Tuesday, November 27, 2012

The Death of King Saul - Dying Well Youth Bible Study on Suicide and the Death Penalty

The Death of King Saul – Dying Well

Brief: Only God can decide when it’s okay to end a life or spare one.

(Printable Student Sheet available for Patreon supporters or with a purchase of King David, the Mighty Runt.)

Intro Question
Have any of you ever known someone who committed suicide?

How do you feel about suicide? Is that something that’s okay to do?

How do you feel about assisted suicide, or euthanasia?

Scripture: Matthew 27:1-5; 2 Samuel 1:1-16; Proverbs 31:4-7; Genesis 9:6; John 8:2-11

Case 1: Suicide

Why did Judas hang himself? 

Judas hung himself because he felt guilty and felt that there was no hope for him. He didn’t think he could live with the knowledge of what he had done.

What are some reasons why other people kill themselves? 

Many people commit suicide out of remorse, low self-esteem, a chemical imbalance or mental breakdown, or a belief that things will never improve for them.

Does the Scripture give any indication that Judas should have hanged himself? 

No, the Bible does not condone Judas’ action here.

What should Judas have done instead of hanging himself? 

Our God is one of hope and restoration. If Judas would have asked for God’s forgiveness, he would have discovered healing for his soul and new life in the one he had betrayed. Suicide is never the way out of our problems. The way out is to give our problems to God and to put our trust in Him.

Case 2: Euthanasia (Assisted Suicide)

Does the Scripture say that Saul could have lived after being wounded in battle? (No.)

Even though Saul was going to die, what is David’s reaction to the man who helped Saul die? (He ordered that he be killed.)

Reasoning from this passage, should people who are critically injured or terminally ill be helped to die?

What can be done for those who are near death?

It seems that God is okay with giving people something to take their pain away when they’re dying.

Is there any difference in the matter of euthanasia between a conscious person and a person who is in a persistent coma?

It’s pretty clear that Saul was going to die, yet the man who assisted Saul in his death is himself condemned. The indication seems to be that we can comfort those who are dying and try to ease their pain as much as possible (as seen in the Proverbs passage), but God has not left it up to us to decide when we or someone else dies. Only God is sovereign over life and death, and we cannot assist in someone’s request to die. This is the same for people who are in persistent vegetative states. God has not given us the right to decide when it is time for us or another person to die, no matter what the circumstances.

Case 3: The Death Penalty
David killed the man who killed Saul. Was that right or wrong?

What does God say should happen to anyone who kills someone else? (They should be killed.)

Did the woman commit a crime? (Yes.)

Was the woman deserving of death? (Yes, according to the Old Testament Law.)

Why didn’t Jesus allow her to be killed?

Do you think Jesus disagreed with the Law of the Old Testament? Why or why not?

Jesus did not disagree with the Law, but He did want to offer this woman forgiveness. As God, He could decide to cancel the death penalty in this case. We all deserve to die for our sins, but God gave us a way to be forgiven so that even though we die, we don’t have to stay dead.


This lesson is included in my book, King David, the Mighty Runt: Youth Bible Studies on David's Road to the Throne.
King David, the Mighty Runt: Youth Bible Studies on David's Road to the Throne - Perfect for Youth Sunday School Lessons by [Wilson, Rev. Stephen R.]
Kindle $1.99, Print $4.99

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

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