TEXT: “And Samuel said, Hath the LORD as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams” (1 Sam. 15:22).
1. 1 Samuel in the Hebrew Bible was a single volume with 2 Samuel, we will study the volumes together.
2. These books set forth two sides of God:
a. In them we see the goodness and mercy of God.
b. In them we see the justice and vengeance of God.
I. BACKGROUND INFORMATION ABOUT 1 AND 2 SAMUEL
A. TITLE AND AUTHOR
1. The books are named after its central character: Samuel.
2. He is not the lone character as some of the books have had, but rather is the central figure:
a. He is a priest who anoints the first two kings of Israel.
b. He is a prophet that ends the period of the judges.
c. He is the final judge.
2. We do not have the author by name, but tradition (not inspiration) holds that the books were written by Samuel, and then completed by Nathan and Gad.
a. “Now the acts of David the king, first and last, behold, they are written in the book of Samuel the seer, and in the book of Nathan the prophet, and in the book of Gad the seer, With all his reign and his might, and the times that went over him, and over Israel, and over all the kingdoms of the countries” (1 Chr. 29:29-30).
b. It appears that this passage identifies the writers of 1 and 2 Samuel as being Samuel, Nathan, and Gad (all three are prophets and so the roles fit also).
B. DATE AND SETTING
1. The books serve as a transition from the times of the judges to the times of the kings.
2. Covering about 100 years from the birth of Samuel to the death of Saul (ca. 1146-1056 B.C.) in 1 Samuel.
3. Covering about 40 years from the rise of David to his death (ca. 1056-1015 B.C.) in 2 Samuel.
D. AUDIENCE AND PURPOSE
1. Written to the nation of Israel.
a. It is a record of the Divine origin of the Davidic dynasty.
b. It reveals the significant role of the prophets in the transition from the judges to the kings and the role of the prophets in moral exhortations to the kings.
2. To all men, including us, it shows:
a. It is a lesson of the truth that “to obey is better than sacrifice” (1 Sam. 15:22).
b. Saul is an example of the words of Hosea: “I gave thee a king in mine anger, and took him away in my wrath” (Hos. 13:11).
c. David is a classic example of the truth that “for the LORD seeth not as man seeth” (1 Sam. 16:7).
d. The example of a man “after God’s own heart” (1 Sam. 13:14; 2 Sam 22:21).
II. AN OUTLINE OF 1 AND 2 SAMUEL
A. SAMUEL’S LEADERSHIP (1 Sam. 1-8)
1. The Birth of Samuel (1 Sam. 1)
2. The Growth of Samuel (1 Sam. 2)
3. The Calling of Samuel (1 Sam. 3)
4. The Work of Samuel (1 Sam. 4-7)
5. The Rejection of Samuel (1 Sam. 8)
B. SAUL’S LEADERSHIP (1 Sam. 9-15)
1. The Calling of Saul (1 Sam. 9)
2. The Choosing of Saul (1 Sam. 10)
3. The Confirmation of Saul (1 Sam. 11)
4. The Charge to Samuel (1 Sam. 12)
5. The Changing of Saul (1 Sam. 13-15)
a. Saul’s First Mistake: Panic and Presumption (1 Sam. 13)
b. Saul’s Second Mistake: A Rash Vow (1 Sam. 14)
c. Saul’s Third Mistake: Rebellion (1 Sam. 15)
C. SWITCHING LEADERSHIP (1 Sam. 16-31)
1. David Selected to be King (1 Sam. 16)
2. David Slays Goliath (1 Sam. 17)
3. Saul’s Soreness of David (1 Sam. 18-20)
a. Five Attempts on David’s Life (1 Sam. 18-19)
b. One Attempt on Jonathan’s Life (1 Sam. 20)
4. David’s Sin in the Sanctuary (1 Sam. 21)
5. Saul Slays Ahimelech (1 Sam. 22) – along with 84 other priests and their families.
6. David’s Strongholds (1 Sam. 23)
7. David Spares Saul (1 Sam. 24)
8. David Spares Nabal Because of Abigail’s Intervention (1 Sam. 25)
9. David Spares Saul Again (1 Sam. 26:1-16)
10. Saul’s Sorrow for Sin (1 Sam. 26:17-25)
11. David Seeks Safety (1 Sam. 27)
12. Saul Summons Samuel at Endor (1 Sam. 28)
13. David Spared Sacrilege—He Does Not Fight Against Israel (1 Sam. 29)
14. David Shares the Spoil (1 Sam. 30)
15. Saul Smote by His Own Sword (1 Sam. 31)
D. THE RISE OF DAVID (2 Sam. 1-10)
1. The Crying of David (2 Sam. 1)
2. The Crowning of David (2 Sam. 2)
3. The Consistency of David (2 Sam. 3-4)
4. The Consummation of David (2 Sam. 5) – over all Israel
5. The Changing of David—The Moving of the Akr (2 Sam. 6)
6. The Covenant of David (2 Sam. 7)
7. The Conquest of David (2 Sam. 8)
8. The Comfort of David (2 Sam. 9)
9. The Campaign of David—the Ammonites (2 Sam. 10)
E. THE REGRESSION OF DAVID (2 Sam. 11-18)
1. The Rebellion of David (2 Sam. 11) [Bathsheba and Uriah]
2. The Remorse of David (2 Sam. 12)
3. The Removal of David (2 Sam. 13-18)
a. The Retreat of Absalom (2 Sam. 13)
b. The Return of Absalom (2 Sam. 14)
c. The Rise of Absalom (2 Sam. 15)
d. The Recommendations to Absalom (2 Sam. 16-17)
e. The Ruin of Absalom (2 Sam. 18)
F. THE RESTORATION OF DAVID (2 Sam. 19-24)
1. The Return of David (2 Sam. 19)
2. The Rejection of David—The Revolt by Sheba (2 Sam. 20)
3. The Retribution of David (2 Sam. 21) [favor to the Gibeonites]
4. The Rejoicing of David (2 Sam. 22)
5. The Record of David—His Mighty Men (2 Sam. 23)
6. The Rashness of David (2 Sam. 24) [a census not commanded]
III. THE ONE WORD THEME OF 1 AND 2 SAMUEL: UNITED
A. UNITY IS NOT MAN MADE
1. The cycle is still evident from the period of the judges.
2. When things were going their way, the Israelites failed at unity.
3. The opening of 1 Samuel shows the peoples attitude still persisted, it was still as in the past: “In those days there was no king in Israel: every man did that which was right in his own eyes” (Jud. 21:25).
4. By nature man’s way will create division rather than unity.
B. UNITY MUST BE ON CORRECT TERMS
1. The nation—men—thought that unity would come from having a king.
2. They desired, “now make us a king to judge us like all the nations” (1 Sam. 8:5).
3. Remember their thought is not the same as our thought on this word “judge” – the “judge” of the Old Testament was a deliverer.
4. The call on man’s terms—make us a deliverer like everyone else has.
5. Likewise when David left his unity with the Lord—look at what happened in his life.
6. Unity then must be on God’s terms or it is a false unity!
C. UNITY COMES FROM GOD’S TERMS
1. Notice the rejection is not truly of Samuel (God’s appointed judge at the time) but rather of God Himself: “And the LORD said unto Samuel, Hearken unto the voice of the people in all that they say unto thee: for they have not rejected thee, but they have rejected me, that I should not reign over them” (1 Sam. 8:7).
2. It has not changed from this example to this day.
3. Rather than letting God reign over us in religion, man develops religion to be “like all the nations” and in the process rejects God!
4. Today just as then, even after the consequences have been spelled out (1 Sam. 8:11-18), we (man in general) do just as Israel did: “Nay; but we will have a king over us; That we also may be like all the nations; and that our king may judge us, and go out before us, and fight our battles” (1 Sam. 8:19-20).
5. Who is fighting your battles? Do you rely on someone else, or are you the one that stands with God on your side?
IV. THE PICTURE OF CHRIST IN 1 AND 2 SAMUEL: HE IS THE DESPISED AND REJECTED KING, THE SEED OF DAVID
A. GOD IS REJECTED AS THE KING
1. “And the LORD said unto Samuel, Hearken unto the voice of the people in all that they say unto thee: for they have not rejected thee, but they have rejected me, that I should not reign over them” (1 Sam. 8:7).
2. When men turn to their own plans, devices, and wills division is sure to follow.
3. Israel, throughout these two books, stands as an example: when they followed (were united with) God, they had success; when they failed to be united with God, their own unity mattered not—division was the result!
B. CHRIST IS THE SEED OF DAVID
“(12) And when thy days be fulfilled, and thou shalt sleep with thy fathers, I will set up thy seed after thee, which shall proceed out of thy bowels, and I will establish his kingdom. (13) He shall build an house for my name, and I will stablish the throne of his kingdom for ever. (14) I will be his father, and he shall be my son. If he commit iniquity, I will chasten him with the rod of men, and with the stripes of the children of men: (15) But my mercy shall not depart away from him, as I took it from Saul, whom I put away before thee. (16) And thine house and thy kingdom shall be established for ever before thee: thy throne shall be established for ever” (2 Sam. 7:12-16)
1. God’s promises are reiterated; this is a restatement and addition to the Abrahamic promise.
2. Note the promises and their fulfillments:
a. God’s Seed Promise: verse 12—fulfilled in Solomon (1 Kin. 2:1-3)—the ultimate target of this promise is Christ (v. 16; Luke 1:30-31).
b. God’s Kingdom Promise: verse 12—fulfilled in the nation of Israel (1 Kin. 2-3)—the ultimate target of this promise is the church (Luke 1:33).
c. God’s Throne Promise: verse 13—fulfilled in the physical throne of Solomon (2 Chr. 6)—the ultimate target of this promise is the spiritual throne of Christ in heaven (Luke 1:32; Acts 2:30).
3. This Davidic covenant is descriptive of the physical and spiritual blessings which the faithful kingdom would receive from God.
4. Notice the similarity to the Abrahamic covenant – the Seed and kingdom promises have added to them the Throne promise.
5. David is an important link in the lineage of Christ and will be referref to numerous times through the Old and New Testament (Ruth 4:22; Mat. 1:5-6; Luke 3:31-32).
1. What a picture of God is presented to us in 1 and 2 Samuel.
2. We see His goodness and His mercy:
a. The answering of Hannah’s prayer.
b. The blessings given to David.
3. Yet we also see His justice and His vengeance:
a. The removal of Saul as king.
b. The punishment of David for his sin against Uriah.
4. And even in that we see the grand plan of God revealed—and the hope that this picture can give us.
5. Have you:
a. Committed adultery?
b. Had that adultery result in a pregnancy?
c. Attempted to cover this adultery up by murder?
d. Attempted to cover that murder up as a military act?
6. David is an example to men tonight: What a merciful God we have!
7. Having done all of this it was still said of David: “I have found David the son of Jesse, a man after mine own heart, which shall fulfil all my will” (Acts 13:22).
8. Can the same be said of you?