Explore The Bible Study: Respected

2:28 PM

What if a Christian leader did the following to you? – Cheated you, gave your wife to another man, labelled you as a trouble maker and outlaw, pursued you with the intent to kill you, and dealt with you unjustly? How would you view that leader? How would you feel if that leader suddenly died? The situation I just described is where we begin the new series of studies from 2 Samuel. The first Explore the Bible Study: Respected begins with how David responded to King Saul's death, even though he had done everything and much more than what I previously described.

The session will focus on how we can honor those whom God chooses to lead His people, even when they disappoint us or dishonor God. While you can learn something from David regarding how we should treat all leaders, the session will focus specifically on how to treat those who lead the church.

Thoughts about this session:
  • This session does not advocate following someone blindly. We can’t ignore the sins of leaders or compromise our walk with the Lord, but we can learn how be respectful, even when someone isn't deserving of any respect.
  • With the issues facing our denomination over these past months regarding some of our most revered leaders, we have a chance to learn how to deal with the removal, exit, or death of such leaders as we examine how David responded to the death of King Saul.
  • No church leader is perfect. If they sin or disappoint us, or if we disagree with them, we shouldn’t deal with it publicly until we have sought to deal with it privately. If some moral or civil law was broken, we certainly should seek out additional help and notify appropriate individuals. But, we should never stop praying for and seeking ways to remain respectful to leaders, even when we don’t agree with them or when they have succumbed to sin. We too, one day, might be sitting in their seat, and we would desire the same respectful treatment.
Teaching Ideas - The following ideas are included in the downloadable teaching plan:
  • Illustration Option (To discuss disrespectful responses to a leader's death): The Washington Examiner, as well as many other news outlets, reported the following response to former First Lady Barbara Bush's death.“A professor at Fresno State University is expressing joy over the announcement of former first lady Barbara Bush’s passing. She tweeted that “the witch is dead” and that she “can’t wait for the rest of her [the Bush] family to fall to their demise.” - By Lauren Cooley, Washington Examiner, April 18, 2018
  • Debate: Do you agree or disagree with these statements? - (1) Taking a church leader to task on social media is a gutless way of dealing with sin or disagreements. (2) The way we treat church leaders publicly reveals what we truly believe about God.
  • Images - The following images can be used, if needed. The suggested use is included in the downloadable teaching plan.

Ein Gedi
Around 1000 BC, Ein Gedi served as one of the main places of refuge for David as he fled from Saul. David “dwelt in strongholds at En Gedi” (1 Samuel 23:29). Ein Gedi means literally “the spring of the kid (goat).” Evidence exists that young ibex have always lived near the springs of Ein Gedi. One time when David was fleeing from King Saul, the pursuers searched the “Crags of the Ibex” in the vicinity of Ein Gedi. In a cave near here, David cut off the corner of Saul’s robe (1 Samuel 24). - www.bibleplaces.com (You can see caves in the upper portion of the photo.)

The image is the excavated ruins of the main street in Beth-Shan (Beth-sean, Beth-she'an, or skythopolis). The currently excavated ruins don't date back to Saul's time but help us understand the context of all that might have taken place.

Beth-Shan was a city in the territory of Issachar assigned to Manasseh, out of which the Canaanites were not driven (Joshua 17:11 Judges 1:27); in the days of Israel's strength they were put to taskwork (Judges 1:28). They doubtless were in league with the Philistines who after Israel's defeat on Gilboa exposed the bodies of Saul and his sons on the wall of the city (1 Samuel 31:8-10). -- BibleHub

Imagine living in this city and seeing the head of Saul displayed for all to see.

Video Overview of 2 Samuel


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