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The book of Samuel tells the story of Israel’s transition from Judges’ rule to kingship. Samuel, the great prophet, plays a key role as God’s messenger and leader. Samuel anoints Saul as the first king of Israel but his life is characterized by fear and failure. The need for a king ''after God’s own heart'' becomes apparent and is eventually satisfied by David.
The book provides the most comprehensive account of David’s life, both his victories and struggles, politically as well as personally. David’s trust and reliance upon God define his rise to the throne. However his sin complicates his reign as difficulties are experienced in his relationships that threaten to undo him. The book calls for a complete trust in David as well as his royal line, a call that comes directly from God as he promised to deliver His people through such a figure. But it also warns of the conflict, pain, and loss that follows sin and disobedience.
The book of Samuel takes God’s story into the monarchy, especially by means of the story of King David, a man of faith even while a man of weakness. God’s covenant with David is fulfilled finally in the ultimate Son of David, Jesus of Nazareth.
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