Life Groups Questions – 10/8
For the Kingdom
Ice-Breaker → Tell a story about when you disobeyed your parents, doing something you were not supposed to do but did it anyway.
Read: 1 Samuel 15:1-23
1 Samuel told Saul, “The Lord sent me to anoint you as king over his people Israel. Now, listen to the words of the Lord. 2 This is what the Lord of Armies says: ‘I witnessed what the Amalekites did to the Israelites when they opposed them along the way as they were coming out of Egypt. 3 Now go and attack the Amalekites and completely destroy everything they have. Do not spare them. Kill men and women, infants and nursing babies, oxen and sheep, camels and donkeys.’”
4 Then Saul summoned the troops and counted them at Telaim: two hundred thousand foot soldiers and ten thousand men from Judah. 5 Saul came to the city of Amalek and set up an ambush in the wadi. 6 He warned the Kenites, “Since you showed kindness to all the Israelites when they came out of Egypt, go on and leave! Get away from the Amalekites, or I’ll sweep you away with them.” So the Kenites withdrew from the Amalekites.
7 Then Saul struck down the Amalekites from Havilah all the way to Shur, which is next to Egypt. 8 He captured King Agag of Amalek alive, but he completely destroyed all the rest of the people with the sword. 9 Saul and the troops spared Agag, and the best of the sheep, goats, cattle, and choice animals, as well as the young rams and the best of everything else. They were not willing to destroy them, but they did destroy all the worthless and unwanted things.
10 Then the word of the Lord came to Samuel, 11 “I regret that I made Saul king, for he has turned away from following me and has not carried out my instructions.” So Samuel became angry and cried out to the Lord all night. 12 Early in the morning Samuel got up to confront Saul, but it was reported to Samuel, “Saul went to Carmel where he set up a monument for himself. Then he turned around and went down to Gilgal.” 13 When Samuel came to him, Saul said, “May the Lord bless you. I have carried out the Lord’s instructions.”
14 Samuel replied, “Then what is this sound of sheep, goats, and cattle I hear?” 15 Saul answered, “The troops brought them from the Amalekites and spared the best sheep, goats, and cattle in order to offer a sacrifice to the Lord your God, but the rest we destroyed.” 16 “Stop!” exclaimed Samuel. “Let me tell you what the Lord said to me last night.” “Tell me,” he replied. 17 Samuel continued, “Although you once considered yourself unimportant, haven’t you become the leader of the tribes of Israel? The Lord anointed you king over Israel 18 and then sent you on a mission and said, ‘Go and completely destroy the sinful Amalekites. Fight against them until you have annihilated them.’ 19 So why didn’t you obey the Lord? Why did you rush on the plunder and do what was evil in the Lord’s sight?” 20 “But I did obey the Lord!” Saul answered. “I went on the mission the Lord gave me: I brought back King Agag of Amalek, and I completely destroyed the Amalekites. 21 The troops took sheep, goats, and cattle from the plunder—the best of what was set apart for destruction—to sacrifice to the Lord your God at Gilgal.”
22 Then Samuel said: Does the Lord take pleasure in burnt offerings and sacrifices as much as in obeying the Lord? Look: to obey is better than sacrifice, to pay attention is better than the fat of rams. 23 For rebellion is like the sin of divination, and defiance is like wickedness and idolatry. Because you have rejected the word of the Lord, he has rejected you as king.
We ought to give everything in our lives for God’s Kingdom. That everything is His, not ours. And that means time, talent, and treasure. For you, which one of these three is the easiest to give to the Lord? Which one is the hardest?
King Saul was the king of Israel, but we cannot see anywhere in the Scriptures God spoke to him directly. He always used the prophet Samuel to talk to Saul. Why do you think the Lord never spoke directly to Saul, even though he was the king of Israel?
How does God speak to you?
God speaks to us in three ways: by reading the Bible, by conversations with mature believers, and by our personal relationship with God through prayer and worship. Do you have people in your life that you can count on for some wisdom and direction when you need it? Please share a time when this happened to you.
As we know Jesus more, He will use us to do the same for others. Has God ever used you to talk to other people? If so, share with your group how this happened.
Saul obeyed the Lord, but he did partially. However, partial obedience is dismissed by God as disobedience. Can you remember when you partially obeyed Jesus and later on had to repent and surrender everything to Him?
Why do you think God delights in our obedience?
In verse 22, Samuel says to Saul, “Does the Lord take pleasure in burnt offerings and sacrifices as much as in obeying the Lord? Look: to obey is better than sacrifice.” What did Samuel mean by that?
The lesson in this verse is that the Lord calls people to submit to his agenda, not to attempt to honor him with their own agendas. What does obedience look like to you? How do you obey God?