Samuel Intro. 2

I titled this Samuel Intro and left of the numbers in front because both the books of Samuel in the Bible act as a unit.  I will be reading from the NIV Application Commentary from Bill Arnold each day.  He puts both the books together as a unit written by Jewish historians.  However, we should view the reading of Jewish historical books as much more than a dry catalog of names and places.  The people of Israel’s history is recorded in the way that all history should be evaluated.  What was the point of the events that happened?  What was God doing through the people of Israel as they transitioned to a monarchy?

As Bill Arnold says:

Though the literary genre of these books is historical narratve, we should remember their real nature as sermonic tracts.  They invite us to follow the historical acts of God in early Israel, but they do much more besides.  The narrative in 1-2 Samuel invites us to enter into the story, to become part of the continuing saga of God’s work in the world.

Reading:

Skim through the boks of Samuel in your Bible.  Look at the paragraph headings that your Bible uses.

Questions:

  1. How can people reduce the events of the Bible to dry facts?
  2. Which stories have you heard before from 1 & 2 Samuel?  Why do you think they are in the Bible?
  3. Do you see yourself in the characters of the stories you read?
  4. How can you read 1 & 2 Samuel in the most dynamic way?
  5. How does it change our perspective to think about God working his purposes in history?

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About Plymothian

I teach at Moody Bible Institute in Chicago. My interests include education, biblical studies, and spiritual formation. I have been married to Kelli since 1998 and we have two children, Daryl and Amelia. For recreation I like to run, play soccer, play board games, read and travel.
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12 Responses to Samuel Intro. 2

  1. Rebecca Langer says:

    1.How can people reduce the events of the Bible to dry facts?
    People don’t really think about the people of the Bible as real people and real events, but merely stories. They think it was so long ago that it could not possibly apply to them.
    2.Which stories have you heard before from 1 & 2 Samuel? Why do you think they are in the Bible?
    I have heard of David and Goliath, David becoming king, Bathsheba, Solomon and his Concubines and many others. I have read them all. I think that they show how the relationships of a nation and of people’s lives really do effect how they relate to God.
    3.Do you see yourself in the characters of the stories you read?
    I can see myself in stories from the BIble. Sometimes in a good way, andf sometimes in a bad way.
    4.How can you read 1 & 2 Samuel in the most dynamic way?
    I can read Samuel in a dynamic way by stepping into their shoes and imagining what life was like for them.
    5.How does it change our perspective to think about God working his purposes in history?

  2. Rebecca Langer says:

    (I forgot to answer question 5)
    5. I know that even as he worked through the history of Israel way back then, he is working in teh history of America and my life right now. 🙂

  3. Sokloon Dy (Lizzy) says:

    1. by simply stating what happened as opposed to significance of it.
    2. Hannah and Samuel, Eli and his sons, David and Goliath, Saul: First King over Israel, Rise and Fall of Saul, The Death of Saul…These stories are in the Bible to help us to know God better. the stories show how faithful and just God is. Also, we can learn from their mistakes.
    3. Yes, because they all made mistakes, but they learned from the faithfulness of God just like we do. we all make mistakes, but we learn from them by looking at how faithful God is. i know that i am capable of being faithful at times, and unfaithful at other times to God. the characters in these books showed the exact same thing.
    4. we can read the stories of each significant character in the books of 1 and 2 Sam and find a way to relate them to our lives.
    5. He always works things out for His glory and for our good so that we never have to be worried about the troubles of this life.

  4. Amy Kringle says:

    1. It can become “dry facts” when we forget that all history and even laws in the Bible are God directed and ordained. They seem unrelable because we can fail to see that just as God directed these peoples lives, so he directs ours.
    2. I’ve heard the story of David being king and the defeat of Saul, Davids faithfulness and friendship to Jonathon, David and Goliath, and David and Bathsheba. I think the stories are in here to show how man has his owns plans but the will of the Lord comes to pass.
    3. I see how a lot of them failed or became jealous out of personal gain and I often can be that way. Some of them turn to God and some of them don’t; I do turn to God because he’s taught me that I accomplish nothing of worth by living for my own selfish desires.
    4. I think by understanding the picture of what is going on in the life of Israel, then the individual stories make sense and while they have significance of their own, point to the bigger picture of God shaping and redirecting his nation for him.
    5. We can realize that his purposes have always come to pass in history and that we currently are part of his purposes; he has a plan for us and our nation that will unfold just as he has planned it.

  5. Sandra Tindle says:

    1. People can reduce the events of the Bible to dry facts by just quickly reading over the passages, by not understanding the historical and cultural backgrounds of the stories.
    2. Stories that I’ve heard before from 1 & 2 Samuel are David and Goliath, David hiding from Saul and not killing him, David and Bathsheba, Nathan rebuking David, David’s child’s death.
    3. I do see myself in the characters of the stories I read.
    4. You can read 1 & 2 Samuel in the most dynamic way by researching some of the historical and cultural background of the Israelites at that time, by asking the Holy Spirit to reveal things to you, and by reading it slowly and comprehensively.
    5. It changes our perspective to think about God working his purposes in history by making us aware of the fact that we are only a small, small part of the bigger story, and it makes us more trusting of God because He knows what is going to happen and when, and we know that He has a good plan.

  6. Melisa Guiles says:

    1. One way that people reduce the events of the Bible to dry facts is that they read it simply for class or for a paper. Another way is if they are simply reading it to be able to say that they have done their devotions instead of really diving into the Word.
    2. I have heard most of the stories from 1 and 2 Samuel because they are some of my favorite books of the Bible. I think they are in the Bible to show us how the Lord worked in the times of Samuel, Saul, and David and so that we can see how the Lord always accomplishes His plan.
    3. I see myself in the characters in the stories, because they have alot of the same weaknesses and make some of the same mistakes I do.
    4. I find that reading the Bible out loud helps it come alive for me. I am not simply seeing the word on the page, but hearing them and imagining the scenes as well. I also think it is important to pray and ask the Holy Spirit to open my eyes to the truths that are in a passage and also to read slowly and maybe several times.
    5. It changes my perspective because if He was working His purposes back then, He is still going to be working them now. It reminds me that God is in control and that He does have a plan.

  7. Grace Yoo says:

    1. Some ways that people can reduce the facts and events of the Bible are to skim the passages and try not to think too much while reading.

    2. Some of the stories that I have heard before that are in 1 and 2 Samuel are the anointing of Saul, David and Goliath, Saul’s jealousy and trying to kill David, and David becoming king.

    3. Yes, I do see myself in some of the stories.

    4. Some of the ways that I can read 1 and 2 Samuel in the most dynamic way is to get some background research on both books and maybe read what happened before these two books. It also helps to read out loud and to be enthusiastic as I read.

    5. It changes my perspective and pushes me to realize that God always has a plan and He is always working in all ways.

  8. Moon [ED 2203;Mon 6:00pm class] says:

    1.How can people reduce the events of the Bible to dry facts? when people don’t think the events of the Bible happened in reality in history and treat them like fairy tales, people can reduce the events to dry facts.
    2.Which stories have you heard before from 1 & 2 Samuel? Why do you think they are in the Bible? stories of Samuel,Saul and David. those stories are God’s dispensational histories which are significant in his redemption plan.
    3.Do you see yourself in the characters of the stories you read? yes. especially David’s confessions and responses in the midst of his trial.
    4.How can you read 1 & 2 Samuel in the most dynamic way? go with studying the back ground of the history
    5.How does it change our perspective to think about God working his purposes in history? it changes our perspective to see God’s ruling all over the human history

  9. Kristin Goffinet says:

    1) I think we can reduce the Bible to dry facts when we fail to examine the text well, and we only keep our teaching of the Word at a surface level.
    2) David and Goliath- I think it’s in the Bible to remind us of God’s greatness and how we can trust Him in every situation.
    3) Sometimes I try to imagine myself in the stories, wondering how I would respond in similiar situations, but I have a had time really entering the character’s world.
    4) I can read it in the most dynamic way by taking time to look at the context of each passage and disecting the phrases, as well as considering the historical context.
    5) It makes us realize that our lives our only one small part of all of human history, and God has a plan in everything.

  10. spiritandtruth1128 says:

    1. How can people reduce the events of the Bible to dry facts? A lot of people like to think that the Bible just uses stories to help us understand past events. They remember the facts of the Bible but it doesnt mean anything special to them anymore.
    2. Which stories have you heard before from 1 & 2 Samuel? Why do you think they are in the Bible? Since I had to take Old Testament Survey, I had a chance to read all the stories in 1 and 2 Samuel. However, I can’t remember what is in them unless I look at the books. I feel like some of the stories most present in my memory are David and Goliath and Samuel being born and being called.
    3. Do you see yourself in the characters of the stories you read? I feel like I can compare myself to a lot of characters that make mistakes. When I seem to be going in a good path, I very easily get sidetracked and then I experience God’s love and mercy and it convicts me.
    4. How can you read 1 & 2 Samuel in the most dynamic way? I think that we can read it and keep in mind that these were real people, actual events and that it is inspired scripture.
    5. How does it change our perspective to think about God working his purposes in history? It makes us realize that we are just a tiny part of God;s plan.

  11. [ED2203-01] HyeJin Lee says:

    1.How can people reduce the events of the Bible to dry facts?
    – People have a tendency to think bible as a fact of the past. However, we need to remember that God still tells us through the bible.

    2.Which stories have you heard before from 1 & 2 Samuel? Why do you think they are in the Bible?
    – I heard about the story of the wicked sons of Eli, and the story of Saul hating David.

    3.Do you see yourself in the characters of the stories you read?
    – I’m not sure for now, because I do not know exactly what characters are in this story.

    4.How can you read 1 & 2 Samuel in the most dynamic way?
    – I would imagine different scenes for every event.

    5.How does it change our perspective to think about God working his purposes in history?
    – When we think that God fulfills His purpose in His way, we start to see all events in different perspective.

  12. Kendalle says:

    1. People don’t see the Biblical persons of the Old Testament as living people but rather as noble fables.
    2. The Story of Saul and David and the Fight between them too.
    3. Honestly, I see myself as David and the battle between Saul
    4. I can try to act it out. Also, Reading the Word as if you were Experiencing it first had helps.
    5. It Changes the way we view our own personal issues.

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