David is more than a great hero, a man of faith, and a model for Christians to follow. He is one of the most important Old Testament types of Jesus Christ. It is an anointed one--called and provided for by God to lead Israel--that David plays his chief role in redemptive history and makes his distinctive contribution in preparing God's people for the anointed one, the messiah who comes to rule and to save.
Two other significant figures--Samuel and Saul--appear in 1 Samuel. Samuel, an epochal figure whose significance equals that of Joshua, guides Israel out of the chaotic period of the judges and serves the coming of the Davidic kingdom. Saul an alter ego first to Samuel and then to David, personifies the idolatry and unbelief that plague Israel throughout the Old Testament. The ways in which he contrasts with Samuel and David provide valuable spiritual lessons.
The lesser characters in 1 Samuel are hardly incidental--Eli the corrupted priest, Hannah the tearful believer, and Jonathan the faithful friend to name just three.
When people think of 1 Samuel, they think of David, the man after God's own heart. Yet 1 Samuel introduces us to two great alter egos Samuel and Saul. And let's not forget Eli, Hannah, and Jonathan
Richard D. Phillips (MDiv, Westminster Theological Seminary) is the senior minister of Second Presbyterian Church of Greenville, South Carolina. He is a council member of the Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals, chairman of the Philadelphia Conference on Reformed Theology, and coeditor of the Reformed Expository Commentary series.
The Reformed Expository Commentary series from P&R is a gift to the Church in this generation. In his commentary on 1 Samuel, The Reverend Rick Phillips provides a Scripturally faithful, satisfyingly readable, and spiritually challenging series of expositions which will, through the presence of the Spirit in this messages, bring increased strength to the soul of the believer and deeper insights for the study of the pastor. Pastor Phillips has obviously been like a diver, going deep down, in his study of the Word of God in 1 Samuel, to uncover the pearls of heaven in these chapters. His work will bless the Church as those pearls adorn the reader. As Samuel wrote in 1 Samuel 30:6, "But David strengthened himself in the LORD his God" and that shepherd-king found courage in the midst of his challenges through his refuge in God, so, too, desperate disciples in these days will find power from on high in these pages. I commend Rick Phillips work without hesitation and believe that those who will take a season to study this work will be strengthened in the Lord our God.
Everything weve come to expect from Rick Phillips pen: painstaking exegesis, nuanced application, careful attention to relevance for todays world, discernible, memorable structure -- an outstanding model of Reformed, expository preaching of Old Testament historical narrative that embraces the redemptive-historical hermeneutic without avoiding exemplary, ethical exhortation for a contemporary world. A finer exposition of 1 Samuel you will not find.
"[These commentaries] are among the ones I have enjoyed the most . . . the commentaries are certainly easy to read, even for a guy with no formal theological training and very little knowledge of the original languages. If you have been looking for a guide to going deeper into the text of the Bible, these commentaries may be just the key. Unlike many commentaries, they are very reasonably priced."
Faithful expositions of Gods Word unpack the ordinary sense of a particular passage, within the scope of a book, as part of the unfolding mystery of the coming Messiah. Such preaching simultaneously instructs and transforms, disturbs and comforts; edifying in its godly exhortations as well as in its gospel proclamation. That is precisely what I have found in Richard Phillips commentary on 1 Samuel. This volume exemplifies for our own times the richness of the Reformed expository heritage.
Rick Phillips has once again provided the church with another indispensable tool in his expository commentary on 1 Samuel. Here are the memorable narratives of Samuel, Saul, and David carefully addressed and pastorally handled with special attention given to character development, historical background, sound doctrine, and practical application. To be sure, all who love Gods Word will surely want to consult this essential volume and add it to their personal library.
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