On Sundays in June, we’ll be reading four classic stories of “call” in 1 Samuel. They’re epic stories that come from a time of great change in Israel’s history; stories that you might have learned in Sunday School but not in the context of the wider narrative arc. To help you fill in the gaps, here’s a reading plan for the month of June. We hope you’ll take the challenge and explore this fascinating story of God’s faithfulness in the lives of some very human, fallible characters. It’s a wild ride!

To enhance your reading:
  • Begin with prayer: “Holy God, help me to be open to your word today.”
  • Click on the link below. As you read, watch for what catches your attention or makes you wonder.
  • Reflect on the questions interspersed in the readings.
  • To learn more about the big picture, visit www.thebibleproject.com and “explore” 1 and 2 Samuel.


1 Samuel
Chapter    Story
1               Hannah’s Prayer

2B             Eli’s Household

3               Call of Samuel

Question: In the church, we often speak about the external call (the affirmation and encouragement of others) and the internal call (the personal discernment). The external call is strong for Samuel! Think about a time you felt an external call. Who supported and urged you in a particular direction? What gifts and talents did they see in you? Why did or didn’t you follow that external call?

4               The Ark

7               Samuel as Judge

8               Israel Wants a King

9-10          Saul Anointed As King

After slavery and wandering in the wilderness, Israel has been a loose confederation of tribes. Now the people are anxious to unify and grow in political power. They are afraid of their neighbors and seek safety in a king rather than God. Through Samuel, God warns them that a king will “enslave” them in new ways, but the people refuse to listen. Like a parent, God makes way for children to learn the hard way. What kinds of trade-offs have you made for the sake of security?

Like Eli, Samuel has served Israel with integrity all the days of his life, but his sons are unfit to lead in his place. Have you ever seen division within a family business that ends poorly? Have you been part of a system that has needed to remove unhealthy leaders?

11             Successful in Battle

12             Samuel Says Farewell

13A           Saul’s Unlawful Sacrifice

13B-14      A Father’s Dilemma

15             Saul’s Misguided Choice

16             David Anointed as King

17             David and Goliath

18-20        Friendship and Loyalty

21             Holy Bread

24             David Spares Saul’s Life

25             David and Abigail

31             The Death of Saul and His Sons


2 Samuel

Chapter    Story

1-2A          David Mourns for Saul and Jonathan

3               Struggle for Power

5               David is King and Jerusalem the Capitol

6               David Brings Ark to Jerusalem

7               A House for God

8               David’s Wars

11-12A      David and Bathsheba

13             Tamar #MeToo

18             The Death of Absalom

22-23A      David’s Song of Thanksgiving

24             David Defends His People