Children Bible Overview 45
SAMUEL, THE PRIEST WHO REPLACED ELI
Teachers to read bible scripture: <1Sam 2-4> Children to memorize bible scripture: <1Pet 2:9> Recap Last week, we saw that because Hannah understood God’s will to save the Israelites, God listened to her prayer and Samuel was conceived through her. Since young, Samuel grew up hearing God’s words. His whole life was used as the prophet of the Israelites, by God Introduction From young, Samuel grew up in the holy temple. At that time, Eli the priest led the Israelites. He was a very weak priest. He could not hear God’s words and therefore did not know how to teach the Israelites properly regarding God’s words. As a great priest, not only did he not do his job well in praying for the Israelite people, he often oppressed them. He also allowed his sons to oppress the Israelite people. Because of that, the Israelites could not hear God’s voice and continued to worship idols. Eventually they continued to be weak and did not have the strength to defeat the enemies. One day, when God’s time was ready, the enemies of the Israelites, the Philistine soldiers came to attack the Israelites. The Israelite army did not have the power to defend and so they asked Eli’s two sons to bring the ark of the Lord’s covenant to the battleground. They thought that God would protect them with the ark of God. However, God was not with them and therefore the Israelites fought a losing battle, where Eli’s two sons were killed by the enemies and the Philistines also captured the ark of God. When Eli the great priest heard the news, he was shocked and died suddenly. God allowed that to happen, to raise Samuel to replace Eli as the great priest of Israel.
1. The Israelite people continued to be weak because Eli the Priest could not hear God’s words 1) When Eli became Israel’s priest, he did not have the promise of the 4 Gospelization in his heart. He did not know that he and the Israelite people were God’s royal people and that God’s power was with them and He loved them. 2) Because he did not love God, he could not hear God’s voice and did not know how to teach the Israelite people properly. Because he did not love God’s people, not only did he not do a good job in praying for the Israelites, he also allowed his two sons to continue to sin and oppress the Israelites. Eli only loved this world, loved to eat, and sleep and loved comfort. Therefore, he was very heavy in weight. [Are we like that? Do we only love to eat and play but dislike God or the parents and friends whom God has placed beside us?] 3) As a result, when God’s time was ready, Eli’s two sons were killed by the enemies. Eli himself also fell backward off his chair and died. God therefore used a small child, Samuel to replace Eli’s role and eventually Samuel became the Great Priest of Israel. 2. To save the Israelite people, God raised Samuel who was set apart for God (a Nazarite who was different from the others) 1) Why did God choose Samuel to lead Israel? It was because Samuel was set apart for God. When everybody else was worshipping idols, loving the world and loving themselves, Samuel’s concern was in loving God and loving God’s people. 2) Because Samuel was set apart for God, the method he used to lead the Israelite people was also different. A typical priest (like Eli) would use his own wisdom to lead. However, Samuel loved to pray. Therefore, Samuel could often hear God’s voice and understood God’s will to lead the Israelites. 3) Because Samuel was set apart for God, his purpose when leading the Israelite people was different. A typical priest (like Eli) would only be concerned if the Israelites were
fighting winning battles. However, Samuel’s concern was whether the Israelites could hear God’s words. Therefore, he went to various cities in Israel to evangelize and asked the people to turn their hearts to the Lord, God. * Therefore, do we have the same heart, method and purpose like Samuel? If we do, we are Samuel! 3. Because Samuel was set apart for God, God continued to show Himself to Samuel, and also used Samuel to be the priest of the Israelite people 1) Like Samuel, we who know and believe Jesus Christ are already different from the people of this world. We have eternal life (normal people live for 70-80 years); we have God to help us (normal people have to rely on themselves); we try to save people and are given the noblest task to ask others to receive eternal life (those people who have not known God cannot save people or give others eternal life). 2) Therefore, just like Samuel who often heard God’s voice, if we also pay attention to what our Sunday school teachers teach about God’s words, have the heart to pray and follow God, we can also hear God’s voice daily. God will also often show Himself to us. 3) Therefore, just like Samuel who was used by God to become the priest of the Israelite people who prayed for them, God also uses us today to become the priest of our family members (parents, siblings and grandparents) and friends who will pray for them. When we pray for them, God will also save them so that they will know Jesus sooner, and receive eternal life and God’s help