This week's Small Group Guide is composed of questions from this week's GPS Guide. The questions relate to the Scripture for that particular day. You can download the full week's GPS as a printable document for the context of each question below (in the printable version, the recommended small group questions are marked with a special bullet point).
Verses 23-24 suggest the reason the Israelite people hailed Saul as their king. He had an imposing physical air—he “looked the part of a king.” This was essential background to the story we’ll read in a couple of days of David’s anointing as king. In what ways do people today still often judge potential leaders in any field mainly on external criteria, and often miss other important qualities for good or ill?
The Israelites demanded that Samuel name a king “like all the other nations have” (cf. 1 Samuel 8:5). Yet, unlike other Middle Eastern nations, Israel never had an absolute monarchy. The moral authority of prophets (e.g. Samuel, Elijah, Nathan or Jeremiah) always checked and challenged the kings. In what ways can we as Christians, living in very different conditions, still serve as prophetic salt and light in our community’s life?
The Hebrew historian wrote that after Samuel anointed David, “The Lord’s spirit came over David from that point forward.” The same history told of some awful mistakes David made. Tradition connected both the serene Psalm 23 and the deeply remorseful Psalm 51 with David’s name. How have you learned the need to daily renew your loyalty to God? What makes it vital for you, like David, to remember that even when you badly miss the path, God always offers mercy and a fresh start?
We most often think something “pursuing” us is bad. Psalm 23:6 reversed that, saying, “Goodness and faithful love will pursue me all the days of my life.” Were there times when you, like so many people, tried to ignore or avoid God’s presence? In what ways have God’s goodness and faithful love pursued you even if you tried to get away from them?
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