Lesson 13 Samuel in the Temple
1 Samuel 3:1-21


We saw in our last lesson that Hannah prayed for a baby, and Samuel was the answer to Hannah’s prayer, wasn’t he? When Samuel was very young his parents brought him to the house of the Lord where Eli, the priest, lived. He could not have understood very much about the sacrifices and all that he saw there, but he knew that it was God’s house. He had been taught by his mother and father that he was God’s boy, and that he should go to God’s house to learn there how to serve him. Hannah brought him to Eli and said, “I am the woman who stood here praying to the Lord. I prayed for this child, and God has given him to me. Now I am lending him to the Lord for as long as he lives. He is the Lord’s.”

Hannah left Samuel in God’s care. Those of you who have trusted Christ as Saviour can praise Him for His faithfulness and for His watch-care over you. There is no one who is faithful like Christ is. The reason we are not disappointed in Him is because He always does what is best for us, and nothing touches our life without His approval. God will be, must be, faithful to His Word and to every promise He has made in it.

Just as Hannah trusted God with Samuel’s care, so we can entrust ourselves and those we love into God’s care. Hannah and her husband went home. Every year after that they came up to visit Samuel. Each year they brought him a new little coat which Hannah had made for him. God sent Hannah and her husband other children, three boys and two girls.

Little Samuel lived with Eli and soon was able to help him in taking care of the house of God. Eli was an old man and he was going blind. Because his sons were wicked men, Eli could not turn to them for help. So little Samuel was taught to do many things.
The Bible says, verse 1, “and the child Samuel ministered unto the Lord before Eli.” (Josephus, a historian, said that Samuel was about twelve years of age at this time, and was like our Lord when Christ was 12 years old and said, “Know ye not that I must be about my Father’s business?”)

Now Samuel was a sinner like you and me, but Jesus Christ never sinned. Jesus lived a perfect life without sin so he could be a sacrifice for sinners…a spotless lamb…without blemish. He died for sinners. God has promised eternal life to those who trust in Christ’s death as payment for their sin.

During the time Samuel was learning to serve the Lord as a boy, he lived with Eli in the House of God. Perhaps he had a room or a place near Eli so that he could hear his call if Eli should need him in the night. One night after Samuel had gone to bed, he heard a voice calling his name, “Samuel, Samuel.” He jumped quickly out of his warm bed and ran to Eli, saying, “Here I am.” Eli said to him, “But I did not call you. Go back to bed.” So Samuel went back to bed. A little later Samuel was awakened again by hearing his name called, “Samuel, Samuel.” Again Samuel jumped out of bed and ran to Eli. He said to him, “Here I am. You called me.” But Eli said, “No, my son, I did not call you. Go back to bed again. Samuel had learned much about the Lord, but he did not yet know Him, and he had not learned to recognize His voice. He did not know that it was God calling to him. The call came again the third time, and again he ran to Eli and said, “Here I am. You did call me.” Then Eli knew that it was God who had called him. He said, “Go back to bed again. If you hear the voice call again, answer it and say, “Speak, Lord, for thy servant heareth!” Samuel went back to bed. Then the Lord came again and called, “Samuel, Samuel.” This time Samuel answered, “Speak, Lord, for thy servant heareth.” Then God gave Samuel a message. It was not a pleasant message. He told him that Eli’s sons were not to be priests any longer because of their sins. Because Eli had not made them obey him when they were boys and had not taught them that they must obey God’s laws, he, too, would suffer. After this Samuel went back to bed. Perhaps he lay awake the rest of the night thinking about the message and about God’s talking with him.

In times past God spoke through a burning bush or in a voice which could be heard. But today, God speaks through the Bible. We have the written Word, the Bible, to guide our lives.

When it was morning, Samuel got up and went about his work. He hoped Eli would not ask him what God’s message had been. But Eli called him and said, “What did the Lord say to you? Don’t be afraid to tell me.”

It must have been very hard for Samuel to tell his kind friend that punishment was to come to him and his family. He may have been tempted to hold back and not to tell all of it. Are you ever tempted to hold back the truth a little? Or maybe even to tell a lie? God knows everything about us…”Even the hairs of our head are numbered.” He knows how many hairs are on your head. So does He know when you don’t tell the truth? Yes, He does, and it displeases Him when we disobey His Word. God is holy, and disobedience separates us from Him

But Samuel bravely told Eli all that God had said and kept nothing back. Eli listened. Then he said, “It is the Lord. Let Him do what seems good to Him.” Eli was submissive to God. He knew that whatever the Lord does is right.

The Bible says, “And Samuel grew, and the Lord was with him.” All the people of Israel knew that Samuel was to be a prophet sent to them from God. Because Samuel chose God’s way as a little boy and obeyed him even when it was hard, God could trust him to do his work. He became one ot the greatest men of Old Testament times. God’s Word came true just as Samuel said. In a short time the two wicked sons of Eli died. Because they chose to go their own way, they brought early death to themselves and sorrow to others. Because Samuel chose God’s way, God gave him a long life and used him to be a great blessing to the whole nation.

Do you think that God has a plan for you, a special work for you to do when you get older? Yes, He has a plan for every one of us, just as He had for Samuel. He may want some of you to be missionaries or nurses or preachers or teachers---I do not know. But God knows, and He will help you to know as you get older.

One time at camp Johnnie stopped to talk to the camp director. He said, “You know I’ve always planned to be a doctor, but this week I had a long talk with my counselor about God’s plan, and I think maybe He has something else for me to do. I’m not sure yet, and of course I’ve got a lot of school ahead of me, but if I just go on day by day trusting Him to show me His plan I think it will be all right, don’t you? Johnnie was just eleven then, but he had learned something very important. If Jesus is your Saviour, God wants you to trust Him day by day, and He will show you his plan for your life. (1) Will you begin now to pray, “Dear Lord, show me what you want me to do, and help me to do my best in school now so that I’ll be prepared for whatever it is. (2) Then every day look for the things that you can do to please the Saviour now. (3) Show that you love the Lord by keeping His commands.

If you have never believed in Jesus Christ as your Saviour, admit to God the Father that you have been disobedient in your actions and thoughts, and thank Him for sending Christ to die for sinners like you and me.

Prayer: Father, we are so grateful to you for Your Word. If there is one who does not know you, I ask that You will give life and faith to believe in the Lord Jesus as Saviour. We praise you for your special love and goodness to those who trust in you. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.



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