Hannah had always wanted a child. One day, while worshiping God and offering sacrifices, she prayed with her whole heart that God would grant her a child. God heard her prayers and soon she gave birth to a son, Samuel. Hannah promised God that Samuel would grow up in the temple and would serve God all his life. Just as Hannah promised, young Samuel went to the temple to live with the chief priest, Eli.
One night, Eli and Samuel spent the night in the temple near the ark of God. In the middle of the night, Samuel heard a voice call his name. He got up and ran to Eli and said “here I am. You called me?” But Eli had not called Samuel and told Samuel to go back to bed. This happened two more times. Finally, Eli told Samuel to say if he heard it again, “Speak Lord, for your servant is listening.”
The next time, Samuel received a vision from the Lord. The news from God was difficult to hear. God said He was going to pass judgement on Eli and his sinful sons. The next morning, Samuel delivered the prophesy to Eli.
God continued to speak to Samuel, and he became a wise and important priest. God told Samuel to anoint Saul as the first king of Israel. Later, while Saul was still king, God told Samuel to anoint a young shepherd boy as the second king of Israel. This boy was David and after Saul’s death, David became the greatest king of Israel.
What do you think it was like for Samuel to grow up in the temple?
How do you think Samuel felt when he realized that God was calling out to him?
What did Samuel do with the message that God gave him?
How was Samuel faithful to God?
In Scripture, God often answers a barren woman’s request for a child. These children have an important role in the story of God. For example, Abraham’s wife Sarah couldn’t have a child until God gave her a miracle.
Samuel’s leadership was vitally important to the establishment of the Israel’s monarchy. Samuel showed faithfulness by listening to God and doing what God told him to do.
King David, whom Samuel anointed, became a great king. God promised that the Messiah would come from the line of David. Matthew 1:1 describes Jesus as the Messiah, the son of David, the son of Abraham.