Tag Archives: Samuel

Proximity doesn’t guarantee relationship

1 Samuel 3:1 NKJV — Now the boy Samuel ministered to the LORD before Eli. And the word of the LORD was rare in those days; there was no widespread revelation.

1 Samuel 3:6-7 NKJV — Then the LORD called yet again, “Samuel!” So Samuel arose and went to Eli, and said, “Here I am, for you called me.” He answered, “I did not call, my son; lie down again.” (Now Samuel did not yet know the LORD, nor was the word of the LORD yet revealed to him.)

Samuel literally lived at the Tabernacle, the place made for God to abide with His people, but it didn’t mean the boy had a relationship with Him.

Proximity didn’t guarantee the relationship.

The relationship began when Samuel heard the Lord calling him, and answered.

1 Samuel 3:8-10 NKJV — And the LORD called Samuel again the third time. So he arose and went to Eli, and said, “Here I am, for you did call me.” Then Eli perceived that the LORD had called the boy. Therefore Eli said to Samuel, “Go, lie down; and it shall be, if He calls you, that you must say, ‘Speak, LORD, for Your servant hears.’ ” So Samuel went and lay down in his place. Now the LORD came and stood and called as at other times, “Samuel! Samuel!” And Samuel answered, “Speak, for Your servant hears.”

The relationship began here.

This close relationship with God lasted throughout Samuel’s lifetime,.

All because Samuel didn’t just do the things which were part of worshiping God, he didn’t just live at the place of worship.

Samuel spoke with God, listened to God, and obeyed Him.

1 Samuel 3:19-20NKJV — So Samuel grew, and the LORD was with him and let none of his words fall to the ground. And all Israel from Dan to Beersheba knew that Samuel had been established as a prophet of the LORD.

It’s not enough to just attend services or give offerings or to occasionally see what God’s Word says, if one is to have a relationship with God Almighty.

A relationship with Christ Jesus begins with accepting Him, and who the Bible says He is.

Then it grows through time in the Word, prayer, sound Biblical teaching, and fellowship with those who also are growing in their relationship with Jesus.

Faith is a beautiful thing, but it can be fragile.

Not unlike a beautiful potted plant, which requires time, sunshine, and care for it to grow, spread, and blossom, our faith needs care, our relationship with God needs to be a priority.

Being near the plant, but never tending it means it will shrivel and die, and the same thing can happen to our faith if we neglect our walk with Christ.

Even the disciples understood just being near Jesus wasn’t enough, after all it was one of His own who eventually betrayed Him.

Luke 17:5-6 NKJV — And the apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith.” So the Lord said, “If you have faith as a mustard seed, you can say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be pulled up by the roots and be planted in the sea,’ and it would obey you.”

Dear Lord Jesus,

Thank You for Your Word. Thank You that You long to have a relationship with each one of us and You died to make the way open for us. Lord Jesus, please continue to teach us about faith and building our relationship in You. Please continue to show us how to walk with integrity and truth, that we might not fall prey to the enemy. Lord Jesus, there is sacrifice in serving You, there is a cost to relationship, because You paid so much more than we could ever pay, I humbly request that You help each one of us to willing lay down anything which is hindering our relationship with You. Lord, if there is sin, reveal it. If there is pride uncover it. If there is bitterness, envy, or selfish ambition let it be seen, that we may repent and return to You and righteousness. Thank You for Your mercy and grace. Thank You for Your everlasting love. I praise Your holy name, Jesus. Amen.


Illustration by Frances Hook taken from My Book of Bible Stories by Wanda Hayes.

“No! I will not eat.”

“But why not? You know I love you, what more can I give you?”

She shook her head.

She knew his eyes were looking at her, full of love and sorrow at her suffering.

But she couldn’t swallow even one mouthful.

Her heart was too full of grief.

1 Samuel 1:2 NKJV — And he had two wives: the name of one was Hannah, and the name of the other Peninnah. Peninnah had children, but Hannah had no children.

1 Samuel 1:4-5 NKJV — And whenever the time came for Elkanah to make an offering, he would give portions to Peninnah his wife and to all her sons and daughters. But to Hannah he would give a double portion, for he loved Hannah, although the LORD had closed her womb.

There’s little else which can cause this kind of pain.

To be married without children and know that her husband has children by another wife.

For a woman it seems to be a failure of the worst degree.

During Hannah’s time and place to be barren was utter disgrace.

1 Samuel 1:10 NKJV — And she was in bitterness of soul, and prayed to the LORD and wept in anguish. Then she made a vow and said, “O LORD of hosts, if You will indeed look on the affliction of Your maidservant and remember me, and not forget Your maidservant, but will give Your maidservant a male child, then I will give him to the LORD all the days of his life, and no razor shall come upon his head.”

She was desperate.

Her heart was fully and completely open before God.

As much as she wanted a son, she promised to give him back to God for his whole life.

She wasn’t greedy.

She realized that if God gave her a son, he would belong to God.

1 Samuel 1:19 NKJV — Then they rose early in the morning and worshiped before the LORD, and returned and came to their house at Ramah. And Elkanah knew Hannah his wife, and the LORD remembered her.

What joy Hannah must have had when she found her prayer had been answered!

1 Samuel 1:22 NKJV — But Hannah did not go up, for she said to her husband, “Not until the child is weaned; then I will take him, that he may appear before the LORD and remain there forever.”

The trust and faith Hannah must have had to do what she did.

She walked a difficult path of surrender, because she had promised God he would belong to God alone.

In this place in history, for this family, it meant Samuel would live with the High Priest, Eli, and would be trained in the daily service of the Tabernacle.

The Bible clearly speaks to parents, that each and every child is a gift from God and the parents are responsible unto the Lord for how they raise their children.

Like Hannah, it is imperative that we realize God created each baby and He has a purpose, He has a calling for each one.

As a mother, it is my duty and my privilege, to care for, to nurture, to bring up each child unto God, for they belong to Him.

Hannah’s story is about understanding that God is Sovereign, and He can be trusted completely.

Her son Samuel grew into a man of God who lead the nation of Israel for many years and was the man who anointed both King Saul and King David.

His relationship with God was a personal daily part of his life.

Hannah understood God granted her a son and he belonged to God.

Each person is God’s creation.

Psalm 127:3 KJV — Lo, children are an heritage of the LORD: and the fruit of the womb is his reward.

Therefore, each parent should be continually seeking His guidance, His Word, and His discernment as to how to raise the child in their care.

We should also understand, we are God’s and our lives are to be lived in service to Him.

Hannah never forgot her son.

1 Samuel 2:19 NKJV — Moreover his mother used to make him a little robe, and bring it to him year by year when she came up with her husband to offer the yearly sacrifice.

Hannah continued to show her son all love and to live for the Lord.

Her story inspires us to value the individual, for all belong to Him.

Dear Lord Jesus,

Thank You for Hannah and the previous son You gave her. Thank You for this example of a mother choosing to give her son back into Your hands. It reminds me of Mary and how she too had to give You up. What a wonderful sacrifice for all of mankind! Lord, thank You for choosing to die for our sins. Please help me to choose to die daily to my self and to serve You. Lord, I want to follow Hannah’s example and always remember each of our children belong to You alone. To honor You in the way I teach and love them. Lord, that they would follow that example in the way they love and teach their children. Please let us be people who follow after You in all our ways. Thank You, Jesus. Amen.