So this is our first week that we have two different books involved. And somehow - it worked, because I found a connection between them.
We're looking at family here. Those people who put the Bible together knew what they were doing when they put Ruth right before Samuel.
Ruth, in it's four chapters, is ultimately about filial fidelity. Ruth becomes the greatest daughter-in-law ever, and follows Naomi, her mother-in-law, back to Naomi's home town. By marrying Naomi's son, Ruth becomes Naomi's daughter, and does not give up that role even after her husband is dead. Ruth gives up her religion and culture entirely, because now Naomi's culture is her culture, and Naomi's God is her God.
Poor Eli's sons, on the other hand, do not live up to his expectations. They're off breaking priestly rules and mooching off the townsfolk. And, in the end, God punishes them and they die in battle. Samuel becomes high priest after Eli.
But Samuel doesn't have much luck with his kids either. They take Eli's sons as examples and "sought illicit gains and accepted bribes, perverting justice." (Sam 8:3) So Samuel has to appoint a king.
So I suppose the moral here is - be good kids. :-)
Ummm, that's all I have for now.... I'm in a bit of a crunch, and I suppose I'll talk more about Samuel next week when we finish the book.