top of page

1 Samuel 15:34-16:13

Lesson Focus Good looks and a good heart aren’t always enough to help us be as faithful as we should be.

Lesson Outcomes Through this lesson, students should:

  1. Become familiar with the beginning of the narrative concerning King David.

  2. Understand that receiving the gift of the Holy Spirit does not always mean we will be faithful.

  3. Learn that we must participate with the Spirit’s work in our lives if we are to be the people God has called us to be and do the work God has called us to do.

Catch Up on the Story Saul is currently king over Israel. Back in 1 Samuel chapter 8, the people begged Samuel to anoint a king so that they could be just like everyone else.  For some time, Samuel has functioned as Israel’s de facto leader. Indeed, he’s the primary religious leader in Israel, even though he’s not a priest.  His connection and communication with God grant him the authority to play kingmaker as well.

Though Saul is tall and good-looking, everything a king should be for some, he has not been the faithful kind of leader God desired he be. On more than one occasion, he has not followed the directions he has been given. The most recent occasion will be the last.

God told Samuel to direct Saul to settle an old score with the Amalekites. Everything and everyone is to be destroyed. Rather than following his instructions, Saul takes King Agag of the Amalekite prisoner. Saul’s men capture the best of the livestock with the intention that those animals would be offered up to God as a sacrifice.

At this point, we don’t know if they would have actually carried through with the sacrifices or just kept the animals for themselves. Either way, it does not matter because Saul has once again been disobedient.

Samuel learns about Saul’s disobedience and is directed to inform Saul that his kingship will be taken away, though no word is given on how that will occur or who the new king will be. We only know that “The Lord has torn the kingdom of Israel from you this very day, and has given it to a neighbor of yours, who is better than you” (1 Samuel 15:28).[1]

The David Story Begins To this point in the narrative, Samuel and Saul have been the main characters. Now the attention shifts from Saul to David, and Samuel will only play a minimal role.

Samuel is sad that God