1 Samuel 13

Talks for Growing Christians

King Saul’s Disobedience

1 Samuel 13

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Lesson Number 14

Background Notes

Doctrinal Point(s)

  1. Disobeying the Lord is never justified by circumstances.
  2. Disobeying the Lord results in loss of status.

Practical Application

  1. Give credit where credit is due.


  1. How does archeology back up the teaching of 1 Samuel 13:19?
  2. Should we be concerned by the two manuscript discrepancies in 1 Samuel 13?
  3. Why were the men of Israel scared as they faced battle with the Philistines?
  4. What did Saul decide to do in face of the discouraging circumstances?
  5. What was the sad consequence of Saul’s disobedience?


  1. The archeological record confirms that until the time of David, the Philistines had a monopoly on iron technology.
  2. No, these variations are relatively few in the Bible, and they do not affect doctrine.
  3. The Israelites were hopelessly outnumbered, with no chariots or cavalry. Furthermore, all Israel had to use as weapons were their farm implements – pitchforks and pickaxes!
  4. Saul did not wait for Samuel to come and offer sacrifices before the battle. He took matters into his own hands, and wrongly offered the sacrifices himself.
  5. Saul’s sons would not carry on his role as king of Israel. Instead, God would appoint as king a man after His own heart, David.


  1. Many Christians behave like Saul, cheating in their Christian lives because of the circumstances. But disobeying the Lord is never justified by circumstances. Discuss this principle. Can you think of any exceptions to the rule?
  2. The consequence of Saul’s disobedience was that his sons would not continue his dynasty as king of Israel. This was a sore consequence for Saul and all of his ancestors to follow. Discuss how your actions and decisions today can have a long-term effect on your family.


  1. Saul apparently took credit for Jonathon’s victory over the Philistines. He often took credit where it was not his due. Is this your character? Watch out for your pride, give credit to others.

Key Verses

  • “Therefore I felt compelled, and offered a burnt offering.” 1 Samuel 13:12
  • “For now the LORD would have established your kingdom over Israel forever. But now your kingdom shall not continue.” 1 Samuel 13:13-14

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