Exodus 28:6; 39:2-7; 1 Samuel 21:1-9; 22:6-23; 2 Samuel 15:13-29; 1 Peter 2:9
Abiathar’s life is full of lessons for us. He made right choices, and he made wrong choices. We have the opportunity to look back on his life and learn from him.
Paper and pencils
Connecting with the Scripture Topic
- As a group, make a list of bad choices and how they could be
Lying on a resume = your prospective employer may discover the truth;
proposing to someone one week after meeting him or her = one year later you may despise each other;
using your paycheck to buy an iPad instead of paying down your credit card = going deeper into debt.
- Now make a similar list of good choices and their potential results.
- Why did so many people in the Old Testament take matters into their own hands instead of trusting God? Are we any different today?
Sharing and Receiving Scripture
Read 1 Samuel 21:1-9; 22:6-23. What series of events led Abiathar to become a priest? As you read, consider the results of David’s actions.
- David lied to Ahimelech, taking matters into his own hands.
- Ahimelech trusted David, knowing he was a follower of God.
- When Saul questioned Ahimelech, he answered honestly, yet it cost him his life.
- Eight-five priests—plus men, women, children, and infants—in Nob were also killed.
- Somehow Abiathar escaped and later became a priest.
Read 2 Samuel 15:13-29. Notice the change in David. How is he different? What can this difference teach us?
- David now trusts God to take care of him, rather than lying to save himself.
- He’s now thinking of the safety of others and leaves before Absalom comes for him.
- He hasn’t really changed—he was just afraid of God’s wrath if he moved the ark.
- He now experiences total submission to God, saying, “...let him do to me whatever...”
- He trusts that God will safely return him to see the ark again.
Read 1 King 1:1-8. What can we learn from the fact that Abiathar turned against David toward the end of David’s life?
- We should be willing to vote against the crowd if we believe differently.
- We shouldn’t be silent when we feel a group is in the wrong; we should be willing to speak up.
- We should consult God rather than just following tradition.
- We should show kindness and respect to those who have provided us with opportunities.
- We should always go with the majority because strength lies in numbers.
Read 1 Kings 2:26, 27 and Matthew 26:20-25. What do these texts suggest about God’s foreknowledge?
- It doesn’t matter how we choose to live, because we’re all predestined to be saved.
- God knowing our future choices is different from predestination.
- We all have free choice, yet God knows in advance what our choices will be.
- Abiathar and Judas could have changed the course of their future by making different choices.
- God knew that Adam and Eve would sin; yet God still created humans and gave us the power of choice.
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: Discuss the idea of predestination. Are we all automatically saved? If so, what does that mean for us? If not, then what part do we play?
- Option 2: As a group, write a short story illustrating how one lie causes a catastrophe. Read your story to the class and discuss how things might have been different if the truth had been spoken.
- Option 3: Do you know someone who thinks he or she is predestined to “go to hell”—that there is no hope for him or her? Take your Bible and share the good news with this person that Jesus died to forgive and save. Assure him or her that no case is too difficult for God. Offer to meet with him or her weekly to study God’s grace.
Valuing Scripture in Your Life
Have you, like David, ever made a poor decision that hurt someone? Ask God’s forgiveness and commit to making whatever restitution you can. It may take a while, but it will be worth it.
In Old Testament times, God had a hand in choosing kings and priests. God is still involved in choosing leaders today. Do you feel that God has been nudging you to take a leadership position in your church, but you’ve resisted? If God wants you there, it’s for a purpose. Why not say “Yes” and discover that purpose?
Next Week’s Scripture Focus:
2 Samuel 2:17-23; 3:23-27; 11:15-25; 20:7-11; 1 Kings 1