Part 4 – Samuel

Samuel was a son of Elkanah and Hannah from the tribe of Ephraim, who lived in the town of Ramah in the hill country of Ephraim. He was a prophet and also remembered as the last of the great judges. He is the one who introduced the monarchy in Israel by anointing the first king-Saul.

Samuel was born during the time when priest Eli had grown old and had appointed his sons as God`s judges and priests however they were sinful and made Eli`s family to be rejected by God.

Circumstances that Led to the Birth of Samuel

Hannah`s faith led to Samuel`s birth. Hannah believed that God would provide her with a child and that’s why she prayed desperately and later she was granted Samuel.

Hannah`s faith led to Samuel`s birth. When she went to Shiloh, she cried bitterly while praying and God granted her prayers because of the way she prayed.

Eli`s blessings led to Samuel`s birth. When Hannah told Eli that she was not drunk but she was only pouring her problems unto God, Eli blessed her and said, “….may God of Israel give you that you have asked Him for” 1 Samuel 1:17

The need for a military commander. The Israelites were always under constant attack by the philistines and therefore Samuel was born to act as a military commander.

There was a lot of moral decay among the Israelites because they had no righteous leaders. Therefore Samuel was born to bring about religious cleanliness/sanity in Israel.

The situation in Elkanah`s family. He had two wives Peninah and Hannah. Peninah used to provoke Hannah who cried all the time because she had no children. Samuel was therefore born to bring comfort to Hannah.

The need to pave way for a monarchy led to the birth of Samuel. Samuel was responsible for anointing the first king-Saul.

The need for someone to settle disputes honestly. He was to act as a fair judge, priest and prophet. He was to replace the dishonest judges/sons of Eli.

Samuel was born to provide a solution to Hannah`s barrenness. She had lived a miserable and childless life. God decided to bring an end to Hannah`s misery by giving her a son.

Hannah`s promise led to Samuel`s birth. She had promised that, if God gave her a son, she would dedicate him to Yahweh. Therefore Samuel was born to test Hannah’s faith.

The Call of Samuel as a Prophet of Israel 1Samuel 3:1-19

One night Eli, who was almost blind was sleeping in the sanctuary of the Lord with Samuel where the sacred covenant box was. (1 Samuel 3:2-3 )

The Lord then called upon Samuel, he answered, “yes sir and he ran to Eli saying you called me, and here I am,” but Eli answered I did not call you, go back to bed. So Samuel went back to bed. 1 Samuel 3:4-5.

The Lord called Samuel again though he did not know that it was the Lord because the Lord had never spoken to him before. So he got up, went to Eli but told him to go back to bed. 1 Samuel 3:6-7.

The Lord called Samuel a third time and he ran to Eli. Eli then he realized that it was the Lord calling upon Samuel and said to him go back to bed and if he calls you again say, “Speak Lord, your servant is listening.” So Samuel went back to bed. 1 Samuel 3:8-9

The Lord came and stood there, and called as he had done before. “Samuel! Samuel! Then Samuel answered speak your servant is listening. 1 Samuel 3:10

The Lord said to him that one day He is going to do something so terrible to the people of Israel that everyone who hears about it will be stunned. 1 Samuel 3:11

On that day He would carry out all the threats against Eli’s family from beginning to end for he had already told him that he was going to punish his family forever because they spoke evil things against me.

This is because Eli knew that his sons were evil but he did not stop them hence no sacrifice would ever be able to remove the consequences of this terrible sin. 1 Samuel 3:14

Samuel stayed in bed until morning, and then he got up and opened the doors of the house of the Lord. 1 Samuel 3:15

He was afraid to tell Eli about the vision but Eli called him, and asked him, “What did the Lord tell u?”Don’t keep anything from me because God will punish you.

So Samuel told him everything that the Lord said and never kept anything back and Eli answered, “He is the Lord, he will do whatever seems best to Him.”

As Samuel grew up, the Lord was with him and made sure that whatever Samuel said came true. This made Samuel to be known as a true prophet of God. 1 Samuel 3:19

Lessons to Modern Christians

Christians learn to respond positively to God`s call likewise Samuel responded positively to God`s call.

They should be obedient just as Samuel was obedient to God`s instructions and Eli whereby he delivered the message to Eli.

They should condemn evil just as God pronounced to Samuel his condemnations against Eli`s family.

They should be exemplary likewise Samuel showed a good example when he carried out God`s mission.

They should live a righteous life likewise Samuel was righteous and that’s why God appeared to him.

They should deliver God`s message without fear unlike Samuel who had feared to deliver God`s message to priest Eli.

They should listen to the advice of the elders like Samuel listened to the advice of Eli to tell him whatever God had told him.

They should be humble especially when they are called likewise Samuel responded with humility when he heard the voice calling him.

They should have respect for God`s house just as Samuel respected the sanctuary.