January 2013 - Heroes of Faith

Heroes of Faith.  Week 6.  Samuel
Samuel: Who was he?
Hometown: Ephraim, Ramah
Referenced in the Bible: 1 Samuel 1-28; Psalm 99:6; Jeremiah 15:1; Acts 3:24, 13:20; Hebrews 11:32
Occupation: Priest, judge, prophet, anointer of kings
Family Tree: Father – ElkanahMother – HannahSons - Joel, Abijah
Samuel was a man chosen for God, from his miraculous birth until his death. He served in several important positions during his life, earning God's favor because he knew how to obey. Samuel's story began with a barren woman, praying to God for a child. The Bible says "the Lord remembered her," and she became pregnant. She named the baby Samuel, which means "the Lord hears." When the boy was weaned, Hannah presented him to God at Shiloh, in the care of Eli the high priest (chapter 1-2)
Q: How hard is it to obey? What might help us to obey? Have you any examples of how obeying or not obeying God changed your life?
Samuel’s call comes in chapter 3, in the early hour, before the oil lamps had run out, Samuel was on duty near the ark, inside the tabernacle. Samuel hears God speak to him for the first time, from this moment Samuel is God’s messenger and the whole nation is aware of it from Dan in the north to the edge of the southern desert. (Chapter 3)
Q: In what ways has God called you in your life? We all have been called. How do you encounter God? Describe how you help yourself to grow as a disciple?

After twenty years Samuel is judge and religious leader of Israel, replacing Eli. Samuel leads the nation into an act of repentance and cleansing and people are genuinely turning to God. Samuel shows great faith and trust in God to help the people know God’s presence with them. (chapter4-8)

Q. Trusting in God and growing in faith is essential, how can we do this not only as individuals but also as a church community?

The people ask for a king, a search for a lost donkey, of all things, brings Israel’s future king (Saul) from Gibeah to Ramah, and a meeting with Samuel. All Israel know the prophet but not this young man. Samuel anoints him with oil, setting him apart for this high office. Saul returns home a new man. Over the coming years, Saul disobeys God, several times.  God rejects Saul. Samuel, instead of relishing Saul’s downfall, returns home grieving. (Chapter 8-15)

Q. What modern day examples can you think of, where people have done and said things which have destroyed people and situations, what lessons can we learn from Samuel?


God chooses Samuel once again to anoint David and he becomes King, Samuel’s role now is to protect David from Saul, despite his jealously Saul does not succeed in destroying David and it isn’t until Samuel has died that David rules as King. (chapter 16 and 25)

Q. We may plant seeds as we serve and as we walk alongside others but we may never see them come to fruition; How do we endure and know God’s plan for us personally and as a church, how can we stay faithful?

Samuel’s strength:

Samuel loved God and obeyed without question. His integrity prevented him from taking advantage of his authority. His first loyalty was to God, regardless of what happened to him

Samuel's Weaknesses:

While Samuel was spotless in his own life, he did not raise his sons to follow his example. They took bribes and were dishonest rulers.
Lord, when I wan to run, hold me
When I want to turn away, turn me around
When I wan tot hide, race me to my hiding place and win
When I want to hurt others, deflect my aim
When I want to hurt myself, love me
Ruth Burgess
Sharon Seal

Sharon Seal, 07/01/2013