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Study Notes and Personal Bible Study Activities for

The Book of 1 Samuel


I Samuel 1:1-2:21   Hannah’s story shows us the blessings that result in families where people fear the LORD, that is, stand in awe of Him by trusting His power and doing His will.  Enjoy Hannah’s song of praise (2:1-10) by applying it personally to your own life


I Samuel 2:22-4:22 Consider this sermon: The Lord Speaks – Servants Listen (St. Mark’s Lutheran, Bemidji, MN). Enjoy this song: Speak, O Lord.

I Samuel 5:1-7:17 These verses are priceless – what a beautiful illustration of the helplessness of any god who is not the LORD revealed through the Bible.  This true God is real and He is holy.  He is not to be presumptuously approached in our own righteousness and merit but humbly and boldly through faith in the merits of His Son, our Savior.  Such people He will graciously hear and completely help.  


I Samuel 8:1-9:27 Sadly, even Samuel’s sons didn’t follow his godly steps!  The headstrong people of Israel “rejecting the LORD’S” Kingship (8:7) insist upon a visible king despite the warning from Samuel of what such a king will mean to their lives (8:10-22) The first king the people receive is Saul, a worldly king, that is one whose outward appearance rather than inward character was the most impressive thing.  A fatal attraction!  


I Samuel 10:1-11:15 First privately and then publicly the prophet Samuel revealed that Saul was God’s choice to be the king Israel had requested.  Notice the prominence of the Holy Spirit in this chapter as He guides and empowers Saul for the task to which Samuel had anointed him.  (Incidentally, the title Messiah which was later used of the promised Savior literally means “the Anointed One”, that is, someone chosen and equipped by God for a special mission.)  


I Samuel 12:1-13:22 Important “history lessons” from God’s faithful fervent prophet Samuel!  He teaches the strong faithfulness of God and contrasts it with the weak faithlessness of God’s people.  May the Spirit who inspired Samuel to speak teach us to listen, learn, and take heed!    


I Samuel 13:23-14:52 King Saul’s son, Jonathan, and David were to become best of friends.  The faith expressed by Jonathan in 14:7 and his subsequent actions show why David, “a man after God’s own heart”, found Jonathan to be a kindred spirit.


I Samuel 15:1-16:23 King Saul fears his subjects more than the LORD and is rejected as King of Israel; David, the son of Jesse, is the LORD’S choice to replace Saul; amazingly, in God’s wondrous plan, David learns about court life by serving as the harpist to calm the disturbed Saul, who at that time had no clue that it was his successor playing the harp!  


I Samuel 17:1-18: This is perhaps the best-known story from the life of David!  What courage comes from knowing and trusting in the LORD!  Please note well the last portion of verse 47!!  You and I can say the same with our problems and challenges.  


I Samuel 18:5-19:24 Saul understands that David has the blessing of the LORD while his own impenitent unfaithfulness has lost that favor for himself.  Saul becomes jealous of David’s success and popularity and begins a persecution of David that will last for the rest of Saul’s life.   David suffers astounding injustice which leads him to commend himself into the LORD’S hands.  


I Samuel 20:1-21:15 The LORD provides David with a true friend, Saul’s own son, Jonathan!  What a precious gift of God, true friendship.   What a gift of grace.  Consider this sermon True Christian Friendship (Holy Trinity Lutheran, Des Moines, WA).


1 Samuel 22:1-23:29 Saul’s sad downward spiral of unbelief continues as is seen in his treatment of the priests of God. David by God’s blessing, on the other hand, continues to rise. Read Psalm 54 to see who sustains David and us through the troubles we face. Make David’s prayer be  your prayer. 


I Samuel 24:1-25:44 Saul’s life continues its tragic decline, and he knows it.  Also, we see Nabal (in Hebrew his name = ‘fool’) in action, wise in his own estimation, but, . . .what Godly advice did David receive from Abigail? Read 1 Peter 2:19-24. Ask God for grace to believe and to act on His Words of wisdom, as David did. 


1 Samuel 26:1 -28:25 Saul continues his decline, while David still needs to continue to flee, even going into the enemy’s camp which was safer, ironically, than being close to Saul. God allows Samuel to confront Saul with his disobedience and tell him of his coming death.


1 Samuel 29:1-31:13 The Philistines drive David out, and then he has to deal with the plunder of his city – his was no easy road to the throne! But David believed in God’s promises. He took care to remember the things that God had done for him and his heart was strengthened. What one (or more) promise of God have you found meaningful and comforting? Write it down and take it with you today. Mull over it, roll it around in your mind, memorize it. Ask your Lord to strengthen you through it.