Set 7: The Rise of Israel

Samuel is considered the last of the judges, and he is significant as the one who anoints the first two kings of Israel. Samuel's work included establishing with Saul and David that they weren't just kings, they had a heavenly ruler that still oversaw and guided the people of Israel - a Covenantal Kingship. Samuel's role as a messenger from God was to continually reminded them to repent and trust God in everything. This was difficult for not only the Israelite people - who often found it easier to put their trust in the earthly kings - but it also became the downfall of King Saul.

David's conquering of Jerusalem established it as the royal seat of Israel. God then tells David two important things:
1. It is not David's job to build a permanent temple in Jerusalem.
2. God will use David to establish His kingdom forever.
Once again, God is weaving His story of salvation as it leads to Jesus.

Message from Sunday, October 22nd

1 Book, 2 Books: Samuel was originally one book. The first time it was split into two books was in the Greek translation called the Septuagint (translated in the 3rd century BC). Since then, it has been common to keep the separation in later translations.
Writer of 1st & 2nd Samuel: Unknown! While it may be easy to assume from the title that Samuel is the author, the Scriptures do not provide enough information to positively identify the author of these books.
The Importance of Anointing: Anointing was reserved for special positions (prophets, priests, kings). Through the anointing, God made a promise to those people that He would be with them in the mission and role He had for them. This points us to the the anointing of the Holy Spirit in Acts 1 and through our baptism in Christ.
Important Locations: 
Shiloh - This city in Samaria is located about 31 km north of Jerusalem, now called Tel Shiloh or Khirbet Seilun. The Ark of the Covenant rested in Shiloh for over 300 years after the conquest of Canaan.
Valley of Elah - 16 miles west of Jerusalem in modern day Israel.
Desert of En Gedi/Crags of the Wild Goats - in the Judean desert in northwest modern Israel, now called Ein Gedi. This is one of two fresh water springs just west of the Dead Sea.
Jerusalem - same as the modern day location. At the time David conquered it, it was about 11 acres in size (currently, the city of Jerusalem spreads over 31,000 acres).

  1. What did you find most interesting or thought-provoking?
  2. Where have you heard God's calling in your life? How have you answered?
  3. What did you learn about the character of God?
  4. What does it look like for you to have a "heart after God's own heart" in your relationships?

God Almighty, we thank you for being our Heavenly King. Thank you for the assurance that gives us, especially when the situation in front of us causes fear and questioning. Give us the wisdom to hear and answer when You call us to Your purposes. Grant us humbleness to trust you in all circumstances. May we always have a heart after Yours, one that responds to Your calls for repentance and forgiveness. Help us to show forgiveness to others as you have forgiven us in Christ. Amen.

You can engage these readings and devotional times individually or as a group. If you want to send an email to Family of Christ with your thoughts and questions, you are invited to click the link below.