During the first part of the Easter season, we’ll be looking at the story of David and Goliath to understand the power of the resurrection in our lives. Rather than living in fear, complacency, anger, and rejection, God has opened up a new way for us to live in him. Through God, the “goliaths” of our lives no longer have the power over us. This week, we’ll look at how God, through Christ, has set us free from complacency.
If you could only have one what would you choose: a really comfortable life or a really meaningful life? Why?
1 Samuel 17:2-3 & 20-24; 1 Samuel 5
- How would you define a good life? How does comfort factor into that definition?
Read 1 Samuel 5.
Leader’s Note: The ark of the covenant was a large chest through which God would allow himself to be specially present. In the previous chapter, Israel brought the ark into battle thinking it would ensure victory, but they were defeated.
- Put yourself in the Philistine’s shoes, how would you perceive of the God of Israel based on these events?
- Why do you think God would do this to the Philistines? What does it say about God’s character and relationship with Israel?
Leader’s Note: The ark was part of God’s special covenant with Israel. God’s covenant with them made it possible for his holy presence to exist among them, even when they strayed. The Philistines were not part of this covenant, did not obey God’s laws, and thus could not be found acceptable to God at that time.
Read 1 Samuel 17:2-3 & 17: 20-24.
- There is a month and a half between these two sets of verses. Put yourself in the Philistines’ shoes again, how would you perceive Israel in these verses, especially in light of 1 Samuel 5?
- Now put yourself in Israel’s shoes and think back on the stories of 1 Samuel 5. How would that make you perceive God? What would you be expecting of God as you sit on the battle lines?
- Considering expensive it was/is to maintain an army, why hasn’t Saul ordered the men to fight? Better yet, why hasn’t he ordered them to flee?
- While a battlefield might be far from comfortable in the traditional sense, how might the people of Israel be choosing their personal comfort over their purpose?
- What makes David’s attitude so different from the rest of Israel. How has his experience with God prepared him for this moment.
Leader’s Note: It may be good to peruse 1 Samuel 16-17 as a group to understand why David refuses the status quo.
Read the Following Quote.
“The more you try to avoid suffering, the more you suffer, because smaller and more insignificant things begin to torture you, in proportion to your fear of being hurt. The one who does most to avoid suffering is, in the end, the one who suffers most.” – Thomas Merton
- What do you think of this statement and how do you see it playing out in the story of Israel in 1 Samuel 17?
- Do you see the dynamic mentioned in the quote in your own life? In what way?
- This week’s message discussed the idea of letting go of complacency and choosing to open ourselves up to God’s call on our lives. What do you think of this idea? What excites you/scares you about it?
- Have you ever felt like you’ve heard God’s call in your life? What was happening at the time? What did God call you to do? Did you do it? What was it like?
- We all struggle to hear from God at different times in our lives but sometimes we grow complacent in that silence. What could you do this week to open yourself up to God’s voice and call in your life?
Diving Deeper: Losing Your Life
Read Luke 9:23-25
- How do you think most people try to “save” their lives? In other words, if they “lost everything,” what would they have lost?
- What do you think it means to “lose your life” for Jesus’ sake?
- In your own walk of faith, what areas have you found it difficult to lose control of (i.e. where is it hard to let “Jesus take the wheel” in your life? :p) Why is that?
- What might it look like to try to lose your life for Jesus this week? How might Jesus’ saving grace meet you anew in that moment?