commitment

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.

 

Faithful - Acts 5:12-42

1.      What are some words or phrases you would use to define or illustrate the word “faithful”? (Constant, dedicated, devoted, devout, loyal, pious, staunch, steadfast, steady, true, dependable, reliable, responsible, solid, tried, trustworthy.

“Firm to one’s allegiance to someone or something!” “Following an original exactly.”)

2.      What motivates people to stand for a cause they believe in or will be faithful to? (People who take a stand are motivated by passion for their cause. It also takes courage to take a stand, particularly when standing up for our faith.)

3.      What are some ways a person willing to take a stand might respond to opposition? (Challenges to our faith are inevitable, as illustrated by today’s Scripture passage. The challenges sometimes involve persecution and physical pain.)

4.      What does faithfulness to Christ and His church look like?

 

The leaders in the early church in Jerusalem were bold in the proclamation of the gospel, even in the face of persecution, as we saw last week. But the persecution would only get worse as the Apostles’ boldness in sharing the gospel grew.

 

Luke records in Acts 5:12-16 that the church was growing by leaps and bounds. People were bringing the sick out into the streets so that Peter’s shadow might fall on some of them. People were bringing the sick from surrounding towns and they were being healed.

The Jewish religious leaders were filled with jealousy so they arrested the Apostles and had them put in the city jail. But an angel of the Lord opened the jail doors and told the Apostles to go proclaim the Word of God in the temple complex and they obeyed.

Read Acts 5:21-24.

 

At this point you would think the Jewish leaders would simply repent and accept the truth of the gospel, but that didn’t happen.

 

Returning to the Scene! Read Acts 5:25-28

 

1.      Why do you think the Sanhedrin didn’t address the miraculous escape from jail?

2.      What motivated the religious leaders to silence the apostles?

3.      How is that motive seen in today’s world?

4.      What do these verses reveal about the apostles’ determination to share the gospel amid opposition?

5.      How does the apostles’ opposition compare with what most believers experience today?

6.      How faithful will we be in sharing the gospel when opposition comes?

 

Standing Their Ground! Read Acts 5:29-32

 

Peter did not deny that they had deliberately disobeyed the orders of the Sanhedrin; he did, however, indicate that they were following instructions from God.

1.      What is civil disobedience? (Refusal to comply with certain laws or to pay taxes and fines, as a peaceful form of political protest.)

2.      When is it appropriate for believers to submit to earthly authorities?

3.      How can we know when it is appropriate to disobey our civil laws? (We should obey laws in general, but sometimes it’s necessary to disobey laws that are contrary to God’s directives. We can depend on the Holy Spirit to lead us in the right direction.)

Key Doctrine: God alone is Lord of the conscience, and He has left it free from the doctrines and commandments of men which are contrary to His Word.

4.      What message did Peter choose to share before the Sanhedrin—again?

5.      Why was this message more powerful than other things he could have said? (The gospel is the power of God unto salvation!)

 

Waiting During Deliberations! Read Acts 5:33-39

 

1.      Why might their rage have caused them to consider killing these men? (The Jewish leaders almost lost control of their emotions by acting impulsively.)

2.      What do we know about Gamaliel from this passage and others? (Gamaliel took a bold stand by addressing the Sanhedrin. He was most likely one of the older members of the council. He was a highly respected Jewish teacher and a Pharisee. Paul learned at the feet of Gamaliel. He was a voice of reason.)

3.      What wisdom do you see in Gamaliel’s proposal to the council?

4.      How might his words help believers today who face opposition to the gospel?

5.      Have you ever been guilty of fighting against God?

6.      What was the result?

Gamaliel stated that the test of time would prove the apostles’ message as true or false, and it has!

 

Rejoicing for the Opportunity! Read Acts 5:40-42

 

1.      What would you say to give a recap of what happened in these verses? (The apostles were punished that day; they received a severe beating and were ordered once again to STOP teaching and preaching in the name of this man Jesus.)

2.      How did the apostles respond to their treatment by the council?

3.      How can opposition to the gospel produce encouragement and courage in believers? (Jesus was also opposed by those in power, so we are in good company when we are opposed for proclaiming the truth of Scripture.)

4.      How does opposition and persecution provide a platform for the gospel to be shared and lived? (Even today when Christians are told by the authorities to either do something that is against the teachings of the Bible or stop doing something that the Bible clearly teaches us to do WE MUST OBEY GOD RATHER THAN MAN! Nothing has changed in the last 2000 years, we must be faithful to God, no matter what others say or do.)

5.      How can we turn opposition for our faith into an opportunity to speak up for Christ? (Remember that the truth of the gospel is trustworthy and can be shared with confidence. We, as believers, can rejoice when persecuted, realizing that the gospel was proclaimed in the process.)

 

Summarize and Challenge!

 

Self-evaluation:

1.      When has my faith been challenged or opposed by others?

2.      When have I boldly proclaimed the truth of the gospel in the face of persecution?

3.      Consider times in your life when someone challenged your faith. How did you respond?

4.      What can you learn from the response of the apostles to help you respond when facing opposition in the future?

 

We don’t actually know how many of the apostles were involved in this incident, but we do know it was more than one. We know from personal experience that it is much easier to stand for what is right when we are not standing alone! We need to stand together for the truth of God’s Word, but if the situation should come when we must stand alone know that the Holy Spirit is right there with you and will give you strength to do what is right in the face of opposition.

 

Rely on God’s strength to be faithful to Him in all circumstances.

 

Close with a prayer of commitment.