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.
Skim through the boks of Samuel in your Bible. Look at the paragraph headings that your Bible uses.
- How can people reduce the events of the Bible to dry facts?
- Which stories have you heard before from 1 & 2 Samuel? Why do you think they are in the Bible?
- Do you see yourself in the characters of the stories you read?
- How can you read 1 & 2 Samuel in the most dynamic way?
- How does it change our perspective to think about God working his purposes in history?