We've been reading 1 Samuel in bible study recently. I love this book, not least for the twists and nuances of the narrative (it is one of the oldest highly developed narratives around). There's plot development, and really complex characters. It's beautiful.
However, I've have a lurking nervousness in the back of mind as we've read further into the story. It's not 1 Samuel itself that makes me uneasy. Instead, it's knowing just how similar things are now as they were in Saul's time. What we know call the Gaza Strip has been a source of conflict in 1 Samuel as much as it has been in our time. Israelites are still fighting with the Philistines, although we call the Palestinians (you do know that Palestine comes from the word Philistine?).
Talking to a couple yesterday who've been ministering to Palestinian refugees in Jordan, there has been a real issue for Palestinian Christians. Still, in Arabic today Palestinians are called Philistines. It is a real issue for them, especially as they read the Old Testament.
Palestinian Christians have often been caught in the middle of Arab-Israeli conflict. Please pray for them.
"There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. And if you are Christ's, then you are Abraham's offspring, heirs according to promise." - Galatians 3.28-29