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1 Samuel

The 1st Book of Samuel begins with the work of Samuel as prophet, priest and judge. The book covers the period of change from the time of the Judges to the Kings of Israel.

In the days of Eli the priest, Hannah - a God-fearing but childless woman - prays for a son. Samuel is born and she devotes him to the Lord's service. Samuel's life is then spent restoring Israel's worship - and being a kingmaker.

God used Samuel -
· To tell Israel what would happen when they rejected God in favour of a king of their own (Ch.8)
· To anoint Saul the Benjamite as king (Ch.9)
· To tell Saul that God had rejected him, following his disobedience (Ch.15)
· To anoint a new king - David, of the tribe of Judah (Ch.16).

Perhaps the best-known event in this book is in chapter 17. With a single stone from his sling, David the shepherd-boy defeated the great Philistine champion, Goliath. This showed that God was on David's side.

Saul began well enough as king but when he listened to the people, instead of God, he failed and was rejected by God. After David's victory over Goliath, Saul grew jealous and moody.

The rest of the book tells of the efforts of Saul to kill David. He even had 85 priests killed because he was afraid they were helping David (Ch.22).

David was a man of faith and love, strong in battle against God's enemies but ready to forgive his own foes. His name means 'beloved' and he was God's choice as king. God describes him as being "a man after His own heart" (Ch.13: 14)

Despite Saul's jealousy and attempts to kill him, David resisted the temptation to kill the king when the opportunities arose.

 

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