposal make good sense from a military perspective? (It was as if Saul had been handed to David on a silver platter.)
2. How easy is it for us to do the wrong thing when those we are with and trust encourage us to sin?
3. What are the dangers of equating an open door with God’s will?
4. How does one know the difference between a true open door and a test disguised as an open door?
5. Every day we encounter opportunities and decisions. What influences you the most in these opportunities throughout the day?
People make decisions in a variety of ways—what benefits me, what benefits everyone, what seems right, what feels right, or what is easiest. For believers facing a decision, the question should always be, “What would God have me do here?”
Godly Respect! Read 1 Samuel 26:9-12
1. Why did David refrain from killing Saul? (It was not because he had great respect for Saul personally, it was because Saul was God’s anointed and David did not consider it his task to kill Saul, he would leave that in God’s hands.)
2. How did David say God would take care of this in His own time?
3. What words did David use to express being a humble servant of the Lord’s?
David refrained from doing evil, allowing God to show him a greater purpose and direction. Remember this: “Actions do not determine our character, our actions reveal our character.”
4. Why did David take Saul’s spear and water jug? (I believe it was simply to prove to Saul that David was there and could have taken Saul’s life if so inclined.)
5. Respect is often seen as something that must be earned. David showed respect to someone who didn’t show respect to him. Why is it hard to respect people who disrespect us? Why should we?
6. What lessons can we learn from David in regard to the way we treat our political leaders today? (While we don’t agree with what some elected officials do or say, believers should respect the office they hold. Believers are instructed to submit to authorities and to pray for them. [see Rom. 13:1-5; 1 Tim. 2:1-4])
Remorse! Read 1 Samuel 26:13-21
1. What did David say to convince Saul that trying to kill him was wrong?
2. How did Saul react to the news that David had chosen not to harm him?
3. How did Saul express his remorse?
4. Is remorse the same as repentance, if not how is it different? (Ture repentance comes when God convicts a person of sin and there is a transformation in that person’s heart. Real change is made!)
5. When have you seen a situation change for the better because someone chose to do good instead of harm? (Take the highroad and see what God can accomplish.)
6. Saul said David “considered my life precious”. What are ways we can consider each other’s lives precious today?
Imagine what our homes, churches, and communities would look like if we all treated one another as precious!
This was the second opportunity David had to kill Saul, yet David chose to wait on God’s timing.
Trust in God! Read 1 Samuel 26:22-25
1. David chose to turn away from harming Saul. In what ways did David show respect for Saul, even though Saul had been pursuing David to harm him? (David returned Saul’s spear. He called for God to repay every man for “his righteousness and his loyalty”. David did not call for Saul to consider his “life valuable,” but did ask God to do so.)
David and Saul went their separate ways. These are the last words they said to each other.
2. Why didn’t David go with Saul? (I think because of God’s direction. Saul was constantly back and forth so David could not trust him.)
3. God promises to protect and care for His people in numerous passages throughout Scripture. What causes a person to transition from knowing God’s promises to taking action based on those promises?
4. When have you taken action based on the promises we find listed in Scripture?
Daily we face opportunities that are open doors for ministry. What we choose to do with the opportunities God gives us determines whether we humbly follow His path or make selfish decisions.
Summarize and Challenge!
1. What biblical principles did you discover from our study of David and Saul?
God’s redemptive plan for believers coincides with a believer’s respect for life and humility in accepting God’s will.
2. What is the correlation between humility and respect?
3. How does humility promote respect?
4. In what ways is God calling you to humble yourself before others?
5. How do we, as a group, encourage humility and respect among the group members?
6. What are the situations today where you need to step out of the way and allow God to work His will?
Be willing to let God work in His way and in His timing with some challenge or problem you are facing today. Pray for God’s leading and guiding in each step you take.