As we all learned in high school history class, there are eras of stability and relative quiet, and eras of revolution. 1776, 1914, 1939 – if you paid any attention in school, you’ll never forget what happened on those dates and how those events – the Revolutionary War and the two World Wars – forever changed our world. But how many of us know anything about the people who lived in the 1870s and 1880s, or other times of quiet?
Those of us who are chosen by God to live through times of revolution and war must overcome challenges and suffering that people born in quieter generations will never know. Hamas has declared war on Israel and every Jew and Christian throughout the world. America’s leading universities have been taken over, often quite literally, by radical professors and students who reject God and the Bible and seek nothing less than the genocide of the Jewish people and the destruction of Israel. These radicals, who have succeeded in brainwashing millions of our children, are seeking to ignite a revolution that will destroy America and the West. Make no mistake – this is a war for the land of Israel and for America’s soul.
Though we may be jealous of those who lived in simpler times, let’s remember that we have been given a gift far greater than peace and quiet: the opportunity to bring holiness to the world and to shape the course of human history. We have the chance to redeem the world – just as Samuel the prophet did, thousands of years ago.
Why does the Book of Samuel exist as a separate book? The Book of Judges, which immediately precedes it, describes the era of the Judges, while the book of Kings, which immediately follows it, describes the era of the Kings. The stories recounted in the Book of Samuel – about Eli the High Priest and his corrupt sons, Samuel, Saul and David – could have easily been included in the Books of Judges or Kings. Why was the Book of Samuel written as a separate book?
Don Isaac Abarbanel (1437-1508), the great Jewish philosopher and Biblical commentator, explains: “This Book of Samuel was separated to highlight Samuel, the holy and complete prophet of Israel, and David the servant of God, the greatest of all Jewish kings… This book is the “point in the middle”; its beginning represents the end of the age that preceded it, and its end represents the beginning of the age that followed it.”
In other words, the Book of Samuel tells the story of an age of transition, when the destiny of the people of Israel was forever altered. At the beginning of the book, the evil Philistines slaughter 30,000 Israelite soldiers in one battle, one of the most disastrous military defeats in the history of Israel. They destroyed the Tabernacle, which had stood in Shiloh for 369 years. And they took the Ark of the Covenant as a prize of war.
But not all was lost. The horrific Philistine victory set in motion a series of events, both joyous and painful, over the next 40 years of Israel’s history. Samuel brought prophecy back to the people of Israel, and guided the people to repent and return to God. For the first time since entering the land of Israel, the tribes united and appointed King Saul. And a young shepherd boy named David, overlooked by all, rose up to lead Israel to heights it had never before known. In retrospect, the tumultuous era of the Book of Samuel changed the destiny of the people of Israel – for the better!
We, too, are living in an age of war and transition. The horror of October 7 completely upended our lives, and the fallout in Israel, the United States and the rest of the world is only beginning. This is a deeply painful time – but also a time of opportunity. If Jews and Christians finally awaken and stand together against the evil of Hamas and Islamic terrorists, we will forever change the world for the better. This is our moment; let’s get to work.