by Roger Thomas

This content is part of a series.

1 Samuel: Prodigal Fathers (10 of 10)
Series: Through the Bible Series
Roger Thomas
1 Samuel 2:12-17; Romans 15:4; 1 Corinthians 10:6, 11

Introduction: Unlike most other religious and national histories, the Bible records its heroes ''warts and all.'' Some people find this a bit shocking. The Bible tells the exploits of the great men and women of faith, but turns right around and reveals some awfully destructive weaknesses. Some are tempted to read this as if the Bible were downplaying or condoning the sins of these heroes simply because it talks about them. Nothing could be further from the truth. The Bible tells it like it is so that we will understand grace. The Bible wants to remove any notion that only perfect people can know God. There are none! God uses flawed people who come to him and trust him. The Bible wants us to never loose sight of the fact that all the credit and honor belongs to God not the heroes of faith. It's Samson's God, not Samson that deserves our admiration. It is David's God, not David, who was the victor over Goliath! It your God, not you, who deserves the eternal glory and praise. The difference matters!

This brings us to 1 Samuel, the continuing saga of a sinful nation and its very gracious God. A bit of background first. The books of 1 and 2 Samuel represent what was originally a single composition in the ancient Hebrew Bible. The same is true of the books of Kings. The translators of the earliest Greek Old Testament divided both Samuel and Kings into two books each, presenting the resulting four books as a complete history of the kings of Israel (1, 2, 3, 4 Reigns). Later, the translators of the Latin kept the four-part division of the Septuagint, but called them 1, 2, 3, 4 Kings. In the sixteenth century AD these four divisions were also adopted into the modern Hebrew Bible (First Rabbinic Bible-1517). All English translations have followed this four-fold division of 1 and 2 Samuel and 1 and 2 Kings.

The Jewish Talmud tr ...

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