Respect - 1 Samuel 26:1-25

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.


Blinded - 1 Samuel 22:6-17

   Last Sunday David found a faithful friend in Jonathan (Saul’s son), who was willing to place David above his own ambitions. In fact, Jonathan presented his royal robe, sword and other items to David as a demonstration of his commitment to David. Jonathan used arrows, as a prearranged demonstration, to signal David that his life was in danger. David and Jonathan said their goodbyes and committed to be friends no matter what happened in the future. Their friendship was based on a mutual trust and belief in God.


   Today we will see how personal ambition drove Saul to desperate actions. We will also see, as believers, sometimes opposition confronts us, even when we are simply doing the right thing.

   Chapter 21 is skipped and although it is a short chapter, it continues on from last week’s lesson and builds the foundation for today’s lesson. In chapter 21 we see that David, after bidding farewell to Jonathan at the stone Ezel, had fled to Nob. There, he talked Ahimelech the priest out of food (bread) and Goliath’s sword. It so happened that Doeg, the chief of Saul’s herdsmen was there that day and saw what went on between Ahimelech and David. Then David fled to Gath and went to Achish, the king of Gath. David became afraid of King Achis and pretended to be mad so Achish would not want him around. From Gath, David fled to the cave of Adullam and soon his father and entire family showed up and David became their captain. David then went to the king of Moab and asked that his family could stay there until he knew what God wanted him to do. Chapter 21 ends with David going to the forest of Hereth in Judah.


Read 1 Samuel 22:6-10 “Pursued By Saul”

   What do we see as signs of Saul’s paranoia? It appears he was rejected, closed-minded, defiant, argumentative, and disagreeable.

   How do these terms describe what might happen when a person decides that his or her decisions do not need counsel.

    How did Saul’s jealousy and ambition lead to his desperate accusations? Saul was so jealous of David that he questioned the loyalty of his closest soldiers, accusing them of betraying him and aiding David. Saul falsely accused his own son Jonathan of plotting against him.

   How do unchecked ambition and pride lead to paranoia and fear?  

   How could unchecked ambition lead to desperate behavior in our lives? If our ambition is unchecked, we become self-centered in our attitudes and actions. We don’t value other people as we should. We are consumed with pursuing our own selfish desires. Sinful behavior always leads to destruction.

   How can people convince themselves that what they want to believe is true?


Read 1 Samuel 22:11-15 “Guilt By Association”

   What false accusations did King Saul hurl toward Ahimelech the priest? Saul accused Ahimelech the priest of siding with David in conspiring against him. Saul’s accusations suggested that Ahimelech was guilty of treason against him.

   How did Ahimelech respond? Ahimelech did not deny Saul’s accusations, but he defended David as being loyal to Saul. Any help that Ahimelech provided to David was with good intentions and not out of any desire to harm Saul. Ahimelech displayed insight and courage in dealing with King Saul. He was “honest, sincere, and well-crafted” as he “defended David’s character”.

   What are the five truths Ahimelech used to defend David? David was Saul’s servant, he was faithful, the king’s son-in-law, captain of his bodyguards, and honored in the king’s house.

   How did these serve as a defense for Ahimelech? These characteristics were all indicative of the king’s most trusted warriors and family members. When one of the king’s family members asks for help, you help.

   Ahimelech faced opposition simply for doing the right thing in helping David.

   As a believer, when have you faced opposition for doing the right thing? Sometimes we experience opposition because of our own sin. We bring trouble on ourselves. However, not all adversity is the result of our own sin. Bad things do happen to believers who are simply doing the right thing. We should remember that even in the face of opposition, we can trust in God’s strong presence in our lives.


Read 1 Samuel 22:16-17 “Desperate Measures”

   What did Saul order the Israelite guards to do and what did they do? They were ordered to kill Ahimelech and his entire family. Verse 17 concludes by saying “But the king’s servants would not lift a hand to execute the priests of the Lord”.

   What does the punishment declared by King Saul reveal about him? Saul’s mistaken thinking let him believe Ahimelech was a traitor.

   What does his servant’s reaction reveal about him? King Saul was not held in high esteem. Out of reverence for God, it is not surprising that they would not lift a hand to execute the priests of the Lord. There was no real evidence supporting a conspiracy against Saul; therefore, no priests needed to die.

   How do we see King Saul’s unchecked ambition lead to sin and destruction? Saul’s ambition hurt his relationships, even within his own family. Because of his ambition, Saul sinned greatly, even to the point of trying to murder anyone he considered a rival, and he had poor judgment in deciding who was his rival.

   Look at the Key Doctrine “Social Order”, p. 109 in the PSG. Who does this doctrine address? What are the principles to be applied?

   As believers, we must be willing to take a stand against anything that violates God’s laws and principles. Read Philippians 2:3-5. How we can know when to obey authorities and when doing so defies being Christlike.



   Is all ambition bad? How can we guard against unchecked ambition in our own lives?

·         Not all ambition is bad. Channeled in a positive way, ambition helps us pursue the education, training, and careers we need to do well in life. With ambition we provide for our families and take on responsibilities in our churches and communities.

·         With unchecked ambition, we lose perspective and become self-centered.

·         If we give God first place in our lives and seek Him with our whole hearts, then our ambitions will have a proper balance in our lives.


   Close with prayer asking God to help us develop a more Christ-like attitude in all our conversations and interactions with others. Pray that we can be more like David and Jonathan by putting the needs of others ahead of ours.


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.