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These two books, which chronicle the beginning of Israel’s period as a unified kingdom, contain themes that are universally applicable. The characters who populate the stories in the book are so fundamentally human that they are easy to relate to. Saul and David, despite their power and influence as kings, were ultimately flawed individuals. Bathsheba and Jonathan, as close companions of these kings, had a unique opportunity to make their voices heard. Goliath, with whom God challenged David, and the witch of Endor, who consulted the dead for Saul, speak to the fear that lives within each of us. In the midst of these extraordinary figures, we find ourselves confronted with the overwhelming providence, holiness, and love of God. Although culture changes, God has not. 1 and 2 Samuel give us an account of the constant struggle to be in right relationship with God and each other, no matter what our position in life may be.
Bill T. Arnold connects the original meanings and message of Samuel to our everyday lives. Throughout this volume of the NIV Application Commentary we discover that sin and forgiveness, repentance and faith, and the love of God are still central aspects of life that cannot be ignored.