December 3, 2023 – 2 Samuel 1 – 2

Lesson Date: December 3, 2023

Focal Scripture Passage: 2 Samuel 1:1-16; 2:1-4, 8-11, 17, 28-31

AIM: To lead students to discover how the sins of certain individuals hurt others, and to confess and repent of their sins so they can stop hurting their family and friends.

 

Before class: Read the notes on 2 Samuel 1 – 2 found in the Sunday School Teacher Book.  Familiarize yourself with the locations named in this lesson so you can easily point them out to the class.  Get enough copies of the handout,Setting and Characters in 2 Samuel 1 & 2for your anticipated attendance.  Have some pens or pencils available for those who might need one.  Write the following statement on the board: “I’m not Hurting Anyone but Myself.”

 

INTRODUCTION (Create Learning Readiness): Read the statement, “I’m not Hurting Anyone but Myself,” written on the board.

Ask: “Have you ever heard anyone say that?” (they undoubtedly have).  Ask: “Why did the person make that statement?” (they were probably being confronted about their harmful behavior or habit).  Ask: “What kinds of behaviors do people try to justify by saying they are not hurting anyone but themselves?”  Allow time for some responses.

Tell the class that whether it is alcohol use, drug abuse, overeating, immorality, criminal activity, or compulsive behavior such as gambling or chronic overspending, people often justify their actions by saying that they are not hurting anyone but themselves.  Tell them that many people use this defense when confronted about their sin.

Ask: “Is it true that our sinful behavior does not hurt anyone else?  Are we free to do anything we want without impacting the lives of others?” (the answer to both questions is “no”).

Give a new Sunday School Member Quarterly to anyone who does not already have one.  Direct everyone’s attention to the cover of the quarterly, pointing out the theme of this quarter’s study of 2 Samuel, “Costs of Disobedience.”  Explain that since all sin is disobedience toward God, we could also say that the theme is, “costs of sin.”

Tell the students that the title of today’s lesson is Sin’s Impact on Others.  Tell them as we study 2 Samuel 1 and 2, we will discover ways the sins of certain individuals hurt other people.

 

HEART OF THE LESSON (Bible Study):

  1. Review and Introduction to 2 Samuel.
    • Remind the class that the Lord rejected Saul from being king and chose David to replace him as Israel’s next king.
    • Throughout the closing chapters of 1 Samuel, Saul pursued and tried to kill David.
    • Ask: “What was last week’s lesson about?” (Are You Patient?; we focused on David’s patience in waiting for God’s timing to become king).
    • Tell the class that 2 Samuel picks up right where 1 Samuel left off.
    • Give everyone a copy of theSetting and Characters in 2 Samuel 1 & 2handout.
    • Tell them the handout will help them understand the locations and characters we will read about today.
  2. The Impact of Saul’s Sin.
    • Read 2 Samuel 1:1-4.
    • Ask: “When did this take place?” (after the death of King Saul, recorded in 1 Sam. 31).
    • Explain the following:
      • David and his men were hiding out among the Philistines, living in the Philistine city of Ziklag (help them locate Ziklag on the handout).
      • While David and his troops were away, the Amalekites raided Ziklag, kidnapping all of the families of David and his men (1 Sam. 30).
      • David and his men chased the Amalekites, defeated them, and reclaimed their families.
      • A man came to David at Ziklag.
    • Ask: “How does verse 2 describe this man?” (his clothes were torn and he was dirty).
    • Ask: “Where did he say he had come from?” (the camp of Israel: Saul’s camp).
    • Tell the class that the battle (1 Sam. 31) had taken place at Mount Gilboa (help them locate this on the handout); this man had traveled 90 miles to bring news to David.
    • Tell the class that David asked the man about the outcome of the battle.
    • Ask: “What important facts did David learn?” (that Saul and Jonathan were dead).
    • Ask everyone to turn their handout over to the side headed, “Sin’s Impact on Others.”
    • Ask: “What were Saul’s sins that we learned about in 1 Samuel?” (he disobeyed God, he was impatient, he tried to kill David; ask the students to write this on their handout).
    • Ask: “How did Saul’s sins hurt others?” (Jonathan and two more sons died, and Israel was defeated; ask the students to write this on their handout).
    • Summarize: Saul’s sin cost him his life, but it also cost the lives of three of his sons and many Israelite soldiers.
  3. The Impact of the Amalekite’s Sin.
    • Ask a volunteer to read 2 Samuel 1:5-10.
    • Ask: “What did this man claim to have done?” (killed Saul).
    • Read 1 Samuel 31:3-6.
    • Tell the class this man’s account of Saul’s death is quite different from the Bible’s account (see also 1 Chron. 10:1-6).
    • Ask: “Why do you think this man told David he killed Saul?” (to get in good with the new king; he probably hoped to receive some type of reward).
    • Remind the students that Saul was David’s sworn enemy and had often tried to kill David; we might expect David to rejoice over the death of his enemy.
    • Ask a volunteer to read 2 Samuel 1:11-12.
    • Ask: “How did David react to the news of the deaths Saul and Jonathan?” (he mourned).
    • Read 2 Samuel 1:13-14.
    • Ask: “What did David ask the man in verse 14?” (why he wasn’t afraid to kill the Lord’s anointed king of Israel).
    • Ask a volunteer to read 2 Samuel 1:15-16.
    • Ask: “What did David do to the man?” (had him executed on the spot).
    • Ask: “Why did David do that?” (because he claimed to have killed the Lord’s anointed).
    • Direct everyone’s attention to the side of the handout headed, “Sin’s Impact on Others.”
    • Ask: “What were this man’s sins?” (he lied, claiming to have killed the Lord’s anointed king of Israel; ask the students to write this on their handout).
    • Ask: “How did this man’s sins hurt others?” (he probably had a family and friends, who never knew what happened to him; ask the students to write this on their handout).
    • Summarize: The sin of the man who claimed to have killed Saul cost him his life, but it also caused uncertainty and grief to his family and friends.
  4. The Impact of Ish-bosheth’s Sin.
    • Ask a volunteer to read 2 Samuel 2:1.
    • Ask: “What did David ask the Lord?” (should he return to Judah from Philistine territory, and what city should he go to).
    • Stress the fact that David was a man who sought guidance from the Lord.
    • Ask: “Where did the Lord tell David to go?” (Hebron).
    • Direct everyone’s attention to the side of the handout headed, “Setting and Characters in 2 Samuel 1 & 2,” and help them locate Hebron).
    • Read 2 Samuel 2:2-4.
    • Tell the class that David and his family, along with all his soldiers and their families, went to Hebron.
    • Ask: “According to verse 4, what did the men of Judah do?” (anointed David as king over the house of Judah, which included the two southern tribes of Judah and Simeon).
    • Refer to the handout and help the students locate the territory over which David ruled.
    • Read 2 Samuel 2:8-11.
    • Referring to the handout, explain that Abner was the commanding general of King Saul’s army and Ish-bosheth was one of Saul’s sons.
    • Ask: “What did Abner do?” (made Ish-bosheth king over the 10 northern tribes of Israel).
    • Tell the students that according to 1 Samuel 23:17, Saul and Jonathan knew that David was the Lord’s choice to be king of all Israel; it’s safe to assume that Ish-bosheth knew it, too.
    • Refer to the handout and explain the following:
      • Ish-bosheth was the king of Israel, ruling from Mahanaim.
      • David was the king of Judah, ruling from Hebron.
      • Abner was the general of Ish-bosheth’s army.
      • Joab was the general of David’s army.
      • With two rival kings, two armies, and two generals, civil war was inevitable.
      • A battle took place in Gibeon (help them locate this on the handout).
    • Read 2 Samuel 2:17.
    • Ask: “Who won the battle?” (David’s army).
    • Direct everyone’s attention to the side of the handout headed, “Sin’s Impact on Others.”
    • Ask: “What was Ish-bosheth’s sin?” (he claimed the throne of Israel, in defiance of the fact that God had chosen David to be king; ask the students to write this on their handout).
    • Ask: “How did Ish-bosheth’s sin hurt others?” (a civil war resulted, in which Israelites fought and killed fellow Israelites; ask the students to write this on their handout).
    • Summarize: Ish-bosheth’s sin of claiming the throne in defiance of God’s plan caused a civil war that cost many lives.
  5. The Impact of Abner’s Sin.
    • Tell the class that in verses 18-23, Abner killed one of David’s nephews.
    • Read 2 Samuel 2:28-29.
    • Explain that Joab called a halt to the bloody battle, and Abner and his men went back across the Jordan River to Mahanaim (point out Mahanaim on the handout).
    • Read 2 Samuel 2:30-31.
    • Ask: “According to verse 30, how many of David’s men died in the battle?” (19 plus his nephew Asahel: a total of 20).
    • Ask: “According to verse 31, how many of Abner’s men were killed?” (360).
    • Direct everyone’s attention to the side of the handout headed, “Sin’s Impact on Others.”
    • Ask: “What were Abner’s sins?” (he put Ish-bosheth on the throne of Israel in defiance of God’s will, resulting in a bloody civil war; ask the students to write this on their handout).
    • Ask: “How did Abner’s sins hurt others?” (380 men of Israel and Judah died, leaving hundreds of families without sons, husbands, or fathers; ask the students to write this on their handout).
    • Summarize: Abner’s sin of making Ish-bosheth king and inciting a bloody civil war cost the lives of hundreds of soldiers, causing grief and hardship to hundreds of families.

 

PERSONAL APPLICATION: Remind the students that the title of this lesson is Sin’s Impact on Others.  Tell them we have discovered ways the sins of certain individuals hurt many other people.

Direct everyone’s attention to the side of the handout headed, “Sin’s Impact on Others.”  Briefly review the lesson, pointing out the impact and cost of the sins of Saul, the man who claimed to have killed Saul, Ish-bosheth, and Abner.

Direct everyone’s attention to the board and read the statement, “I’m not Hurting Anyone but Myself.”  Tell the class when it comes to sin, that statement is NEVER true.

Stress the fact that our sin always hurts others.  If we disobey God, our family, friends, and church will suffer.  Ask: “Do you want to avoid hurting your family, friends, and others?”

Ask everyone to bow their head and close their eyes.  Urge them to confess their sin, turn away from it, and obey God in everything they know to do, so they can avoid hurting themselves and others.  Allow a moment for silent prayer, and then voice a closing prayer.

 

CONCLUSION: Encourage everyone to avoid sin, so they will not hurt themselves and others.

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