God. In the beginning, was the word and the word was with God, and the Word was God. Everything starts with God, but why do some people not believe in God even though there is proof? Is it because they don’t want to submit themselves to someone in authority? Or is it because they think it’s absurd that a supreme being created this earth? We, humans, are foolish people as we think we’re the highest out of all the species living out there. Let us go all the way to back to the beginning with Chapter one, The Creation. Even in the creation, it shows how foolish we humans are as we sinned as soon as we were brought into this world. We took advantage of God’s generosity, but we haven’t learned any better today. We all sin out there, no matter it be a petty lie or committing the act of taking someone’s life. We even became so wicked at the beginning that God had sent a universal Flood to destroy man. Even after that had happened, man continued to sin.
Chapter two. Samuel, the Boy Who Listened to God. This chapter starts with talking about Elkanah and his two wives. The wives were always jealous of each other and that caused a problem between the two of them. One of the wives, Hannah, only felt she had God by her side so she decided to ask Him for a son with the promise that she would give him back to God. God answered her prayer and gave her a son, Samuel. Samuel grew up all while serving God with the help of Eli the priest. Samuel always listened to God and he later became a prophet but the true message from the story comes from Hannah. Yes, Samuel did show that obedience to the Lord would only make you closer to God, but in my opinion, the way Hannah asked for a son was the main part of the story. Her promise to God was unselfish and it was in God’s will. This chapter was very inspiring as it shows that Hannah wasn’t selfish, and asked God for a wish that is unlike any we make today. Most people make selfish wishes to God, that would only benefit themselves, and often take advantage of God’s generosity. We all have to be more like Hannah and be unselfish to the Lord and the world.
Chapter three. God is Holy.
Chapter four. A King for Israel. This chapter talks about Israel demanding for a king. They wanted to have an “earthly” king instead of just being ruled by God. God gave Israel a king and told Samuel to go appoint him. He was the best-looking and the tallest young man among the children of Israel and his name was Saul. As Saul was finding his father’s lost mules, he met Samuel and Samuel told him that he would be the first king of Israel. He responded in humility which was a great example of the Bible verse “…before honor is humility” (Prov. 15:33). Saul then received the Spirit of God and became another man. This story taught me that God is way too generous for us. Even though the only reason the Israelites wanted a king was to be like other nations, He still fulfilled their wish. We should always be thankful for Him because He always does things for us that He is not obliged to do.
Chapter five. Saul’s Stand, Samuel’s Reminder. In this chapter, the Ammonites wanted to go to war but the people were so afraid. Even the Jabesh-Gilead volunteered to serve the Ammonites, with one eye, rather than going to war. Saul decided to take a stand against the nation and defeated them with the people who stood by his side. He had proved himself as a military leader and made a warning to obey the Lord. He asked for rain as a seal on his warning and he reassured the frightened people that God would not forsake him if they obeyed him. This chapter was trying to teach that no matter the circumstances, even if you are going up against someone bigger and better than you, as long as you have God at your side, you can conquer anything. Nothing is better than to obey the Lord.
Chapter six. The Disobedience of Saul. Saul selected 3,000 soldiers to fight the Philistines. Jonathan, Saul’s son, led 1,000 of these soldiers, but he attacked a unit of officers and agitated the enemy. The Philistines were prepared to fight with their numerous soldiers and chariots, but Samuel told Saul to wait for seven days. As Saul was not a priest, he was not authorized to sacrifice but he still offered the sacrifice, going against God’s will. Saul received his first open rebuke from Samuel, and Samuel told him that his kingdom would not continue. Israel was left at a disadvantage as they were left with only 600 men and had no sharp weapons. Jonathan then courageously went and attacked the Philistine camp, with his faith in God. God sent an earthquake to frighten the enemy, which led to the Philistines starting to kill each other. Saul then sent out a foolish command that forbade anyone from eating anything until he had avenged his enemies. Jonathan didn’t hear of this command and ate honey, which led to Saul wanting to kill him. They then received their victory over the Philistines, and the people declared that Jonathan should not die as he was the one who brought the victory over them. Honestly, this chapter confused me a little but what I can get out of this chapter is that disobeying God is the worst. He knows what is best for you, so why would you go out and disobey Him as Saul did? You should always be like Jonathan as he obeyed God and put his faith in Him.
Chapter seven. The Rebellion of Saul. This chapter starts off with the Amalekites, who had come behind and killed the weaker individuals when the children of Israel had left Egypt. God commanded Saul to utterly destroy the Amalekites and everything they had. Saul and the people killed the Amalekites but they captured Agag, the king, and kept the best of the animals to sacrifice. God was upset as Saul didn’t obey his order so he sent Samuel to go meet Saul. Saul gave excuses by saying the people were the reason he had decided to keep the animals and the king alive. Samuel rebuked him and told him that to obey the Lord was far better than sacrifice. Samuel then killed Agag as God had commanded and Saul lost his opportunity to obey. This chapter was important as it shows how significant it is to obey God. We can lose our relationship and trust with Him if we don’t obey and repent for our actions.
Chapter eight. David Chosen. God commanded Samuel to anoint a new king because of Saul’s disobedience and rebellion. The king was to be a son of Jesse, the Bethlemite. As the sons of Jesse passed before Samuel, God made it clear that His choice for a king was not based on the outward appearance but for the person’s heart attitude. Seven of his sons passed before Samuel but none of them was God’s choice, until the youngest, David, had come. The Spirit of the Lord came among David and left Saul, as an evil spirit then took over Saul’s body. Saul was left with a vacuum in his life but he got temporary relieve whenever David played his wonderful music for him. This chapter once again emphasizes that to obey the Lord is the best thing to do and that you can’t judge someone just because of their outward appearance. Unlike Saul, who was chosen for his outward appearance, David was chosen because of his courage, his military skills, his musical ability, and most importantly, his heart attitude.
Chapter nine. David and Goliath. Israel’s old enemies, the Philistines, were once again braced against Israel for a battle that was more unusual than you would think. There was a man named Goliath, who was a giant, and he was the Philistine champion. Twice a day, for forty days, Goliath called out for a Hebrew soldier to fight against him, but Saul and his army were very afraid of him. One day, David heard the giant’s and expected the men of Israel to go fight him, but no one wanted to. David then accepted the challenge and prepared to fight him. He tried fighting with Saul’s armor and all but it was not what David was used to. He then took a sling and five stones and set out to fight him. As David claimed that the battle was the Lord’s, he took his slingshot, slung it, and struck Goliath in the forehead. Goliath fell facedown on the ground and he finished the job with Goliath’s own sword. This chapter has the same message as chapter five, as it implies that with God on your side, you can conquer anyone. Even though David was considered weak and scrawny, he was able to defeat Goliath as he had God by his side the entire time. What more would you want to assure you than knowing that God would always protect you if you obeyed him?
Chapter ten. David and Jonathan. David wasn’t allowed to go home as he previously did when he played for Saul. Although he was separated from his parents, God gave him a friend, Jonathan, who was Saul’s son. Jonathan’s selfless love for David initiated the friendship, which was obvious that it was God-given. Later on in the chapter, Saul promoted David to the commander. David started receiving all this praise and love from the women as he was seen as their hero. When Saul heard David getting praised, he became insanely jealous. He even removed David from his position as commander and sent him out of his house. Not only that, but he made a devious plan to kill David. Yet, David foiled his plan and he came back safe and sound, which just made Saul become increasingly afraid of David’s favor with God. This chapter shows us that evil can never overpower God and His ways. God will always try to protect you against evil as long as we believe and put our trust in him.
Chapter eleven. David Flees from Saul. This chapter starts off with Saul, who once again, attempted to kill David. Jonathan warned David of the danger and told him to hide. Even though Jonathan tried to persuade his father to spare David’s life, Saul just became more envious of David. After failing to kill David again, Saul decided to send messengers to his house to murder him. This time, David’s wife sensed the danger and let David escape through the window while she fixed a fake body in his bed. When the messengers came, they believed that David was sick, and carried his bed to Saul, only to reveal that it contained a dummy. Saul was furious, and he sent his messengers to take David two more times. All three times, the Spirit of God overcame the messengers and in the end, they became preachers instead of killers. David became discouraged, but as he met Jonathan again, Jonathan reassured him that he would protect him from Saul. In the end, David fled as Saul shot arrows that were too far to be retrieved. A permanent separation then began from that moment onwards. Even though the main story is about Saul trying to kill David, I think the most important factor of this chapter is about David and Jonathan’s friendship. Jonathan was always at David’s side and even risked his life for him. Going up against his own father couldn’t have been easy, but he did because he knew his father was wrong and he didn’t want his friend to die. A friendship like that is one that can’t be obtained so easily and I truly think that it was the best part of this chapter.
Chapter twelve. David, a Fugitive, in the Will of God. In this chapter, David is continuously fleeing away from Saul. He first starts off by fleeing to Nob where he lied to Ahimelech, the priest, by saying that the king sent him. He got bread and Goliath’s sword from Ahimelech and then stepped into the enemy’s territory, Gath. The servants of Achish, king of Gath, recognized him, which caused him to be in grave danger. David acted like a madman, which fooled Achish, resulting in Achish letting him escape. David then escaped to the Cave of Adullam, where he was accompanied by 400 men and his relatives. God then warned David to go to a forest in Judah. Meanwhile, Saul was acting sorry for himself and made everyone pity him. Doeg, one of Saul’s herdsmen, was a witness to what David had done with Ahimelech and had decided to tell Saul about the incident. Saul then ordered Ahimelech and eighty-four priests murdered, which in the end, was completed by Doeg. David, still trying to escape from Saul, hid in the wilderness of Ziph where he met Jonathan for the last time. The Ziphites betrayed David by telling Saul his location, and they all came after David and his men. The Lord then used the enemy to protect David from Saul, and Saul left empty-handed once again. This chapter was important as it shows that even though Saul came after David so many times, the Lord still protected him each time. Once again, there is nothing better than believing and putting your faith in God, as he will always protect you through thick and thin.
The essence of this whole essay is about obeying God and putting your trust in him. In each of these stories, it showed that obeying God was always the best option, and disobeying him would lead to consequences you wouldn’t want to receive. I trust that you would take what you learned from this essay and apply it to your everyday life and I hoped you enjoyed it.