Scripture Reading: 1 Samuel 1:1-2:36, Jeremiah 7:12-14, Luke 1:46-55
I listen to film soundtracks while I work because they somehow help me feel connected to the world of words where I spend my days. The sweeping scores are fuel for my fingers on the keyboard, providing a level of focus and intensity I’m not sure I could achieve in silence.
In the same way that music brings words to life on my computer screen, the books of 1 & 2 Samuel lend new vibrancy to my reading of Scripture. These ancient words were breathed out by God and remain “living and active” (Hebrews 4:12). Even so, I forget. I can read the words yet fail to see the story.
This is the story of an eternal King and His eternal kingdom. The epic battles and legendary tales found in 1 & 2 Samuel wake me up to a reality that’s as true for me as it was for David: our God reigns.
The books of 1 & 2 Samuel tell the stories of Samuel, Saul, and David—three broken heroes used by God to establish a kingdom for His people. Samuel was the revered last judge, Saul the impressive first king of Israel, and David the flawed poet-warrior. But beyond the page-turning adventure of kings and battles and political gamesmanship, these books tell the story of a greater King. The life of David, his defeat of Goliath, and the epic victories of his mighty men all point to the coming of Christ—the true and forever-reigning King.
And where does it all begin? With the desperate prayers of a heartbroken woman named Hannah.
“Deeply hurt, Hannah prayed to the Lord and wept with many tears. Making a vow, she pleaded, ‘Lord of Armies, if you will take notice of your servant’s affliction, remember and not forget me, and give your servant a son, I will give him to the Lord all the days of his life…’” (1 Samuel 1:10-11).
I read Hannah’s story and I see myself—not because our struggle is the same, but because our hearts are. Like Hannah, I long for what this imperfect life on earth does not give. Like Hannah, I want to be known and remembered by my God. And while all my prayers to Him are not answered with a “yes,” they are heard and I am known. I am remembered. Just like Hannah.
“My heart rejoices in the Lord;
my horn is lifted up by the Lord.
My mouth boasts over my enemies,
because I rejoice in your salvation” (1 Samuel 2:1).
First Samuel begins with a beautiful picture of a heart bowed in earnest before the Lord of all creation, asking for what only He can give. And while all the stories in this study will not be quite so tender, they all point to the same reality. The Lord of Hannah—and Samuel, and Saul, and David, and Israel—is the Lord of you and me. He reigns throughout all generations.
I pray our five weeks in 1 & 2 Samuel bring this truth to life for us as we read, ushering us into the knowledge of the truer kingdom and truest King. In Jesus, God has given us the only King who can satisfy our desire for protection, provision, and peace—a King whose throne cannot be defeated.
Our King and His kingdom are forever. Thanks be to God.