READ: 1 Samuel 26-28
THINK: What would you have done to Saul if you were David? What would you have done to David if you were Saul? Both Saul and David were anointed by God to be king. One chose a path of jealousy and violence. The other, although not without sin, repeatedly demonstrated respectful submission, a desire to please God, and a deep trust in God's ability to bring justice in His perfect timing. Although God places people in leadership, not all choices they make will be godly, wise, or fair. Human leaders will at times make poor choices. Some may not even conduct themselves in a way that seems worthy of respect. Still, it's not our place to pass judgment. God expects His followers to conduct themselves in a gracious manner toward leaders, regardless of whether that respect is returned.
RESPOND: Why wouldn't David allow Abishai to kill Saul? (See 26:9 note.) How did this show character and reliance on God? What did Saul acknowledge about David as a result of this encounter (26:21)? Do you think Saul was sincere in his promise not to harm David? Why or why not? To whom did David entrust his life (26:24)? Did David believe Saul's promise not to harm him? Why or why not (27:1)? How and why did David show a lack of trust in God when he took refuge among the Philistines? (See 27:1 note.) How did this lead to actions that weren't approved by God? Why didn't God answer Saul when he inquired about the Philistines (28:6)? What ungodly practice did Saul resort to in an effort to find guidance (28:7ff)? (See 28:6 note.) Does the account of Saul and the witch of Endor in any way justify consulting with mediums, spiritists or others who attempt to discern events by ungodly means? Why or why not? (See 28:12 note.) What judgment was about to come on Saul for his actions (28:19)?
PRAY: Ask God for wisdom and discernment and sensitivity to His voice so you can tell what He wants you to do and what He wants you to avoid. Give God thanks for His guidance and protection in your life.
ACT: If you've gotten "ahead of God" or taken a situation into your own hands that He wants you to leave with Him, demonstrate faith and patience by giving the situation back to God. Then, let Him guide you in His time and way. Also, if you've openly criticized or caused trouble for any leaders at church, school or home, apologize to them and make things right. Whether they're right or wrong, respond graciously as an example of Christ's love and character.
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