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.