The next section my reading schedule has lined up for me is 1 Samuel with sections of Psalms interspersed.
This book is broken into three sections and this post will look at the first two sections. They cover the last of the judges and the establishment of the monarchy.
I. History of the Last Judges, Eli and Samuel
Samuel is another special late in life child. Hannah wanted a child, she prayed to God and then found herself pregnant with a son. She gives him over to Eli to serve God. I love the story of 1 Samuel 3 where the Lord calls to Samuel and he goes off to see what Eli wants and after a few times Eli realizes that it must be the Lord calling to Samuel. He teaches Samuel how to pray by saying "Speak, Lord, for your servant is listening."
Since the Lord has spoken to Samuel and told him what will happen, Samuel is acknowledged as a prophet. Then is a story about Samuel's standing of the last Judge and a prophet.
II. Establishment of the Monarchy in Israel
So the people of Isreal want to be like everyone else around them and have a monarchy. So the Lord tells Samuel that he will appoint the first king. God isn't thrilled but realized he needs to listen to the people, but he has Samuel warn them about this choice. He tells Samuel that he will send his chosen first king to him, and that was Saul.
Saul is anointed king by Samuel and then sent back home. He tells no one what happened and waits for Samuel. Samuel calls for all the Israelites to gather, then he calls forward the tribe of Benjamin. Then he called forward the clans of the tribe picking the clan of Matri which was Saul's clan. Then Samuel called Saul forward as king, and the people weren't happy.
Samuel explained how this monarchy would work and the laws. Even with that set before them, the people were not happy with Saul. But then the Ammonites were threatening them and Saul charged in and saved the day and then the people were happy. Well as happy as this group of people seems to be, they still feared the Lord.