I have been extremely impressed with the God’s Word For You series from The Good Book Company. Not necessarily categorized as commentaries, these books still do a pretty good job of taking the reader through a book of the Bible, passage by passage, and examining it in detail.
The added benefit of this series is that there are some excellent personal application aspects, in the form of challenges as well as a few questions at the end of each chapter. This makes these books extremely practical.
So far, I’ve read several books in this series, including the ones covering Judges, Romans 1-7, Galatians and Titus. The newest installment is 1 Samuel. Each of these are practical and helpful, and are incredible resources for personal growth or for teaching. 1 Samuel For You is no different.
Much of the time, we tend to read the Old Testament as history, with little thought of the future it points toward. Much of the time, we read books like 1 Samuel, seeing only the events of the time, of Samuel’s life, of the nation of Israel from that period, and we leave it at that.
But Tim Chester does a great job of drawing out not only the historicity of the book, but he helps us see Christ in these events. And once he directs us toward Christ, he helps us draw current and relevant applications for our own lives in the twenty-first century.
In the past, I’ve read the chapters of 1 Samuel and have studied the events contained in them. But Chester takes things a bit further than I’ve ever thought to. He views most of the rest of the book through the lens of Samuel’s birth and Hannah’s song, found in the first couple of chapters. From these, especially Hannah’s prayer, he sees a shadow and and outline of the rest of the book, and even of Israel’s immediate future.