October 22, 2023 – 1 Samuel 9 – 10
Lesson Date: October 22, 2023
Focal Scripture Passage: 1 Samuel 9:1-10, 15-17, 20-21; 10:1-7, 9-11, 17-24
AIM: To lead students to discover that Israel’s continued rejection of God’s leadership caused them to desire the wrong thing, and to commit themselves to desiring the Lord and His best for their lives.
Before class: Read the notes on 1 Samuel 9 – 10 found in the Sunday School Teacher Book. Enlist volunteers to look up Matthew 6:33 and Psalm 37:4, and to be prepared to read them to the class when called upon (during the Personal Application step). Write the word “Desire” on the board.
INTRODUCTION (Create Learning Readiness): Direct the students’ attention to the word “Desire” written on the board. Ask them what that word means (to want or long for something).
Tell the class that desire is a natural part of life; for example, when we are hungry we desire food, and when we get tired we desire sleep. Tell them that all of our desires, however, are not good.
Ask: “Have you ever desired or longed for something, but later realized the thing you wanted wasn’t good or satisfying?” (they undoubtedly have). Ask: “Have you ever worked hard to achieve or obtain something, investing your time and your money, but later regretted the effort and expense you put into obtaining it?” (they probably have).
Explain that the world’s name for this experience is “buyer’s remorse.” It refers to making a purchase, but later realizing that the thing you purchased did not bring the joy and satisfaction you hoped it would. Tell them that “buyer’s remorse” is not limited to the retail world; in fact, we sometimes desire the wrong things from God, asking for things that are not His will.
Tell the class that the title of today’s lesson is Desiring the Wrong Thing. Tell them as we study 1 Samuel 9 and 10, we will discover that Israel’s rejection of God caused them to settle for man’s best, rather than trusting God to give them His best.
HEART OF THE LESSON (Bible Study):
- Remind the students that we are studying the Old Testament book of 1 Samuel.
- Ask: “What was last week’s lesson about?” (Conforming to the World; we discovered three serious warnings about the danger of conforming to the world).
- Ask if any volunteer would recite last week’s memory verse (Rom. 12:2).
- Remind the class that the people of Israel demanded a king so they would be like the other nations, and so their king could lead them and fight their battles.
- Read 1 Samuel 8:22.
- Ask: “What did God tell Samuel?” (give them a king; let them have what they wanted).
- The Choice of Saul.
- Read 1 Samuel 9:1-2.
- Ask: “What do these verses reveal about Saul?” (he was the son of Kish, he was very handsome, and he was very tall).
- Tell the class that from outward appearance, Saul looked like an impressive king.
- Ask: “What tribe of Israel was Saul from?” (Benjamin).
- Remind the students that just before he died, Joseph made prophecies about each of the twelve tribes of Israel.
- Read Genesis 49:8-10.
- Ask: “What tribe did Joseph say would produce Israel’s kings?” (the tribe of Judah).
- Stress the fact that Saul may have been man’s best candidate to be king, but he was not from the tribe God chose to rule over Israel.
- Explain the following:
- In 1 Samuel 9:3-5, the donkeys belonging to Kish wandered away and got lost.
- Kish sent his son Saul and a servant to find the missing donkeys.
- After searching for a few days, Saul was ready to give up and go home.
- Ask a volunteer to read 1 Samuel 9:6.
- Ask: “What did the servant suggest?” (that they consult the “man of God” for help locating the missing donkeys).
- State that many people only turn to religion or seek God to solve their problems.
- Ask a volunteer to read 1 Samuel 9:7-10.
- Tell the class that the “man of God” they went to see was Samuel; God used the missing donkeys and the suggestion of the servant to bring Saul to Samuel.
- Read 1 Samuel 9:15-17.
- Ask: “According to verse 15, when did the Lord tell Samuel that Saul was coming?” (the day before).
- Ask: “What does verse 16 say Samuel was supposed to do?” (anoint Saul as king of Israel).
- Ask: “According to the last phrase of verse 16, why did God tell Samuel to anoint Saul as king?” (because He heard the cries of the people, desiring a king).
- Ask: “What does verse 17 say happened when Samuel saw Saul?” (the Lord told him Saul was the man he was to anoint as king).
- Ask a volunteer to read 1 Samuel 9:20-21.
- Tell the class that Samuel told Saul the missing donkeys had been found.
- Ask: “What did Samuel say about Saul in verse 20?” (he was the fulfillment of all the desires of Israel for a king to lead them and fight for them).
- Ask: “How did Saul reply in verse 21?” (he protested, saying he was from the least important family of the smallest tribe in Israel; this was probably false modesty).
- Summarize: God orchestrated the circumstances to give Israel the kind of king they desired, one who was tall and strong and handsome.
- The Confirmation of Saul.
- Ask a volunteer to read 1 Samuel 10:1.
- Ask: “What did Samuel do?” (anointed Saul’s head with oil).
- Explain that this action symbolized God setting a person apart for special service; this anointing confirmed that Saul was to be Israel’s king.
- Read 1 Samuel 10:2-5.
- Tell the students that Samuel gave three very specific signs to confirm that Saul was to be Israel’s king.
- Ask a volunteer to read 1 Samuel 10:6-7.
- Ask: “According to verse 6, what else would confirm that Saul was to be Israel’s king?” (the Spirit of the Lord would come upon Saul, cause him to prophesy along with the prophets, and change him).
- Ask: “What else does the end of verse 7 say those signs would confirm?” (that God was with Saul).
- Read 1 Samuel 10:9-10.
- Ask: “What four things happened when Saul left Samuel?” (1 – God gave Saul a new heart; 2 – all three of the signs described in verses 2-5 came to pass; 3 – the Spirit of God came upon Saul; and 4 – Saul prophesied [spoke the word of God] along with the other prophets).
- Ask a volunteer to read 1 Samuel 10:11.
- Tell the class that everyone who knew Saul was amazed by the transformation God caused.
- Summarize: God used Samuel and signs to confirm that Saul was indeed the man Israel desired to be their king.
- The Coronation of Saul.
- Tell the class that Samuel had privately anointed Saul as king, which was confirmed by miraculous signs, but now it was time to publicly present Israel her new king.
- Ask a volunteer to read 1 Samuel 10:17.
- Ask: “What did Samuel do?” (called all the people of Israel to gather at Mizpeh; locate on the Map).
- Read 1 Samuel 10:18-19.
- Ask: “According to verse 18, what had the Lord done for Israel?” (brought them up out of Egypt, delivered them from the Egyptians, and delivered them from all the other nations that oppressed them; in other words, He made them a nation and protected them).
- Ask: “What does verse 19 say Israel did?” (rejected their God who had saved them, desiring a king instead).
- Read 1 Samuel 10:20-22.
- Explain that Samuel cast lots or used some other method to discern God’s will, choosing first the tribe of Benjamin, then the family of Kish, and finally the man Saul.
- Ask: “Where was Saul?” (hiding among the military supplies; this was probably another display of false modesty).
- Ask: “Would you think that to be strange behavior for a man chosen to be king?” (yes).
- Ask a volunteer to read 1 Samuel 10:23-24.
- Ask: “What did the people notice about Saul in verse 23?” (he was very tall).
- Ask: “What did Samuel say about Saul in verse 24?” (this is the man God has chosen to be your king; notice that he stands out above all the people).
- Ask: “What did the people shout in verse 24?” (“God save the king!”).
- Ask everyone to look back at verse 19.
- Ask: “What were the Israelites doing by demanding a king?” (rejecting their God).
- Ask: “What did they ask God to do in verse 24?” (save the king, whom they desired to follow instead of God).
- Summarize: Because Israel rejected God’s leadership, He gave them the kind of king they desired, one who was remarkable in his appearance.
PERSONAL APPLICATION: Direct the students’ attention once again to the word “Desire” written on the board. Remind them that the title of this lesson is Desiring the Wrong Thing.
Ask: “What did Israel desire?” (a king).
Tell the class God gave Israel the king they desired; everything looked fine as we ended chapter 10, but we will soon discover that Saul was not the king Israel needed. State that Israel desired the wrong thing, and because of their stubbornness, God gave them what they wanted.
Tell the students that children sometimes beg and whine for something that is not best for them. On some occasions, a wise parent might grant the child’s request so the child will learn from experience why the thing he begged for was not good.
Stress the fact that it is a dangerous thing for God to give us what we want, instead of what He knows is best for us.
Ask: “How do we guard against desiring the wrong things?”
Ask everyone to turn to Matthew 6, and ask the previously enlisted volunteer to read Matthew 6:33. Ask: “What should we seek first?” (the kingdom of God: God’s will and things that please Him). Ask: “What will God do when we seek Him first?” (give us everything else we need).
Ask everyone to turn to Psalm 37, and ask the previously enlisted volunteer to read Psalm 37:4. Ask: “What will God give us if we delight ourselves in Him?” (the desires of our heart). Stress the fact that when we delight ourselves in the Lord, we will desire things God wants us to have.
Tell the students that we have all desired the wrong things at times. Urge them to commit to desiring the Lord, trusting Him to give them His best. Voice a closing prayer of commitment to desire the Lord first and foremost.
CONCLUSION: Ask everyone to memorize Psalm 37:4. Tell everyone to examine their prayer list this week, to make sure the things they are praying for are pleasing to God.
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