Peace to you all!
This week, we’re going to read our way through the first 12 chapters from Samuel. It begins with a familiar story – God granting a woman who, up to this point, had been barren. We’ve notably heard this before with Abraham & Sarah (Isaac) and will hear it again with Zechariah & Elizabeth (John the Baptist.) In each case, this child is not only an unexpected blessing from God, but is destined to be one who will play an integral role in the story of God’s people. Samuel is no different.
It is Samuel who will close off the time of the Judges over Israel, and oversee Israel’s transition into a monarchy. In addition to his role as a Judge of Israel, we will also read about the ways in which Samuel serves as a priest, as a prophet, and as a leader in the renewal of the Deuteronomic Covenant (1 Samuel 11:14-15.) When Israel comes to Samuel to ask for a king, he warns them that life under a king may not be as good as they may hope or expect – but Israel demands one anyway. Samuel then anoints Saul as King (1 Samuel 10).
This week’s readings will conclude with what seems like the Israelites getting exactly what they’ve wished for: a king like the other nations have who leads them in military victory. But we will see as the readings continue how Saul’s insecurities and fears quickly begin to outweigh his faith in God… and impact the remainder of his reign over Israel.
Here’s what you need to do this week (readings & video):