Suggestion on How To READ?
1 Samuel has 31 chapters or 796 verses!
The book of 1 Samuel tells us the stories and journey of 3 important men in the history of Israel:
His beginnings, his calling and his ministry as Judge, Priest and Prophet (Chap 1-13:15)
Israel’s first king. His story begins in Chapter 9
His beginnings as a young boy, looking after his father’s flock in Chap 16.
You can choose to read a chapter a day!
Take note of the key character in the chapter, how God came into their lives, their responses to God and difficult circumstances / challenges.
Try to capture the essence of these men and the heart of God through this book.
You may find the book of 1 Samuel to be quite a lengthy book to finish. Futhermore there are all sorts of unfamiliar stuff in there that made it even harder to digest. Nonetheless the book is quite an epic with its captivating story telling and characters. After reading it a few times, I found that the summary of the book is in the beginning of the book itself in Hannah’s prayer after the Lord has given her the baby boy Samuel (2:1-10)
The stories of 1 Samuel are filled with contrasting characters. Those that opposed God and those that obeyed Him, e.g. Hannah vs Penninah, Samuel vs. Eli’s sons and David vs. Saul. And the story that stood out most would be the story of David and Saul. Both were anointed by Samuel but David was accepted and Saul was rejected as king. Why?
Not long after Saul became king he started to disobey God by taking matters into his own hands (13:8-12). Unrepentant, Saul continued to disobey God throughout his kingship (15:10-22, 18:4, 22:11-19, 28:3-7, 31:4).
David by contrast made some really illogical decisions by human reasoning. He went up fearlessly to the twice his size Goliath and killed him (17:32-51). In two other accounts, he let his arch rival, Saul go unharmed when he could have eliminated Saul and claimed the throne for himself (24:1-5, 26:9-12). David did not take matters into his own hand but trusted in the Lord’s timing. Thus, he spared Saul’s life.
Looking at this two differing characters, who do we see identified ourselves with? Do we often because of lack of faith in God decided to take matters into our own hands even though God has promised us that He is there to bless us? David or Saul? I will leave you to ponder on the words of the prophet Samuel;
“Does the Lord delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices
as much as in obeying the Lord?
To obey is better than sacrifice,
and to heed is better than the fat of rams.
For rebellion is like the sin of divination,
and arrogance like the evil of idolatry.
Because you have rejected the word of the Lord,
he has rejected you as king.”
1 Sam 15:22-23 NIV
How does the WORD read you?
1 Samuel seems most apt for our present times ~when darkness, evil and corruption triumphs. When everything seems to be going down the drain and what you hope in seem to be breaking apart. Hopelessness and disgust! Is there any point in obeying God, in speaking for truth, in going against the culture of corruption and self-gain, in fighting against evil and sin?
Hannah, Samuel, David, Jonathan…4 persons, whose choices to obey IMPACTED the generations that came after.
“It started with one person…it started with Hannah’s tears. May I indeed be courageous enough to allow my God to see and feel my tears.”
Contributed by, “The Dark Knight”