1. What is the first thing that comes to your mind when you hear the word “victory”?
2. Is victory ever permanent? (There always seems to be someone else to challenge the victor in any arena. Even in our spiritual lives, when we win one victory there seems to be another temptation just around the corner.)
3. When you are facing a tough problem, or a challenge who is the first person you call? (Many of us have a go-to person—a family member or a close friend—whom we call when facing a challenge.)
4. Where do you begin when it seems like everything is lost? (The recent floods in Louisiana and wild fires in California have left hundreds, if not thousands, of people with nothing. Some have even lost loved ones.)
When David suffered a stunning defeat that involved the loss of his family too, he turned to God first. As believers, sometimes we’re guilty of turning to God as a last resort, not a first choice. We need to be willing to let go and trust God more. Only God supplies a true and lasting victory.
I’m reminded of 2 Tim. 1:7 “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” That power, love and sound mind can help us live a life of victory on a daily basis.
A substantial amount of time has passed since the events of last week’s study. Now the Philistines have gathered a great army and planned to attack Israel. Saul was frightened which caused him to do a foolish thing. He went to a medium, the Witch of Endor, to call Samuel back from the dead. Samuel came and told Saul that he would lose the battle tomorrow and that he and his sons would die in the battle. (Note: We should be very careful about drawing general conclusions for exceptional texts. Exceptional texts are just that—exceptional—and we should not use them for deducing biblical principles for life.)
As the Philistines prepared to march off to meet Saul in battle, many of the Philistine commanders didn’t trust David going with them so he and his men were sent back to Ziklag. So David was saved from having to fight against Israel.
Let’s see what happened when David got to back to Ziklag.
Decision Time! Read 1 Samuel 30:1-8
1. David’s men were distraught. They wept until they had no strength left. Where did they turn for closure?
2. To what extent do we blame others for a crisis in our life?
3. Where did David find his strength?
4. Where did David turn for answers? (David turned to God. He asked the priest to bring the Ephod, which contained the Urim and Thummim. No one knows what these two items looked like but they were used to discern God’s will.)
The Lord told David to pursue the Amalekites and that he would overtake them.
5. What similar objects are used in modern times to seek guidance?
6. Should a believer affirm or not affirm such objects for seeking guidance?
7. How does a crisis reveal a person’s character?
8. How does a crisis reveal who or what a person trusts and values?
Read 1 Samuel 30:9-17
Remember, David and his men had already traveled three days to get back to Ziklag, so they had been traveling for at least six days, if not more. The men had to be exhausted.
God provided direction for them to take through this Egyptian slave. It was providential, not coincidental, that an Egyptian slave led David to the Amalekite camp.
Recovered! Read 1 Samuel 30:18-20
1. What causes people to take the credit that God deserves?
2. What could have been the result if David had taken the credit?
3. How do we take credit for what God has done?
4. Why do we find it easy to follow God’s direction in some life circumstances and more difficult in others? What’s the root issue? (We are all different, but many of us might have certain areas of life where we struggle in letting God have control. Giving God control of every area of our lives is not a one-time easy decision. It is a daily surrender of obedience to His will for us.)
5. Have you ever been in a situation of needing to be rescued? To whom did you turn?
6. In what ways is salvation in Christ like being rescued? (We are caught in the bondage of sin, without hope of victory aside from what Christ did for us on Calvary.)
Victory for All! Read 1 Samuel 30:21-25
What was the problem David faced among his soldiers? (Notice how those who did not want to share the spoils of war were described.)
1. What was David’s solution?
2. Why was what David made law accepted by all? (David had earned the respect of all the men, even the worthless ones.)
3. When successful, why do we struggle with wanting to claim all the glory for ourselves? (When success comes our way, we can be tempted to enjoy the glory ourselves, neglecting to give God the credit.)
4. What analogy could you use to illustrate the actions taken by David in this passage?
The body of Christ, the church, may have many members. Every person, with their specific spiritual gifts, is equally important! Some are more “upfront” than others but all are important.
David gave God the credit for the victory and didn’t have to worry about who played a small or big role in the success.
Summarize and Challenge!
1. What biblical truths did you glean from the study of David’s experiences related to his battle with the Amalekites?
Understand that God directed David’s steps, and in doing so, David was victorious in battle.
2. What victories do you need to claim in your life today?
Remember that only God supplies a true and lasting victory. Knowing this will make a difference in the way believers handle struggles and crises.
Actions to take: Look around you for believers who struggle to find their value or worth in God’s kingdom. Encourage that person, helping them see that we can trust God’s direction and plan in each of our lives. Remind them that there are no little people or little jobs God’s kingdom.