Eli & Boy Samuel
The Gospel Project for Kids story this week is about a woman named Hannah. Hannah had a good life but one thing was missing. Hannah wanted a child. As her family went annually to Shiloh to worship at the tabernacle, Hannah became distressed and prayed to God that He would give her a son. Hannah wanted a son so badly she promised to give him back to the Lord to serve Him. God granted Hannah’s prayer and a year later she gave birth to a son named Samuel.
Later Samuel lived in the tabernacle with Eli the priest. One night God spoke to Samuel, who didn’t understand the contact. Once Eli explained to Samuel that it was God calling him, Samuel went back to bed. When God called the third time, Samuel told the Lord that he was listening. God gave Samuel a harsh message for Eli and his family. Eli had allowed his sons to disrespect God and the elements of the tabernacle, and God was sending a warning that Eli and his family would be punished for their sin.
Eli awoke in the morning and urged Samuel to share God’s message. Samuel shared the message, and from that day on, Samuel grew and was known throughout the land as someone who was honest. Samuel shared God’s word with Eli the priest, but also with others from Israel. Samuel was used by God to share His word, but the Book of John tells us that Jesus is the Word. Samuel told people what God wanted them to do, but Jesus showed people through His life how God wanted them to live. Jesus ultimately freed people from the power of sin by dying on the cross.
Eli and Boy Samuel
1 Samuel 1–3
In a hilly country called Ephraim, a man named Elkanah lived with his two wives, Hannah and Peninnah. Hannah was very sad because she did not have any children. Peninnah had children. Peninnah was mean to Hannah and made Hannah feel bad that God had not given her any children. In those days, having children was very important. Hannah wanted to have a family.
Every year, Elkanah went to the tent of meeting in Shiloh to make sacrifices to God and to worship Him. Hannah went with her husband. She wept and would not eat. Elkanah saw that Hannah was upset. “What’s wrong, Hannah?” he asked. “Don’t I make you happy?”
Hannah prayed to God and wept. Hannah told God, “Lord, if
You give me a son, I will dedicate him to You. He will serve You all
of his life.” A priest named Eli was sitting near the doorpost of the tabernacle. Eli watched Hannah pray silently. He couldn’t hear her, but he saw her lips moving. Eli thought there was something wrong with Hannah.
“I am a woman with a broken heart,” Hannah explained. “I’ve been pouring out my heart before the Lord.”
Eli replied, “Go in peace. May God answer your prayers.”
Hannah and Elkanah returned home, and God did answer her prayers. After some time, Hannah became pregnant and gave birth to a son. She named him Samuel because, she said, “I asked the Lord for him.”
When Samuel was no longer a baby, Hannah took him to Eli at the tabernacle. She reminded Eli who she was and told him that God had answered her prayers. Hannah pledged Samuel to serve God and she worshiped God with a prayer.
“There is no one holy like the Lord. There is no one besides You! And there is no rock like our God,” Hannah prayed. She returned home and left Samuel with Eli to serve God. Every year, Hannah returned with a new robe for Samuel, and God gave Hannah many more children.
Eli was getting old, and his sons served as priests in the tabernacle.
Eli heard that his sons were sinning against God. Eli asked his sons why they were sinning, but they did not listen to him. Samuel, on the other hand, grew older and found favor with God and with men.
One day a man of God came to Eli and told him that God was not going to honor people who sinned against Him. God said He was going to choose a new priest who would serve God faithfully.
One night, Eli was lying in his bed and Samuel was lying in the tabernacle when Samuel heard someone speak to him.
“Here I am,” Samuel replied. He ran to Eli. “Here I am; you called me.”
God called Samuel three times, and each time Samuel ran to Eli. “Here I am,” he said. Eli finally understood that God was calling to Samuel. He told Samuel how to respond.
Samuel went back to his place, and God called, “Samuel, Samuel!”
“Speak, for Your servant is listening,” Samuel replied. God told Samuel that He was going to judge Eli’s family for their sin.
The next day, Samuel was afraid to tell Eli what God had said. Eli asked Samuel to tell him what God said. “He is the Lord. He will do what He thinks is good,” Eli assured Samuel.
As Samuel grew, God was with him. Everyone in Israel knew that Samuel was God’s messenger. God used Samuel to share His plan with the nation of Israel.
Christ Connection: Samuel used God’s words to tell the people what God is like. John 1:1 says that Jesus is the Word. Jesus showed the world what God is like, and He told people to turn away from their sin. Jesus ultimately freed people from the power of sin by dying on the cross and rising again.