May 31, 2009
At the end of Judges, Israel is in the land but they are not happy. The rise of the Philistines and the instability of the nation cause Israel to clamor for a king. They want to be like the other nations even though God has called them to be different. The book of 1 Samuel opens with the story of Hannah and the birth of Samuel. Hannah's barrenness represents the barrenness of Israel, but the birth of Samuel reveals that God has not given up on them.
At this point in the Epic story, the emphasis begins to shift from the nation to the kings. No longer content with God as their king, the people get what they want when Saul is anointed king. Samuel functions in the role of prophet and priest, but Saul fails to heed his words. It can be a dangerous thing when God gives you what you want...