1 Samuel

Faithful - 1 Samuel 18:1-20:42

1.      What are some synonyms for or words that define friendship? (…a relationship of mutual affection between two or more people; close relationship; attachment; association; bond; tie; link; union; camaraderie; fellowship; unity; etc.)

2.      Is there a difference in “friendship” and “godly friendship”? (Godly friendship is built on commitment to God first and foremost. It provides lifelong encouragement and complete honesty between two people.)

3.      What qualities do you value most in a friend? (Our answers may vary some, but we probably find friends who are trustworthy, honest, dependable, kind, funny, and share common interests and values with us.)


Today’s study reminds us that faithful friends are gifts from God, and true friendship is based on mutual trust and faithfulness. Jonathan and David’s friendship was a commitment that transcended all situations and circumstances of life!


True Friends! Read 1 Samuel 18:1-5


A Covenant is a contract, agreement, undertaking, pledge, promise, bond, etc., between two or more people. To Covenant is to agree, undertake, contract, guarantee, pledge, promise, agree, engage, commit oneself, bind oneself, etc.


1.      What are some modern day covenant relationships?

2.      What are the similarities and differences between the covenant relationship of Jonathan and David and these examples shared by our group today?

Although the Scripture does not talk about Jonathan and David’s relationship before this passage, I highly suspect that they came to know each other when David was called to play his musical instrument for Saul.

3.      Where do you see evidence here of the friendship commitment David and Jonathan had for each other? (They had every reason to be enemies or at least rivals. Jonathan was heir to the throne by his bloodline. David was God’s choice to be the next king. But instead of letting this rivalry drive a wedge between them, they became the closest of friends. They demonstrated godly friendship, always seeking the best for the other person.)

4.      What does it take to create and maintain a great friendship? (Making and keeping friends requires effort from both people, but good friends are well worth it. We have to work to carve out the time in our hectic schedules that friendship requires.)

5.      How many “best friends” can one person have? (Social Media.)

6.      Read 1 Sam. 18:5. Do you agree or disagree that success reveals a person’s character?

7.      How can success change a friendship?

8.      Even if the gesture is never reciprocated, how can a person encourage friends in their successes?

In the remainder of chapter 18 and chapter 19, Saul tries to kill David numerous times. Saul gives one of his daughters to David as his wife in hopes that she will be a thorn in his side. In chapter 20 we find Jonathan protecting David from the plans of his father to kill David. Jonathan honored his father as King while at the same time being loyal to his commitment to friendship with David. This was a very delicate balancing act that almost cost Jonathan his life.


1 Samuel 20 is in seven parts:

First, in verses 1-4, David persuaded Jonathan that he must do something to help David escape Saul’s devious plans.

Second, in verses 5-11, David suggested a strategy for determining what Saul was thinking concerning David.

Third, in verses 12-17, David and Jonathan renewed their covenant of loyalty. Jonathan would report any plot to kill David and David would protect Jonathan’s household when he became king.

Fourth, in verses 18-23, Jonathan formulated a plan for communicating what he discovered about Saul to David.

Fifth, in verses 24-34, Jonathan discovered the extent of Saul’s hostility to David.

Sixth, in verses 35-40, Jonathan communicated with David by the prearranged plan.

Seventh, in verses 41-42, David and Jonathan said farewell to each other.


Tested Friends! Read 1 Samuel 20:35-40


1.      How did Jonathan show his concern/care for David?

2.      When have you protected a friend from harm or a friend protected you from harm?

3.      David and Jonathan’s friendship was tested at the deepest of levels. What kinds of tests make a friendship stronger?

4.      Would you view the smaller tests as more or less significant than a dramatic test?

5.      What risks would you be willing to take to help a true friend?

6.      What words, phrases, or examples can be used to indicate someone who is not a true friend?

7.      If someone asks you to do something wrong for the sake of preserving your friendship, is that person a true friend? (A true friend has the other person’s best interest above their own!)

8.      How might friendship enable you to see more clearly what is the right thing to do? (Sometimes it is best to help your friend “face the music” rather than run from facing consequences.)

9.      What Scripture verses support the correct attitude and behavior of one called to be a true friend? (Prov. 17:17; 27:17; 12:26.)


Timeless Friends! Read 1 Samuel 20:41-42


1.      What promises did Jonathan and David make to each other? (Jonathan and David wept and kissed each other good-bye, a common farewell between close friends in that culture. They promised friendship to each other and that their friendship would carry over to their offspring.  Example, Mephibosheth.)

2.      What elements do you think were the key ingredients in Jonathan’s and David’s strong friendship? (Love, trust, and loyalty were all key ingredients in the friendship. Both men shared a commitment to God. All of these qualities demonstrate a godly, selfless friendship that always seeks the best for the other person.)

3.      Can these elements be fostered within a relationship, or do they just happen? If not, how can we foster them?


Summarize and Challenge!


1.      What lessons can we learn from Jonathan and David that can help us become a better friend? (They guarded their friendship against jealousy and rivalry, sought the best for the other person, and built the relationship on mutual trust and faithfulness. They didn’t allow challenges to pull their friendship apart.)

As humans, we sometimes let down our friends or vice versa. But we can always depend on Christ, who will never leave us or forsake us.

2.      What are some of the greatest threats to true friendships?

3.      What actions can we take to guard our friendships against those threats?

Godly friendship is built on commitment to God, and integrity and provides lifelong encouragement!


Who’s name brings joy to your heart when your phone rings and you see on caller ID who is calling you? That just might be one of your best friends!


“What a Friend We Have in Jesus!”



Delivered - 1 Samuel 17

1.      What is the biggest, most difficult job you have ever undertaken?

2.      Was the task intimidating at first?

3.      What led you to finally accept the job?

4.      Was it a job you volunteered to do or did someone come looking for you to do it?

5.      What was the outcome?


6.      Just considering the information we have thus far learned from 1 Samuel, what do we know about David so far? (He is Jesse’s son, he is a shepherd boy, he is youngest in his family, he has been anointed a future king of Israel, he has been chosen to play his musical instrument for Saul when he is disturbed by an evil spirit, and evidently not old enough to be in the army. Perhaps most important, he believes in the God of Israel and trusts Him for deliverance from whatever foe he may face.)

When a person is faithful to God and trusts Him in all situations then that person is available to be used by God to accomplish extraordinary, super human, God anointed feats.


Read 1 Samuel 17:1-30 or tell what happens in these verses.


Remember, when Saul was anointed as King of Israel, there was a strong indication that he was a head taller than anyone else in Israel.

What was David’s brother’s opinion of David?


Confidence in God! Read 1 Samuel 17:31-37


1.      How did Saul see David?

2.      What gave David confidence that he could defeat Goliath? (God’s faithfulness in the past to deliver him from the lion and bear. It is important to note that although David said God had delivered him, David still honed his skills so he would be ready to be used by God when the right situations presented itself.)

3.      Saul questioned David’s experience in battle. How could David’s lack of battle experience have been a disadvantage?

4.      How could his lack of experience been an advantage? (David’s approach to the battle with Goliath was under God’s direction not any previous experience.)

5.      How can God use our past as a foundation for our future?

6.      Has there been a time when you had to convince someone that you had the ability, experience, and confidence to do a particular task?

7.      How can a person’s past experiences help him or her succeed in the future? (Do the principles and skills you have learned and developed in your secular job help you in service to God?)

David may have lacked a soldier’s training, but he was an experienced fighter because of his time spent in the wilderness protecting sheep. Equipped with this experience, David displayed a sure confidence in God’s ability to protect him.

When we place our confidence in anything other than God, it leads to defeat. As believers, we should face all challenges with our confidence rightly grounded in the truth of the gospel.


Read 1 Samuel 17:38-41 or share the content of these verses.


Why did David choose smooth stones to use? (There is less wind resistance and they will hit the target with more accuracy.)


False confidence in himself! Read 1 Samuel 17:42-44


1.      We’ve seen how David’s brothers viewed David, how the king saw David and now how did Goliath view David?

2.      How would you contrast David’s humility and confidence in battle with the pride and arrogance of Goliath?

3.      What was Goliath’s “trash talk” against David? (He suggested that David’s staff was nothing more than a stick used to beat a dog. Then he “cursed David by his gods”. This was more than just a fight between two men. It represented a battle between the false gods of the Philistines and the one true God of Israel.)

Every challenge, trial, and problem is an opportunity for God to show Himself strong before the world! (See Prov. 3:26; Phil. 1:6; Heb. 4:16; and 1 John 5:14.)

4.      In what items or people do we sometimes place our confidence?

5.      What are the limits of each item or person?

6.      How do those limits point us to our need to trust in God at all times with all things?


God’s Victory!  Read 1 Samuel 17:45-50


1.      David gave God the credit for the victory over Goliath. Consider some major successes in your life. How hard or easy was it for you to give God the credit? (Goliath put his confidence in his “dagger, spear, and sword”. David’s confidence rested in “the name of Yahweh, of Hosts, the God of Israel’s armies.”)

Goliath had a false confidence in himself; David had a sure confidence in God; this made all the difference.

It can be an easy trap to want to take all the credit for our victories and successes in life. We must constantly remind ourselves that all we are and have comes from God!


Our relationship with Christ and the role of the Holy Spirit in our life strengthens us for daily living.


Summarize and Challenge!


1.   What principles did you glean from the study of David’s encounter with Goliath? (God’s faithfulness to David in the past strengthened David’s dependence upon God in the future.)

2.      David used a battle with a giant as an opportunity to make God’s name known in the world. Where and how can we make God’s name known today? (We can be intentional about witnessing; we can be intentional about giving God the credit in our lives, both in the words we speak and in the way we live.)

3.      What are some giants you need to face with confidence in God that He will give you the victory?

When we are making God’s name known, it will be part of our activities at home, in the workplace, and where we play. His name is not reserved for Sunday mornings. Look for fresh ways to make God’s name known in your daily conversations this coming week.


A life lived fully committed to Christ is the best witness we can have!


Close with prayer that we will be more committed to live a life of victory through Christ this coming week.