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Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Day 43 - 90 Day Bible Reading Challenge - 1 Samuel 1 - 4 - The Great Adventure A Journey Through the Bible

Day 43 

1 Samuel 1 -4

Bible Time Period: Conquest and Judges 
You led Israel triumphantly into the Promised Land.  They failed to teach their children, and instead did what was right in their own eyes:  Help me to keep my eyes on you and teach others what is truly right. 

Sovereign Lord, we obey our earthly rulers when their laws do not come into conflict with Your divine Law, but when we support and cooperate with evil laws we put our eternal destiny in jeopardy.  Give us the courage to stand against rulers who mislead the people and laws that promote sin and attempt to disguise that which is immoral.  Lord, give us morally upright men and women to guide our nation, and give us the wisdom and the perseverance to lead the struggle for righteousness in the face of persecution and the pressures of a secular agenda.  Send Your Holy Spirit to guide us in our lesson on Israel’s struggles in the last years of the era of the Judges when poor leadership left the covenant people morally and spiritually weak.  We pray in the name of God the Father, the Son , and the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Introduction to 1 Samuel 
The first eight chapters of 1 Samuel will tell the history of the last judges of Israel.  Chapters nine through thirty-one will give the history of the first kings of Israel. 

1 Samuel is composed chiefly of narratives which include life stories of the principal characters along with three poems/songs (the canticle of Hannah and two hymns of David), lists, and the interwoven story of the Ark of the Covenant.  The story of the transition from rule by Israel’s Judges to kingship is told through the lives of four men, giving a realistic depiction of their passions, aspirations, successes and failure:  the  priest  Eli, the prophet Samuel, Saul of the tribe of Benjamin, and David of Bethlehem-Judah.  The fifth character in the narrative is God who acts behind the scenes by shaping individual destinies to further His divine plan.  (Agape Catholic Bible Study, 1 Samuel Lesson 1)

Samuel is the last and one of the greatest Judges of Israel.  He was a transitional figure who helped to end the tribal configuration of Israel and inaugurate the monarchy. Samuel fulfilled multiple roles in his lifetime:  priest, seer, prophet and judge. 

Samuel is seen in the priestly role in the early part of the narrative, ministering to the Lord at the sanctuary in Shiloh (1 Sam 2:11, 18; 3:1) and performing important sacrificial functions that are linked with the actions of priests. (1 Sam 7:9; 9:13; 10:8; 16:1-5). 

Samuel is declared a prophet in 1 Sam 3:20 and he fulfilled this role by proclaiming the will of the Lord to his people (1 Sam 8:10-18; 15:1-2), interceding for them, and declaring the judgment of God upon Saul. 

Samuel is described as a "covenant mediator," mainly because of his leadership role in renewing the Deuteronomic covenant at Gilgal (1 Sam 11:14-15).  He put into effect the "law of the king" stipulated in Deut 17:14-20 by anointing Israel's first king (1 Sam 10:1). 

Samuel is known as a seer (1 Sam 9:5-21). And above all he is known as a judge; 1 Sam 7:15-17.  (Catholic Bible Dictionary, Editor Scott Hahn, page 809 - 810)

Today's Reading
1 Samuel 1- 4 

Discussion Boards Day 43
Agape Catholic Bible Study Commentary 1 Samuel 1:1 - 4:1

For items devotional items related to the Catholic Church 

Back to Index 90 Day Bible Reading Challenge

Hannah Giving Her Son Samuel to the Priest Eli - Jan Victors

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