88: Saul’s First Victory (1 Samuel 11-12)

Saul cuts up some oxen and mails rare steaks all over the country, then leads a very strong force against the Ammonites. They pursue and obliterate the enemy, and Saul looks like he’s actually done something good. His very first act as a king is to mobilise the military and defend his people. Good on ya, Saul. I hope things always go this well for you.

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87: Saul Chosen as King (1 Samuel 9-10)

Ryan is sick, but he powered through like a little champ. Saul is introduced, as a tall, dark and handsome type, and he is consequently chosen as Israel’s first king (again, against God and Samuel’s better judgement). Also, God apparently caused some donkeys to disappear so Saul would meet Samuel and be filled with the Holy Spirit. Alright.

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86: Samuel Judges Israel, But Israel Wants a King (1 Samuel 7-8)

Sandwich artistry (and curation), Ebenezer stones, and Samuel is quickly disheartened as Israel wants to follow a man instead of their God. Come on, Israel! Get your act together! Did you know ‘We Wish You A Merry Christmas’ has a second- and third- verse? Figgy pudding.

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85: Israel’s Catastrophic Defeat (1 Samuel 4-6)

Israel carries the ark of the covenant into battle under the false assumption that they will win if it is present…only, they don’t inquire of God beforehand. What results is a military defeat of catastrophic proportions, and the capture of the ark! Bad stuff all around.

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84: Eli’s Awful Sons (1 Samuel 2b-3)

Hannah makes Samuel “little robes”, Eli’s sons absolutely suck at being humble, faithful priests, and poor Eli gets stuck with it all. Samuel gets called by God to become a lifelong servant. When the Bible says that Eli’s eyesight had grown dim, did that mean he had cataracts?

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78: Samson, Master of Riddles (Judges 13-14)

The promised son to a couple of Danites grows up to be a bit of a thug (a holy thug…sometimes). Turns out he has a bit of a thing for foreign women, riddles and murder.

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77: Abimelech, Gideon’s Worst Son (Judges 9-10)

We all roughly know the story of Gideon and his 300 men, but did you know Gideon didn’t finish his life like a judge was supposed to? He had heaps of kids and thought of himself as a king. One of his 70 (yes, SEVENTY) sons, Abimelech, was a total tool-bag. He thought he would continue his father’s legacy by making himself king and killing everyone in line ahead of him. Let’s just say things didn’t work out too well for him.

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