The Message of Samuel (Bible Speaks Today series)

Infertility, euthanasia, grief, retirement, parenting - issues in today's society that one would least expect to find in the books of 1 and 2 Samuel. Yet, in this new commentary, Mary Evans skilfully shows how these and other life experiences were as much a part of the human story then as they are now.

Written in a readable narrative style Mary gets 'under the skin' of the characters helping us to relate to them as real people. She asks questions about their actions and reactions that enable us, through them, to ask ourselves difficult questions. In particular, Mary brings a fresh light to the role of the minor characters in the story, for example, Eli's sons, David's wives, his concubines and his soldiers, all play a vital role in the narrative and teach us about the things that are right and wrong in God's sight. She also points out the weaknesses as well as the strengths of the main characters, and those who harbour a heroic view of David will be encouraged to learn that the 'man after God's heart' also had his flaws!

Like an historical television documentary, Mary takes us behind the scenes and helps us to understand the politics and the power struggles that are causing the action. She shows how the narrative comments on the pressures of leadership and the consequences for those who abuse their God given power.

At the end of each section questions for discussion are posed which are a great starting point for any Bible study group. The beauty of this commentary is its accessibility. It will be helpful to those wanting to engage in personal study, whilst also being an invaluable aid for the hard-pressed preacher or house group leader.