30 Days in 1 Samuel 25, Day 1: Background

30days1sam25day1I’m excited to be digging into an Old Testament narrative for the first time in our Busy Mamas Bible studies! We’re going to study a real story about real people with real problems and temptations, and we’re going to see how our real God worked in and through those lives and circumstances. I believe we will be encouraged and strengthened through our study of 1 Samuel 25!

As we study, we will be marking the text of this chapter — highlighting, circling, writing notes, and possibly drawing little pictures. I personally mark directly in my Bible because I want to be able to save my markings, and I tend to lose pieces of paper, no matter how hard I try to keep them organized. I also like to see my notes and recall what God taught me when I return to a passage later. And I’m hoping my children will value my marked up Bibles more than a stack of papers when I move on to glory. 🙂

But not everyone wants to write in their Bibles. If you prefer to mark on a printout, use these links (KJV, NKJV, ESVNIV, NASB) to print out the chapter in your preferred translation by Thursday. (I will be referring primarily to the ESV in our instructions.)

As we begin our study, our first task is to understand the background and context of this chapter. We need to ask ourselves some questions and find their answers. What are the circumstances that form the setting for this story of David and Abigail? When does the story take place in the timeline of Israel’s history? What attitude do the people have toward God? Who are their leaders? What are their challenges? The very first verse of 1 Samuel 25 opens with this terse statement, “And Samuel died.” Why is this information important?

Knowing something about the historical setting of the book, and more specifically, what comes before and after Chapter 25, will affect how we read and understand its story.

Assignment: Pray for God to teach you from His Word as we study 1 Samuel 25 over the next four weeks.

  • Let’s start our study by doing a bit of research on the book of 1 Samuel.

If you own a study Bible, commentary, or Bible dictionary, read a summary introduction to 1 Samuel and look at an Old Testament timeline to see when the events of this book take place. Note the main characters, events and themes of the book.

If you don’t have your own study resources, read this introduction to the book of 1 Samuel, and look at this Old Testament timeline.

  • Then read all of 1 Samuel 25, paying attention to the main characters and to the details of the plot. What are your first impressions of this story? What stands out to you?
  • To get a better feel for the setting of Chapter 25, we will need to read some (or all, if you desire) of the earlier chapters in 1 Samuel. We’ll devote tomorrow’s lesson to this task, but if you have time today, you might want to get a head start. We will be reading or listening to Chapters 24-26. (If you have lots of time to listen in the car or with the family while you work on other projects, start at Chapter 1 and work your way through Chapter 26 over the next few days. That will give you an even better picture of this period of Israel’s history.)

If you want to start today, here are links for different translations that will take you directly to audio readings, starting at Chapter 24: ESV24-26; KJV24-26; NKJV24-26 (starting at 1:36:39): NIV24-26; NASB24-26.

For your children:

  • Read 1 Samuel 25 aloud to your children and discuss what is happening in the story.
  • Then let the children draw a picture that illustrates one scene from the story. Post these pictures where they will be seen as we continue our study together.
  • While they are drawing (if it’s quiet enough 🙂 ) explain what is happening in the nation of Israel during the time of David and Abigail. Base this on what you learned in your own study today.


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