The Monarchy – Part 3 “How long will you mourn…?” I Sam. 16:1-13 September 25, 2016
I. THANKFUL for an EASIER text. (v.1-13)
A. God is looking FORWARD, Samuel’s STRUGGLING. (v.1-3)
B. The TENSION of the MOMENT. (v.4-5)
C. CHOOSING the next KING. (v.6-13)
After all the questions inspired by last week’s text, it’s nice to focus in on one that is
more easily accepted. God reminds Samuel that even though Saul has failed, God has
things well in hand. There is a king to be chosen, and Samuel is the one to do it.
1. When have you felt stuck mourning for something you lost? How did that resolve?
2. Have you ever felt that God asked you to do something specific? What was it? Why
did you think God was asking you to do it?
3. When has obeying God felt risky for you? Why?
4. When have you realized that God sees situations and people differently than you?
How did that realization come?
II. How God SHAPES His PROPHET. (v.1-13)
A. God REVEALS Samuel’s HEART. (v.1)
B. God CHANGES the FOCUS. (v.1)
C. God SENDS him on a MISSION. (v.1-4)
D. God TEACHES as Samuel GOES. (v.3,7-13)
One of the gifts that we receive from the scripture is the chance to watch the spiritual
formation of God’s followers. Samuel is being shaped and transformed as he goes
through the process of being a prophet to the people of Israel. It’s not like God gets you
to a certain stage and then uses you for His purposes. He shapes you as He uses you.
That’s good news…
5. Do you ever slow down long enough to let God help you peel back the layers of what
is in your own heart? If so, how, and if not, why not?
6. In what area of your life is God calling you to change the focus of your thoughts – to
“fill your horn with oil and be on your way”?
7. What would you say is the specific mission that God has called you to? (Be
specific…not just witness for Jesus. Think about the where and how.) If you’re not
sure what that might be ask your group to help you think that through.
III. Staying OPEN to the SHAPING of God. (Phil. 2:12-13)
A. REALIZING our ATTACHMENTS. (v.1; Ps. 139:23-24)
B. SHAPING happens on the WAY. (v.3,7,12; Jn. 13:7)
C. Seeing OTHERS as God SEES. (v.7; II Cor. 5:14-16)
D. The IMPLICATIONS for our IDENTITY. (v.7; Col. 3:3-4; I Jn 3:1-3)
So how do we keep our hearts open to receive and to surrender to the shaping that God
wants to do in our own lives. We have to learn some of the same lessons that Samuel
learned. This is not a transfer of spiritual knowledge, this is the development of a
relationship of trust between ourselves and God. That can only happen incrementally,
over time, as we walk it out. It’s a lifetime process, and one that God is committed to.
8. What things do you struggle to let go, even when you know they seem to hold you
9. What is your reaction to the statement “Patient Trust”? (see below)
10.When are the implications of seeing all people (including yourself) as deeply loved
by God? What might that change about your life in the coming week?
Above all, trust in the slow work of God.
We are quite naturally impatient in everything to reach the end without delay.
We should like to skip the intermediate stages.
We are impatient of being on the way to something unknown, something new.
And yet it is a law of progress that it is made by passing through some stages of
instability – and that it may take a very long time.
And so I think it is with you.
Your ideas mature gradually—let them grow.
Let them shape themselves without undue haste.
Don’t try to force them on, as though you could be today what time (that is to say, grace
and circumstance acting on your own good will) will make of you tomorrow.
Only God could say what this new spirit gradually forming within you will be.
Give our Lord the benefit of believing that His hand is leading you.
And accept the anxiety of feeling yourself in suspense and incomplete.
—Pierre Teilhard de Chardin