Be careful what you ask for. The people of God had grown weary and were seeking a king, "like the other nations." Although God had been with them, they wanted a strong military leader like the ones they saw in the nations near them. God gave them precisely what they asked for in King Saul. He was talented and charismatic, but lacked a heart for the Lord. God then turned to a man after His own heart, a young boy named David. David spends most of the book running for his life from Saul and waiting for the time when he would be exalted as king. There are many takeaways, but one of the most profound is what the book says about the qualifications of a leader. Leaders come in all shapes and sizes, but a true spiritual leader shares one thing in common with those who have gone before: they have a heart for the Lord. When a man or woman yields their life to God, they can be used in tremendous ways. When their life is built upon their own talent, charisma, and charm, their leadership is short-lived and quickly forgotten.
Samuel the seer, Nathan the prophet, Gad the seer (1 Chronicles 29:29). Samuel likely wrote chapters 1-24. The books were likely compiled by a member of the prophetic school that Samuel established and led.
Compiled between 931 B.C. with Solomon’s death (1 Samuel 27:6) and 722 B.C., because there is no mention of Israel’s captivity.
Israel’s King Saul
King Saul replaced Theocracy as he was the people’s choice, appointed by Samuel, becoming arrogant of heart and upstaged by young David.
The Septuagint (Greek translation of the Old Testament) divides Samuel into two books, even though it is one continuous account. The book of 1 Samuel covers the 94-year period from the birth of Samuel (1105 B.C.), the last Judge and first Prophet, to the death of Saul (1011 B.C.), the first King of Israel.
© Dr. Rick Taylor and Bill Parkinson
Resources for 1 Samuel