God calls Samuel

Artwork : Harry Lisgo

Samuel’s mother, Hannah, like Samson’s mother, set her child aside for God, and when he was old enough, she took him to the temple to be brought up in the care of the priest Eli.

  • How difficult do you think it was for her to leave him?

  • How difficult must this have been for Samuel himself?

Hannah and her husband visited Samuel every year and brought him a new tunic to wear. Eli blessed them both and they had more children, but they never forgot their first-born son.

  • Imagine you are Samuel writing to your mother before her visit.

Eli’s own sons cared nothing for God, and Eli failed to discipline them but Samuel grew in holiness and goodness.

This song tells of the time when God spoke to Samuel as he lay sleeping in the temple.

Three times he approached Eli, before the priest realised that God had something special to say.

‘Go and lie down,’ Eli said to him. ‘And if someone calls, say “Speak Lord for your servant is listening!” ‘

The message God told Samuel was not a pleasant one to pass on, it was to do with Eli’s disobedient sons and his lack of discipline.

Yet little Samuel, when asked to tell Eli the message, faithfully did so.

Play ‘Chinese Whispers’. How important is it to really listen?

It is important to pass messages on correctly, when would it be dangerous or harmful not to?

19 God calls Samuel: 1 Samuel 3.1-10

(to the tune ‘Rock a bye baby)

‘Samuel! Samuel !’

“Here I am, Eli,

You called me !” he said.

The old man woke up

and he stared straight ahead.

“I didn’t call you,

Samuel, instead

go back to your room,

and lie down in your bed!”

‘Samuel! Samuel !’

“Here I am, Eli,

You called me !” he said.

The old man woke up again

rubbed his old head.

“I didn’t call you,

Samuel, instead

go back to your room,

and lie down in your bed!”

‘Samuel! Samuel !’

“Here I am, Eli,

you called me !” he said.

The old man then knew

it was God’s voice he heard.

“Next time young Samuel

speak out and don’t fear.

Say ‘Speak Lord I am listening!’

Your servant is here!”

© words Sheila Hamil 2011

www.sheilahamil.co.uk

When next you pray, try spending just as much time listening as talking.