The Lord said to Samuel, “Listen to the voice of the people in regard to all that they say to you, for they have not rejected you, but they have rejected Me from being king over them.
1 Sam. 8:7
I am blessed and honored to once again have been asked by the Elders to lead the adult Sunday school class for the Fall semester studies. We will endeavor to read, ponder, and discuss the Old Testament’s first book of Samuel. Our study and discussion guide will be Choose Your King1 by Dr. Tim Chester, the pastor of Grace Church in Boroughbridge, North Yorkshire, U.K. The Elders have assisted the class by acquiring a dozen of the workbooks: available first come, first serve. The workbook is also readily available from your favorite Christian book distributors for about $9.00. Dr. Chester has also authored a longer textbook, 1 Samuel for You2, which your study leader will be using to moderate the discussions. I can also recommend John MacArthur’s study guide, 1 Samuel: The Lives of Samuel and Saul3, to further inform us on some discussion topics, and I am using a longer commentary from the “Reformed Expository Commentary” series called 1 Samuel4, by Richard D. Phillips, for more extensive preparation materials.
Our goal, as in all of our Bible studies, is to trace out our redemptive history, thread by thread, strand by strand, as it has been woven by the Holy Spirit into the fabric of Scripture and the Word of God. No single page or episode in this first book of Samuel fails to remind us that in our race’s search for an earthly anointed king, “the history of the first christs [the anointed ones] leaves us longing for the rule of the ultimate Christ.”5 In all Scripture, “[w]e are being shown who God is and how he rules his people; and we are being shown Jesus, His Christ.”6
I have prepared a syllabus dividing our study of the book up into thirteen segments, along the lines of Chester’s commentary. I once again intend to build with you a covenant believing community from the Sunday School class – a group of disciples of Christ committed to learning the wisdom, beauty, and meaning of Scripture – so, as has been our practices in classes past, we will commence promptly (that means at 9:30 a.m., not 9:34 or 9:41 a.m.), adjourn timely (that means at 10:30 a.m.), attend regularly, prepare thoroughly, participate vigorously, interact courteously, and learn prayerfully.
1 Epsom, Surrey, U.K.: The Good Book Company; 2014. ISBN 1909919594.
2 Epsom, Surrey, U.K.: The Good Book Company; 2014. ISBN 1909919578.
3 Nashville, Tenn.: Nelson Books, 2016. ISBN 0718034724.
4 Phillipsburg, N.J.: P&R Publishing; 2012. ISBN 1596381973.
5 Chester, 1 Samuel for You, supra, p.8.