MEMORY VERSE: That the Lord called Samuel: and he answered, Here am I. – 1 Samuel 3:4
God Calls Samuel
Most teachers create a name tag for each student in the class at the start of the school year. The teacher does this to help students learn the names of each other in the classroom. For you, your name is really significant, isn’t it? I’ve heard it said that someone’s sweetest sound is the sound of their own name. Doesn’t it make you feel good when your name is remembered by someone?
Do you think your name is recognized by God? He does, I am sure. To God, names are very important. Actually, in the Bible, I can think of many occasions when God called someone by name.
Moses saw a burning bush one day and walked over to take a look. From inside the forest, God called to him, “Moses! Moses!” And Moses replied, “Here I am.” (Exodus 3:4).
One day when Jesus was walking down the streets of Jericho, he paused and looked up at a tree. “Zacchaeus, come down right now. Today I am going to your place.” Zacchaeus came down when Jesus called his name. (19:5 Luke)
His name was Saul, until the apostle Paul became a follower of Christ. A bright light flashed around him as he was heading to Damascus to persecute the disciples. He dropped to the ground and heard a voice from heaven say to him, “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?” Saul responded, “Who are you, Lord?” (Acts 9:1-5).
In the Bible, one of my favorite stories is the story of a boy called Samuel. You may recall that a woman named Hannah was the mother of Samuel. More than anything, she wanted a baby. So she prayed and begged God to give her a son. The response to his mother’s prayer was Samuel. She wanted a son and Samuel was given to her by God.
She made a vow to God that if he gave her a son, she would give him back to the Lord to serve him all the days of his life. God gave Hannah the son she requested, and she kept the vow she made to God. She brought him to the temple when the boy was old enough and introduced him to Eli, the priest. So under Eli, Samuel served in the temple.
Samuel Was Offered to God
We call it a vow when we promise God something and God expects us to keep our promises or our vows. Hannah had told God that she would give him back to God if He gave her a son. She’s kept her word now. She took him to the temple when her boy was still very little and left him there to serve the Lord. Little Samuel may have assisted Eli the priest with the temple job. His mother went to visit him once a year and took him a little coat that she had made for him.
Samuel was asleep one night when he heard someone call his name. He got up and ran towards Eli. ‘I am here; you called me,’ he said to Eli.
“I didn’t call you,” Eli responded, “Go back to bed,” and Samuel went back to bed.
The LORD called again, ‘Samuel!’ and Samuel jumped out of bed and went to Eli. “Here I am; you’ve been calling me.”
“Go back to bed, I didn’t call you,” Eli replied a second time.
God called Samuel a third time, and Samuel got up and walked to Eli. ‘I am here; you called me,’ he said.
Eli understood, eventually, that it was God who called Samuel. He told Samuel, “Go and lie down, and when he calls you again, say, ‘Speak Lord, for your servant is listening.’
“Samuel went back to bed, and he heard the voice of God calling again, “Samuel! Samuel!” Samuel replied this time, as Eli had said to him, “Speak, for your servant is listening.
Some people believe God just calls adults. That’s why I like Samuel’s story. When God called him, Samuel was just a young boy. “Just as he knew the name of Samuel, God knows your name, and God still calls boys and girls today saying, “Come, follow me.” So listen to the call of God and respond just as Samuel did, “Here I am!
The Bad News
Samuel replied, ‘Speak; for thy servant heareth.’ The next time the voice spoke, God told Samuel that he was not pleased with what Eli was doing and that God was going to punish him and his family.
Samuel rose in the morning, as usual, and opened the doors of their church, the Temple. Eli asked Samuel what God had said to him, and Samuel told him everything that God had said. He said that God was going to punish Eli and his family because Eli had not disciplined his sons when he saw their sins.
A Man of Excellence
And Samuel loved God, and obeyed him: and God made him great and good, and he worked many years for God. Many people would have been inspired by Samuel to be good and love and follow God.
When Jesus was here on earth, He loved little ones, and we know that He still loves them. He talks to children several times; he speaks to their souls. A child is never too young to think about Jesus, to love Him, to be rescued. Jesus said The kingdom of God is like that.”
HOW OLD SHOULD I BE?
A little maid said, “Dear Mother,”
Whisper it to me, please—
Right before I became a Christian,
How old should I be? ”
How old should you, dear girl, be?
Could you love me before that? ”
“I have always loved you, my mum,
Since I was a little wee.”
“Now and always will, I love you,”
The little daughter said to herself,
And on the shoulder of her mother, laid
Her curly golden head.
“How old you must be, my girlie,
Until you put your faith in my care? ”
Oh, dear Mother, I do, I do—
Everywhere, I trust you.’
How old should you, my child, be?
To do the things that I’m saying? ”
The baby girl looked up and said,
“Today, I can do that.”
“You should be a Christian, too then.
Don’t wait until you’ve grown up.
Tell Jesus now that you are coming to Him, To be his own.
Then, as the little maid was kneeling down,
And he said, “Lord, if I may,
Now I would like to be a Christian.
He responded. “TODAY, indeed.”