1 Samuel Powerpoint


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1st Samuel

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Though originally one book, 1 and 2 Samuel were divided into two books by the translators of the Septuagint (the Greek translation of the OT). The author is anonymous. However, the Jewish Talmud indicates that Samuel was the author up to the record of his death, and that Nathan and Gad completed the book. 1 Chronicles 29:29 states that the acts of David were written in the chronicles of Samuel, Nathan and Gad. It is not clear, however, whether or not that reference is actually this book or not.

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Christ as Seen in 1 Samuel: Messiah is literally “the anointed one” and Samuel is the first biblical book to use the word anointed (2:10). Furthermore, the primary portrait and anticipation of Messiah is found in the life of David. He was born in Bethlehem, worked as a shepherd, was ruler over Israel, and became the forerunner of Messiah King through the Davidic dynasty. In the New Testament, Christ is described as a “descendant of David according to the flesh” (Rom. 1:3).

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Purpose The entire narrative of Samuel (1 & 2) contrasts obedience and disobedience to the will of God as expressed for Israel in the Mosaic Covenant. Samuel first contrasts Israel's last two judges (Eli, a failure, and Samuel, a success) and then Israel's first two kings (Saul, a failure, and David, a success).

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Additionally, throughout Samuel, God, in his sovereignty, lifts the lowly to places of prominence. “He raiseth up the poor out of the dust, and lifteth up the beggar from the dunghill, to set them among princes, and to make them inherit the throne of glory: for the pillars of the earth are the LORD's, and he hath set the world upon them.” (1 Sam 2:8) Hannah, the unfortunate barren woman gives birth to the great judge and prophet of Israel, Samuel (1 Sam. 1:20). Saul is from the least family of the smallest tribe of Israel, but is lifted up to become Israel’s first king (1 Sam. 9:21). David is a young shepherd boy who even his father did not consider worth mentioning, but is lifted up to become the greatest of the Israelite kings (1 Sam. 16:11). Why??? “for the LORD seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the LORD looketh on the heart.” (1 Sam. 16:7)

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First Samuel picks up the history of Israel where Judges left off with Samuel following Samson (cf. Judges 16:31). This book traces the transition of leadership in the nation from judges to kings, from a theocracy to a monarchy. It is the story of three men: Samuel the last of the judges and the first of the prophets; Saul the first king of Israel; and David the greatest of all of Israel's kings. These three men mark off the divisions of the book.

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Beginning with the birth of Samuel and his training in the temple, 1 Samuel describes how he led Israel as prophet, priest, and the last judge. During Samuel’s leadership, the people of Israel, wanting to be like the nations, demanded a king. Under God’s direction, Samuel then anointed Saul to be the first king. But Saul was rejected by God because of his disobedience. To replace Saul, again under God’s directions, Samuel anointed David, a man after God’s own heart to become the king of Israel. The rest of the book describes the struggles between jealous Saul and godly David.

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Outline: I. Samuel: Last Judge (ch. 1-7) Representative of the Sovereign voice of God that yields to the free will of man II. Saul: 1st King (ch. 8-15) Representative of the man of the flesh; for in him we see the ruin which is caused by the mind which is set on self-gratification and promotion. III. David: God’s King (ch. 16-31) Representative of the man of faith whose mind is set on the Spirit. Ultimately, in the contrasting lives of Saul and David, this book will describe the eternal conflict between the proud heart which finds confidence in itself and its ability to perform and the humble spirit which looks to God in utter dependence and thus receives all the fullness of divine blessing. This is codified in Romans 8:6, “For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.”

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Theme: The main issue of Samuel is not whether Israel has a king but what kind of king they will have. The kingdom of God (represented in the OT by Israel) is always to be theocratic. God never abdicates as ruler of Israel. The earthly king only serves under God

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Thus, Samuel shows that the monarchy only works when the king is following after the Lord. God is the one who is sovereign, and he is the one who establishes and strengthens the king. “The adversaries of the LORD shall be broken to pieces; out of heaven shall he thunder upon them: the LORD shall judge the ends of the earth; and he shall give strength unto his king, and exalt the horn of his anointed.” (1 Sam. 2:10)

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“And she was in bitterness of soul, and prayed unto the LORD, and wept sore. And she vowed a vow, and said, O LORD of hosts, if thou wilt indeed look on the affliction of thine handmaid, and remember me, and not forget thine handmaid, but wilt give unto thine handmaid a man child, then I will give him unto the LORD all the days of his life, and there shall no razor come upon his head.” (1:10-11) The book of Samuel begins with the story of a barren woman named Hannah. Hannah’s husband had two wives, and the other wife had born children. Hannah, distraught over her barrenness, goes to the tabernacle and fervently prays for a child, promising that any child granted to her would be dedicated to the service of the Lord. The Lord hears the prayer of Hannah and blesses her with a son, Samuel.

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Hannah prayed to “the Lord of Hosts” (1:11) The name "Lord of hosts" occurs first in the Old Testament in verse 3. This is a very commonly used divine combination title and name in the rest of Samuel, Kings, Chronicles, and the prophetic books. The "hosts" are the armies of the sovereign God and consist of humans (17:45), angels (Josh. 5:14), and stars (Isa. 40:26). This name expresses the infinite resources and power at God's disposal as He fights for His people.

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Hannah had promised if God gave her a son that she would dedicate him to the service of the Lord all his life, as a Nazirite from his birth. True to her vow, when the child was weaned (estimates range from 3 to 6 years old), Hannah brought him to the Tabernacle and left him in the care of Eli the priest to serve the Lord. (1:24) Hannah's obedience resulted in God blessing Hannah with five additional children (2:20-21)

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Just like the famine in Ruth chapter 1, the opening emphasis on the barrenness of Hannah was also representative of the spiritual condition of Israel at the birth of Samuel. Most scholars agree that Samuel’s birth and Eli’s judgeship was partially concurrent with Samson’s judgeship.

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The nation is at the end of the period of the judges, where much of the nation is in virtual anarchy and is facing the ramifications of its moral decay (“In those days there was no king in Israel: every man did that which was right in his own eyes.” Judges 21:25) “Now the sons of Eli were sons of Belial; they knew not the LORD.” (2:12) The moral failure of Israel was even found within the priesthood of Yahweh. Eli sons were very corrupt and were using the power of the priesthood for their own pleasure and gain. Eli’s sons would steal the best meat from the temple sacrifices, intended for God, and use it for themselves. In addition, Eli’s sons were sleeping with the women who served in the Tabernacle

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Even when Eli confronted them with their sin his sons refused to repent. (2:22-25) As a result, God used Samuel to deliver the message to Eli that his family would be cut off from the priesthood forever. This prophecy was fulfilled in the days of Solomon, when Abiathar of Eli's family was set aside and Zadok, who was a descendent of Eleazar (son of Aaron) within the tribe of Levi was given the priesthood. (1 Kings 2:27) Additionally, the punishment for this deliberate sin was death (Num. 15:30). God initially judged Eli's sons by giving them hard hearts as a result of their sin before He brought final destruction on them (2:25; cf. Exod. 7:3; Rom. 1:24). “And this shall be a sign unto thee, that shall come upon thy two sons, on Hophni and Phinehas; in one day they shall die both of them.” (3:34)

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As Samuel grew to manhood, he became widely recognized as God's appointed prophet, so that “all Israel from Dan even to Beersheba knew that Samuel was established to be a prophet of the LORD.” (3:20) From Dan to Beersheba is a way of saying "from northernmost Israel to southernmost Israel." It carries a similar idea as saying in the United States, "from New York to California."

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As if the corruption of Eli’s sons was not enough, Israel lost the most holy item of worship, the Ark of the Covenant. This ark contained the tablets of the law delivered by Moses, and more importantly was considered the throne of God kept inside the holy of holies of the tabernacle. The ark was where the glory of God dwelt inside the tabernacle.

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The ark was lost in an attempt to make up for a military defeat in a battle against the Philistines. (4:2) Thus the elders said, “Let us fetch the ark of the covenant of the LORD out of Shiloh unto us, that, when it cometh among us, it may save us out of the hand of our enemies.” (4:3) The Ark of the Covenant was taken from the Tabernacle and used as a good luck charm that would bring them success in renewed battle. However, total disaster followed and approx 30,000 Israelites were slain, including the two sons of Eli, and the Ark itself was taken captive by the Philistines. (4:10-11) The loss of the ark represented the removal of the presence and glory of God from the nation of Israel

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When news of his sons' death and the loss of the Ark was brought to Eli, he fell over backward and broke his neck. (4:18) The stress resulting hearing the tragedy of her husband and Eli’s death caused his daughter-in-law to go into labor. (4:19) She gave birth to a son. In view of the terrible circumstances, she named the child Ichabod ("the glory has departed"). (4:21)

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Though the Ark of the Covenant brought no victory to Israel, yet, in the hands of the Philistines it proved to be a source of continual torment. Having captured the ark, the Philistines brought it from Ebenezer to their main city, Ashdod, and “they brought it into the house of Dagon, and set it by Dagon.” (5:2) Dagon was the principle deity of the Philistines, the fertility god. “And when they of Ashdod arose early on the morrow, behold, Dagon was fallen upon his face to the earth before the ark of the LORD. And they took Dagon, and set him in his place again. And when they arose early on the morrow morning, behold, Dagon was fallen upon his face to the ground before the ark of the LORD; and the head of Dagon and both the palms of his hands were cut off upon the threshold; only the stump of Dagon was left to him.” (5:3-4) Dagon falling on its face before the Ark indicates Yahweh's superiority. (5:7)

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Next a plague of tumors broke out among the people of the city of Ashdod, who hastily sent the Ark to Gath. There the tumors broke out again. Next, they sent the Ark of God to Ekron, who were not happy see the ark and “cried out, saying, They have brought about the ark of the God of Israel to us, to slay us and our people.” (5:10) Once again the city was struck with tumors so much that “the cry of the city went up to heaven.” (5:12) “And the ark of the LORD was in the country of the Philistines seven months.” (6:1)

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Finally, in desperation, the lords of the Philistines decided to return the Ark to Israel, along with an offering of five golden tumors and five golden mice. In order to determine whether God was actually behind the plague the Philistines hitched two milk cows to a cart but shut up the cows' calves at home. Contrary to nature, the cows drew the cart away from their calves, directly to Bethshemesh, which was the first city within the border of Israel.

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What a miracle! Two cows who had never pulled a cart before, either alone or together. No driver leads them, yet they leave home, and march the ten miles or so to a city they had never been to. They leave their own calves behind, and go straight on a certain road, with never a wrong turn, never a stop, never turning aside into the fields to feed themselves, never turning back to feed their own calves.

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However, when the Ark arrived in Bethshemesh, many men looked into the Ark out of curiosity, contrary to the Law, and they immediately died. Frightened by this slaughter, the inhabitants of Bethshemesh appealed to the people of Kiriath-jearim to take the Ark into their city. There it was put into the care of Eleazar, a Levite, and remained for some 20 years. Samuel seized the occasion to exhort Israel, “If ye do return unto the LORD with all your hearts, then put away the strange gods and Ashtaroth from among you, and prepare your hearts unto the LORD, and serve him only: and he will deliver you out of the hand of the Philistines.” (7:3)

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“Then the children of Israel did put away Baalim and Ashtaroth, and served the LORD only.” (7:4) Thus, under Samuel the nation experienced a revival, repenting of their worship of Baal and Ashtaroth.

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With the help of the Lord Israel defeated the Philistines and liberated towns which had been under Philistine rule for years. “And there was peace between Israel and the Amorites.” (7:14) Under Samuel’s rule as judge, Israel saw peace from her neighbors because they continued to worship Yahweh alone. Therefore, God caused Israel to start to prosper.

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“And it came to pass, when Samuel was old, that he made his sons judges over Israel.” (8:1) However, his sons were dishonest, taking bribes from the people. (8:3) Then all the elders of Israel gathered together and came to Samuel at Ramah, and said to him, “Behold, thou art old, and thy sons walk not in thy ways: now make us a king to judge us like all the nations.” (8:5)

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What was the difference between a king and a judge? A judge was a leader raised up by God, usually to meet a specific need in a time of crisis. When the crisis was over, usually the judge just went back to doing what he was doing before. A king not only held his office as king as long as he lived; he also passed his throne down to his descendants. In addition, a judge would not have a "government." He was there to meet a specific need in a time of crisis. A king would establish a standing government, with a bureaucracy, which is both a blessing and a curse to any people.

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In and of itself, the desire to have a king was not bad. The book of Judges clearly demonstrated the need for a strong central leader. The Israelites had tried to make Gideon their king (Judg. 8:22-23), so this was not the first time the people had voiced this desire. A king was in God's plan for Israel. Four hundred years before this, God gave instructions to Israel about their future king (Deuteronomy 17:14-20; cf. Gen. 1:26-28; 17:6, 16; 35:11; 49:10). However, he was to be a king of humble spirit and obedient heart who would be the human instrument of the government of God.

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“But the thing displeased Samuel, when they said, Give us a king to judge us.” (8:6) Despite the inferred displeasure of God concerning the request for a king, God instructs Samuel to “Hearken unto the voice of the people in all that they say unto thee” (8:7) Why???? Verse 8:20 provides the answer

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“That we also may be like all the nations” (8:20a) It was the motive they wanted a king that displeased God. First, it was a desire to be "like all the nations.” God’s purpose for Israel was that it be different from the nations, superior to them, and a lesson for them: “And ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation.” (Ex 19:6) and “And I will walk among you, and will be your God, and ye shall be my people.” (Lev 26:12)

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“…and that our king may judge us,” (8:20b) Secondly, the request expressed dissatisfaction with God's present method of providing leadership through the judges. What they were really saying was that they did not like the theocracy of God and wanted a sovereign ruler of their own choosing: “for they have not rejected thee, but they have rejected me, that I should not reign over them.” (8:7)

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“…and go out before us, and fight our battles.” (8:20c) Though they were at peace, they were under constant threat from the nations around them, and they saw a king as being able to fight their battles. They no longer trusted God to defend them in battle and instead wanted to see the establishment of a king’s standing army to defend them

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Yet, the real heart of the matter was that they not only did not want God as their king, they didn’t want God at all! “According to all the works which they have done since the day that I brought them up out of Egypt even unto this day, wherewith they have forsaken me, and served other gods, so do they also unto thee.” (8:8; also ref 10:19) Nonetheless, the Lord grants the nation their request. (8:22)

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“Now there was a man of Benjamin, whose name was Kish…. a mighty man of power, and he had a son, whose name was Saul, a choice young man, and a goodly: and there was not among the children of Israel a goodlier person than he: from his shoulders and upward he was higher than any of the people.” (9:1-2) In chapters 9—11 the writer painted Saul as the ideal man to serve as king from the human viewpoint. In chapter 9 we are first introduced to Saul by explaining that he is from good Benjamite stock. He is described as the tallest and most handsome man in all of Israel. Also, Kish, the father of Saul, was a wealthy and influential man in Israel. Saul came from a prestigious family, and was born to wealth and influence. If being king over Israel was all about pedigree, image, and appearances, Saul was the man.

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The story opens with Saul searching for his father’s lost donkeys After a long and fruitless search, he and his servant decide to consult Samuel to see if he could help them find the donkeys. So Saul went to Samuel and, to his amazement he found that Samuel was expecting him (9:18-20), for God had told Samuel that a young man from Benjamin would appear the next day and Samuel was to anoint him as king over Israel.

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The next day, Samuel privately anointed Saul as the new king. He described three signs which would be fulfilled to assure him that this was a definite call of God (10:1-8). These signs were immediately fulfilled and in short order the people were called together at Mizpah for the formal presentation of their new king. Yet, strangely, Saul seeks to evade that responsibility by hiding among the baggage (10:22)

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The first test of Saul’s kingship came with an attack by the Ammonites against Jabesh-gilead in the north (chap. 11 ). Stirred by the Spirit of God, Saul sent word to the 12 tribes to gather an army, and 330,000 men responded. A great victory resulted and the people become unified under this new king.

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Chapters 13 and 14 are a summary of Saul's wars with the Philistines. Saul’s next battle is against the Philistines. He raises an army of 3,000, a 1000 of which his son Jonathon used to defeat the garrison at Geba. Saul takes credit for the victory and the Philistines organize a huge army of 30,000 chariots and 6000 cavalry in retaliation. This enormous army so frightened the Israelites that they fled, hiding in the caves and rocks of the mountains.

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Meanwhile, Saul waited at Gilgal with his small army for Samuel to come and offer sacrifices of worship before Israel engaged the Philistines in battle. When Samuel didn’t make a timely arrival, Saul took matters in his own hands and performed the burnt sacrifice. When Samuel arrived and demanded an explanation, Saul replied, “I forced myself therefore, and offered a burnt offering.” (13:12) In other words, Saul was saying, "I had to do something to impress the people, and gain their support back."

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“And Samuel said to Saul, Thou hast done foolishly: thou hast not kept the commandment of the LORD thy God, which he commanded thee: for now would the LORD have established thy kingdom upon Israel for ever. But now thy kingdom shall not continue: the LORD hath sought him a man after his own heart, and the LORD hath commanded him to be captain over his people, because thou hast not kept that which the LORD commanded thee.” (13:13-14) Saul’s dynasty would not be allowed to rule Israel primarily due to Saul not being a man after God’s heart. So what does it mean to be a man after God’s own heart?

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The difference between Saul and David is seen in at least two primary ways: A man after God's heart honors the LORD. Saul's desire is not the glory of God. It is the glory of Saul. Saul was more concerned with his will than God's will. David was a man after God's heart in the way that he knew God's will was most important. Even when David didn't do God's will, he still knew God's will was more important than his own was. All sin is a disregard of God, but David sinned more out of weakness and Saul more out of a disregard for God. A man after God's heart enthrones God as king. For Saul, Saul was king. For David, the LORD God was king. Both David and Saul would have thought sacrifice important before the battle. But David thought it was important because it pleased and honored God. Saul thought it was important because it might help him win a battle. For Saul, God would help him achieve his goals. For David, God Himself was the goal.

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In practical terms, if you are a person after God’s own heart then you are a person whose life is in harmony with the Lord. This is especially evident in your attitude: What is important to Him is important to you. What burdens Him burdens you. When He says, 'Go to the right,' you go to the right. When He says, 'Stop that in your life,' you stop it. When He says, 'This is wrong and I want you to change,' you come to terms with it because you have a heart for God.

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While Saul hides out with his small army (now down to only 600) at Gibeah, Jonathan and his armor-bearer execute a bold raid on the Philistines, killing about 20 of them. This unexpected attack produced panic among the Philistines and, seeing it, the Israelites emerged from hiding to complete the rout of the Philistines. Yet, Saul was unable to conquer the Philistines: “And there was sore war against the Philistines all the days of Saul…” (14:52)

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“Now go and smite Amalek, and utterly destroy all that they have, and spare them not; but slay both man and woman, infant and suckling, ox and sheep, camel and ass.” (15:3) God gave Saul one last chance to redeem himself as king. He commanded Saul, through Samuel, to launch an attack upon the Amalekites and utterly destroy them and all their possessions. Remember that Amalek was the people about whom Moses had said, "The Lord will have war against Amalek from generation to generation” (Exod. 17:16). Saul's campaign was victorious, but again he proved disobedient; for he spared King Agag of the Amalekites and saved the best of the sheep and oxen and the goods. (15:9) The obedient King Hezekiah completely annihilated them years later (1 Chron. 4:43).

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When Samuel came to Saul, having been told of his disobedience by the Lord, Saul claimed he was completely obedient to God’s commandment concerning Amalek and that the animals were only saved so they could be used as a sacrifice. Samuel sees right through Saul’s deception as rebukes him severely: “Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams. For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because thou hast rejected the word of the LORD, he hath also rejected thee from being king.” (15:22-23) Samuel then called for a sword and killed the Amalekite king himself. Then Samuel returned to his home, never to see Saul again.

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Samuel is so upset over the failure of Saul, that he delays seeking after another king. But finally the Lord tells Samuel to go to Bethlehem and to the house of Jesse, for there he would find the next king of Israel. Samuel goes to Bethlehem, and there Jesse parades out each of his sons. But none of them is the one the Lord has chosen. Samuel asks if there are any other sons. There is, but the youngest son is out tending the sheep. When this son comes, the Lord tells Samuel that this young man, named David, will be the next king of Israel. Samuel anoints the young man.

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As soon as David was anointed king by Samuel, “the Spirit of the LORD came upon David from that day forward” (16:13). However, the Spirit of the Lord departed from Saul. Even worse….the Lord sent an evil spirit to torment him: “But the Spirit of the LORD departed from Saul, and an evil spirit from the LORD troubled him.” (16:14)

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Due to this affliction, Saul began to experience panic/terror attacks and a deteriorating mental state. Being advised that soothing music might be the best remedy, Saul requested that David be summoned to the royal court so that he could play the harp for Saul. David was so effective with the harp that, “And it came to pass, when the evil spirit from God was upon Saul, that David took an harp, and played with his hand: so Saul was refreshed, and was well, and the evil spirit departed from him.” (16:23)

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“Now the Philistines gathered together their armies to battle…And there went out a champion out of the camp of the Philistines, named Goliath, of Gath.” (17:1,4) Goliath was about 9 feet 9 inches tall The author gives a long description of Goliath to contrast David’s great courage and faith with how invulnerable Goliath was in man’s eyes

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“And he stood and cried unto the armies of Israel, and said unto them, Why are ye come out to set your battle in array? am not I a Philistine, and ye servants to Saul? choose you a man for you, and let him come down to me. If he be able to fight with me, and to kill me, then will we be your servants: but if I prevail against him, and kill him, then shall ye be our servants, and serve us. And the Philistine said, I defy the armies of Israel this day; give me a man, that we may fight together.” (17:8-10) The Philistines, employing a common method of limiting war in the ancient world, proposed a battle in which representative champions from Israel and Philistia would duel it out. The armies of Israel were being mocked and taunted by this giant who paraded up and down morning and evening, mocking the impotence of the Israelites who did not dare to send a man into combat against him.

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“When Saul and all Israel heard those words of the Philistine, they were dismayed, and greatly afraid.” (17:11) Goliath was the giant among the Philistines, and Saul was head and shoulder taller than other Israelite men (1 Samuel 9:2). Saul was the logical choice to square off against Goliath Yet, Saul is dismayed and greatly afraid. At one time, he was known as a fierce and successful military leader (1 Samuel 14:52). But that was before the Spirit of the LORD departed from Saul (1 Samuel 16:14). As the Spirit of the LORD left Saul, so did his courage. Saul should have been the champion of Israel, for he was the tallest warrior. Yet he cowered, leaving the Philistine to taunt the Israelites and their God.

Slide 54

“And the Philistine drew near morning and evening, and presented himself forty days.” (17:16) Day after day, Goliath would taunt and mock the armies of Israel, exposing them all (and especially Saul) as cowards who would run from a fight. Significantly, forty days (or forty years) is used in the Scriptures rather consistently as a period of judgment and or testing. It rained for forty days in the time of Noah. Israel was in the wilderness forty years. Jesus fasted and was tempted of the devil for forty days before He began His public ministry. So here, Israel is also tested by Goliath's mockery.

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“And David said, What have I now done? Is there not a cause?” (17:29) David visits his brothers at the front, and is appalled that Goliath ridiculed the name of the Lord. If no one else will confront this blasphemer, then David himself will do it. Saul is certain David will be defeated, but he allows him, nonetheless to battle him. In this famous story, David gathers 5 stones and with a shepherd’s sling, defeats the great Goliath. The Israelites chased the fleeing Philistines back home to their towns. David took Goliath‘s head as a trophy of war to Jerusalem and put the giant's weapons in his own tent temporarily (17:54).

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Due to his great victory over Goliath, David becomes a commander in Saul’s army has great success in battle wherever he went. From this, David’s fame grew. The women of Israel would sing: “Saul hath slain his thousands, and David his ten thousands.” (18:7) David has now become the sensation of the nation, and Saul eyed him with increasing envy from that day on. In fact, Saul becomes so consumed with his jealousy that twice, in his madness, Saul sought to kill David with his spear, but both times David evaded him.(18:11) Despite this animosity by Saul, Jonathan, Saul's son, openly sought friendship with David and it is recorded “he loved him as his own soul“ (18:3)

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Saul's enmity toward David grew so fierce that he attempted to enlist Jonathan in a plot to kill David. Jonathan nobly defended David and gained a temporary reprieve for him from the king's wrath. Soon, however Saul again attempted to kill David with a spear, and once again David escaped. The king then sent soldiers to David's house to take him, but Michal, his wife, let David down through a window and, placing an image under the blankets on David's bed, reported to the messengers that David was ill ( 19: 11-14).

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“So David fled, and escaped” (19:18) David never returned to the palace until he was king of Israel - some 20 years later! From now until the day Saul dies and David is crowned, David lives his life as a fugitive. David fled to Samuel at Ramah, and there, when Saul sent messengers after him, was protected by a direct divine intervention in which the Spirit of God turned back three companies of soldiers by compelling them to prophesy. At last when Saul himself came to capture David, he too was seized by the Spirit of God and prophesied before Samuel, so that it was said throughout all Israel, "Is Saul also among the prophets?" (19:24).

Slide 59

David returned to seek the intervention of Jonathan with his father. Using an arrow as a signal, Jonathon warns David to flee from Saul and they make a covenant together to take care of each other’s family in the future. David later will abide by this covenant when he is king. David then flees and finds refuge temporarily in Nob with the priests in the tabernacle of the Lord. The priests supply David with food, namely the holy show bread placed as an offering before the Lord, and with Goliath’s sword and spear which they have kept for him since his defeat of the Philistine. (21:6,9) Centuries later, Jesus would refer to this incident and justify David's conduct as the actions of a man of faith. (Matthew 12:1-8) When Saul discovers that the priests have aided David, he slaughters the priests of the Lord in the tabernacle.

Slide 60

“And David arose and fled that day for fear of Saul, and went to Achish the king of Gath.” (21:10) David next sought refuge among the Philistines in the city of Gath. There he found his reputation as a valiant warrior had preceded him. To avoid being slain by the Philistines, he pretended to be insane, letting his spit run down his beard. (21:13) Psalm 34 is David's declaration of joy when he escaped from Gath with his life. David now gathered about him a band of some 400 men and made his guerrilla headquarters in the cave of Adullam. There everyone who was in distress, in debt, and who was discontented gathered to him. (22:1-2)

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King Saul's relentless pursuit of David caused Saul to disregard the duties of national security. Thus, the Philistines took full advantage of this condition, and attacked the city of Keileh. However, it is David, rather than Saul, who responds. His army put the Philistines to rout and saved the city. (23:5) David learned that Saul had was sending an army against him to Keileh, he flees to the wilderness of Ziph The Ziphites attempted to betray David into the hands of Saul, but David was spared when the Philistines launched another attack and Saul had to turn aside from his pursuit of David and go against the Philistines (23:15-29). After returning from the battle with the Philistines, Saul unwittingly entered the very cave in which David and his men were hiding. While Saul was in there, David managed to cut off the hem of the garment he had laid aside. After Saul left the cave David came out and held up the piece of garment as proof that David could have killed him if he so desired, but instead had intentionally spared his life. (24:3-15)

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“And Samuel died…” (25:1) After only a very brief epitaph for Samuel, Chapter 25 gives the account of Nabal (which means "fool") and his wife, Abigail. Nabal was a wealthy—but mean spirited– farmer. As he was shearing his sheep near Mount Carmel, David sent 10 of his young men to ask for a supply of food, reminding Nabal that the safety he enjoyed was due to the presence of David and his men. Nabal refused to help and insults David. Unfortunately, David doesn't show Nabal the same kindness and longsuffering that he showed to Saul. So an angry and insulted David takes 400 of his men and vows to massacre Nabal and his entire household (25:21-22)

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When Nabal's wife Abigail heard that David was intent upon their destruction, she hastily sent David a generous present of bread, wine and sheep, clusters of raisins and cakes of figs. Mounting her donkey she met David on his way to revenge. Abigail intercedes for Nabal. She reasoned with David by reminding him that he was taking vengeance into his own hands and this would be evil in the eyes of the Lord. David commends her for the wise intervention When Abigail, the next morning, told her husband Nabal of his narrow escape from death, the shock brought on a heart attack, “And it came to pass about ten days after, that the LORD smote Nabal, that he died.” (25:38). So when David heard that Nabal was dead, “David sent and communed with Abigail, to take her to him to wife.” (25:39)

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Once again the Ziphites attempted to betray David to Saul, and once again Saul pursued him with an army of 3,000 men. This time David and two of his men found Saul sleeping at night in the midst of his camp, and, carefully stealing into the camp amidst the sleeping men, David took Saul's spear and water jar and left the camp. Then standing afar off he called out, waking the king and his men, and rebuked Saul's general, Abner, for his lack of care of the king. He again reminded Saul that he had had an opportunity to take his life but spared him because he was the Lord's anointed.

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“And David said in his heart, I shall now perish one day by the hand of Saul: there is nothing better for me than that I should speedily escape into the land of the Philistines; and Saul shall despair of me, to seek me any more in any coast of Israel: so shall I escape out of his hand. And David arose, and he passed over with the six hundred men that were with him unto Achish, the son of Maoch, king of Gath.” (27:1-2) Unfortunately, In his discouraged despair, David is at a place that many find themselves at some point in their lives. He basically says, "I give up. I can't take this anymore. The stress of trusting God is too much, and I have to find protection somewhere else." David seeks refuge among the Philistines, in the town of Ziklag (27:5-7). From there he carried out raids against other Canaanite enemies of Israel. In essence, nothing more than a roving bandit. But in his reports to Achish, David deceived him into thinking his attacks were directed against the cities of Israel. The cost of protection by the Philistines resulted in David being compelled to join the Philistine army in preparing to launch an attack upon Israel (28:1).

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When King Saul learned that the Philistines were gathering against him he was afraid and sought the Lord for guidance, but the Lord refused to answer him in any manner. In desperation, Saul disguised himself and sought out a medium, though he himself had given orders long before that such mediums should be put to death. Saul asked the medium of Endor to recall Samuel from the dead to advise him. Surprising even the witch herself, the spirit of the true Samuel himself announced Saul's impending death on the battlefield the next day (28:13-19). “Then Saul fell straightway all along on the earth, and was sore afraid, because of the words of Samuel: and there was no strength in him; for he had eaten no bread all the day, nor all the night.” (28:20)

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The scene changes to the Philistine armies who were assembling for the battle. When the lords of the Philistines saw David among them, they protested to King Achish and forced David to turn back. When David returned to Ziklag he found that the city had been sacked by the Amalekites in his absence. He sought the guidance of God and set out in pursuit. He managed to overtake the raiders and attacked and destroyed them, recovering his two wives and great quantities of spoil. He insisted that 200 of his men who had been too exhausted to join him should share equally in the spoil with those who had gone with him; for he maintained that it was the Lord who had delivered the enemy into his hands and not those who fought.

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The closing chapter of the book recounts the fulfilling of Samuel's prophecy. During the battle between Saul and the Philistines, the Philistines overtook Saul and slew all his sons, including Jonathan, and wounded Saul. Saul, after being mortally wounded, asks his armor bearer to kill him so the Philistines won’t torture him. But the armor bearer refuses, so Saul takes his own life rather than be captured by the Philistines. The Philistines, finding Saul's body with those of his sons, cut off their heads and hung their bodies on the wall of the city of Bethshean. However, the men of Jabesh-gilead recovered them by night and buried their remains in Jabesh.

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Just so we don’t miss the main point: God decides who will prosper and who will perish. The basis of His judgment is His faithfulness to what He has said He will do when people respond to His will

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