David consolidates power, assumes the throne of Israel, and captures Jerusalem as the new capital.
David returns to Ziklag from chasing the Amalekites, an important action because it totally exonerates him from having any hand in the death of Saul. In fact, it isn’t until three days later that he even hears about the death of Saul, and of his son Jonathan. His actions concerning the Amalekite who brings him the message are very important in securing the path towards his future. The messenger is expecting a reward, not only for bringing the news of Saul’s death, but for helping the king escape being captured, and probably tortured, by acceding to his wishess and finishing him off after his botched suicide attempt.
Continue reading Bible Study Series: The Book of Second Samuel (Week One Notes)
Saul continues to provoke battle, while David paves the way for his kingly future.
It is interesting to note the briefness of the statement of the death of Samuel. He is, after all, the one for whom these books are named, and he was the great prophet of Israel. No details of the funeral other than to say that “all Israel gathered.” Does that mean a truce was declared and David came? Does it mean that he didn’t come and was therefore not considered part of Israel anymore? The truth is we just don’t know any of these details, and the chronicler of the story evidently did not consider them worthy of mention. That is significant in itself.
Continue reading Bible Study Series: The Book of First Samuel (Week Four Notes)
Young David enters the scene.
So God says to Samuel, “Well, that one didn’t work out so well, get over it and let’s find the right one this time.” But Samuel is a little nervous about taking such a step. Kind of strange for a prophet, don’t you think? Here he has a direct pipeline to God, and he is doing exactly what God wants him to do, and he seems worried that Saul is going to kill him. You would think a prophet would just “boldly go where no one has gone before” without a care in the world. After all, the Big Guy is on his side and has told him to do this. Yet we see that even those folks who have this particular relationship with God still suffer from the normal concerns of us normal creatures.
Continue reading Bible Study Series: The Book of First Samuel (Week Three Notes)
Samuel asserts his leadership as prophet, and Saul is consecrated as Israel’s first king.
The Ark finds a home and is safe there for 20 years. Samuel begins to assert his leadership by directing the people of Israel to have a proper relationship to the Lord and that they should serve him alone.
Continue reading Bible Study Series: The Book of First Samuel (Week Two Notes)
Samuel’s childhood and his calling by God.
The beginning of the Book of Samuel is quite interesting, especially for the time that it was written. It begins by telling the story of a woman, Hannah. This is quite unusual as most of the major characters of the Bible, and other writings of the time, were men. But Hannah plays a major part in the beginning of the story, because it is her “affliction,” and her faith, that set everything into motion.
Continue reading Bible Study Series: The Book of First Samuel (Week One Notes)