Summary: To lead the children to understand some of the errors to avoid through Saul’s unfaithfulness to God.
Unit 12 – Faithfulness
Lesson 34 – Saul Disobeys God (Illustrates the Opposite of Faithfulness)
Preparation for the Teacher
1. Aim: To lead the people to understand some of the errors to avoid through Saul’s unfaithfulness to God.
2. Explanation of the Aim: Faithfulness can be defined as responding in God’s way to everything that happens – both big and small. Another way of looking at faithfulness is by staying true to God in my thoughts, words and actions. Saul, as the king of Israel is an example of someone who failed to be faithfully obedient to God. Even though Saul tried to explain to Samuel that he tried to complete the God given tasks he was assigned, yet his refusal to obey all the commands of God led to his rejection as king. Teach the people that faithful obedience to God means doing all of the will of God with a right attitude, motive and selfless spirit.
3. The Bible Story: Jesus told His disciples, “Go into all the nations of the world… teaching them to obey ALL that I have commanded you.” (Matt. 28:19) God expects us to obey all of His commands. Anything less than full obedience is disobedience to the Almighty. God commanded Saul to destroy everything that belonged to the Amalekites. God used this as a test of Saul’s obedience, but his faithfulness was incomplete, the result of a proud, rebellious spirit. Saul chose to destroy only the refuse, that was good for little. Whatever is not given completely to obey God will soon be destroyed as a sacrifice to the justice of God. Samuel summarizes Saul’s sin when he admonishes him by saying, “To obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed is better than the fat of rams. For rebellion is like the sin of witchcraft (divination) and arrogance like the evil of idolatry. Because you have rejected the word of the Lord, he has rejected you as king.” (I Sam. 15:22,23) Do not set your own will above the commands of God or you will face His wrath.
4. Prepare to Teach: The INTRODUCTION helps the people explain what it means to be faithfully obedient to God. Ask any of the people if they can give a good definition of faithful obedience (Faithfulness can be defined as responding in God’s way to everything that happens – both big and small. Another way of looking at faithfulness is by staying true to God in my thoughts, words and actions). Ask the people if they can tell what happens to someone who is willfully disobedient? See if the people know what God rejected Saul as King of Israel? Discover if any of the people know the difference between what Saul did to offer a sacrifice instead of complete obedience to God? The BIBLE STORY focuses on showing the people the errors to avoid in the life of disobedient Saul. Explain how pride, selfish ambition and inattention to God’s word leads people to the sin of disobedience. The MEANING FOR OUR LIVES directs the people to make applications from the lesson. Ask the people to describe the kinds of attitudes that contribute to a disobedient spirit. What are some of the consequences of being disobedient to God? What are some of the remedies for people who are disobedient? What are some of the reasons why God is not pleased with sacrifices, but only our complete obedience?