Why Study 1 Samuel?
Do you ever struggle to find the connecting thread in the storyline of the Bible? Do you wonder what some of the Old Testament stories have to do with Jesus, or Christianity today? Sure, Moses and Abraham have their place, but sometimes, it can be difficult to find application when reading stories about Samson or King Saul.
I knew reading my Bible was important, but it was difficult to find the motivation each day when my time spent in the Word was not fruitful. I used to feel so stuck. I realized that in order for my quiet time to be meaningful, I needed to be able to read and understand what was in front of me—and not just understand it, but remember it enough to apply it and share it with someone else.
My Bible reading habits began to change and take shape, and God’s Word came alive! Not just the books I was really familiar with, but even the more intimidating ones. I started learning how to recognize language and themes in my Bible, and began to use a whole set of criteria that revealed an intricate plan of salvation on every page!
James 1:5 says “Now if any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives to all generously and without criticizing, and it will be given to him.”
I have seen God answering this prayer daily in my life. I believe as you read through Undivided you too will begin to recognize the connecting thread, the themes, and even the language clues that reveal the wisdom and genius of the Author (God). The riches in His Word are infinite, and God takes great delight in revealing them to us.
Because 1 Samuel is ultimately the account of David’s rise to kingship, you will see so many parallels to King Jesus, the Son of David, and you will never read your New Testament the same again! Are you eager to feel that spiritual hunger?
Undivided: A Study in 1 Samuel
History is not put delicately in the Bible. 1 Samuel is no exception. There are wicked men, tragic circumstances, astounding victories, and long-suffering—the importance of seeing these details for what they point us to is paramount. 1 Samuel “leads us again and again to ponder complexities of motive and ambiguities of character because these are essential aspects of its vision of man, created by God, enjoying or suffering all the consequences of human freedom.”
The good news? Nothing is beyond the reach of the Lord’s redemptive purposes! Oh, the astonishing glory and wisdom of a God who can craft the most complex, irony-filled story by shaping history! Throughout the Old Testament we see Yahweh’s holy jealousy for His people, and the firm but loving hand that repeatedly reigns in their idolatry and pride. 1 Samuel offers an intimate encounter with characters who have vastly different human tendencies and perceptions of God, yet the lesson does not change: “He guards the steps of His faithful ones, but… Those who oppose the LORD will be shattered” (1 Samuel 2:9, 10).
God’s glory and authority are an unbending force. Yet the marvel of salvation is that He devised a plan of rescue, in the midst of our rebellion, that did not compromise His character, but magnify it!
This study is designed in a way that allows you to choose a 14 day intensive study or a 28 day moderate pace study [by reading the assigned Bible text one day, then the exposition (2-3 pages), application questions and prayer prompts on the next day].
Undivided will walk you through the entirety of 1 Samuel in a 53 page devotional (PDF Download). You can expect an enriched understanding of Scripture through a collection of scripture-based devotional readings informed by multiple commentaries, the Hebrew lexicon, and other reformed sources, as well as parallels to the New Testament.
Undivided will have the most impact and fullest potential in your quiet time if used alongside a journal. There are daily opportunities for reflection, answering questions, and prayer. I hope you will also grow in excitement as you identify gospel themes throughout 1 Samuel, both looking back and foreshadowing God’s unfolding plan of redemption. There are so many wonderful connections to discover, themes to highlight, and words to unpack. I pray this will begin to whet your appetite for the feast of riches in God’s Word!
“Would I recommend Undivided?
Absolutely. If you’re studying on your own, just take it at your own pace and give yourself the time and grace to process and reflect/journal before moving on to the next section. Seriously, though, this is one of the best Bible studies I did this year. So much so that the next one I did was kind of a let-down :/. And can I say, I’m so glad Stephanie picked 1 Samuel? I don’t see nearly enough studies of the Old Testament historical books. God’s story – even the crunchy parts – is so powerful and we need great tools like this to help normal people get into the Word.”
“I loved this study! I was instantly impressed with it when I realized that Stephanie was not taking us through chapter by chapter, but rather scene by scene. This is something I love, but do not see often, and I found that it really made a difference several times in noticing things I hadn’t before, just because I was reading the whole story at the same sitting. As I began digging deeper, I also loved the additional scriptures that were suggested, and the thoughts that Stephanie shared with us; they really got me thinking and eager to keep going!
Each chapter came with a application/reflection section that I found was done really well; the questions were simple enough that you could simply ponder them for a few minutes, but they were also deep enough that you could truly spend a long time working through them in your study note book”
“Wow! This in-depth study of First Samuel reminds me of some of the “big name” Bible studies that I have done through the years.”