The Opening Up series offers accessible and easy-to-read introductions to the books of the Bible. The commentaries tackle the key issues in each book by introducing the history and context and giving an overview of important themes and events. The authors wrestle with the hard questions with a keen eye toward application and relevance for today.
The book of 1 Samuel is the story of Israel seeking a leader. After the failures of Eli, Samuel, and Saul to properly guide the people, God raises up David, the man after his own heart. This commentary gives a brief explanation of the text and then shows how these events, which took place thousands of years ago, have direct and profound application to our lives today, having been recorded “for our instruction” (1 Cor. 10:11). It also reveals how every event pointed toward the coming of Jesus Christ (Luke 24:27), the final and ultimate leader of the people of God.
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“This passage is not primarily about how we can overcome our big problems in life with God’s help or how to deal with bullies. We are not to primarily identify with David; rather, we are like the army of Israel, which faces a terrifying enemy which it cannot defeat. We, like the Israelites, need a great champion, anointed by God, to fight our battle and gain the victory we could never achieve. Jesus is the Champion whom God promised would crush Satan (Gen. 3:15). Just as David won the victory over Goliath without the help of Israel’s fearful army, so Jesus Christ went to the cross alone and defeated Satan, sin, and death for us.” (Page 102)
“Goliath is much worse than a big bully. He is a blasphemer who curses the Lord and his people (vv. 10, 16, 26, 36, 45). The same Hebrew word used of Goliath taking his stand in verse 16 is used in Psalm 2 of the kings of the earth who take their stand against the Lord and his Anointed One (Ps. 2:2), making Goliath an antichrist figure.” (Page 98)
“We are not by nature like David, who bravely conquers his enemy. Rather, we are like the fearful people who desperately need a champion to defeat an enemy they are incapable of facing.” (Pages 96–97)
“The book of 1 Samuel is the story of Israel seeking a leader.” (Page 11)
“Israel’s great king and deliverer. Hannah’s story is also our story, because we too can cry out to God in our distress and receive deliverance through Christ.” (Page 16)
There is no better brief and helpful introduction to the first book of Samuel . . . Devour it, and put its lessons into practice in your life and in the life of your church.
—Geoff Thomas, pastor, Alfred Place Baptist Church, Aberystwyth, Wales
This book is an incredible asset for anyone wanting to know and apply God’s Word.
—Benjamin L. Merkle, professor of New Testament and Greek, Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary
Jim Newheiser has multiplied the pleasure of reading and studying 1 Samuel. His commentary is a . . . wonderful devotional supplement.
—Robbie Casas, pastor, Guiding Light Christian Church, Baguio City, Philippines
This is Old Testament exposition at its very best.
—Phil Johnson, executive director, Grace to You
Jim Newheiser earned an MA and DMin from Westminster Theological Seminary. He has been practicing biblical counseling for over 20 years, is a NANC Fellow, has served as the director of IBCD since 2006, and has been a pastor at Grace Bible Church in Escondido, California since 1990. Jim is a founding member and an executive board member of the Fellowship of Independent Reformed Evangelicals. He is an international retreat and conference speaker, author of Opening Up Proverbs, and co-author of When Good Kids Make Bad Choices and You Never Stop Being a Parent.