- What was your favorite go-to-place when playing hide-and-seek? When you were about to be discovered, what did you do?
- Stay quiet.
- Scare your pursuer.
- Other __________.
The story of Saul and David is most intriguing. You would be blessed by reading the whole story beginning with 1 Samuel 15. Through a series of beguiling twists and turns in the story, Saul is Israel’s king, while David is God’s anointed king-in-waiting. Saul is trying to kill David for the threat he poses to Saul’s kingship. David is struggling to save his life and remain loyal to his God and to his king. In the background is God. Like the man behind the curtain in the Wizard of Oz, God is pulling all the levers in this drama between David and Saul.
Have one person read 1 Samuel 24: 1-22 straight through. As you listen to the story being read, be ready to defend either Saul’s actions (he is still the king) or David’s actions (he is running for his life and is king-in-waiting).
Finding My Story in God’s Story
- You are reporter for the local news station in En Gedi. You are sent to report on this encounter between Saul and David. How would you report the dialogue between Saul and David in verses 8-22? You only have a 30 second spot to make your report.
- In this story, whose actions trouble you more? (God’s? Saul’s? David’s? David’s men?) Why?
- In defense of David, why the self-restraint? Why not kill Saul when you had the chance?
- Saul is more useful for kingdom purposes if kept alive.
- Saul must first account for his actions against David.
- Before assuming the throne, David had to grow in character and integrity.
- Even Saul deserves a second chance.
- Other __________.
- Imagine you are one of David’s men hiding with him in the cave. Your life is on the line just as much as David’s. How would David’s decision impact your faith and trust in him as your leader?
- In defense of Saul’s actions, do you think Saul’s suddenly penitent attitude is sincere or just a cover? Why do you think so?
- Your boss announces his retirement to take place in 18 months. The Board of Directors appoints you to succeed him but decides to withhold the news until closer to the retirement. How would you respond if you saw your boss making decisions that would have a negative impact on your tenure as the boss?
- I’d tell him of my concern in private. (Remember, no one knows you will one day be the boss.)
- I’d start a rumor about how I was going to be the boss someday.
- I’d ask the Board of Directors to take action against him.
- I’d surround myself with a group of men who could support and pray with me.
- Other _________.
- God assigned Saul a tough role and responsibility. Try to empathize and put yourself in that situation when you’re in over your head, or you bit off more than you could chew. What did you do then? What would you do differently today, given what you know now?
- When I once bit off more than I could chew, I spit it out and vowed: “Never again!”
- I often am in over my head—in which case, I humbly ask the boss for help.
- When in over my head, I delegate up or down—anything to get out from under it all.
- The last time I was in over my head, I got it lopped off (lost my job or quit).
- Other ________.
- Conversely, we could be just the “right man for the job,” as was David. Recall such a situation and how you fulfilled that new role or responsibility. How did you fare?
- My lived experience, abilities and resources were up to the task set before me.
- I saw no need for a playbook or other on-the-job training, just waited for my time.
- I had to restrain my usual carpe diem (“seize the day”) mentality and bide my time.
- I was consciously aware of God’s part in my success, especially in timing.
- Other _________.
- What are some next steps, or lifelines, that we might extend to others who lead precipitously or, conversely, fail to lead at all, especially during leadership transitions?
- Pray about those next steps in Q #8, #9, and #10.