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Editor’s Note: This series on the Bible is from the book Catholicism & Scripture. Please feel free to use the series for high schoolers or adults. We will continue to welcome your questions for the column as well. See the contact information at the end of this column.

Special Course On Catholicism And Scripture (Chapter 11)

Following the path of other Old Testament wives who were barren (Sarah, Rebekah, Rachel), Hannah pleaded with God for a son and promised that she would dedicate him to God as a Nazarite, like Samson, who would not drink wine or liquor or let his hair be cut. God heard her plea and Hannah bore a son whom she named Samuel. She turned him over to the priest Eli and sang a hymn of thanksgiving that resembles Mary’s Magnificat (cf. Luke 1:46-47), especially the lines, “My heart exults in the Lord, my horn is exalted in my God” (1 Samuel 2:1).
While sleeping one night, Samuel heard a voice that he thought was that of Eli, but it was God calling him to be a prophet. “Speak, Lord,” Samuel said, “for your servant is listening” (1 Samuel 3:9). He was recognized as a true spokesman for the Lord and, when the people asked him to appoint a king to judge them, Samuel warned them that it would be a mistake because a king would force their sons into military service and their daughters into domestic work, would take the best of their crops, and would treat them as slaves.
But the people persisted in their demand and, when Samuel asked God about it, He said, “Grant the people’s every request. It is not you they reject; they are rejecting me as their king” (8:7).
A short time later, God sent to Samuel a man named Saul to rule His people as king. Samuel anointed Saul with oil, saying that “the Lord anoints you commander over his heritage. You are to govern the Lord’s people Israel, and to save them from the grasp of their enemies roundabout” (10:1).
Anointing with oil is very important in the Catholic Church, in the Sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation, Holy Orders, and Anointing of the Sick. We are sealed with a holy oil called chrism at Confirmation as the Holy Spirit gives us the gifts of Wisdom, Understanding, Knowledge, Counsel, Fortitude, Piety, and Fear of the Lord.
Saul ruled Israel well for a while, but then he displeased God first by ignoring his religious obligations and later by consulting a fortune teller. So, God sent Samuel to Bethlehem to the house of Jesse to anoint one of his sons King of Israel. Seven of Jesse’s sons were impressive candidates for king, but God told Samuel to reject them because “man sees the appearance, but the Lord looks into the heart” (16:7). Asked if he had any other sons, Jesse sent for twelve-year-old David, and God said, “There, anoint him, for this is he” (16:12).
David served as an armor-bearer for Saul and killed a Philistine giant named Goliath with a stone from his sling. His fame as a warrior grew, which made Saul jealous, and he tried unsuccessfully to kill David. Saul himself was killed in a battle with the Philistines, and David was anointed king. He would rule Israel for forty years. Shortly after becoming king. David brought the Ark of the Covenant to Jerusalem and leaped and danced before the Lord.
God promised David that his royal throne would remain “firm forever,” a reference to the eternal reign of Jesus that would begin a thousand years later.
However, just when things were going so well for David, he lusted after a woman named Bathsheba and got her pregnant. He then ordered his army commander to put her husband on the front lines, where he was killed. David’s son died in infancy as a punishment for his immoral deeds. The prophet Nathan convinced David to repent of his sins, and David wrote some penitential psalms in the Bible expressing sorrow for sin. In Psalm 51, for example, David wrote:
“Have mercy on me, God, in your goodness; in your abundant compassion blot out my offense. Wash away all my guilt; from my sin cleanse me. For I know my offense; my sin is always before me.”
After ruling Israel for forty years (1010-970), David was succeeded by his son Solomon. Before his death, he told Solomon “to take courage and be a man. Keep the mandate of the Lord, your God, following his ways and observing his statutes, commands, ordinances, and decrees as they are written in the law of Moses, that you may succeed in whatever you do, wherever you turn” (1 Kings 2:2-3).
David was laid to rest in Bethlehem, having foreshadowed another King, Jesus, who would be born in Bethlehem and would call Himself “son of David” (Mark 12:35), although He was far superior to David and His Kingdom would have no end.

List of Answers:

ARK
BATHSHEBA
CONFIRMATION
DAVID
GOLIATH
HANNAH
JESSE
JESUS
NATHAN
OIL
PSALMS
RELIGIOUS
SAMUEL
SAUL
SOLOMON

Quiz:

  1. _____________ dedicated her infant son Samuel to God.
  2. God called ____________________ to be a great prophet.
  3. God ordered Samuel to anoint ________ as the first King of Israel.
  4. As a sign of God’s choice, Samuel poured olive _________ on Saul’s head.
  5. We are sealed with a holy oil called chrism in the Sacrament of _______________.
  6. Saul ruled well for a while, but displeased God by neglecting _______ obligations.
  7. So God sent Samuel to the house of _____________ in Bethlehem to anoint one of his sons as king.
  8. After rejecting seven of Jesse’s sons, God told Samuel to anoint ________ as king.
  9. David was only a youth, but he killed a Philistine warrior named ____________.
  10. Shortly after being anointed King at the age of 30, David brought the ______ of the Covenant to Jerusalem and leaped and danced before the Lord.
  11. David committed adultery with a woman named ___________________ and had her husband killed in battle.
  12. The prophet __________ convinced David to repent of his sins, told him that God had forgiven him, but said that the son he had conceived with Bathsheba would die in infancy.
  13. David wrote many of the __________ in the Bible, including some that expressed his deep sorrow for sin
  14. David ruled Israel for forty years and was succeeded by his son ______________.
  15. David foreshadowed another King, ______________, who would come from Bethlehem and would call Himself the “Son of David.”
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Catholic Replies

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