The books of Samuel are stories of the first kings and prophets of Israel. Samuel, the servant of the Lord. Saul, the king rejected by God. David, a man after God’s own heart. The themes that are displayed through the verses that I picked are devotion, faithfulness, and steadfast love. And there’s a lot of things we can learn about God through these verses! What He is, what He has done, and what He is going to do! He is our shield; He is fighting for us, and He promises that He is always victorious! Here are ten verses plus a few resources that came to mind while going through these books.
I, II Samuel
1. 1 Samuel 2:26 – Now the boy Samuel continued to grow both in stature and in favor with the Lord and also with man.
I find this verse fascinating because Luke says something similar about Jesus: (“And Jesus increased in wisdom and in stature and in favor with God and man.” Luke 2:52) Both are young, and while growing in stature (height), they are also growing in wisdom and favor with God and man. They are learning more and deepening their relationship with God. I pray that this is something that can be said about myself as a young person. That while I continue to grow older in the physical, I am also growing older and wiser in the spiritual.
2. 1 Samuel 3:10 – And the Lord came and stood, calling as at other times, “Samuel! Samuel!” And Samuel said, “Speak, for your servant hears.”
And I think this is one of the first steps to growing in that wisdom and favor. Having a listening heart. Being ready to answer when God calls and say, “Speak, your servant is listening.”
3. 1 Samuel 12:24 – Only fear the Lord and serve him faithfully with all your heart. For consider what great things he has done for you.
Consider what great things God has done for you. Now, how can you not serve him faithfully with all your heart?!
4. 1 Samuel 14:6-7 – Jonathan said to the young man who carried his armor, “Come, let us go over to the garrison of these uncircumcised. It may be that the Lord will work for us, for nothing can hinder the Lord from saving by many or by few.” And his armor-bearer said to him, “Do all that is in your heart. Do as you wish. Behold, I am with you heart and soul.”
What a beautiful picture of devotion! The armor-bearer was willing to do something that would likely get him killed, because his prince desired it. It’s like the story of David’s closest men fighting an army to get a drink of water for David. Willing to do anything to please their King. I have to ask myself this question? Am I that devoted to Jesus that I would be willing do say, “I am with you heart and soul. I am willing to die.” I pray I am. What about you?
5. 1 Samuel 15:22 – And Samuel said, “Has the Lord as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the Lord? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to listen than the fat of rams.
This doesn’t make as much sense to us these days – we aren’t required to bring sacrifices to God. But what about this – Obedience is better than obligation. How many of us read a devotional, a chapter in the Bible, or pray a short prayer because we feel obligated to and we know its good. God has done so much for us, the least I can do is offer a prayer back to Him. The least I can do is read is Word every day. That’s good enough. I sacrifice fifteen minutes of my day to Him, that has to be a big enough offering right?
Those things are good, but sometimes it’s not just reading the Bible and praying. Sometimes God has more for us, be we aren’t willing to listen. “God, I’ve given you the fifteen minutes, now I have other things to do.” We are missing so much! God has something to say to us. He has a job for us to do, but we aren’t taking the time to listen. He says, “Martha, Martha, don’t be distracted by much serving, sit here and be with me for a while. Let me tell you what I want you to do. I have a special assignment just for you if you are willing to listen and obey.
6. 1 Sameul 16:7 – But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him. For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.”
You’ve probably heard this verse quoted more times than you can count, but it’s a good one and no one should ever tire of hearing it repeated. In a world where beauty, form and ability are the marks of fame and sucess, God says, “Not in my book. The world may judge you for your appearance and say, ‘you’re not good enough,’ but I judge your heart and a heart that is fully surrendered to Me is a beautiful heart.” What we are like on the inside is what matters. It doesn’t matter how we look, how much we way, how well we can sing or how well we can play sports. What matters is our love for God and others. When we are fully surrendered to God and His will for our life, the Holy Spirit will start a work in our lives and the fruit that’s produced will shine out as a light to the dying world. That’s beauty right there.
1 Samuel 22:2 – And everyone who was in distress, and everyone who was in debt, and everyone who was bitter in soul, gathered to him. And he became commander over them. And there were with him about four hundred men.
7. 1 Samuel 26:10-11 – And David said, “As the Lord lives, the Lord will strike him, or his day will come to die, or he will go down into battle and perish. The Lord forbid that I should put out my hand against the Lord’s anointed. But take now the spear that is at his head and the jar of water and let us go.”
David understands that vengeance belongs to God. Only God has the authority to give and take away life. Life and Death are held in God’s hands. He creates every baby from a single cell. And He has appointed the time for each life to pass away and once again return to dust. God is sovereign, and no one other than Him has the authority to purposefully end a life.
8. 2 Samuel 7:12-16 – When your days are fulfilled and you lie down with your fathers, I will raise up your offspring after you, who shall come from your body, and I will establish his kingdom. He shall build a house for my name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever. I will be to him a father, and he shall be to me a son. When he commits iniquity, I will discipline him with the rod of men, with the stripes of the sons of men, but my steadfast love will not depart from him, as I took it from Saul, whom I put away from before you. And your house and your kingdom shall be made sure forever before me. Your throne shall be established forever.’”
This the God’s promise to David. David loved the Lord so much and he wanted to build a temple for him to dwell in. God promises that he will raise up a son from David who will build the house. David’s son Solomon builds a house for the Lord years later. God made Solomon the wiseman on earth. Yet, Solomon, like all of us, sinned. He committed iniquity and made grave mistakes. And he was punished for it. But God says, I will punish him, but MY STEADFAST LOVE WILL NOT DEPART FORM HIM. God punishes because he loves. Isn’t that what our parents always tell us? I’m doing this because I love you. And it’s true. We make mistakes and often we deal with the consequences – most are not directly from God; they are just the natural consequences of living in a sinful world – and it hurts God more than it hurts us. He cries when he sees his children in pain (Though I’m sure he also laughs at us some too – Not all consequences are painful, some are plain down funny). And God’s steadfast love is so great that he actually took our greatest punishment -eternal separation from God- onto himself. He took my punishment and conquered it! So while we still have to deal with earthly consequences from our actions, remember that God’s steadfast love will never depart from us, and remember the consequence we will never have to face because of that love.
The story of David and King Saul retold in a medieval setting. Enter a land where belief in God becomes the adventure of a lifetime!
9. 2 Samuel 14:14 – We must all die; we are like water spilled on the ground, which cannot be gathered up again. But God will not take away life, and he devises means so that the banished one will not remain an outcast.
That’s the gospel right there! Every one of us deserves death. We have all sinned. We have all fallen short of what God requires. We are banished from heaven forever. Outcast. Condemned. Yet, God has made a way. That way is Jesus. We do not remain outcasts. We are adopted. Made royalty. Safe.
10. 2 Samuel 22:29-33 – For you are my lamp, O Lord, and my God lightens my darkness. For by you I can run against a troop, and by my God I can leap over a wall. This God—his way is perfect; the word of the Lord proves true; he is a shield for all those who take refuge in him. “For who is God, but the Lord? And who is a rock, except our God? This God is my strong refuge and has made my way blameless.
How beautiful is that verse! You are my lamp, O Lord, and you lighten my darkness. We all have darkness in our lives, yet God is the light that breaks through the darkness, He is the lamp that guides our steps. With Him as our guide we can run against troops (armed forces). We can leap over walls. I don’t think the writer here means a little stone retainer wall. Think like big, tall, castle wall. Too high to dream of climbing over. God empowers us to do impossible, unhuman things. God’s way is perfect. His word ALWAYS proves true. He is a shield to those who take refuge in Him. God is my rock, my salvation, He is a refuge. He has blotted out my sin and made my blameless. The promises in these verses are endless!
Keep planting and watering, the harvest will come!
Now these are the last words of David: The oracle of David, the son of Jesse, the oracle of the man who was raised on high, the anointed of the God of Jacob, the sweet psalmist of Israel: “The Spirit of the Lord speaks by me; his word is on my tongue. The God of Israel has spoken; the Rock of Israel has said to me: When one rules justly over men, ruling in the fear of God, he dawns on them like the morning light, like the sun shining forth on a cloudless morning, like rain that makes grass to sprout from the earth. “For does not my house stand so with God? For he has made with me an everlasting covenant, ordered in all things and secure. For will he not cause to prosper all my help and my desire? But worthless men are all like thorns that are thrown away, for they cannot be taken with the hand; but the man who touches them arms himself with iron and the shaft of a spear, and they are utterly consumed with fire.” 2 Samuel 23:1-7