Today, we continue our journey through the Bible with today’s study of 1 Samuel. May we remember to ask God to show us what He wants us to learn? Psalm 19:14; “May these words of my mouth and this meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, Lord, my Rock, and my Redeemer.”
As we study the Bible alone or in a group setting, I think there are several questions we can ask ourselves to help us dig deeper. The five questions are as follows:
- What does the scripture say about God?
- Then what does the scripture say about me?
- Does something in this passage challenge me?
- What gives me hope in this passage?
- Is anything unclear to me?
I hope these questions help you as much as they help me.
Author: Not known but believed to be Samuel, and might include writings from Nathan and Gad.
Audience: The people of Israel
Date Written: about 550 bc, during the Babylonian Exile.
Length: 31 Chapters
Key Words: Prayer or prayed
Key Verses: “1 Samuel 13:13 And Samuel said to Saul, “You have done foolishly. You have not kept the commandment of the LORD your God, which He commanded you. For now, the LORD would have established your kingdom over Israel forever. 14 “But now your kingdom shall not continue. The LORD has sought for Himself a man after His own heart, and the LORD has commanded him to be commander over His people, because you have not kept what the LORD commanded you.”
Key People: Eli, Hannah, Samuel, Saul, Jonathan, David
Summary of 1 Samuel:
The book of 1 Samuel is a transition book from God ruling through Judges to God ruling through Kings even though God is the only true king and king of kings. The book’s central theme is to show us the goodness and the severity of God. Unfortunately, many people today only like to think about the goodness of God. Even some churches shy away from the thought of him taking vengeance on those who oppose him. The book further teaches us that obeying God leads to victory over sin and evil.
The name Samuel means “asked of God.” The book is full of prayer and can even be viewed as a treatise on prayer. A secondary theme shows us to recognize the power of prayer. Additionally, we see our need for prayer in all aspects of our life.
1 Samuel also represents a period of transition for the people of Israel. We see them move from the authorities of the Judges to the times of the kings. We start the book with Samuel as the final judge before Saul is appointed King. Next, we follow the story of David from his youth until he replaces Saul on the throne.
Sections of 1 Samuel:
The book of 1 Samuel is divided into three periods. They are defined as follows:
- Beginning of Kingship in Israel (Chapters 1-7)
- Kingship in Israel under the Guidance of Samuel (8:1-16:13)
- The rise of David and his Kingship in Israel (16:14-31:13)
Messages in 1 Samuel:
The theme of prayer is dominant in the life of Samuel. First, Samuel was born to answer his mother Hannah’s prayer. Also, as mentioned earlier, his name means “asked of God.” Next, Samuel’s prayer at Mizpah brings deliverance to the nation of Israel. Then, Samuel seeks the Lord when the people demand a king to rule over them. And finally, we find Samuel in unceasing prayer for the people of God. We should model Samuel’s prayer life.
This Old Testament book also shows us the misery when we don’t follow His ways. We find five such teachings in Samuel’s pages:
- It shows us the pain of polygamy as Hannah’s co-wife tormented her (1:6).
- We also see how problems arise from parents indulging their children. (2:22-25; 8:1-5).
- Also, we see the despair that comes from putting our trust in sacred objects instead of God. (4:3).
- And, we see the torment that comes from not waiting on God’s timing. (13:8-9).
- Lastly, we find trouble when we only partially obey the words of the Lord (25).
As with most of the Books of the Bible, we find aspects of God’s character revealed in 1 Samuel. The list follows the pattern of the book. It shows us the good as well as the vengeful side of God. They are as follows:
- Our God is holy – 2:2
- He is mighty – 14:6
- And God is provident – 2:7, 8; 6:7-10, 12; 30:6
- Also, God is righteous – 12:7
- He is sovereign – 9:17; 16:12, 13; 24:20
- And, He is wise – 2:3
- God is wrathful – 5:6; 6:19; 7:10; 31:6
Our obedience to God’s will is fundamental to our faith. But, when we walk outside His will, we will experience His discipline.
Each book of the Bible contains lessons for us to learn and historical information. We need to study God’s Word to see what to do and what not to do in life. Paul reminds us of the importance of the words within the text in 2 Timothy 3.
2 Timothy 3:14-17; “14 But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of, because you know those from whom you learned it, 15 and how from infancy you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. 16 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 17 so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.”
Heavenly Father, guide our thoughts as we study your Word. Please show us how to apply the principles to our daily lives. Thank you for the many blessings we find within its pages. In Jesus’ Holy Name. Amen.