Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Why Won't God Help Me? - Youth Bible Study on 1 Samuel 7


Why Won’t God Help Me?


Brief: If we want God to answer our prayers, we should be living in obedience to Him.

(Printable Student Sheet available for Patreon supporters or with a purchase of Samuel the PROphet.)

Have you ever prayed for God to help you with something? Does God answer every prayer? How do you think God decides what prayers to say yes to and which ones He says no to?

Recap
 You remember that last week, we read about how the Philistines defeated the Israelites and stole the ark of the covenant and took it to the temple of their false god, Dagon. But God wouldn’t tolerate being put equal to Dagon, so He destroyed Dagon’s statue.

Scripture: 1 Samuel 5:6-7; 7:1-13

1 Samuel 5:6-7: The Lord’s hand was heavy on the people of Ashdod and its vicinity; He brought devastation on them and afflicted them with tumors. When the people of Ashdod saw what was happening, they said, “The ark of the god of Israel must not stay here with us, because His hand is heavy on us and on Dagon our god.”

The Philistines eventually decided to return the ark of the covenant back to Israel, but the Philistines were still ruling over Israel. Now, if Israel was God’s chosen people, why would God let someone else conquer and rule over them?

1 Samuel 7:1-3: So the men of Kiriath Jearim came and took up the ark of the Lord. They brought it to Abinadab’s house on the hill and consecrated Eleazar his son to guard the ark of the LordThe ark remained at Kiriath Jearima long time—twenty years in all.

Then all the people of Israel turned back to the LordSo Samuel said to all the Israelites, “If you are returning to the Lord with all your hearts, then rid yourselves of the foreign gods and the Ashtoreths and commit yourselves to the Lord and serve Him only, and He will deliver you out of the hand of the Philistines.”

What did Samuel tell the people to do if they wanted God to help them against the Philistines? (He told them to stop serving other gods and to turn back to God.)

The reason God let the Israelites be conquered by the Philistines is that they weren’t serving Him. They were worshipping and serving other gods, so God punished them by letting them get taken over. Now, God will help them if they turn back to Him and put Him first. Remember that God will not let Himself be second best.

1 Samuel 7:4-13: So the Israelites put away their Baals and Ashtoreths, and served the Lord only.

Then Samuel said, “Assemble all Israel at Mizpah, and I will intercede with the Lord for you.” When they had assembled at Mizpah, they drew water and poured it out before the Lord. On that day they fasted and there they confessed, “We have sinned against the Lord.” Now Samuel was serving as leader of Israel at Mizpah.

When the Philistines heard that Israel had assembled at Mizpah, the rulers of the Philistines came up to attack them. When the Israelites heard of it, they were afraid because of the Philistines. They said to Samuel, “Do not stop crying out to the Lord our God for us, that He may rescue us from the hand of the Philistines.” Then Samuel took a suckling lamb and sacrificed it as a whole burnt offering to the Lord. He cried out to the Lord on Israel’s behalf, and the Lord answered him.

10 While Samuel was sacrificing the burnt offering, the Philistines drew near to engage Israel in battle. But that day the Lord thundered with loud thunder against the Philistines and threw them into such a panic that they were routed before the Israelites. 11 The men of Israel rushed out of Mizpah and pursued the Philistines, slaughtering them along the way to a point below Beth Kar.

12 Then Samuel took a stone and set it up between Mizpah and Shen. He named it Ebenezer, saying, “Thus far the Lord has helped us.”

13 So the Philistines were subdued and they stopped invading Israel’s territory. Throughout Samuel’s lifetime, the hand of the Lord was against the Philistines.

When the people put God first and committed to living the way God wanted them to live, God helped them. He answered their prayer and defeated the Philistines.

I think that’s the same way God works with us. Sometimes, we ask for God’s help, but we’re not living the way God wants us to live, so why would He help us? Why would God do something good for us when we’re doing bad to God by not doing what He says?

That’s not the only reason that God doesn’t answer our prayers, but I would say that rule number one is that if we want God to pay attention to us and help us, then we first have to be living for Him. We can’t expect Him to help us if we’re disrespecting Him all the time by not doing what He says.

If you want God to help you, if you want to be successful like the Israelites were finally successful, live the way God wants you to live. Putting other things before God, as the Israelites with their false gods, is a recipe for disaster. But when you live for God, He helps bring things together for you.

---

This lesson is included in my book, Samuel the PROphet: Youth Bible Studies on 1 Samuel.
Samuel the PROphet: Youth Bible Studies on 1 Samuel - Perfect for Youth Sunday School Lessons by [Wilson, Rev. Steve]
Kindle $2.99, Print $5.99


Find more youth lessons on my Free Youth Ministry Helps page! 




26 comments:

  1. God only loves and does for who he wants no matter what you do or no matter how much and how long you suffer. THAT'S A FACT! No loving Father just turns his back on his child when they are hurting or suffering. God does. Just ask any child who is repeatedly raped or beaten. I guess God thought that was the love we needed.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Just ask yourself why so many people suffer on this earth. They're all bad people? A billion people ask the same story over and over and over of why God doesn't help me. Ask yourself why some people have millions of dollars but other don't have food and water. So God loves them? I live in reality. God only loves who he wants. The rest of us, too bad.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi, John! I just noticed your comments. You bring up some good points. It's hard to think that God is good when He could help us now but doesn't. Our hope is that one day, when we're with Him in eternity, the joy that we're experiencing then will make us forget the pain that we experience now.

      Delete
    2. Our hope? I have no hope, God took care of that. God knows what I need? Ya, more anger, frustration and disappointment. Simply disgusting. Nobody loves like this.

      Delete
  3. I have no hope. I'm told God loves me. Try loving your spouse that way and see if she sticks around. He only loves who he wants. I've been lied to my whole life about God.

    ReplyDelete
  4. STILL NOT AN ONCE OF RELIEF FROM GOD... OH BUT HE LOVES ME. WE ARE TAUGHT NOT TO LIE. GOD IS THE BIGGEST LIAR OF ALL. PERIOD!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It sounds like you're going through a rough time. I pray it gets better for you.

      Delete
  5. Apparently your praying nor mine does anything. I'm supposed to worship God but no matter how much I suffer and it gets worse daily, God does NOTHING! That's love from our Father?

    ReplyDelete
  6. STILL WON'T BUDGE. THIS IS A RECURRING THEME FROM SO MANY PEOPLE. BUT I WAS TAUGHT ALL MY LIFE THAT GOD LOVES ME. WHAT A LIAR!

    ReplyDelete
  7. I wonder if you would be willing to share the situation you're suffering with. What's going on? I ask because I'm curious to see if there's another solution besides God is being unfair.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Apparently I've stumped you...

      Delete
    2. Apparently you don't have another solution. Maybe before you talk, you should know someone's story.

      Delete
    3. Just like God you're nowhere to be found. He taught you well....

      Delete
  8. I have never been more miserable in my life. NOTHING will go my way. The first 17 1/2 years of my life were filled with me being stabbed by my Mother, guns to my head, brutally beaten, tortured... WHERE WAS GOD???????? Now I'm 57 years old and have never been more miserable. No matter what I want from the smallest thing to the biggest God won't budge. That's God's love for me? I beg, scream, plead you name it and God doesn't budge. God's supposed to know what I need? Well more hate and anger isn't it.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Would you treat your child you are supposed to love like that? Answer that.

    ReplyDelete
  10. And it's kind of funny how you always want to make it out to be the person's fault and not God. I guess I should have not been born then my Mother wouldn't have been able to brutalize me... Ya, that's it. You go your whole life trying to do the right things, help people, give to people... on and on. And God just keeps giving you shit but he'll allow monsters to prosper. That's a fact.

    ReplyDelete
  11. And when your child cries out over and over and over, God's answer is do nothing. That's his love we should feel? He can't even do the smallest thing to say, "Hey I love you" I know you are suffering. Oh no, not God. He says screw you, suffer. He proves that every day. I live in reality and that's my reality.

    ReplyDelete
  12. For some reason, this website doesn't send me notifications when someone leaves a new comment, so I try to check it once a week. Anyway, sorry to leave you hanging. And I didn't mean to sound like anything is your fault that isn't. But I think there's a third solution for us to be able to say that God doesn't take away our problems, but He doesn't ignore us either. Instead, He gives us the strength to get through and overcome anything that happens to us.

    ReplyDelete
  13. God hasn't given me anything but more anger, frustration and disappointment. That's a loving Father that I'm supposed to trust and worship?

    ReplyDelete
  14. What is it exactly that you're wanting God to do for you? Try to be specific. If you were to ask God, "I want you to do this, this, and this," what would you say?

    ReplyDelete
  15. It doesn't matter what it is. I have never been more unhappy and frustrated in my life. And no matter what I try and do about it, nothing works. I'm not just sitting here doing nothing. But I can't just will things to happen. If I could I would have done it by now. This has been going on for years. I was brutally beaten, tortured, stabbed and had guns put to my head as a child. God wasn't there for me then and he sure isn't here for me now.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Still NOTHING! GOD IS A CRUEL LIAR! HE DOESN'T LOVE LIKE WE ARE TAUGHT. HE WILL TURN HIS BACK ON YOU NO MATTER HOW MUCH YOU BEG. BUT HE DOESN'T TURN HIS BACK ON DOPE DEALERS AND RAPISTS. THEY GET WHATEVER THEY WANT.

    ReplyDelete
  17. JUST WHAT I NEED MORE HATE,ANGER AND DISAPPOINTMENT. OH, BUT GOD KNOWS WHAT I NEED... YA, THAT'S A LOVING GOD.

    ReplyDelete
  18. GOD LOVES ME... TRY LOVING YOUR SPOUSE THE WAY GOD LOVES YOU. THEY WOULDN'T STICK AROUND. NOBODY THAT LOVES SOMEBODY WILL JUST TURN THEIR BACK ON YOU BUT GOD DOES. HE'S A LIAR!

    ReplyDelete
  19. ANOTHER DAY AND THE SAME GARBAGE. OH YA BUT GOD LOVES ME... WHAT A LIAR!!!!!!!

    ReplyDelete
  20. GOD IS STILL A CRUEL LIAR!!!!!

    ReplyDelete