1 and 2 Samuel: From Theocracy to Monarchy

This week we are reading and meditating on the books of 1st and 2nd Samuel. Historically these two books were considered to be one book, and they were originally a part of a four part series of histories: Joshua, Judges, Samuel and Kings.

 

Type of Literatures:

 

Samuel was written as a historical narrative.

Authorship:

The authorship here is anonymous as there is no direct indication to whom wrote the book.

Purpose of the book:

The purpose of this book is the historical narrative showing the transition of the Israelites from: a group of autonomous tribes that had a loose connection through the Judges, to a nation led centrally by a monarchy.

As well, to show God's continual sovereignty and commitment to the Mosaic covenant despite the people's continual downward spiral into apostasy.

Structure:

1)    The End of the Judges: I Sam 1:1-8:22

1)    The birth of Samuel: I Sam 1:1-3:21

2)    The rejection of Eli’s family: I Sam 4:1-7:17

3)    Israel demands a King: I Sam 8:1-22

2)    The Beginning of the Kings: I Sam 9:1-II Sam 24:25

1)    The Kingdom of Saul: I Sam 9:1-31:13

1)    Saul Called and then rejected by God: I Sam 9:1-15:34

2)    David anointed as King: I Sam 16:1-20:42

3)    David as a fugitive and Saul's downfall: I Sam 21:1-II Sam 1:27

2)    The Kingdom of David: II Sam 2:1-24:25

1)    Civil War: II Sam 2:1-4:12

2)    The institution of David's kingdom: II Sam 5:1-10:19

3)    David's sin: II Sam 11:1- 12:31

4)    Absalom’s rebellion: II Sam 13:1-21:22

5)    Narratives of David’s reign: II Sam 22:1-24:25

Main Themes:

      Samuel's rise as a judge and Israel's descent into sin and apostasy

      The transition from judges to a monarchy.

      God's terms for the kingship, the covenant and Godly devotion

      Waiting for God's timing and deliverance

      Sin and the consequences of sin

      Fore-shadowing of the Messiah through David's lineage

 

Ruth: A Redemption story: Life Application

Ruth 1:16 – 17 “Entreat me not to leave you, or to turn back from following after you; For wherever you go, I will go; And wherever you lodge I will lodge; Your people shall be my people; And your God my God. Where you die, I will die, and there will I be buried. The Lord do so to me, and more also, if anything but death parts you and me”

 

The book of Ruth is a wonderful example of faithfulness and loyalty. There was no requirement for Ruth to follow Naomi after her husband had passed, yet she did. This was an unknown journey with unknown consequences, but still she decided to remain faithful. Without this we may not have seen God’s provision for Ruth and ultimately for Israel, and the blood line of David which led to Jesus Christ the ultimate redeemer.

 

As we go about our business this week, let us be aware of where we have let our faithfulness slip, to our family, friends and spouse. Let’s examine ourselves and decide, as Ruth did, to be faithful even when others would say it isn’t required.

Joshua: Invasion and Settlement of the Promised Land: Life Application

Joshua 11:23 So Joshua took the whole land, according to all that the Lord had said to Moses; and Joshua gave it as an inheritance to Israel according to their divisions by their tribes. Then the land rested from war

 

In the book of Joshua we see the greatness of God continued in what He did for His people.

As Joshua obeyed the Lord the Israelites achieved amazing things from the dried up Jordan to the numerous battles they won.

Gods covenant is fulfilled here as they conquer the lands and finally settle in the Promised Land.

The amazing transitions again point to an incredible God who cares about His people.

 

This week let’s consider the many things God has already  done in our life. We all have promises God has made to us, some fulfilled and some we are yet to see. Wherever we are in our journey from promise to fulfilment let’s ensure we remain obedient and keep our trust in God knowing that He will lead us to where He has promised.

Ruth: A Redemption Story

Bible Reading Plan 2016  - Book Overview – Ruth

In contrast to the dark days of the Judges when God’s people did what they thought right in their own eyes, turning from God to idols; we receive the account of Ruth, a Gentile who did what was right in God’s eyes, turning from idols to God.

Authorship: Unknown

Type of Literature: Historical Narrative

Purpose of Book:

To reveal the character of God. Through Naomi’s story we are shown His faithfulness & provision for His chosen people and through Ruth’s redemption we see His mercy for all mankind. In Boaz, the kinsman redeemer, we receive a foreshadowing of Christ Himself, revealing to us the loving grace of God and His provision for redemption through Christ Jesus.

The book of Ruth also provides us with a genealogy of David.

 

Structure:

Ch 1 - RETURN - Naomi’s bitterness and the faithfulness of Ruth

Ch2 - REWARD - Ruth discovers the potential Kinsman Redeemer

Ch 3 - REDEMPTION - Boaz agrees and acquires the right to be Kinsman Redeemer

Ch 4 - RESTORATION - Naomi’s blessing

 

Main Themes:

·         REDEMPTION. Of Naomi, from bitterness to blessing, and of Ruth through the Kinsman Redeemer.

·         GOD’S PROVISION. For Naomi (and ultimately the nation of Israel) through Ruth, a Gentile.

Judges: Israel's dark ages

Bible Reading Plan 2016  - Book Overview – Judges

Judges begins after the death of Joshua. Here we see God’s people quickly forget what He did for them and begin to worship idols. Before there was a King over Israel God raised up Judges to lead God’s people with justice and deliver them from serving other Kings.

Authorship: Unknown

Type of Literature: Historical Narrative

Purpose of Book:

This again follows the sacred history of Israel. This was a dark period for God’s chosen people, we see them forgetting God, worshipping false gods and then ruled by other nations. As they forgot the one true God things got more bleak for them; but when they cried out to God He was always there for them.

God didn’t give up on them even though they continued making the same mistakes. God is the same today and doesn’t give up on us even though we keep missing the mark.

Israel had a need for someone to rescue them, just as we do today in Jesus

 

Structure:

3 EVENTS, 3 PEOPLE

1.      Israelites fail to drive out Canaanites (Judges 1, 2)

2.      The Judges (Judges 3 – 16)

3.      Israel’s disobedience (Judges 17 – 21)

 

1.      Deborah

2.      Gideon

3.      Samson

Main Themes:

·         DISOBEDIENCE. The Israelites continually forgot the greatness of God and turned to idols and sinned against God. This meant that God allowed them to be ruled by their enemies.

·         SECOND CHANCES. Every time they cried out to God He sent someone to rescue them, showing His amazing grace and love for His people.

 

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