Desperation and Disobedience

Study Guide

Israel accepts Saul as their king. He has proven himself victorious, and they have not yet seen his failure for what it is; however, we see that his victories have been in vain, his leadership autonomous, and his strategies of human wisdom and strength. Without seeking God and with himself at the center, Saul reacts in impatience and isolation and is ultimately rejected as king by God.
  1. Think of a time where you have felt desperate. How did you respond to the crisis? How did you process that situation, and for what were you desperate?

  2. When you have sinned, who or what do you most naturally blame—your circumstances, spouse, friends, etc.? What would it look like to take responsibility for your shortcomings and run to God?

  3. Has there been a time recently when your actions failed to line up with your professed faith? Think about what (specifically) you were allowing to direct your actions in those circumstances. How can you move towards dependence on God instead?

  4. Does your life most resemble the “self” side of the graphic or the “Christ” side? In other words, are you living a life from the outside-in (reactive, rushed, manipulating, and controlling) or from the inside-out (peaceful, quiet, humble, in communion with God)? What are ways you worship your “self” daily?

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  5. In what ways are you living rushed, anxious, restless, and impatient? How are you going to create space in your life to seek God’s guidance and wait on him? What can practicing solitude, silence, and prayer practically look like in your life?

Key Points
  • The tragedy of Saul’s life is that he did not have a right relationship with God.

  • Saul undermines the structure of Israel’s leadership instituted by God.

  • When we take action without seeking God or obeying his word, we create a mess—controlling people, manipulating circumstances, and arrogantly fighting to get our way.

  • We don’t get to subject God our Creator to our desires.

  • Our autonomy and worship of self is revealed when we allow the crisis of the situation to direct our actions rather than going to God.

  • Because we have assurance of what God is doing in our lives and what he has done for us already, we can walk into desperate circumstances knowing and being secure that Christ is with us.

  • We can live a humble life recognizing that the world does not depend on us. We can rest from work and hurry and depend on God.

Other Scripture References

Scripture: 1 Samuel 13:1-14

Topics: Autonomy, Submission