Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Undivided: A Study in 1 Samuel ✽ Bible Study Review

It's the middle of July. In SC. And I am chilly. Yes, I know I am insane.

So, I have a cup of hot chocolate in my hand, obviously, and I have been singing snatches of LifeWay's 2018 VBS songs all morning because I helped with a local VBS and now I truly believe they are stuck in my head for life, and some of them were great songs, but they won't stop playing on repeat in my head, and so please help me.

BUT, if this sound track can maybe stop running through my head for a few minutes ;), I wanted to share with you a bible study that I just finished up on Sunday :)!

Undivided: A Study in 1 Samuel Bible Study Review

I am in a blogger group on Facebook (By His Grace Bloggers, if anyone is interested in joining us!), and one of our blogger friends in the group just released a new bible study, "Undivided: A Study in 1 Samuel". She offered it free for those of us in the group in return for a review on Amazon, and you know me, I love the bible studies that lead you through the passage, especially when they are free ;), so I jumped right on board! I enjoyed this study so much though, I wanted to share it with y'all, as well!

"Undivided" walks us through the book of Samuel, making clear that this is not simply a historical book for Israel. "The hero isn't Samuel or David, but God." Throughout the whole book, we are given glimpses of God at work, bringing about his plan, showing favor to those to whom He will show favor, keeping His promises no matter the circumstances, showing His might, protecting His people, and yes, punishing the wicked and trying the faithful; we see Saul rejecting the gift he has been given, the favor of the Lord, and giving his heart to earthly things, and we see God raising up David, a man with an undivided heart for God (with human failings, yes, but dedicated to honoring the Lord in all that he attempts, and repentant when shown his sins), to lead His people to Himself.

As soon as I opened the PDF book file, I was intrigued, because I was expecting a chapter by chapter study, like most; but no, it is set up so that you went through section by section, instead! You all know that the original manuscripts didn't have chapter and verse numbers. Well, this study is set up to go through a scene of the book a day, instead, and I loved it! I feel like you get a better feel for the setting when you do it this way. One passage that especially stood out to me as being "different" going through this way was 1 Samuel 13-14:46. Somehow, before, I have never really caught that Saul's fear of the Philistines and disobedience in the offering of the burnt sacrifices was so close in time to Jonathan's fearlessness in God and breaking his father's vow that not a man would eat all day. Somehow, that just seems so like Saul, unable to obey himself and yet so soon forgetting that other men can make mistakes as well. Obviously, that has never changed, it's always been in the passage the same way, but things like that stand out more and make you think when you read them in connection with each other rather than in bits and pieces. So that was one thing I really enjoyed about this study!

Another thing that I loved was that, in a section for application/reflection, additional bible passages were shared, and there were questions to ponder through, like most bible studies ;). But I found that these questions were very easy to spark your thinking to ponder for a few minutes, but that they also were very easy to carry further, and you could really spend a lot of time working through them and studying through them and really examining yourself; so I think it works great either way! Stephanie had a great way of writing, too, that drew you in and kept you engaged, and also made you think a bit more about how the passage fit together, with those around it and with the rest of the bible. I wrote down several selections of her comments in my notebook!

This study is set up to take 14 days, but there is a suggestion that you could read through the day's passages one day and then do the bible study work the next day so it would take 4 weeks, and I think I would suggest that. I got through it in 3 weeks, I think, because I was truly trying to do a day's assignments all together, but I just couldn't quite do it. That might have just been me, though. I am pretty sure I have mentioned here before that the Doorposts bible studies that I love are supposed to take 5-20 minutes a day, depending on the assignment, and I routinely take 45 minutes no matter the assignment, haha ;). I just get sucked into all the extra stuff you can do on the side, and usually end up writing, cross-referencing, note-taking, and researching a lot!

Have you ever done a bible study on 1 Samuel? Are you interested in "Undivided"? You can find this bible study on Amazon here!

Rejoicing in Hope,


  1. That is so cool to hear how God revealed this book to you in a whole new way! Thank you so much for your kind and enthusiastic words, they bring me great joy. I pray the Lord continues to producr fruit in your life from the time you spent in 1 Samuel.

    1. Thank YOU for putting this study together for us! It's delightful!

  2. This study sounds wonderful! I love learning new things and doing neat studies on books of the Bible. I would love to read it, but I haven't ever done a devotional that was online. Doing things online during Bible time is too much of a distraction for me to start looking at other things, so that's why I try to avoid it. But printing it out would be great! Thanks for posting this review! Does it use KJV verses only or other versions?
    Even though I've read 1 Samuel multiple times, I haven't ever done a specific study on it.


    1. I really enjoyed it, Ashley :)! I know the struggle of doing a bible study online, but I have actually done quite a few that way. It takes self control, but I just turn off everything but the bible study tools I have open and just focus on what I am doing :). It's no more distracting for me than the rest of life (my phone going off, my siblings running around, my mind that never stops), haha :). And since this is a PDF, that would work nicely :)! It does use other bible translations for a couple of the extra verses. I meant to add that because I know that is something a few of my readers think about, but I forgot. You could always just look them up in your version when they pop up :). (I often do that when I come across one of the versions I know is super loose in all orts of my reading, because I want to know what it really says ;).)
      Oh, I have read it many times! But stopping to think through a passage instead of "just reading" (although I do that everyday too and love it) always brings out so much more to me :)!

    2. Good point.

      And yes! I love thinking about verses too. It's important to do both. :)

  3. Ps. Just to let you know, when I clicked on the link where you said we could find it, a page popped open that said it was unavailable. I'll go type in the name and see if it comes up.

    1. Thank you for pointing that out, Ashley! I fixed it, and I appreciate you telling me!


"May the Lord, the God of your fathers... bless you!" Deuteronomy 1:11