11/2/14: The Greatest Story Ever Told: 1 SAMUEL (1)
Three times each year in the 12:13 class we spend a month exploring a specific book in the Bible — “The Greatest Story Ever Told.” Throughout November we will be immersed in the themes, characters, and stories of 1 Samuel.
Scripture is a collection of 66 different books representing many types of literature. Because we read and interpret different types of literature in different ways, it’s important to know the distinctions. For example, if you read parables in the same way you read epistles or laws, you’re going to get some interesting results…
On Sunday, November 2 I taught the class that there are at least 10 different types of literature in the Bible. Here is the list (with a sample of each type in parentheses):
- Old Testament Narratives (I Samuel)
- New Testament Narratives (Acts)
- Gospels (Mark)
- Parables (The Prodigal Son)
- Epistles (Ephesians)
- Laws (Deuteronomy)
- Prophets (Daniel)
- Psalms (Psalm 23)
- Wisdom (Proverbs)
After introducing these different types of biblical literature, I defined two important terms for this class of young Bible scholars:
- Hermeneutics: The science and art of biblical interpretation
- Exegesis: Using hermeneutics to reach a correct understanding of Scripture
Equipped with this new knowledge, we dove into the book of I Samuel (an example of Old Testament Narratives) and examined the life of Samuel, the last judge of Israel.
From the time he was a little boy serving God in the temple, Samuel was a man of God’s Word. He consistently listened to and obeyed the voice of God and called the nation of Israel to do likewise. As 1 Samuel 3:19 says, “the Lord was with him, and let none of his words fall to the ground.”
Mighty warriors like Samson and Gideon had served as judges in Israel, but none walked with more integrity and authority than Samuel. God used him repeatedly to call his people away from idolatry and to defeat her enemies. Under his leadership, Israel grew strong and stable. But the nation was not content to have God as her king. She wanted to be like the other nations. At God’s bidding, Samuel anointed Saul to serve as the first king. And when he failed to follow the Lord, Samuel went to Bethlehem and anointed with oil the “man after God’s own heart” — young David.
Samuel models for us how important it is to hear, speak, and obey the Word of God. From boyhood until his final breath, he listened to and followed the Lord’s voice.
FOR DISCUSSION WITH PARENTS:
- Am I eagerly obeying God’s Word?