1. Eli's House (The Ark is Captured) (1-4)
2. The Ark is Returned (5-7)
3. Israel Demands a King (8)
4. The United Kingdom-Saul (9-31)
a. Saul is Selected and Anointed (9-10)
b. Saul's Decline as a King (11-15)
c. David's Victory over Goliath (16-17)
d. Saul's Efforts to Destroy David (18-27)
e. Saul's Death Prophesied and Fulfilled (28-31)
Eli's sons are morally and spiritually defiled. God judges his
house, prophesying its destruction through the young Samuel. The
glory departs from Israel as the ark of the covenant is captured by
the Philistines, who eventually return it due to the problems it has
caused them. Samuel presides as the last judge over Israel. He
desires that his sons follow in his footsteps, but they are not of
the same caliber he is; Israel demands a king so that they can be
like the nations around them.
Saul begins his reign well by being courageous and gracious, but
soon he takes authority that God has not granted him (13:8-14). Then
he willfully disobeys God (15:13-31). He does not lead his men
against the Philistines as former judges had done. A shepherd named
David fights and wins this battle, thereby creating envy in Saul which
never entirely goes away. Saul's daughter (David's wife Michal) and
his son Jonathan help David to escape the cruel and unjust wrath of
their father; David is constantly pursued by Saul who wants to put
David to death. Saul is deserted by God and goes to see a woman with
a familiar spirit who familiarizes him with his bleak future. The
book ends with the death of Saul, who typifies a sad departure from
God. One theme that is threaded throughout this book is loyalty.
1:9-11, 20 The Prayer of a Righteous Woman.
5:1-12 God Defending His Ark (see also Joash's Speech in
14:6; 18:3-4 Jonathan's Courage and Loyalty.
17:26 David's Faith and Forbearance (24:9-17; 26:7-11).
Toward Saul, the Lord's Anointed.
25:18-35 Abigail's Wisdom.
2:30 "...for those who honor Me I will honor...."
8:7 "...for they have not rejected you, but they have rejected
8:19-20 "No, but we will have a king over us, that they may be
like all the nations...."
13:14 "...The Lord has sought for Himself a man after His own
14:6 "For nothing restrains the Lord from saving by many or
15:22 "Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed
than the fat of rams."
16:7 "...for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord
looks at the heart."
20:3 "...there is but a step between me and death."
2:12-17, 22-25 The Perversion of Eli's Sons.
4:5 Thinking the Ark of the Covenant Would Save Them
in their Depravity.
22:11-19 Killing the Priests of the Lord.
23:4-12 The Ingratitude of the Men of Keilah, as well as
Nabal's (chapter 25).
28 Saul's Visit to the Woman with the Familiar Spirit.
*Send comments or questions concerning this survey to Gary Summers.[Old Testament Survey Index]