1 Samuel 20-22

?#?OTin52? Our reading today is 1 Samuel 20-22:

XX. Jonathan Warns David (1 Samuel 20).

• David flees from Naioth and hurries to see Jonathan explaining that he
doesn’t understand why Saul wants to kill him.
• Jonathan vows that he will do all he can to save David’s life.
• The bond of friendship between David and Jonathan is the most genuine
friendship David ever knew.
• When David learns that he’s supposed to dine at Saul’s table, he isn’t
sure if it’s safe or not.
• Jonathan comes up with a way of explaining how he will inform David of
his father’s intentions:
• (1) David is to hide behind a stone.
• (2) Jonathan will come out and shoot three arrows.
• (3) Jonathan will send a boy to retrieve them. If he says the arrows are
on one side, then David is safe. If he tells the boy that the arrows are
beyond him, then David has reason to fear Saul.
• When David’s seat at dinner is empty for a second consecutive night, Saul
questions Jonathan and Jonathan responds as he and David had agreed.
• Saul is angry at Jonathan, curses him, orders men to seize David and put
him to death, and hurls a spear at his own son.
• Jonathan carries out his plan to warn David.
• David knows that Saul wants him dead, so he wishes Jonathan goodbye and

XXI. David the Fugitive (1 Samuel 21).

• The king-in-waiting becomes a man on the run.
• David comes to see Ahimelech, the priest in Nob. He tells him that he’s
on a mission for the king and asks for food.
• After eating some holy bread, the Bread of Presence, David asks for a
weapon for himself.
• Doeg the Edomite, one of Saul’s servants, was also there and overheard
the conversation between David and Ahimelech.
• Ahimelech says the only weapon available is the sword of Goliath, which
David agrees to take.
• David flees to Gath (Goliath’s hometown) and goes to Achish, the
Philistine king.
• He enters Gath with Goliath’s sword (!) and is quickly identified as
Israel’s champion and “king of the land” and he becomes fearful.
• David escapes death by pretending to be mad by scratching marks on the
door of the gate and letting spit run down his beard.
• Achish thinks David is insane and sends him away.

XXII. The Consequences of David’s Fear (1 Samuel 22)

• David then escapes to the cave of Adullam, where 400 men, including his
father’s house, soon gather around him.
• David leaves his parents in Moab for their own safety.
• Gad the prophet tells David he needs to find a new hiding place.
• Saul reprimands his men for not telling him that his son Jonathan vowed
to help David.
• Saul also learns from Doeg that David went to Ahimelech for help.
• Saul hurries to Nob to pay Ahimelech a visit. He questions the priest
because he wants to know why the priest helped David.
• Ahimelech explains he had no reason to suspect David because he is, after
all, the king’s son-in-law.
• Saul is displeased and orders the priest and his sons put to death but
his guards are reluctant. So Doeg takes it upon himself and commits a
• Abiathar, one of Ahimelech’s son manages to escape, and joins David.
• David says that he knew that nothing good would come from Doeg seeing him
with Ahimelech and he takes responsibility for the death of Abiathar’s

Jesus in the Old Testament

• The friendship between David and Jonathan is a model of selflessness.
Jonathan was willing to sacrifice everything for his friendship with David.
Jesus said, “Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his
life for his friends” (cf. John 15:13).
• In his flight from Saul, David gives in to fear, and makes a series of
mistakes. Fear is a poor motivator. It causes us to make bad decisions.
When tempted to give in to fear, we need to remember the words of Romans 8,
“If God is for us who can be against us.” There is absolutely nothing that
can separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus the Lord (Romans 8:39).

1 Samuel 18-19

?#?OTin52? Our reading today is 1 Samuel 18-19:

XVIII. The Conflict Between Saul and David (1 Samuel 18).

• The rest of 1 Samuel will be preoccupied with the conflict between Saul
and David.
• A covenant-friendship between David and Jonathan deepens even as Saul
brings David into his palace permanently.
• Saul makes David the commander of the army while becoming more and more
jealous of David’s popularity as people sing songs about David’s success.
• Saul becomes increasingly paranoid that David will take the throne from
• One day, as David is playing his lyre for Saul, the king throws his spear
at David on two separate occasions.
• David avoids both attempts on his life and flees the palace.
• Saul is afraid because he knows the spirit of God is with David.
• David is demoted to being a commander of thousands but his success
• Because David killed Goliath, David was promised one of his daughters’
hand in marriage
• Originally, Saul was to give Merab’s hand in marriage but David stalled
thinking he did not deserve to be married to the king’s daughter. So Saul
gives Merab to another man.
• Then Saul heard that his daughter Michal loves David and something about
Michal and this potential union deviously pleases Saul.
• The bridal price is set as Saul tells David that if he brings him one
hundred Philistine foreskins, David can marry Michal, which David is able
to do.

XIX. Saul’s Descent (1 Samuel 19).

• Jonathan tells David of his father’s plan to kill him and urges him to go
into hiding as he seeks to learn more of his father’s intention.
• While in a field together Jonathan persuades his father not to kill David
for now and David returns to Saul’s presence.
• Meanwhile, David’s busy winning more battles against the Philistines.
• David is still playing his lyre for Saul and like before, Saul tries pin
David to the wall with his spear but David escapes.
• Saul then sends some men to David’s house to kill him but David escapes
out the window and Michal uses a ploy to turns the men away.
• Saul wonders why his own daughter took David, her husband’s side, and
when questioned, Michal tells him that David threatened to kill her.
• David goes to Ramah to meet Samuel.
• When Saul learns that he is in Naioth, he sends some men to seize David
but the Spirit of God prevents them by causing them to prophesy instead.
• Saul goes to investigate himself and he too begins to prophesy.

Jesus in the Old Testament

• Jonathan is a model is amazing selflessness. In his self-emptying he is a
picture of Jesus who in His greater act, also emptied Himself by becoming
flesh and taking the form of a servant (cf. Philippians 2:6-7).

1 Samuel 16-17

?#?OTin52? Our reading today is 1 Samuel 16-17:

XVI. David Defeats Goliath (1 Samuel 17).

• The Philistines and the Israelites, standing on opposite mountains with a
valley in between, prepare to fight as Goliath from Gath, the Philistine
champion, taunts Israel.
• Goliath is 9’ 6” and his armor reinforces his prowess.
• Goliath proposes a battle between two combatants to settle the contest.
Whichever side loses will become servants to the victor’s side.
• Goliath repeated this challenge for 40 days.
• Everyone on the Israelite side was too afraid to accept the challenge.
• Three of David’s brothers heard Goliath’s taunts everyday.
• One day, Jesse sends David on an errand to bring food to his brothers and
their commander.
• David hears Goliath taunting not just Israel but Israel’s God.
• After some arguing with his brothers (which reveals they treated their
younger brother with contempt) and debating with Saul (who saw David as
just a boy), David accepts the Goliath’s challenge. To see as God sees
often invites ridicule from others.
• When Saul questions David’s ability to fight, David informs him that he’s
killed a lion and a bear while shepherding.
• Above all, David trusted not in his ability to fight but in the
deliverance of the living God. This story among, while offering many
profound lessons, is primarily about the kind of man who is qualified to
lead God’s people. David shows he is the man God can use because he knows
God and believes in His power to deliver.
• Saul places David in his armor armor but it doesn’t fit.
• David doesn’t need any armor since he is going out to face the giant
armed with a staff and a sling.
• When David stands before Goliath, the giant thinks it’s a joke. They
exchange taunts with Goliath saying, “I’ll feed your corpse to the birds
and beasts!”
• David responds by saying, “The Lord will deliver you into my hands.”
• Goliath moves toward David, who has been concealing his sling, and
quickly whips a smooth stone straight into Goliath’s temple.
• The giant falls face down on the ground dead. David runs over, takes
Goliath’s sword, and removes his head, lifting it for the Philistine army
to see. The Philistines are so terrified that they flee in fear. The
Israelite army is emboldened to pursue the Philistines and plunder their
• David returns to Saul, but the king does not recognize him and asks his
aide, Abner, who David is. David promptly says, “I am the son of your
servant Jesse the Bethlehemite.”

Jesus in the Old Testament

• David, by his confidence in the living God, functions as the
representative champion of faith among his fearful brothers. Both David and
Jesus accomplish a mighty victory, the results of which are imputed to
their people. When we read this story, we often like to see ourselves as
David but we are more like the people of Israel who are fearful and in need
of saving. Jesus, our champion, has conquered the enemy and rescued us from
condemnation and death.

1 Samuel 14-15

?#?OTin52? Our reading today is 1 Samuel 14-15:

XIV. Stark Contrast between Saul and Jonathan (1 Samuel 14).

• Jonathan and his armor-bearer secretly scope out the Philistines’
• Meanwhile, six hundred men are with Saul including Ahijah, the priest of
the Lord.
• Jonathan believes, if this is the Lord’s will, He will grant victory no
matter the size of the force.
• Jonathan devises a test to see what God wants them to do.
• If Jonathan and his servant show themselves to the Philistines and the
Philistines start taunting them, Jonathan will know God wants them to fight.
• The Philistines taunt them.
• Despite being outmanned, Jonathan and his servant defeat the Philistines
and panic spread throughout the enemy camp. A major theme in 1 Samuel is
strength through weakness.
• Saul made the Israelites vow not to eat anything until nightfall and he
has defeated the Philistines.
• Even when his men passed a honeycomb dripping honey they refused to eat
any of it.
• But Jonathan was absent when the oath was made and dipped his staff into
the honey.
• While the men fear for Jonathan, Jonathan criticizes his father for not
letting the men be refreshed with food and have enough strength to defeat
the Philistines.
• The Israelites then defeat the Philistines and enjoy the spoils of war
including eating bloody meat.
• Saul builds his first monument to the Lord but forgets to make inquiry.
• Finally, a priest suggests that he should inquire of the Lord whether he
should strike the Philistines that night or not but God did not answer.
• Saul thinks God is silent because someone has sinned.
• Even if it’s his own son who has sinned, he should die.
• It’s determined that Jonathan has “sinned” because he ate honey.
• Saul is prepared to kill Jonathan but the Israelites convince him
• The Philistines and the Israelites separate to fight another day while
Saul goes on to rout other armies of his enemies.

XV. Saul’s Disobedience and its Cost (1 Samuel 15).

• Samuel directs Saul, with a word from God, to attack the Amalekites and
devote everything to destruction. Saul’s victory is massive.
• But he allows Agag, the king of the Amalekites, to live and he also
spared some sheep, oxen, and fattened calves.
• God tells Samuel that he has regretted making Saul king because of his
• Samuel, angry about what has happened, cries out to God about it all
• As Samuel heads out to meet Saul, Saul is setting up a monument to
himself. He thinks he has done well.
• But Samuel rebukes him for not killing the Amalekite king and destroying
the animals.
• Saul tries to defend his actions and throws his people under the bus for
allowing the animals to live.
• Saul thinks that he can disobey God and get away with it, so Samuel tells
him that obedience is better than any sacrifice.
• Samuel tells Saul that God has rejected him from being king.
• As Samuel turns to leave, Saul tears off a bit of his robe which Samuel
uses as a symbol: The Lord has torn the kingdom away from him and given it
to a neighbor who is better than Saul.
• Samuel requests that Agag be brought to him and he hacks Agag to pieces.
• Samuel returns to Ramah but does not see Saul again until the day of his

Jesus in the Old Testament

• The theme of strength through weakness is ultimately fulfilled in and by
Chrisst who was crucified in weakness and raised in great power.
• God takes Saul’s kingship away from him and, in time, gives it to David.
David too will fail, though unlike Saul, he was repentant. In the end, our
hope is not in human leadership but in the One who descended from David,
and who unlike David, Jesus never sinned or failed in any way.

1 Samuel 11-13

?#?OTin52? Our reading today is 1 Samuel 11-13:

XI. Saul Defeats the Philistines (1 Samuel 11).

• Nahash, king of the Ammonites, besieges Jabesh-gilead. When the people of
Jabesh attempt to make a treaty with Nahash, he has one condition: He gets
to gouge out the right eye of all Jabesh-Gileadites.
• The people of Jabesh ask for a week to see if there is another option.
• When Saul hears the news, his anger is so kindled that he slices up a
yoke of oxen and sends pieces to every tribe in Israel.
• His message to all Israel was to come and fight or all your oxen will be
killed too.
• A huge army of 330,000 forms under Saul’s leadership.
• Saul devises a clear strategy for battle and the Israelites defeat the
Ammonites soundly.
• Saul proves himself in battle and his kingship is solidified and affirmed
by the people of Israel.

XII. Samuel’s Final Speech (1 Samuel 12).

• Samuel is old and asks Israel if he has ever wronged them or defrauded
them in any way?
• They respond by saying that he was a man of unassailable integrity who
always did the right thing.
• Samuel then recounts all that God has done for the Israelites beginning
with Jacob and moving all the way through the most recent event with Nahash.
• The most important part of his address is his use of the “but if”
formula: If they and the king serve God well, Israel will be blessed; But
if they are disobedient God will be against them and the king.
• Samuel concludes by saying that their demand for a king was sinful and
that God was displeased with them.
• As proof of God’s displeasure, Samuel asks God to send a thunderstorm at
a time when it is normally dry.
• The thunder and rain come and the people are afraid. They ask Samuel to
pray for them.
• Samuel tells them not to fear and here’s the pattern again: If they
continue to worship and love God, things will go well for them. But, if
they don’t, they will be swept away along with their king.

XIII. Saul Acts Rashly and Rashly (1 Samuel 13).

• Saul’s exact age is unclear when he became king.
• Saul and his son Jonathan are fighting the Philistines.
• Recall that Saul was supposed to attack the garrison and then wait at
Gilgal (cf. 9:26-10:13).
• But Jonathan defeats the garrison of Philistines and Saul announces the
victory to the nation.
• The Philistines gather a massive force with chariots for battle, and the
Israelites are terrified and hide in caves, tombs, watering holes, and some
cross the Jordan.
• With the battle about to begin Saul is nervously waiting for Samuel to
make an offering to God but he is “fashionably late.”
• Faced with the dilemma of obeying the command to wait for Samuel to
arrive or intrude into the priestly domain (a violation of Numbers 16:40)
and offer the sacrifice himself, Saul chooses the latter.
• Samuel arrives just after the sacrifice.
• Saul tries to explain his rationale to Samuel but it is insufficient.
• Samuel indicts him for acting foolishly and declaring that God will take
His kingship away from him and it will not be passed down to his sons.
• Samuel departs leaving Saul with only 600 men to fight the Philistines.
• The Philistines had banished blacksmiths from Israel so that Saul and
Jonathan alone have weapons while the rest of their army is forced to have
the Philistines sharpen their weapons at an inflated fee before the battle.

Jesus in the Old Testament

• Like Saul, we all face times of pressure where, in our impatience, we are
quick to do the most expedient thing rather than the right thing. The
promise of the gospel is that in Christ we are not assured of a life free
of pressure and problems but Jesus promises never to leave us alone and
that we will never suffer ultimate harm.

1 Samuel 8-10

?#?OTin52? Our reading today is 1 Samuel 8-10.

VIII. Israel Demands a King (1 Samuel 8).

• In his advanced years, Samuel made his sons judges, but they were corrupt.
• So the elders come to Samuel and ask that he appoint a king.
• Since the death of Joshua, the tribes resided in their allotted
territories with a loose affiliation led by a series of judges without any
pattern of succession.
• Samuel is disappointed by the people’s choice and thinks it’s a
reflection on him as a judge.
• God tells Samuel that Israel’s decision is ill-founded since they are
actually replacing Him as king in order to be like other nations.
• Samuel attempts to tell the Israelites that a king will only turn them
into slaves instead of making them united.
• The Israelites ignore Samuel. They want a king to govern them and fight
their battles.
• God tells Samuel to give the people what they want.

IX. Samuel Meets Saul (1 Samuel 9).

• In every way, Saul seems like the best choice to be Israel’s first king.
• He is from the tribe of Benjamin.
• He is handsome and stands head and shoulders above everyone else.
• When we first meet him, he and a young man are searching for his father’s
missing donkeys.
• The young man tells Saul of a man of God (a prophet or “seer”) that could
help them–who happens to be Samuel. It is worth noting that Saul seems to
be unaware of Samuel.
• As Saul and his servant are traveling to meet the seer, they meet some
women who inform them that he will be attending the town’s evening
sacrifice to offer a blessing.
• God informs Samuel that he will meet Saul at the sacrifice and be ready
to anoint him.
• Samuel and Saul meet (Saul still inquires about who they seer may be!)
and after an interesting discussion about Saul’s donkeys being found,
Samuel informs Saul that he is the desire of the nation.
• Saul responds with admirable humility.
• Samuel offers Saul and the young man a meal with thirty guests and a
place to spend the night.
• The next morning, Samuel privately informs Saul that he has a word from
God for him.

X. Saul is Chosen King (1 Samuel 10).

• Suddenly, Samuel pours oil over Saul’s head and kisses him on the
• Saul is skeptical but Samuel tells him there will be a series of signs as
• First, Saul will meet two men who will tell him that his father’s donkeys
are safe.
• Secondly, he will meet three men carrying goats, bread and wine and they
will give him two loaves of bread.
• Thirdly, Saul will come near a place where Philistine troops are
stationed. He’ll meet prophets who are playing various instruments, and
they’ll be prophesying. When he meets them the Spirit of the Lord will rush
on him, change him into another man, and he will prophesy.
• Samuel then tells Saul he will go to Gilgal. He is to wait seven days
until Samuel arrives with the sacrifice.
• Saul’s uncle questions him about his journeys, but he leaves out the part
where he was privately anointed the king of Israel.
• Samuel calls all the people of Israel together to now publicly cast lots
to see who’ll become king.
• While a man from each tribe was chosen by lot to be among the final
candidates, the man chosen from the tribe of Benjamin wasn’t present
because he was hiding amid the baggage.
• Saul is brought out and the people are impressed and shout, “Long live
the King!”

Jesus in the Old Testament

• The Israelites will be reminded again and again in the case of Saul that
no human leader will ever be able to sufficiently lead the people. In the
same way, the eyes of the church should never be directed to a person but
to Jesus, who alone is perfect and able.

1 Samuel 4-7

?#?OTin52? Our reading today is 1 Samuel 4-7.

IV. Philistine Victory, the Capture of the Ark, and the Death of Eli (1
Samuel 4).

• The Israelites are defeated by the Philistine army, losing four thousand
men. The Philistines will become Israel’s primary nemesis and are a
powerful fighting force.
• The elders of Israel convene and act rashly, deciding to bring the Ark of
the Covenant from Shiloh so that its presence in the camp might give them
victory (Note: The Lord did not instruct them to do this as the result
bears out).
• All of Israel shouts when the Ark enters camp, and their shout echoes all
the way to the Philistine camp and they become fearful upon hearing the Ark
is in the Israelite camp for they had heard the stories about the exodus
from Egypt.
• The Philistines fight even harder, thirty thousand Israelites are killed,
and the Philistines confiscate the Ark for themselves.
• In addition, Hophni and Phinehas die as prophesied.
• A Benjamite messenger arrives in Shiloh to deliver the news of Israel’s
• Ninety-eight-year old Eli is seated near the city gate. When he hears the
news of Israel’s defeat, the loss of the Ark, and the death of his sons he
falls backwards, breaks his neck, and dies–ending his forty-year judgeship.
• Phinehas’ pregnant wife, upon hearing all the bad news goes into labor,
and gives birth to a son.
• In her grief she names him, Ichabod, which means the glory has departed,
because the Ark had been captured.

V. The Exile of the Ark (1 Samuel 5).

• Having seized the Ark, the Philistines take it to Ashdod and place it in
their temple of Dagon, the fish god, since they were mainly a seafaring
• For the next two days the Philistines enter the temple and find Dagon has
fallen down before the Ark, and its last fall fractured it into large
• An addition, God sends terrible plagues among the Philistine causing
terrible tumors to break out among them.
• They brought the Ark to Gath and then to Ekron, in each case causing
great panic among their people.
• Then the leaders of the Philistines decide to send the Ark back to the

VI. The Return of the Ark from Exile (1 Samuel 6).

• The Ark remains in Philistine territory for seven months.
• The Philistines use diviners and priests to determine how to return the
Ark to Israel.
• The Philistines were told not to send the Ark back empty but fill it with
the images of five gold tumors and five gold mice as a guilt offering.
• The tumors were part of their suffering. The mice might indicate that
they were afflicted by a disease carried by mice.
• The Philistines send the Ark back to the Israelites on on a cart pulled
by cows without any human escort.
• When the Ark arrived in Beth-shemesh the people rejoiced, set the gold
images on a large stone and offered the cows as a burnt offering.
• When seventy men dare to look inside the Ark they are killed, reminding
the people again of the holiness of God.
• The people ask the Israelite town of Kiriath-jearim to come and retrieve
the Ark.

VII. Israel’s Victories over the Philistines (1 Samuel 7).

• The Ark is brought to Kiriath-jearim where it remained for 20 years under
the care of Abinadab.
• Samuel exhorts Israel to worship God with all their hearts and to get rid
of the Canaanite Baal and the goddess Ashtaroth.
• The people gathered at Mizpah and confessed their sin against the Lord.
• The Israelites hear about the Philistine plan to attack them at Mizpah
and everyone becomes afraid.
• They plead to Samuel to intercede for them and he offers a lamb to God.
• The Philistine army advances, the Lord shouts with a thunderous voice,
the Philistines become confused, and the Israelites defeat them.
• Samuel sets up a stone in a place calling it Ebenezer (“stone of help”)
as a memorial.
• The Israelites take back all the towns that the Philistines captured.
• Samuel spent his while life traveling the circuit among the territories
of Israel and judging the people.

Jesus in the Old Testament

• Jesus is our Ebenezer, our “stone of help.” Recall the great hymn by
Robert Robinson, “Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing.” In the second verse
it says, “Here I raise my Ebenezer/Here by Thy great help I’ve come.” It is
a picture of the grace, mercy, and help of God in our lives through Jesus.

1 Samuel 1-3

?#?OTin52? Our reading today begins the book of 1 Samuel, chapters 1-3.

The Book of 1 Samuel

I. The Birth of Samuel (1 Samuel 1)

• Elkanah (of the tribe of Ephraim) had two wives, Peninnah and Hannah.
Peninnah could have children of her own but Hannah was barren and dejected.
• Every year, during his annual pilgrimage to Shiloh, Elkanah would offer
sacrifice and give portions to Peninnah and her children, but he gave a
double portion to Hannah, who though childless, he loved deeply.
• Her husband’s love was not enough to deflect the taunts of her “rival”
and ease her pain.
• One day, while taking her distress to God in prayer, Hannah makes a vow
to God that if He grants her a son, she will offer him to the Lord as a
• Eli, the priest at Shiloh, observes her lips moving and yet hears
nothing, and misunderstanding her actions, accuses her of being drunk.
• She explains that she was not drunk but praying out of her anxiety.
• He then encourages her that God has heard her prayer and her burden is
• God indeed heard her prayer, opens her womb and Hannah gives birth to a
son named Samuel (“heard of God”).
• After he is weaned, Hannah brings Samuel to the house of the Lord at
• She reminds Eli of the time he saw her praying, that her prayers was
answered, and she was now offering Samuel to the Lord.

II. Hannah’s Song and Eli’s Judgment (1 Samuel 2)

• Hannah sings a song to the Lord extolling His care for those who trust in
• The song carries deep theological themes that will be appear throughout 1
• Eli had two sons, Hophni and Phinehas, and they are worthless men.
• They treated the offerings to the Lord from humble worshippers with
contempt and slept with the women who served at the entrance to the tent of
• Every year, Hannah would visit Samuel during the annual sacrifice and
bring him a newly knitted robe.
• Eli blesses Hannah and she is honored with three sons and two daughters.
• Eli confronts his sons about their corrupt behavior but they do not
• Because of their sin, the Lord was ready to take their lives.
• Meanwhile, Samuel continues to grow in favor before God and respect
toward man.
• An unnamed man of God visits Eli and pronounces a judgment upon his house.
• He declares that no one in Eli’s family will live to see old age and that
both his sons will die on the same day.

III. The Call of Samuel (1 Samuel 3)

• The Word of the Lord was uncommon in these days, most likely due to Eli’s
failure and the sins of his sons.
• One night while sleeping near the Ark, Samuel hears a voice calling his
• Rising from his bed, he asks Eli if he called him.
• Eli said he did not and sent him back to bed.
• Later that night, Samuel hears his name again and returns to Eli.
• Again, Eli says he did not call him.
• Samuel hears his name called a third time.
• Eli now perceives that God is calling him and instructs Samuel to answer
the Lord’s voice.
• When the Lord calls to Samuel again he answers, “Speak, for your servant
• God tells Samuel that the severe punishment upon Eli’s home that He had
warned about was about to break out and there is nothing Eli can do to stop
• In the morning, Eli asks Samuel what the Lord told him but he hesitates
to tell Eli what God had said.
• After more prompting, Samuel tells him everything and Eli acknowledges
that God will do what He sees fit to do.
• However, Samuel’s reputation as a prophet was affirmed and recognized
throughout Israel.
• God did not let any of Samuel’s words be ineffectual.

Jesus in the Old Testament

• In the birth of Samuel to barren Hannah, we are reminded of God’s
faithfulness through faithful women–i.e. childless Elizabeth gives birth to
John the Baptist and faithful Mary gives birth to the Jesus, the Messiah.
• Hannah’s praise-song foreshadows the Magnificat, the song Mary would sing
when told she would be the mother of Israel’s Messiah. Hannah’s song also
sounds a gospel theme that God accepts those who trust in His Son rather
than those who trust in their own strength.
• Young Samuel’s growth is depicted also in Jesus, who as a young boy grew
in favor before God and man (cf. Luke 2:52).

The Book of Ruth

?#?OTin52? Our reading today is the book of Ruth. A wonderful and
refreshing love story to read after plodding through Judges!

The Book of Ruth

I. Tragedy Strikes Naomi’s Family (Ruth 1).

• The story of Ruth is a bright light set against the dark backdrop of the
period of the Judges.
• Elimelech, his wife Naomi, and their two sons, Mahlon and Chilion live in
• A famine hits Judah so they relocate to Moab.
• Personal tragedy strikes with the death of Elimelech.
• Her sons marry Moabite women, Orpah and Ruth, but after ten years they
also pass.
• When Naomi hears that back in Judah the famine is broken back, she
decides to return with her daughters-in-law accompanying her.
• Eventually, Naomi insists that they both return to their mother’s homes.
• Orpah concedes and stays in Moab.
• Ruth, however, pledges her loyalty to follow Naomi wherever she goes.
• When Naomi arrives back in Judah after ten years she tells her people to
no longer address her as Naomi but Mara (“bitter”) because God has dealt
bitterly with her and her life is now empty and barren.
• Naomi’s return to Bethlehem is at the beginning of the barley harvest.

II. Ruth Gleans in Boaz’s Field (Ruth 2).

• There is a male relative of Elimelech in Bethlehem named Boaz, who owns a
• Ruth tells Naomi that she’ll glean in the barley fields for the leftover
ears of grain.
• One day she “just happened” to glean the part of the field owned by Boaz.
• “Behold” Boaz comes along at this very moment.
• Boaz remarks about Ruth to one of his servants.
• The servant explains how Ruth left her home and family so she could stay
with Naomi.
• Boaz heads over to Ruth and offers her the privilege of gleaning in his
field all season long and drink from the same water the workers do. He also
told the harvesters not to bother her.
• In gratitude, Ruth bows before Boaz, inquiring why he is so kind to her
since she is a foreigner.
• Boaz explains that he has heard about her devotion to Naomi and that God
will take care of her since she has sought refuge under His wing.
• At dinner, Boaz invites Ruth to eat with him and his workers.
• When she gets up to glean some more, Boaz tells his workers to leave some
barley stalks for her to pick up.
• At the end of the day Ruth comes home with nearly six gallons of barley.
• Ruth tells her that she gleaned in Boaz’s field whom Naomis instantly
recognizes as one of her husband’s relatives.
• Naomi encourages Ruth to keep going back to Boaz’s field until the end of
the harvest.

III. Boaz Agrees to Become Ruth’s Kinsman Redeemer (Ruth 3).

• Naomi is a clever woman and comes up with a scheme to secure Ruth’s
future with Boaz.
• She tells Ruth to dress up and visit Boaz, who will be sleeping on the
threshing floor and lay at his feet.
• That night, Ruth uncovers his feet and lies down.
• When Boaz wakes up around midnight and wonders who’s there, Ruth
identifies herself and invites him to “spread his wings over his servant,
for you are a redeemer.”
• Boaz praises Ruth and expresses his willingness to “redeem” her but he
already knows that he’s not the closest relative to Elimelech.
• Boaz encourages her to sleep there for the night and in the morning he’ll
visit the other relative and if he isn’t willing to marry her, then Boaz
• Before sunrise, he gives Ruth some barley to take back with her as she
heads home.
• Ruth tells Naomi all that happened as they wait to hear what happens with
Boaz and the unnamed relative.

IV. Boaz and Ruth Marry and have a Son (Ruth 4).

• Boaz locates the other male relative at the city’s gate and he arranges a
talk with him and ten others elders from the city where legal transactions
are conducted.
• We learn that Naomi owns some land that belonged to her husband and is
looking to sell it.
• Boaz lets him know that he is first in line to purchase the property but
if he’s not interested then Boaz will.
• When the man shows interest Boaz reveals the fine print.
• If he decides to buy the property, he also gets Ruth as his wife. It’s a
package deal.
• Boaz deftly refers to Ruth as a Moabite, doesn’t describe her as the
worthy woman he knows her to be, and if the other relative decides to marry
her and she becomes pregnant, he will have to raise the baby as the child
of her deceased husband!
• This opportunity is suddenly not as sweet as the other relative first
thought and he backs out.
• As Boaz seals the deal, the nearest kin removes his sandal and gives it
to Boaz.
• As witnessed by the ten elders, Boaz gets the land and Ruth!
• They marry. Ruth soon becomes pregnant and gives birth to a son, named
• Naomi is thrilled and realizes that God hasn’t forgotten her.
• Obed became the father of Jesse who was the father of King David.
• Ruth is the great-grandmother to Israel’s greatest king.

Jesus in the Old Testament

• There are so many wonderful pictures of Jesus in the book of Ruth but the
clearest is the status of Boaz and Ruth as great-grandparents to King
David, and beyond him as ancestors to Jesus, the Messiah.

Judges 20-21

?#?OTin52? Today we finish reading the book of Judges, chapters 20-21:

XVI. The War Between Israel and Benjamin (Judges 20).

• The Israelites gathered as one man (minus the Benjamites) to deal with
the horrific ordeal in chapter 19.
• The Levite tells his side of the story and asks for his nation’s response.
• The Israel agree not to go home until they deal with the guilty,
demanding that the tribe of Benjamin give up the men in Gibeah. However,
Benjamin refuses to give the men up.
• Israel gathers a force of 400,000 to fight against a 26,000 force from
Benjamin, including 700 left-handed warriors, who can sling stones with
deadly accuracy.
• Israel would fight by lot and Judah was selected by the Lord to go first.
• But in the first battle, Benjamin defeats Israel.
• The Israelites ask the Lord if they should continue to fight.
• The Lord directs them to go.
• However, on the second day of battle, the Benjamites are again victorious.
• The people of Israel weep and fast and offer sacrifices.
• They ask the Lord again and this time they are assured of victory.
• In the next battle, Israel hides part of their army around Gibeah. The
initial fight goes to Benjamin.
• Then the men of Israel draw Benjamin’s army out of the city, and Benjamin
chases them into the highways and fields outside the city and Israel routs
• Meanwhile, the hidden warriors around Gibeah come out and ransack the
• When the Benjamites catch up to the Israelites, they fight hard, but get
driven back by Israel.
• The Israelites in Gibeah start a huge fire to signal to their army that
they’ve taken the city.
• The Benjamites realize that they’ve been tricked, and try to run into the
wilderness, but the Israelites catch up with them and slaughter them.
• Only 600 Benjamites escape into the wilderness to a place called the rock
of Rimmon.
• Israel’s army continues its war against Benjamin, killing every man and
beast and burning every Benjamite city.

XVII. The Plan to Repopulate the Tribe of Benjamin (Judges 21).

• The Israelites vow not to give any of their daughters in marriage to the
tribe of Benjamin.
• They don’t want to entirely eliminate one entire tribe but they’ve all
sworn an oath to never allow any Benjamites to marry their daughters.
• Since the inhabitants of Jabesh-Gilead didn’t send any soldiers to the
war, they send an army to kill every male and every non-virgin woman.
• The army brings back 400 virgin captives from Jabesh-Gilead who can marry
the Benjamites.
• 400 of the surviving Benjamite men marry the women from Jabesh-Gilead,
• They then tell the Benjamites to go to Shiloh where every year they have
a special feast and the daughters of Shiloh come out to dance.
• Then men hide in the vineyards during the feast. As soon as the girls
come out to dance, they grab as many of them as they could, and bring them
back to the land for marriage.
• The fathers of the daughters of Shiloh complain to the elders about their
kidnapped daughters but the elders respond by saying, at least you’re still
married and are likely culpable for not being willing to fight.
• The Book of Judges ends with its familiar refrain, “In those days there
was no king in Israel. Everyone did what was right in his own eyes.”

Jesus in the Old Testament

• The absence of leadership in Israel caused chaos everywhere in Judges.
While Israel will soon select a human king, the nation will eventually
split and either be dispersed or taken into exile. There is hope in only
one Person who will come and change His people by His love, grace and
self-sacrifice–King Jesus!