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Lesson 1

From Shepherd to King

Chronology Summary

The Chosen One (I Samuel 16)

Saul failed as the Lord's anointed one. God chose a new king to rule over his people. God ordered Samuel to go anoint one of the sons of Jesse, a man from Bethlehem. Samuel voiced concern that Saul would kill him if he found out the purpose of his journey. God provided a camouflage to conceal the purpose of the visit. Samuel was to appear as though he was traveling to perform a sacrifice. God told Samuel to anoint the man as selected by God himself. (I Samuel 16:1-5)

The sons of Jesse presented themselves before God and Samuel. Samuel, looking at the outward appearance, thought God would have selected Eliab. God was not looking at the outward, but the heart of the person. Eliab was not selected. All of Jesse's sons presented themselves before God and Samuel, except the youngest - David. Samuel inquired as to the location of the remaining son. Jesse explained that his youngest boy was out tending sheep. When David arrived, God instructed Samuel to anoint him. Samuel did as instructed. (I Samuel 16:6-13)

From that time forward, God was with David. The spirit of God left Saul and evil spirits caused him grief. Saul's servants recognized the need for someone to soothe Saul. They recommended that Saul procure the services of a musician to play the harp. This music would help calm Saul when the evil spirit was troubling him. One of the men recommended Saul employ the musical services of David, son of Jesse. When the request for David's services reached Jesse, he loaded a donkey with gifts and sent it with his son to Saul. David was skillful in refreshing the spirit of Saul when the evil spirit struck. (I Samuel 16:14-23)

Battling the Giant (I Samuel 17)

The Israelites gathered to wage battle against the Philistines. The Philistine battle champion, Goliath, taunted the Israelites. Goliath was in all respects a giant, from his enormous physical attributes to his weapons. Goliath proposed an alternative to battling armies. One Israelite would advance and do single hand combat with Goliath. The Israelites, understanding the huge physical disadvantage this proposal carried, became afraid. (I Samuel 17:1-11)

Jesse ordered David to go check on the welfare of his older brothers who served in Saul's army. David was instructed to present a "care" package to his brothers and gifts to their commanders. (I Samuel 17:12-19)

While David met with his brothers, Goliath came out and again taunted the Israelites. David observed the cowardly reaction of his kinsmen. He inquired as to the rewards for killing the Philistine. The Israelites indicated that greatness would come to the one who killed the Philistine giant. (I Samuel 17:20-27)

Eliab, David's oldest brother, chastised David to attempting to interfere in the military affairs. Saul heard of David's questions and sent for him. David volunteered to take on Goliath. Saul, still fearful of the giant, explained the disadvantage David held. David tried to reassure Saul by telling him how he had killed a lion and bear to protect his father's livestock. The defense worked. Saul tried to put his battle gear on David and prepared to send him to the giant. David, confident in his spiritual battle gear, rejected Saul's armor. David armed himself with a stick, sling, several smooth stones, and his faith. (I Samuel 17:28-40)

David approached the giant. Goliath saw that David came forward virtually unarmed. David and Goliath exchanged threats. David then ran to meet the giant. He took one stone and slung it at Goliath. God guided the stone to strike the giant in his forehead. Goliath fell to the ground where David beheaded. The Philistines fled in fear. (I Samuel 17:41-51)

The stunned Israelites pursued the Philistines. David carried Goliath's severed head and went to Jerusalem. (I Samuel 17:52-58)

Psalm 23 - The Lord is my shepherd

  1. What was David doing when Samuel considered his older brothers as candidates to become the next king? What is required for success in this role?
  2. What is significant about the shepherd causing his sheep to "lie down in green pastures" or being led by "still waters"?
  3. How does the shepherd "restore the soul"?
  4. What does it mean to have your "cup run over" in life? Is this something we should hope for or expect in our lives?

Psalm 19 - The heavens declare the glory of God

  1. How might David's occupation as a young man influence his awareness of God? What can we learn about God and our own perceptions from this Psalm?
  2. What is noteworthy about David's view of God's Word? Why was it important to him?

Psalm 8 - What is man that you are mindful of him?

  1. What was the source of David's strength?
  2. Why was David so willing to face Goliath?