By now, you probably know the drill. If you are new to this, this series, as you may have deciphered, is an outline of the entire Bible, book by good ol’ book. Here are the previous sections: Part 1 | Genesis, Part 2 | Exodus, Part 3 | Leviticus, Part 4.1 | Numbers 1-8, Part 4.2 | Numbers 9-19, Part 4.3 | Numbers 20-27, Part 4.4 | Numbers 28-36, Part 5.1 | Deuteronomy 1-11, Part 5.2 | Deuteronomy 12-20, Part 5.3 | Deuteronomy 21-34, Part 6.1 | Joshua 1-12, Part 6.2 | Joshua 13-19, Part 6.3 | Joshua 20-24, Part 7.1 | Judges 1-5, Part 7.2 | Judges 6-12, Part 7.3 | Judges 13-21, Part 8 | Ruth.
Part 9.1 | 1 Samuel 1-8 – The first chapters of 1 Samuel details the life and fall of the priest, Eli, and his household while simultaneously documenting the growth and rise of Samuel and his household. We see the Israelites continue down the same path as we saw them on in Judges, but there is a huge shift in Chapter 8. The Israelites demand a king over them in response to what they see in other nations. They effectively reject the Lord as their King.
BEFORE READING MORE – It would be ideal if you read the chapters to be discussed prior to looking through the outline! This week we are covering 1 Samuel 9 – 12.
1 SAMUEL – The first book of Samuel details the life of major biblical characters such as Hannah, Samuel, Saul, Jonathan, and David. At the end of Ruth we learned that Ruth and Boaz had a boy named Obed, who was the father of Jesse, and Jesse was the father of David whose line would eventually lead to Jesus Christ. 1 Samuel describes an important shift from the time of the Judges over Israel to the time of Kings, and although that shift was an indication of the wayward heart of the Israelites, we still see God’s perfect will played out in a wonderful way through many characters and events. But of all the things that happened throughout the book, it was the life of David that is of particular importance.
- 1 Samuel 9 -10 | Saul is appointed King by the Lord through Samuel, Saul seems to be afraid but he is empowered by the Lord, and not everyone in Israel accepts him as King: In this section of the book of 1 Samuel, the wonderful and perfect Will of the Lord is vividly revealed. Chapter 9 begins by introducing a very handsome and tall Benjamite named Saul who embarked on the pretty straightforward journey of finding his father’s donkeys which were lost. After searching throughout the land, Saul came up empty handed and was on the verge of returning home when his servant suggested that they should seek out a well know “man of God” in the land of Zuph where they had coincidentally ended up. As they make their way up to the city, surprisingly the man of God, Samuel, came out and greeted Saul expectantly. It turned out that God had revealed to Samuel on the previous day that the appointed king promised to the Israelites would be arriving from the land of Benjamin. So the ridiculous journey of Saul simply searching for lost donkeys, was in fact God’s wonderful plan of leading him directly to Samuel so that he could be appointed prince of Israel (God refers to him as a prince although Israel requested a King – maybe alluding to the fact that the Lord is King). Samuel treats Saul with great respect, and in Chapter 10 he reveals to him his anointed role and specific events that will come to pass which would be a sign of his anointing.
When he turned his back to leave Samuel, God gave him another heart. And all these signs came to pass that day. | 1 Samuel 10:9
Saul witnessed all of this truth come to life before him, but he unfortunately immediately displays the weakness of man. When he returned home, his uncle inquired specifically of what Samuel had said to him during his journey, but Saul intentionally leaves out anything about his new kingdom. Samuel then gathered all of Israel together to set a king over them, although they had rejected God who had saved them! They “cast lots” and the tribe of Benjamin was ironically chosen, and they continued until Saul was chosen as the new king (which is ironic because we know that it wasn’t by chance). Unfortunately, Saul is found hiding among the baggage! Nonetheless, he was chosen by the Lord and he had a great position to fill. While some rejoiced at the new king, others immediately despised him:
But some worthless fellows said, “How can this man save us?” And they despised him and brought him no present. But he held his peace. | 1 Samuel 10:27
- 1 Samuel 11 | Nahash threatens evil upon Israel, Saul is empowered to defeat the Ammonites, all of Israel recognize Saul as King: Chapter 11 solidifies Saul’s new position as king in many ways to the Israelites. Nahash the Ammonite, besieged the Israelites town of Jabesh-Gilead, and he made a treaty with them saying that he will allow them to serve him instead of killing them if he can gouge out their right eyes in order to “bring disgrace on all Israel.” This is a huge no-no, and when Saul heard the news, this is how he responded:
And the Spirit of God rushed upon Saul when he heard these words, and his anger was greatly kindled. He took a yoke of oxen and cut them in pieces and sent them throughout all the territory of Israel by the hand of the messengers, saying, “Whoever does not come out after Saul and Samuel, so shall it be done to his oxen!” Then the dread of the Lord fell upon the people, and they came out as one man. | 1 Samuel 11:6-8
So 300,000 Israelites came out and completely demolished the Ammonites, and any Ammonite that survived was scattered “so that no two of them were left together.” This clearly set Saul apart as the anointed king, and his appeal continued when Samuel called for those that doubted him to be put to death. Instead of going through with it, Saul showed the men mercy, and all of Israel rejoiced in the Lord’s salvation through Saul.
- 1 Samuel 12 | Samuel steps down, and Samuel warns all of Israel: In Chapter 12 Samuel stepped down from his major role, but he did so with a long warning to the Israelites. The warning began with Samuel revealing the great wickedness in asking for a king, and it is manifested by Samuel calling upon the Lord who brought thunder and rain on that day, which was meant for harvest. This caused all of the people to greatly fear the Lord and Samuel, and it caused them to realize the evil in asking for a king. Then, the warning continued with Samuel explaining how they should move forward:
And Samuel said to the people, “Do not be afraid; you have done all this evil. Yet do not turn aside from following the Lord, but serve the Lord with all your heart. And do not turn aside after empty things that cannot profit or deliver, for they are empty. For the Lord will not forsake his people, for his great name’s sake, because it has pleased the Lord to make you people for himself.” | 1 Samuel 12:20-22
Unfortunately, the following chapters outline the failure of the newly minted King, and we see the Lord react to it in a powerful and shocking way.