Welcome to the first week of our series Good Kings. This series explores the good kings of the Old Testament. This weekend, East Paris Campus Pastor Bob King explains three simple instructions God gives to his people about their future king. As we unpack these instructions, we see the importance of resisting the magnetic pull toward the worldly culture around us.
Building healthy and life-giving relationships.
What has been new or challenging in your life since last time the group met? Spend 20–30 minutes checking in with each other.
Prayer is a vital part of caring for each other. As a group, update each other on the things you have asked for prayer about. Rejoice together if those prayers have been answered. Continue to pray for the ongoing needs and situations.
Share Part of Your Story.
Share about a palace or the most palace-like building you have visited.
Taking next steps toward Christ together.
Have someone read Deuteronomy 17.14-20. What do you notice in these verses? What stands out?
God gives Israel instructions about their future king 400 years before they have a king. What are some good reasons why God might have done this before they are even in the land the king would rule?
God didn’t want Israel to conform to the pagan countries surrounding them. What are some things we know about the countries surrounding Israel in the ancient near east that God wouldn’t want them to conform to? What are some things surrounding us in our culture that God doesn’t want us to conform to?
The Pull of Power.
God’s first command to the king is not to have a lot of horses. What might have been the importance of horses to a king in the ancient near east?
God wanted Israel’s kings to trust him. He wants us to trust him. What are some places people often place their trust? How is trusting God different? Share about when you have been able to rely upon God.
God wanted to provide the power for the people. He wanted them to be different. What are some of the ways our culture tells us to hold power over people? How would it be different for someone to practice the fruit of the spirit (Galatians 5.22-23) instead?
The Pull of Compromise.
God instructs the kings not to bring in foreign wives because he knew they would lead to compromise. Solomon is the prime example of this. Have someone from your group read 1 Kings 11.1-13. How does Solomon compromise?
Compromise is insidious because we feel like we are being obedient. Solomon built the altars outside of the town probably believing he wasn’t abandoning God. What are some areas we are prone to compromise by following the culture?
Compromise can also have lasting effects. What were the long-term effects of Solomon’s compromise? Where have you seen someone’s compromise influence others?
If you were to compromise, who would those decisions likely impact? What are some ways to avoid compromise?
The Pull of Accumulation.
God instructs the king not to accumulate wealth. They weren’t to have their status or security tied to wealth. How does the amount of money someone has influence the way society views them?
The problem with the pull of accumulation is that it always thinks the next thing will be enough. Instead—it stifles generosity. What’s the difference between a heart that looks to find security and value in possessions and a generous heart? What are some steps people can take to become generous?
Resisting the Pull.
In Deuteronomy 17.18-20, God gives the king instructions on how to resist the pull toward conformity. What does God say?
How can we resist the pull in our own lives? What are some things you currently do to resist the pull?
God tells the kings to resist the pull toward power, compromise and accumulation. Of the three areas, where do you find it hardest to resist the pull?
How can your small group help each other resist the pull?
INVEST IN OTHERS
Valuing people outside the group and outside the faith.
Discuss how you and your group can better engage the people in your life outside your small group.
Who Needs What We Have?
This question is an important element of our small group philosophy. We like all our small groups to be regularly considering who needs what their group offers. Maybe this means extending an invitation for someone to join the group. Perhaps it is considering whether there is someone in the group whose NEXT STEP is to offer to lead a group in the fall. If your group didn’t meet last week, talk about it today. If you did talk about it last week, revisit that conversation.
Serving together as a small group can be a great experience. One way you can serve together this summer is by serving as a group in Ada Bible’s Children’s Ministry, Discovery Village (DV). Consider giving our regular DV volunteers a break this summer by serving as a small group. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org to start a conversation or to sign up.
Download a printable PDF here.