If you grew up listening to bible stories I’m sure you would have heard before of the story of King Saul and King David. However, when was the last time you heard them preached in the pulpit? For myself, I probably can only remember 3 instances where the sermon was from 1 Samuel, but none of them pointed me to Christ. So it was refreshing to see that Tim Chester had written a commentary that’s extremely readable and insightful for all christians.
1 Samuel isn’t particularly difficult book to understand, but many a times when we fear to read the bible text carefully or if we do not have a working knowledge of the original languages there’s many things that we will miss out. That’s my initial response when I was using the is commentary. It is remarkable that Chester has never tried to put out a Hebrew word or phrase, but he simply just tell us what the word means, which is sufficient for most christians.
Readers must not expect this book to be a verse by verse commentary , rather it takes blocks of 2-3 chapters (at times) and explains them in the context of the book, and also helps the readers see how each and every part of the book points us to Jesus. Chester is really able to show us how he derives his main points through the exegetical work he has done, yet Chester has the gift of being to lead the reader see how he has done his exegetical work without using any technical jargons or being too abstruse. Also, Chester is able to help readers see the link of how characters or situations in 1 Samuel are pointers to what Christ will fulfil/has fulfilled in the New Testament. Although I do not agree to all his allusions, I agree what he has been doing is a fine example of showing Christians how they should read their Old Testament, with one eye one the historical context, and with other of how Christ is ‘hidden’ in it.
This is really a book I foresee I will recommend others to if they want to have a deeper understanding of 1 Samuel. I foresee that pastors and cell group leaders will find this resource to be exceptionally helpful not just for those they lead, but also for themselves. Chester pull no punches in this book, and often confronts the readers with very apt application that will force the readers to reflection hard on their own lives about what they have learnt.
Disclaimer: I was given this book free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.