1 Samuel 16 v 1-23 1. Consider the reaction of the elders of Bethlehem to Samuel’s arrival (v. 4). They anticipated that the news would not be good. Is that true of preaching today? (see Acts 5:11). Why do people today so often regard the Gospel as irrelevant or just a restrictive code of practice, especially when materialism clearly does not lead to happiness. Is it the case that Christians are their own worst enemy (consider, for example, how the media loves to expose Christian hypocrisy)?
2. How much are we influenced by a person’s physical appearance? Has our faith changed this? Is this subconscious bias one of the hardest worldly principles to abandon?
3. A song by Casting Crowns includes the lyric “Jesus paid much too high a price for us to pick and choose who should come”. To what extent do we do this, and contrast our behaviour with Jesus’ example when He lived on the earth. Perhaps for personal reflection rather than group discussion, can we think of people we know who we simply couldn’t envisage sharing the Gospel with? If so, how does (or should) this make us feel?
4. Thinking of David’s soothing harp-playing for Saul, music can clearly be very powerful. Do we sometimes misuse it? Can Christian music ever be a hindrance to our spiritual growth?