Click on the order button below to download this 12-session study as a PDF file. This InterVarsity Bible-based guide can be used for personal study or group discussion.
This Bible study introduces you to 12 remarkable lives described in the Old Testament. The stories of these people from the ancient past can help you learn to live well even today.
Getting the Most Out of Old Testament Characters
This section introduces the topic, explains the structure followed in each study and offers tips for those approaching the study on their own as well as those participating in a group.
Jonah: Running from God
Tarshish, traditionally identified as Spain, was at the opposite end of the known world. Why do you think Jonah chose to go there? What does Jonah’s disobedience teach us about the nature of sin?
Hannah: Praying in Pain
It is probable that Elkanah took a second wife because of Hannah’s infertility. What does Hannah’s prayer reveal about her desperation? Why do you think God allows Hannah, and sometimes us, to reach such a point of despair?
1 Samuel 1
Samuel: Hearing God’s Voice
Why is the attitude “Speak, for your servant is listening” important in order to hear from God? How does Samuel’s openness to hear from God compare with yours?
1 Samuel 3
Abraham: Following God’s Call
God asked Abram to give up something great for something far greater. How is that also true in our experience as Christians?
Caleb & Joshua: Overcoming the Impossible
Due to their lack of faith in the promise and power of God, this generation of Israelites, except for Joshua and Caleb, never entered the Promised Land. How does our lack of faith prevent us from experiencing God’s blessing and power in our lives?
Elijah: Knowing God’s Power
Israel was an agrarian society dependent on rain for its survival. Baal was the god who supposedly controlled the weather. How does this help to explain why it was so difficult for the Israelites to completely abandon Baal and trust solely in God? In what ways are you or the people around you wavering between two gods?
1 Kings 18:16-40
Achan: Sin in the Community
Why do you think God held all of Israel responsible for the sin of one person? What sins or obstacles might be preventing your church or fellowship from progressing according to God’s plan?
King Saul: Doing Almost All of God’s Will
Why do you think God equates disobedience with idolatry? What “burnt offerings” and “sacrifices” do we sometimes offer to compensate for our lack of obedience?
1 Samuel 15:1-23
Daniel: Tempted to Compromise
What tactics were used not only to train Daniel and his friends but also to help them blend into Babylonian culture? In what ways are we pressured to conform to our surrounding culture?
Esther: Saying Yes to God
Mordecai asked Esther: “And who knows but that you have come to the royal position for such a time as this?” Where has God placed you at this particular time in your life?
David: Loving Your Enemy
Why do you think David is “conscience-striken” after cutting off the corner of Saul’s robe? How can viewing our enemy from God’s perspective enable us to have a change of heart like David’s?
1 Samuel 24
Moses: Seeking Justice
Despite Moses’ sensitivity to the injustice he witnessed, why is the particular action he takes wrong? What mistakes have you made in a genuine effort to right a wrong?
Total number of pages - 65 pages
Peter Scazzero is senior pastor of New Life Fellowship Church in Queens, New York. He formerly served as a staff member with InterVarsity Christian Fellowship/USA. He is the author of the LifeGuide® Bible Studies Christian Character and Christian Disciplines.
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