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The judges and kings of Israel was God’s concession to the people. They wanted (and often needed) rulers to keep them moving forward in faith. Unfortunately, their rulers didn’t always remain faithful, themselves. Faithfulness to God is often counter-intuitive—defeating an enemy with only a handful of soldiers; NOT re-enforcing the military and yet remaining secure against the attacks of others. It takes a lot of courage and faith to do what our instincts tell us won’t work—just because God tells us it will. This is the challenge the leaders of Israel faced. And most of them couldn’t do it. Most of them went back to old ways of being—worshiping idols, sacrificing innocents, and massacring the weak. We will see how these action brought horrible consequences to the people of Israel. And yet, God remained (and remains) faithful.

Work together as a family/household as you participate in the activities and readings.

Read: Read 1 Samuel 9:1-2 and skim the rest of the chapter. Why do you think Samuel chose Saul to be king? Read 1 Samuel 13:13-14. What happened to Saul?

Read 1 Samuel 16:1-13—Who would become Saul’s replacement and why was he an unlikely choice?

Read 1 King 11:1-8—What was Solomon like? Remember, Solomon was the one who was tasked with building a Temple to God in Jerusalem. And yet, he also later built worshiping places for various idols worshiped by his wives.

Watch: Summaries of 1 Samuel: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QJOju5Dw0V0 and 2 Samuel: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YvoWDXNDJgs

Discuss: What characteristics make for a good ruler? What makes for a bad one?

Homework Questions