Lesson 2 – Samuel Becomes Israel’s Leader

Reading: 1 Samuel 4-7

Highlights:

1 Samuel 4

Israel defeated by the Philistines. Israel defeated by Philistines a second time and Ark of God captured, Sons of Eli die. Death of Eli and his daughter in law. Birth of Ichabod.

1 Samuel 5

Presence of the ark of God among the Philistines brings curses.  

1 Samuel 6

Ark sent back to Israel with gifts. Curses on the Israelites at Beth Shemesh.

1 Samuel 7

Under Samuel’s leadership Israel defeats the Philistines.

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Questions:

What was God accomplishing in the Philistine’s defeat of Israel? (See 2:25).

Did bringing the ark of God to battle help Israel? Why or why not?

When the ark was returned to Israel, why was there a slaughter of the Israelites? (6:19)

What was different about Samuel’s approach to the Philistine threat? 1 Samuel 7.

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Worth Considering:

1 Samuel 4:17 So the messenger answered and said, “Israel has fled before the Philistines, and there has been a great slaughter among the people. Also your two sons, Hophni and Phinehas, are dead; and the ark of God has been captured.” 18 Then it happened, when he made mention of the ark of God, that Eli fell off the seat backward by the side of the gate; and his neck was broken and he died, for the man was old and heavy. And he had judged Israel forty years.

1 Samuel 6:6 “Why then do you harden your hearts as the Egyptians and Pharaoh hardened their hearts? When He did mighty things among them, did they not let the people go, that they might depart?

1 Samuel 6:13 Now the people of Beth Shemesh were reaping their wheat harvest in the valley; and they lifted their eyes and saw the ark, and rejoiced to see it. 14 Then the cart came into the field of Joshua of Beth Shemesh, and stood there; a large stone was there. So they split the wood of the cart and offered the cows as a burnt offering to the LORD.

1 Samuel 7:3 Then Samuel spoke to all the house of Israel, saying, “If you return to the LORD with all your hearts, then put away the foreign gods and the Ashtoreths from among you, and prepare your hearts for the LORD, and serve Him only; and He will deliver you from the hand of the Philistines.”

1 Samuel 7:11 And the men of Israel went out of Mizpah and pursued the Philistines, and drove them back as far as below Beth Car. 12 Then Samuel took a stone and set it up between Mizpah and Shen, and called its name Ebenezer, saying, “Thus far the LORD has helped us.” 13 So the Philistines were subdued, and they did not come anymore into the territory of Israel. And the hand of the LORD was against the Philistines all the days of Samuel.

Answer and discuss any of these questions in the comments below then join us Wednesday night on Facebook Live for a discussion of this lesson.

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