Wednesday, October 20, 2010

1 Samuel

The LORD does not look at the things human beings look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart." (NIV) 1 Samuel 16:7

A change in leadership

The book of 1 Samuel continues the history of Israel as it connects the end of the era of the judges under Samuel with the reign of Israel’s first king, Saul. The nation of Israel faces abashing transitions as it rejects God’s rule and longs ors for a leadership like that of its neighbors. Though grieved by Israel's choice, God grants the people’s request and installs Saul as king. Ultimately Saul falls prey to the sin of pride, and Samuel anoints Saul’s successor, David.
Godly women play important roles in the unfolding drama of 1 Samuel. We feel the anguish of Hannah’s barrenness and share her ultimate joy when God grants her desire for a child (1 Sa 1:1-2:26). We see the first love as Michal reveals her feelings for David and sympathize as she incurs her father’s wrath when she attempts to protect David ( 1 Sa 18:20-29; 19:9-17). We applaud Abigail’s intelligence and resourcefulness as she dares to do what’s right despite her husband’s evil intentions (1 Sa 25).
Some characters in 1 Samuel exhibit weaknesses that serve as vivid lessons. Eli’s poor parenting results in children who lack moral strength. (1Sa 3:1-18). Saul’s preoccupation with success at any cost brings about his ultimate removal from leadership (1Sa 15). And Jesse’s lack of discernment blinds him to god’s perspective in choosing a new leader (1 Sa 16:1-13). Throughout 1 Samuel one truth rings loudly and clearly: God doesn’t necessarily opt to use those with tremendous talents or leadership skills. He uses those who are willing to be used and who value obedience above all else.Read the book of 1 Samuel here.

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