Friday, June 03, 2011

Samuel: Desiring God's own Heart

Finding the Extraordinary God in our Ordinary Lives. Desiring God's own Heart Bible Study


This week my Tuesday night Bible study started studying the books of 1 & 2 Samuel, and I'm not only loving the study, but I'm learning a lot, and we've only just begun. Thirteen months ago I had NO idea what I was in for when we started studying together on Tuesday nights. I just knew I was desperate for a Bible study—enough that I was willing to lead/facilitate one if that's what it took to be part of a group. I didn't know about the tremendous blessings in store for those that teach, because yanno, when you teach, you need to study more than the others in your group, and this group has really kept me on my toes with my nose to the grindstone of God's Word. It's been fabulous and I'm so very thankful!

The books of Samuel are the illustrated version of spiritual truths spelled out elsewhere in the Bible. They show us three portraits of repentance, rather than simply tell us about it.

Because I write fiction, I love this feature of the books of Samuel. But it's not just me! If you were given a choice between reading a text book on repentance—what's involved in genuine repentance followed by examples of insincere and genuine repentance—and reading a story book with the same information, which would you choose? And look at the stories in the books of Samuel—some call them Sunday School stories because children's Sunday School lessons are based on these accounts.

The books of Samuel are loaded with graphic illustrations of God's truths. It's theology lived out in a way we can understand—in the triumphs and the failures, in the peaceful times as well as in the huge storms of life, in the frantic rush of life and when you're becalmed and going nowhere fast. Samuel paints pictures for us, showing us what God requires and the rewards and benefits of our obedience.

If we read the books of Samuel, or any other of the historical books of the Bible, and try to piece together exactly what happened, we could be in for some hair pulling. Why? Because the writers weren't concerned with the exact detail of the events they were writing about. Their prime concern and focus was on conveying lessons about God—theology. So one of the ways they did that was through contrasting people and situations.

In 1 Samuel, we first see the proper way to repent—genuine repentance. Samuel led the nation in repentance which led to victory, but Saul's version of repentance is all wrong. He shows us the consequences of excuses and empty words. Then there's David who understood how to genuinely repent. And which man is considered the man after God's own heart? David. The man who sinned time and time again, big and small, but repented and sought God. It's David's example we're to follow in desiring God's own heart.

As we read historical accounts in the Bible, like the books of Samuel, we need to ask ourselves, “So what's the moral of the story?” We need to find the truth of each narrative and apply it to our lives. These are so much more than Sunday School stories! These are truths to live by. Truths that guide us from consequences to victory.

My goal is to blog my way through these books. My near-and-dear, Joanne, is joining us long-distance through this study, and I hope you can join us for parts of it too!

So tell me, what's your favorite story from 1 Samuel?

2 comments:

  1. Oh, Patty - I have SO many favorites. But if I HAVE to pick, I'd say when God speaks to Samuel for the first time. I love to think about that still small voice he heard - and that he didn't recognize it at first. But once he did, God KEPT speaking to him.

    SO looking forward to going through this with you guys! Loving it already!

    ReplyDelete
  2. I'll be watching for your posts on Samuel!

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