Since the people got stuck in a cycle of sin during the time of the judges, it showed the need for a stable leader. Instead of relying on God or a godly leader, the people rejected the model of a king they needed.
The Rejection of Yahweh
- Judges 21:25 sets the stage: “In those days there was no king in Israel. Everyone did what was right in his own eyes.”
- Samuel has a miraculous birth and is given into service of the LORD (1 Sam. 1:15-20).
- Eli’s sons are rejected, and God calls Samuel into service (1 Sam. 2:12).
- The Philistines capture the ark (1 Sam. 4:3). Once Israel recovers it, Samuel confronts Israel (1 Sam. 7:3-4).
- After this event, Israel rejects Yahweh and demands an earthly king.
The First King
- In King Saul, Israel gets exactly the type of king they desired and exactly what they do not need (1 Sam. 9:2).
- Before a battle, Saul grows impatient waiting on Samuel to offer sacrifices so he performs the priestly duty himself (1 Sam. 13:8-12).
- As a result of disobedience, Samuel tells Saul that his house will not retain the throne and that God is raising someone else up who is a man after his own heart (1 Sam. 13:14).
The King After God’s Own Heart
- God leads Samuel to anoint the next king at the house of a man named Jesse (1 Sam. 16:1).
- Jesse brings out his sons – the most impressive first – since these would be the obvious choice.
- Samuel tells Jesse that God does not look at the outward appearance like men do, but he looks at the heart (1 Sam. 16:7).
- David is the youngest son who works as a shepherd. Samuel anoints him king (1 Sam. 16:11-13).
God and Goliath
- David works in King Saul’s court by playing music for him (1 Sam. 16:18-23).
- When the Philistines come against Israel for war, they send out a giant named Goliath to challenge any Israelite and no one would face him (1 Sam. 17:1-11).
- David comes to observe the battle lines and becomes shocked that no one would challenge Goliath.
- David interprets this challenge as a man defying Yahweh and not threatening another warrior, and that is why he wants to fight (1 Sam. 17:26, 36).
- This bottom-level story is not modeling for readers on how to conquer giants or to develop bravery. This is a part of the top-level story of God letting himself be known among all the nations.
- God defeats Goliath by the hands of David, and both of their fame spread.