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 :)!
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,