The books of Samuel continue to narrate the significant transition from the period of judges to that of kings in Israel’s history. Chapters 8 through 15 highlight the rise and fall of Israel’s first King, Saul.
BIBLE READING: 1 Samuel 8-15
MEMORY VERSES: “But Samuel declared: “Does the LORD delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as much as in obedience to His voice? Behold, obedience is better than sacrifice, and attentiveness is better than the fat of rams.” 1 Samuel 15:22.
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BIBLE STUDY NOTES FOR TEENS
OVERVIEW OF KING SAUL
- Request for a King (1 Samuel 8): The people of Israel, desiring to be like other nations, reject God’s kingship over them and ask Samuel to appoint a king. Despite Samuel’s warnings, they persist in their request.
- Anointing of Saul (1 Samuel 9-10): Saul, a humble man from the tribe of Benjamin, is chosen by God and anointed by Samuel to be Israel’s first king.
- Saul’s Victories and Confirmation as King (1 Samuel 11-12): Saul leads Israel to victory against their enemies, and the people reaffirm Saul as their king. Samuel gives a farewell speech, reminding the people to fear and serve the Lord faithfully.
- Saul’s Disobedience and Rejection by God (1 Samuel 13-15): Saul disobeys God’s commands on two separate occasions. 1) offering a sacrifice only the priests could make and 2) Sparing King Agag and the best Amalekite livestock, despite being ordered to destroy everything. As a result of his disobedience, God rejected Saul as king.
1. DON’T TRY TO BE LIKE THE WORLD – 1 SAMUEL 8
2. GOD REQUIRES TOTAL OBEDIENCE – 1 SAMUEL 15
3. FINISH WELL – 1 SAMUEL 13
4. OUR SINS WILL BE REVEALED – 1 SAMUEL 15
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YOUTH GAMES AND ACTIVITIES – King Saul
FOLLOW THE INSTRUCTIONS
Materials needed: Blank papers, pencils, a set of simple pictures (one per pair).
- In each pair, one person is the ‘instructor’ and the other is the ‘drawer’.
- Give each ‘instructor’ a picture. Make sure the ‘drawer’ cannot see it.
- The ‘instructor’ must describe the picture in detail, giving specific instructions to the ‘drawer’ to recreate the picture.
- The ‘drawer’ can only draw based on the verbal instructions given by the ‘instructor’. They cannot ask questions or make assumptions.
- After a set amount of time, have everyone stop. Then, reveal the original pictures and compare them to the drawn pictures.
- Discuss how accurate or inaccurate the drawn pictures are and point out where the instructions were not clear or misunderstood.
- After the game, relate it back to the story of King Saul. Talk about how Saul failed to follow God’s instructions.
PASS THE CROWN
Materials needed: Hat.
- Have the youth sit in a circle. Use a hat to represent the crown.
- The ‘crown’ is passed around the circle while music plays.
- When the music stops, the person holding the crown shares a way they can obey God in their lives.
- Discuss how Saul’s disobedience led to his fall and the importance of obedience in our walk with God.
Materials needed: None.
- Have all participants sit in a circle, with one player chosen to be the “guesser”. The “guesser” should leave the room or stand in a place where they can’t see the group for a moment.
- While the “guesser” is away, choose one person to be the “leader”. The “leader” will start making movements (e.g., clapping, nodding, tapping foot) that everyone else in the group must copy.
- The “guesser” is then brought back into the room and stands in the middle of the circle.
- Their job is to observe and guess who the “leader” is while everyone continues copying the leader’s actions.
- The “guesser” has three chances to identify the “leader”.
- Discuss how the Israelites wanted a king so they could be like other nations around them, copying their system of governance instead of trusting in God’s leadership.