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