1 Samuel: A Tale of Two Hearts
1 and 2 Samuel were originally written as one book. The scroll was so big that it was decided by those who had to lug it around all the time to divide it into two separate scrolls.
1 Samuel can be broken into two major parts.
Part 1: Samuel
Samuel was the last of his kind. He was the final Judge and served as a prophet of God. He was the baton-passer who helped to transition the nation of Israel from the era of theocracy in which the Law of God ruled the people, into the era of the monarchy in which a human king ruled the people.
As you look at the chart you will see that Samuel served a key role in the anointing of the two major characters in this story. He first anointed Saul as king, then, seeing that Saul was headed in the wrong direction, quickly anointed the little shepherd boy to be the true king of Israel.
Part 2: A Tale of Two Hearts
Although Saul’s story seemed to start out well, showing Saul in humility before the Lord, his heart quickly filled with himself and his reign began to unravel. Saul had three major “strikes” when he was up to bat as king. First, he performed a sacrifice without waiting for Samuel, demonstrating his own sense of impatience and self-importance. Second, when he was instructed to destroy everything of the Amalekites, he did not obey God and kept the choice things for himself. Third, in a pitiful act of desperation, he entered into the realm of the occult and consulted a spiritual medium to contact the dead for instruction. One…two…three strikes and yer out!
David, on the other hand, began in a lowly position in life and was exalted by God to a position of authority. While this type of elevation corrupted Saul, David’s positional transformation had no effect on his heart. From the beginning David’s heart was simple and focused on God. What made David great was that he never lost his focus on God, regardless of his circumstances. If he was in distress, he praised God. If he was at the top of the world, he praised God.
The key to these stories is found in 1 Samuel 16:7,
“But the LORD said to Samuel, “….The LORD does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.”