The Lord Calls Samuel – 1 Samuel 3
In the previous story, we learned how Hannah, Samuel’s mother, prayed to the LORD for a child because she had no children and was very sad. We learned how God answered her prayer in giving her a son. When little Samuel was weaned of his mother’s milk, Hannah fulfilled the vow she had made in her prayer to the LORD, and brought Samuel to the priest Eli.
After Hannah took little Samuel to the house of the Lord at Shiloh and gave him to the priest Eli for service to the Lord, little Samuel ministered before the LORD and he was dressed in a little gown. Every year his mother made him a little coat, and when she came with her husband for the yearly offering, she brought it to Samuel. And the LORD gave Hannah three sons and two daughters, and Samuel grew before the LORD.
Now Eli had two sons named Hophni and Phinehas and they were also priests, but they did not know the LORD. That would be like someone who went to church, but did not believe in the Lord Jesus as their Saviour. Hophni and Phinehas took some of the meat of the offerings for themselves, instead of offering it to the LORD as they should have done. And by now Eli was very old, and heard about all of the bad things that his sons did. And so he asked them “Why do you do such things? I hear from all the people of all the evil things you do. My sons, by doing these bad things, you cause the LORD’s people to cry out. If one man sins against another, then the judge shall judge him, but if a man sins against the LORD, who will speak for him?” Eli tried to warn his sons, but they did not listen to him.
Now Samuel grew on and was well thought of by the LORD, and by men too. And he ministered to the LORD before Eli. The word of the Lord was very precious in those days, because men no longer saw visions. And one day, when Eli was lying down, the lamp of God went out in the temple and Samuel was sleeping, and the LORD called “Samuel”, and he answered “Here I am.” But Samuel thought it was Eli calling him, so he went to Eli to ask why he was called. But Eli told him that he did not call him and that he should lie down and go back to sleep. And the Lord called Samuel again, and again Samuel thought it was Eli, and again he was told to go back to bed. Now at this time Samuel did not know the LORD, and the words of the LORD were not yet revealed to him. So a third time the LORD called Samuel, and this time Eli knew that it was the LORD calling him, so he told Samuel to go and lie down and if he heard the voice again he should say “Speak LORD, for your servant hears.” So Samuel went and lay down again.
And the LORD came and stood, and called “Samuel, Samuel” and Samuel answered “Speak, for your servant hears.” And the LORD said to Samuel “I will judge Eli’s house because he knows his sons did evil things, and he did not stop them. Therefore the sins of Eli’s house will not be cleansed with neither sacrifice or offerings.” And Samuel lay until the morning, and then he got up and opened the doors to the house of the LORD, and he was afraid to tell Eli what he had been told.
But Eli called Samuel and told Samuel that he should not hide the things the LORD told him, so Samuel told him everything. And Eli knew that it was the LORD, and said “let him do what seems good to him.”
And Samuel grew, and the LORD was with him and everyone from near and far knew that Samuel was a prophet of the LORD.
Memory Verse: 1 Samuel 3:10 “…..Speak; for thy servant heareth”
1. What did Hannah do every year when she went to the house of the Lord? Answer: She made a coat for Samuel, and brought one every year when she went to the house of the LORD..
2. Why did Eli warn his sons? Answer: Because they were doing evil things and causing the people to cry out.
3. What did Samuel think when he heard the voice calling his name? Answer: He thought it was Eli calling him.
4. What did Eli tell Samuel the third time? Answer: He told him it was the Lord, and that he should answer him by saying “Speak Lord, for your servant hears.”
5. What was wonderful about what Samuel did? Answer: Samuel was obedient..he was obedient to Eli, and he was obedient to the LORD.