Introducing 1st Samuel
This weekend we get ready to begin a new series in the book of 1 Samuel.
1 Samuel is a pivotal book in the life of the nation of Israel. Coming on the heels of the book of Judges, this book is a peek into the history of how one of Israel’s greatest periods of peace and prosperity began. It chronicles the life of the person of Samuel, the last judge.
Samuel comes on the scene at the close of the period of the book of Judges. As the last judge, his life prepares the way for the establishment of God’s king in the person of David, who shepherds the nation with a “skillful hand” (Psalm 78:72). Some commentators have called Samuel the “kingmaker.” During a dark and rebellious time of corrupt leaders, politicians, and priests, Samuel is a beacon of light who shows God has not forgotten his people.
The book of 1 Samuel is also a book of contrasts: Hannah and Peninnnah, Israel and the Philistines, David and Saul… each section of the book is marked by characters who serve as stark opposites of one another. Just as we can learn from positive examples, God can also use negative examples to teach the consequences of disobedience and rebellion. Often it’s these consequences that serve to instruct our hearts to cling more closely to the truths of God.
Finally, while Samuel may be the “kingmaker”, what becomes evident throughout the book is that no leader or elected king can ever match the sovereign and righteous rule of God. He is the true king, who shepherd and leads, who raises up and puts down and who directs all the affairs of this book for the good of his people and the accomplishment of his plans. We see this in Hannah's prayer in the beginning of the book:
“There is none holy like the Lord: for there is none besides you; there is no rock like our God."- 1 Samuel 2:2
I’m praying for our church as we learn to find our ultimate hope and comfort in God who is always the best leader, counselor and king. Can’t wait to see you this weekend.