Journey Through The Scriptures


Lesson 7: Samuel’s Final Days

(Scripture to Read: 13:1 – 22; 15:1 – 35; 16:1 – 13;19:18 – 24; 25:1; 28:3 – 20)

Samuel’s later years must have been filled with great anguish as he watched King Saul spiritually self-destruct. It was Samuel’s painful duty to rebuke Saul for his rashness in acting as a priest, and in his disobedience to God in the matter of the Amalekites. Samuel announced to Saul that he had been rejected by the Lord as king and would see his family line removed from the throne. Although Jonathan, Saul’s son, defeated the Philistines, Saul’s rejection stood and God sent Samuel to anoint the shepherd boy David as the new king of Israel.

Samuel went to Bethlehem secretly, knowing that Saul would probably try to kill both him and David. Samuel’s fears proved real as Saul’s jealousy against David exploded into a murderous rage that led him to pursue David until the day Saul died in battle (1 Samuel 31). Samuel’s death brought all of Israel together to mourn their great leader and man of God. And in a bizarre chapter of Saul’s tragic life, the king sought out a spirit medium for help. But both Saul and the medium were stunned when Samuel supernaturally appeared and repeated Saul’s doom.

Study Questions

  1. Why did God finally reject Saul as king?
  2. Why would Saul try to kill David even though Saul was still firmly in control of the throne?
  3. Why did the Lord continue to speak through Samuel, even though Saul was Israel’s king?
  4. Why did Samuel privately mourn for Saul?

Something to Think About

God’s words to Samuel regarding His choice of David are an encouraging reminder that we do not have to be great in the eyes of others to be useful to God, for “The LORD does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart” (1 Samuel 16:7).