Book of 1 Samuel

Thomas Carlyle famously said: “The history of the world is but the biography of great men.”

Many people dislike history, considering it nothing but cold facts, impersonal dates, and lists of events. But the lives of those who shaped history give us some of the richest stories in the world.

1 Sam 1 The Eshnunna Law Code
The Eshnunna Law Code dating to c. 1900 B.C.

God used the biographical method in giving us the story of Old Testament history, and 1 Samuel is a prime example.

It tells Israel’s story through the lives of three leaders: Samuel, Saul, and David.

Each life is a lesson for the rest of us, and the themes of I Samuel are for Christians in every station of life.

  • The first part of the book is devoted to the story of Samuel, the boyh who said, “Speak; for thy servant heareth,” (1 Sam 3:10), and the man who became the last of the judges of Israel.
  • The middle part of the book is about Saul, Israel’s first king, who started with great promise and ended with tragic sorrow.
  • The last part of the book centers on David, the youngest son in a shepherding family who became a man after God’s own heart.

As we read this book, it’s helpful to remember we’re all biographers. Each of us is writing the record of our own lives, and one day soon the story will be complete.

Popularity and image will fade away; but those after God’s own heart will leave a legacy of leadership that will endure until the Lord returns.

Key Thought:

The stories of Samuel, Saul, and David remind us that popularity and image will fade away; but those after s own heart will leave a legacy of leadership.

1 Sam 3 David plays harp
In this ivory plaque from Megiddo a harpist plays before the throne of the King, just as David played the harp to soothe Saul’s anxiety.

Key Verse:

“And Samuel said, Hath the Lord as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the Lord? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams” (1 Sam 15:22).

Key Action:

Don’t judge by first impressions, for God doesn’t look at people as we do; we look at the external appearance, but God looks at the heart (1 Sam 16:7).

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