Scripture Text:(click to open in a new window)
1. If you had the power to go back in time and visit any military leader of the world, which hero would you consult and why?
2. If you had just learned you have 24 hours to live, which of your current “do today” items do you forsake? What would you do instead?
3. Why did Saul expel spiritists and mediums from Israel (see Leviticus 19:31; Leviticus 20:6, Deuteronomy 18:10 – 13)? Why then does he consult one anyway? And why covertly?
4. Why is the medium terrified when she see Samuel? What do you think she really sees: Samuel risen from the dead? A spirit impersonating Samuel? Or what? What does this say for the validity of such occult practices?
5. Why has God stopped responding to Saul when he calls? How has Saul responded to God’s calls in the past? In view of his past performances, do you think Saul’s prostrated humility (verse 14) is sincere?
6. How do you suppose the fattened calf tasted to one who now knew he was about to die?
7. Saul was very prone to say one thing and do quite another. In what areas of your life are you like that? Where do your actions speak louder than your words?
8. What “great distress” in your life has you seeking God’s will in earnest? Where are you looking for answers? Whom are you consulting?
9. Do you temporarily “repent” during hard times, only to “harden your heart” when things get better?
10. Do you ever read your horoscope? Is that acceptable in God’s sight? What other occult things do you play with? Ouija boards? Crystals? Tarot cards? “Visualization”? Other “New Age” trends? How do such things compare with Deuteronomy 18:10 – 13?
11. In light of your present relationship with God, what are your feelings about death and dying? Do you know with certainty where you are going to spend eternity? What is the basis of your certainty?
Additional Note on Verse 4:
For their massive assault from Shunem, the Philistines tried a new tactic. They had fought previous battles in the mountains; rough terrain where their chariots were next to useless. Now they chose strategically important level ground that Israel had to defend. The Valley of Jezreel is the only part of Palestine where you can go from west to east without crossing mountains. A Philistine victory here would cut Israel in half.