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Welcome to St. John's community. We are honored to serve Christ, and to open our doors to all. Please feel free to join us for worship. St. John's can trace its history to the founding of Jamestown. The parish is over 350 years old, and the church building itself has stood for 2 and a half centuries. St. John's saw the American Revolution and served as a camp ground for troops during the Civil War. Through it all, St. John's has been a place of worship and a home for those seeking communion with Christ. St. John's has a rich and abiding history. Today, it is as it was... a place to find and be found by Christ.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Christian Formation for Sunday June 17, 2012 - 1 Samuel 15:34-16:13; David Anointed as King

June 17, 2012, 3 Pentecost
1 Samuel 15:34—16:13
David Anointed as King
Background: The book of 1 Samuel is considered part of the Deuteronomistic history; among its functions is to introduce the transition from the divinely selected judges as leaders in Israel to the secular kingship as leaders. This passage details Saul’s continued demonstration of his unsuitableness to be God’s true king.

Theme: This passage culminates the story of Saul’s fall from God’s favor through his failure to be faithful to God’s command. It also provides the second call and anointing account, this time the focus is on God’s standards of a worthy king not the human standards for a secular ruler.

Questions to Ponder

* Skim the section from 1 Samuel 13:1-15:33, paying attention to the setting and commentary about Saul’s rule as king.

* What is the setting of this passage with regard to the social, political, and religious climate in the nation of Israel?

* For what reason is Saul rejected by God as king over Israel?

* What has been notable about Saul’s reign, save the obvious failures to heed God’s commands in his dealings with the inhabitants of the countryside?

* Why do you think Samuel grieved for Saul? Why do you think God was sorry that he made Saul king over Israel? Do you think God regretted making Saul king? Why or why not?

* What might the lineage of Jesse the Bethlehemite be? Why might that be significant in the story of the foundation of Israel?

* Why do you think God directed Samuel to partake in subterfuge for protection while going to Bethlehem? Do you think it was necessary for Samuel to stretch the truth in this manner?

* Why might the Bethlehemites be concerned about Samuel coming in peace?

* How is Saul portrayed in this passage? Does that portrayal seem consistent with the story of Saul?

* What is notable about God’s choice of kings when it comes to David? How has the motif of the youngest son been previously portrayed in the earlier passages of the Bible?

* What is God’s rationale for rejecting the older sons of Jesse? Why might God’s standard be important for us as we look for leaders in our church and world?

* Who else in the early Old Testament was portrayed like “ruddy”? Likewise, as one having “beautiful eyes” (or at least not having weak eyes)? Why might a person’s eyes be important in the mind of the Jews?

* What is ironic, if anything, about the way that the narrator chooses to describe David when he initially appears before Samuel? How does this compare with God’s criterion for selecting a king? Are the description and God’s standard directly in conflict?

* What seem odd about the anointing of David and Samuel’s departure? How does David’s anointing as king compare with Saul’s anointing?

* What might the significance of David’s position in his family and tribe be when compared to the nation of Israel?

* What might the implication and application of this passage be for us today?

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