Hannah wept so hard, heaving pain so deep that only silence escaped her lips as she mouthed her heart before the Lord. Just one, God, she prayed. Give me one son to redeem my name, my honor.
Little did she know how great an answer God had already planned. Within the year, Samuel was conceived and born—a son for Hannah and hope for all of Israel. In a time when God’s people didn’t follow Him and did what was right in their own eyes, Samuel heard the Lord. Like the only straight arrow in Israel’s quiver of leaders, Samuel grew to embrace God’s Spirit, longing for his fellow Hebrews to follow suit. Yet even his own sons strayed from God’s truth.
So it struck him to the core when Israel asked for a king—a human leader to help them be like all the other heathen nations around them. It is not you they have rejected, but they have rejected me as their king, God reminded him. So with God’s direction, Samuel anointed Israel’s first king, a man who seemed to look the part. Pleased by his physical appearance, everyone rallied around Saul, not noticing the dangerous character deficits that eventually led to his downfall.
God, however, had seen Saul’s heart and chosen one person with a purer soul to replace him. David, devoted to God since his childhood, stood as seventh in the line of Jesse’s sons, but numbered one as God’s top choice to lead His people back to truth. The book of 1 Samuel chronicles the beginning of his story, how the lives of David and Saul’s met and diverged through God’s sovereign selection of David and rejection of Saul.
1 Samuel shows us the power of one. One woman’s prayer and one faithful son filled with God’s Spirit. One man chosen by worldly wisdom, contrasted by the godly one who led Israel into restoration and peace. Yes, God answered Hannah’s prayer—and everyone else who has prayed for hope. Through David’s family line One did come—the Son of God and Savior of the world—to redeem our name and honor, too. Jesus was God’s sovereign choice to rescue His people and rule the kingdom.