Lesson 22: “The Lord Looketh on the Heart”

Old Testament Class Member Study Guide, (2001), 15


Study the following scriptures:

  1. a.

    1 Samuel 9–11. Saul seeks guidance from Samuel (9:1–14, 18–24). The Lord reveals to Samuel that Saul is to be king (9:15–17). Samuel counsels Saul and anoints him as Israel’s first king (9:25–27; 10:1–8). Saul is spiritually reborn, and he prophesies (10:9–13). Samuel presents Saul to the people (10:17–27). Saul leads Israel to victory in a battle (11:1–11). He refuses to punish the men who had doubted his ability to lead the people (11:12–15).

  2. b.

    1 Samuel 13:1–14. Saul offers a burnt offering without the proper authority.

  3. c.

    1 Samuel 15. Saul is commanded to destroy the Amalekites and all their possessions, but he saves some of their animals for a sacrifice (15:1–9). The Lord rejects Saul as king, and Samuel tells Saul that obedience is better than sacrifice (15:10–35).

  4. d.

    1 Samuel 16. The Lord chooses David to succeed Saul as king (16:1–13). The Holy Spirit departs from Saul, and an evil spirit takes possession of him (16:14–16; note that in the Joseph Smith Translation these verses show that the evil spirit was not from God). Saul chooses David to play the harp for him and to be his armor bearer (16:17–23).

  5. e.

    1 Samuel 17. David slays Goliath in the strength of the Lord.

  • How did Samuel respond to Saul’s explanation for saving the Amalekites’ animals? (See 1 Samuel 15:22.) How can Samuel’s words apply to us?

  • What did Samuel learn while he tried to determine which of Jesse’s sons should succeed Saul as king? (See 1 Samuel 16:6–7.) What does 1 Samuel 16:7 teach about how the Lord evaluates us? What does the Lord look for in our hearts? How can we improve our ability and commitment to see beyond the outward appearance of others and look on the heart?

  • How did David get the courage to fight Goliath? (See 1 Samuel 17:32–37, 45–47.) How has the Lord helped you overcome “Goliaths” that you have encountered?

Additional reading: 1 Samuel 12; 14.