Introduction: What does God require of you? Micah 6:8 answers, “To
act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.” The
examples we studied this week and the last of God’s leaders of old,
might make you wonder how they fit Micah’s answer. What comes across
strongly is that we need to stand up for the honor of God in
challenging situations. Let’s jump into our study of the Bible and
learn more about what God has in mind for us!

  1. David

    1. Read 1 Samuel 17:20-24. Do you think that David thought he
      might be able to get in a little unauthorized fighting?

      1. What do you think was David’s reaction when he saw
        the Israelites fearfully run away from Goliath? (Read
        1 Samuel 17:26. David thinks this is a disgrace. God
        has been dishonored by these cowardly men.)

    2. Read 1 Samuel 17:28. What is Eliab suggesting about David?
      (That David is unimportant, conceited, and in truth a
      coward who is afraid to fight and only wants to watch.)

      1. Why would Eliab say such terrible things about his
        brother? (He knows that is what David is thinking
        about him (indeed, the entire army), and so Eliab
        insults David on those same points.)

    3. Read 1 Samuel 17:31. What does this tell us about Saul?
      (He was desperate. Why would the king call on a young
      shepherd boy?)

    4. Read 1 Samuel 17:32-37. In whom is David putting his
      confidence? (In God. His faith is extraordinary.)

    5. Read 1 Samuel 17:40-44. What is Goliath’s view of the
      challenge presented by David? (He thought it was an
      insult. We have pretty much universal agreement on the
      odds of David winning. It shows even more clearly the
      desperation of King Saul.)

    6. Read 1 Samuel 17:45-47. What factor has David injected
      into the fight? (The supernatural. David clearly states
      that God is the One who will win this fight. David is not
      taking credit for his anticipated victory.)

    7. Read 1 Samuel 17:48-51. Re-read 1 Samuel 17:43. What has
      Goliath missed? (The sling. He anticipates hand-to-hand
      combat, with David using a “stick.”)

      1. Does Goliath invoke supernatural power? (Yes. “The
        Philistine cursed David by his gods.”)

      2. What is the lesson from David for our lives? What are
        your thoughts about David?

    8. Read 2 Samuel 11:1. What is different about King David?
      (He apparently lost his desire to take on the bad guys.)

      1. Why is this? Age? Laziness? The “good life?”

    9. Read 2 Samuel 11:2. Do you have a more difficult time
      sleeping if you don’t have enough physical activity?

      1. Does Bathsheba know that anyone on the roof of the
        palace can see her? Do you think she knows that
        David prowls the roof at night?

    10. Read 2 Samuel 11:3-4. At what point does David sin? When
      he sends for her knowing she is married? Or, when he
      sleeps with her?

    11. Read 2 Samuel 11:5. What has changed in David’s life?
      (David’s secret sin is about to become public.)

    12. David tries, unsuccessfully, to conceal his sin. David
      then arranges to have Bathsheba’s husband killed in
      battle, along with other soldiers. Read 2 Samuel 11:26-27.
      How do you think young David becomes old King David?

    13. Read 2 Samuel 12:7-10 and Hebrews 11:32-34. How does David
      get included as one of the heros of faith?

      1. How is David like Sampson, who is also listed as a
        hero? (Both had a problem with women.)

    14. Read 2 Samuel 12:11-14. What do we learn about sinning
      against “our neighbor?” (Our sin against others comes back
      to harm us. This kind of sin has terrible practical

      1. What does God seem most concerned about? (God’s
        enemies show utter contempt.)

      2. Re-read 2 Samuel 12:13. Do you agree with David, that
        his sin is against God? (This is what we discussed
        last week. In the first half of the Ten Commandments,
        our service to God is the most important concern.
        Many think David sinned against Bathsheba’s husband
        and the other soldiers who were killed. But, David
        and God understand that the primary issue is how this
        impacts God, how it impacts the battle between good
        and evil. You avoid violating the second half of the
        Ten Commandments because you are not a moron and
        don’t want to suffer. You obey the first half
        because of allegiance to God.)

        1. In what way do the two halves of the Ten
          Commandments impact each other? (Both David and
          Sampson made God look bad by their sexual

  2. Hezekiah

    1. Read 2 Kings 19:9-13. What do you understand to be the
      essence of King Sennacherib’s letter to King Hezekiah? (No
      god has been able to stand against me, and your God will
      do no better.)

    2. Read 2 Kings 19:14-16. Why doesn’t Hezekiah say “A lot of
      your people will die if you don’t do something? Your
      nation will be destroyed if you don’t intervene?”
      (Hezekiah has it exactly right, the issue is about the
      honor of God. He says to God this is an “insult” to you.)

    3. Read 2 Kings 19:17-19. What does this teach you about your
      prayers when you are in trouble?

    4. Read 2 Kings 19:20-22 and 2 Kings 19:27-28. Does God know
      where our enemies live?

    5. Read 2 Kings 19:32-34. Why will God save Jerusalem and its
      people? (For His sake and David’s.)

    6. Read 2 Kings 19:35-36. Does King Hezekiah have to risk his
      life in battle? (No.)

      1. What does this teach you about the problems you face
        – if you stand up for the honor of God?

  3. Nehemiah

    1. The first verses of Nehemiah report on the terrible
      condition of Jerusalem after the Babylonian destruction.
      Read Nehemiah 1:4-7. How does Nehemiah start out his
      prayer? (With the glory of God.)

      1. How have God’s people failed Him? (Part of the glory
        of God is that He keeps His promises, the problem is
        that we do not uphold our side of the deal.)

    2. Read Nehemiah 1:8-9. This “instruction” to Moses was a
      long time before. Is it still a valid promise?

      1. If so, why? (Nehemiah ties the promise to Moses to
        God’s glory. He refers to Jerusalem being chosen “as
        a dwelling for my Name.”)

    3. Read Nehemiah 1:10-11. If you were looking at Nehemiah’s
      prayer as an argument, explain its logical flow? (He
      argues that God has a contract (“covenant”) with those who
      love Him and obey Him. That contract is that if you obey
      God, life will be better, and this will bring glory to
      God’s name. He confesses that the people let God down,
      but He says that he and a group of others want to enter
      again into this contract.)

      1. Is this contract open to you? (I think so.)

        1. Every contract presumably has some overall
          purpose, and a benefit to both of the parties
          to the contract. What is the overall purpose of
          this contract? (To advance the glory of God.)

        2. What is the benefit to humans? (When God’s
          followers do well, God is glorified.)

          1. Is this a consistent rule? (No. Sometimes
            God is glorified when we are faithful
            through adversity.)

    4. Friend, the goal of our life should be to bring glory to
      God. How does your life bring glory to God? If it is hard
      to say, why not ask the Holy Spirit to open your eyes to
      opportunities to bring God glory?

  4. Next week: Victory in the Wilderness.