Memory Text: “And Hannah prayed and said: ‘My heart rejoices in the LORD; my horn is exalted in the LORD. I smile at my enemies, because I rejoice in Your salvation’” (1 Samuel 2:1, KJV) .
The time of the Judges was a chaotic period in sacred history. God’s people did evil in the sight of the Lord, the Lord “sold” them into the hands of an oppressor, the people cried out to the Lord, and the Lord raised up a deliverer who brought peace to the land. That is, until the same sad cycle started again.
Deborah, one of Israel’s judges, was remarkable for the confidence that she inspired in the men around her. She and Jael are heroines while the men needed encouraging because of their timidity and lack of faith. A recurring subtheme in the great controversy is also seen in the story of Gideon, when God’s people face impossible odds.
Samson was one of the last of the judges. After him the nation descended into anarchy and hopelessness. He was the reluctant hero, one who was more interested in chasing women than in following God, a parallel to his countrymen who were more interested in worshiping idols than in serving the Lord.
Samuel brings hope to the nation. Under him a new leadership structure with kings was established, and one of his last acts was to anoint the future King David.