Here at the Brownsville Seventh-day Adventist Church we are currently going through a sermon series on 1 Samuel. Over the years people have wondered about the function of 1 and 2 Samuel, and there isn't a single correct answer. The purpose of 1 and 2 Samuel is better understood as an intricately cut, multifaceted diamond, since it is simultaneously a historical work, literary art, apologetic literature and a theological treatise and of course Holy Scripture (Bergen, 27,28).
What drew me to 1 and 2 Samuel was the story. It is the type of book that when you start reading you can't put it down. The books of Samuel are considered masterful examples of ancient Hebrew narrative art. When you stop to think about it you will notice that 1 and 2 Samuel have all the characteristics of timeless literary classics: a brilliant central plot involving kings, international wars, ambition, murder, deception, and sexual intrigue; complex character portrayals; skillful use of varied settings ranging from mountains to deserts; and a masterful use of wordplay and allusions. (Bergen, 32).
Not to give too much away too soon, but just to help make the point mentioned above think about the story of David. David is consecutively a young giant killer, Israel’s most famous military commander, son-in-law of the king, the most feared outlaw in Israel, a marauding soldier under the protection of a hostile nation, a rival Israelite king, King of all Israel, an adulterer, a murderer, a refugee living in exile, and leader of an armed military force that killed his primary heir (Bergen, 34). The story of David is so complex I believe even Hollywood would have a difficult time presenting this story successfully in a single feature.
There is much more to be said about the 1 and 2 Samuel, but we can discover it as our series continues.
The main resources for this series are:
- Andrews Study Bible: Light. Depth. Truth. Berrien Springs, MI: Andrews UP, 2010. Print.
- Bergen, Robert D. 1, 2 Samuel. Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman, 1996. Print.
- White, Ellen Gould Harmon. Patriarchs and Prophets. Coldwater, MI: Remnant Publications, 2000.