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Lesson Overview

This is lesson 2 of 6 in Good Work, a bible study on the gift of work.

  • Main Point of the Passage: David found courage to fight Goliath because God had rescued him from lions and bears when he was tending sheep.
  • Main Point of the Lesson: The obstacles God helps us overcome in work are one way God prepares us for bigger tasks.
  • Main Application of the Lesson: Participants will work faithfully with confidence that God is helping them in their work.
  • Key Verse: “David answered Saul: ‘Your servant has been tending his father’s sheep. Whenever a lion or a bear came and carried off a lamb from the flock, I went after it, struck it down, and rescued the lamb from its mouth. If it reared up against me, I would grab it by its fur, strike it down, and kill it.’” 1 Samuel 17:34–35


Leader Preparation

To prepare for this lesson, write your own answers to each of the questions below. You will share some of your answers with the group, but make it your goal to talk less than 20% of the Bible study time. Ask the questions, listen to your group, and let them carry the Bible study. You’ll be amazed.

Discussion Questions

Once everyone in your group is sitting in a circle, say, “Here’s the first question. Everyone answers the first question, and it’s just for fun.” Then read the first question, pause, and listen to your group’s answers.

Smile Question: If you had to live in a different country, which country would you choose?

Share Question: What are some of the obstacles you face in your work?

Introduce the Passage: God uses the challenges of work to teach us, test us and prepare us for future service. King David was the most important king of ancient Israel. God used David’s early work experiences to prepare him for his role as warrior and king.

When Samuel the prophet secretly came to Jesse’s house to anoint one of his sons as king, Jesse didn’t even bother to bring David in from the sheep pasture. We find that story in 1 Samuel 16. Verse 10 and 11 say:

After Jesse presented seven of his sons to him, Samuel told Jesse, “The Lord hasn’t chosen any of these.”  Samuel asked him, “Are these all the sons you have?” 

“There is still the youngest,” he answered, “but right now he’s tending the sheep.” Samuel told Jesse, “Send for him. We won’t sit down to eat until he gets here.”

Study Question: Let’s read 1 Samuel 17:20–37. As we read, look for answers to this question: Where do we see evidence of how seriously David took his work?

Possible answers include:

  • David took time to find somebody else to watch the sheep while he was gone (v. 20)
  • David left his supplies in the care of the quartermaster (v. 22)
  • Subdue the earth (1:28)
  • He was used to risking his life to protect his sheep (v. 34-35)
  • David’s confidence against Goliath was based on his success in protecting his sheep (v. 36-37)

Connect-the-Dots Question: What else might David have learned from his experience working with sheep?

Count-the-Cost Question: How is self-confidence different from God-confidence? How are they the same?

Let’s-Do-It Question: What is something God has taught you through your work?

Prayer: Father, teach us to trust you to bless us in our work. And teach us to work faithfully with the tasks you have given us. Amen.

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