Passage: 1 Samuel 30:1-10
Guide for Group Discussion or Personal Reflection
This Lenten season is unlike any other we’ve experienced. As a community and as individuals, we’ve suffered demonstrative losses because of Covid, leaving many of us feeling anxious, burdened, or paralyzed. It is precisely at times like these, however, that we can learn how to lament, because when we lament, God meets us and strengthens us in himself.
In 1 Samuel 30, David and his men arrive at the city of Ziklag, only to find it burned by their enemies, and their wives and children taken away captive. At this point of utter loss and helplessness, “David and the people who were with him raised their voices and wept until they had no more strength to weep” (30:4). Their lamenting was an act of committing their whole souls into God’s hands, at their point of greatest weakness, so that he could do a work in their lives if he chose to. We would do well to learn from their example.
David was lamenting more than his personal losses, we learn—he was “greatly distressed” from carrying his people’s burdens as well—for his people were growing bitter. Some of us in this season are carrying the burdens and stresses of others on ourselves. David “rebooted” his spiritual life at this point, by engaging God’s direction through his ephod, and we too should “reboot, re-engage, recommit, and reinvigorate” our spiritual disciplines at the time of our deepest need. Though the spiritual disciples can certainly become a checklist, engaging in them in times like these can also represent profound trust—a willingness to draw near to God for his strength. When we do this, God will meet us where we need him most, and bring us into our next season of life through his strengthening care.
Ultimately, David’s trust in God led to restoration and abundance, and it will for us as well. Will we engage with God this Lenten season, pouring our hearts out before him in honest lament, and re-engaging with him through the spiritual disciplines? If we trust him like this, he will strengthen us and get us through
Group Discussion & Personal Reflection Guide
Re-read the passage (1 Samuel 30:1-10)
Q) INTRO: How much experience do you have with honestly lamenting before the Lord? How much experience do we have with this as a church, and as a culture? If you feel that we have room to grow in this practice, why do you think that is?
Q) Re-read 1 Samuel 30:1-4. What were some of the losses that David and his men experienced? How did they react? What words are used to describe the intensity of their response?
Q) Do you think that our church culture tends to encourage us, or discourage us from freely lamenting before God and others? Why? What are some effects of a hesitancy to lament?
Q) In 1 Samuel 30:4, we read that David himself wept until he had no more strength to weep. This is striking because of his position of leadership. What effect do you think David’s own lamenting had on his men? What effect can a leader’s willingness to openly lament have on his or her followers?
Q) Re-read 1 Samuel 30:5-6. In his sermon, Dr. Price pointed out how David was burdened (“distressed”) with the bitterness and burdens of his men. Is there any area of your life right now where your burdened because of the burdens of those you love? How did David respond? How might you practically bring both your burdens and theirs to God?
Q) In 1 Samuel 30:6, David “strengthened himself in the Lord his God”. Is there someone or something you tend to look to for strength, before going to God? If so, how might you begin to engage with God first?
Q) Re-read 1 Samuel 30:7-10. What do David’s actions in these verses tell us about his posture towards God at that time?
Q) Dr. Price encouraged us to “reboot, re-engage, recommit, and reinvigorate” our spiritual disciplines in this season, because doing so represents a willingness to seek him for strength. What spiritual discipline do you need to re-engage in or recommit to in this season? What steps will you take to do so?
Additional Application Questions
Q) How else would you like to engage with God this week?
Q) How can you tangibly care for those in your community this week, both inside and outside of the church?
Spend time praying for yourselves, our church community, the North Shore community, and our nation and world—particularly those most vulnerable.