1 Samuel 26:5-11; 2 Samuel 11; Esther 8:17; Psalm 51; Isaiah 56:3-7; Ephesians 2:19
In studying the life of Uriah the Hittite, we see what it means to truly “practice what we preach” about our faith and lives as God’s people.
Pens, writing paper
Connecting with the Scripture Topic
- Have you ever applied for membership in a club or organization that was exclusive (i.e., country club, record club, auto club)? What was the organization, and why did you want to join?
- If you were granted citizenship to another country, would you be more or less inclined to follow the laws and mores of that nation than your country of origin? Explain your answer.
Sharing and Receiving Scripture
- Go around the class and ask each person to say the first word that comes to mind upon hearing the word “rejection” (duplicate answers are okay). Now go around again and do the same thing with the word “acceptance.” Did you notice any difference in the demeanor (tone of voice, facial expressions, etc.) in the group during the two rounds? Discuss how these two concepts affect our attitudes and actions.
- Thought Questions
Consider the different sides of David’s character as revealed in 1 Samuel 26:5-11 and 2 Samuel 11. Why the contrast?
1. Every day we each choose which side of the great controversy we will join.
2. In 1 Samuel, David led his army from the front; in 2 Samuel, he led from the rear.
3. David fought for survival in 1 Samuel but took life easy in 2 Samuel.
4. David publicly acknowledged dishonoring God, but privately he rationalized that adultery was a victimless act.
5. Drastic falls from grace don’t happen instantly; we build up to them little by little over time.
Read 2 Samuel 11. Why do you think Uriah maintained his honor during his home leave? See also Ephesians 2:19.
1. He learned his sense of honor from watching David.
2. In war you fight more for your fellow soldiers than for your country, and he wanted to honor them.
3. As a foreigner, Uriah was very conscientious about keeping his vows to his new country.
4. This was his act of gratitude for being accepted into the nation of Israel.
5. God put this into Uriah’s heart as a rebuke to David’s treachery.
Read Psalm 51. How could David say that his sin was against God only?
1. He was still in denial about his crime against Uriah.
2. This broadens the application of the psalm—it could refer to every sin this way.
3. Uriah has a place reserved in God’s kingdom, so he’s not really hurt in the long run.
4. If David’s sin is against Uriah, then he is subject to the death penalty (see Leviticus 20:10; 24:17)
5. Every sin we commit is ultimately against God, though others are hurt also.
Which promise in Isaiah 56:3-7 is most meaningful to you as a stranger accepted into the family of God (Ephesians 2:19)?
1. Verse 3: God accepted us when we expected rejection.
2. Verse 5: An everlasting name which is better than sons or daughters
3. Verse 7: Entrance into God’s holy mountain
4. Verse 7: Joy in God’s house
5. Verse 7: Acceptance of our offerings and sacrifices
Applying the Message of the Scripture
Gather in groups of two or three. Choose one of the following options and work on a solution. After several minutes, report back to the larger group with your findings.
- Option 1: Think about the image your church has in your community. Is it positive or negative? Would people say that your church practices what it preaches? As a group, what can you do to help your church reflect its Christian values to your town?
- Option 2: Imagine you discover that a friend has separate public and private personas—or even a secret life. What would you do? Would you approach this person, and if so, how?
- Option 3: Is there an accountability process in your group or in your church? Outline suggestions for such a process. How would you match people up? What is a good way to firmly—yet comfortably—check up on each other? Include ideas for encouraging as well as confronting.
Valuing Scripture in Your Life
- Honestly ask yourself, “Am I taking little steps toward a big fall?” Reflect on practical ways that you can maintain your honor and integrity.
- At the end of three minutes, those who choose to may share their thoughts. Conclude with prayer.
Next Week’s Scripture Focus:
Exodus 28:6; 39:2-7; 1 Samuel 21:1-9; 22:6-23; 2 Samuel 15:13-29; 1 Peter 2:9