He is the last hero mentioned in Hebrews 11. A child born to a woman of faith, Samuel was brought into the house of Eli the priest according to the promise his mum made to God in 1 Samuel 1:22. He must have been told as he grew older how God blessed his mum with him after years of barrenness. I would like to think this must have made him believe and strengthened his faith in God.
Samuel was learning from Eli who was his priest and mentor. Not long into his job as a mentee, he had a call from God as he was sleeping near the ark of God. I think it’s very important for us to pay attention to where he was when God spoke.
The ark of God represents the presence of God. He didn’t go to sleep somewhere else. He chose to rest in God’s presence.
You want to hear God speak to you more? Dwell and rest in His presence
With the help of his mentor, he was able to answer appropriately to the Voice that was calling him. It’s very important for us to have an Eli in our life. No one knows everything. Not willing to submit to someone else in this regard is a sign of pride which the devil uses in deceiving us. Samuel didn’t focus on Eli’s weaknesses. He focused on his strength. It’s very important for us to understand that our leaders won’t always be perfect. They have their flaws like we all do. However we shouldn’t lose our respect for them as a result of this. If Samuel focused on Eli’s weaknesses as reflected in the lives of his kids, he wouldn’t have listened to his advice. And as a result, he would have missed what God was telling him.
Do you have an Eli in your life? If you do, do you listen to him/her?
As Samuel listened and answered his call, God gave him a very difficult message to deliver. Eli’s sons were taking meat from the sacrifices made at the altar and seducing the young women who came to the tabernacle to worship. Samuel was different. He feared and honoured God. He refused to be influenced negatively by what he was seeing around him.
The message from God to Samuel was that he should tell Eli that judgment was coming to his house as a result of the sins of his children. Have you ever found yourself in a position to deliver a bad news? Especially to people who are highly ranked than you? It isn’t the best of feelings. It takes the fear of God to go ahead with an assignment like that because you can be easily crumbled with fear.
Although he was initially afraid to tell Eli, he did go ahead to tell him when Eli asked what the message from God was. He could have lied but he didn’t because he feared God. This was his first prophecy and it certainly came to pass. As Eli and his sons left the scene, Samuel took over.
His bravery shone throughout his reign. In chapter 15 of 1 Samuel, he addressed the disobedience of king Saul and went ahead to execute king Agag. He came across as a no nonsense king. From telling Saul that he’s been dethroned, to anointing David as king, he delivered the word of God fearlessly.
When he was in Jesse’s house, he would have been surprised when God told him that none of the sons presented by Jesse was the king. He had faith in God’s leading and asked if there was anyone left. He was obedient to God. He feared God over men. He spoke up about things (1 Samuel 7:3). He wasn’t a passive leader.
In the heat of David’s persecution by Saul, Samuel was steadfast. The period of David’s wait to reign would have been troubling for Samuel too. Being the prophet who anointed David, he knew that that which God said concerning David was going to come to pass. He never went back to question God about it. He had full confidence that God was going to honour His word in due time.
Another trying time for him would have been when the Israelites requested for a king. Despite showing his disappointment in his people, he didn’t give up.
In his powerful farewell address in 1 Samuel 12, he was able to declare “my hands are clean”.
Despite pulling his weight in his ministry, his sons behaviour weren’t far from Eli’s sons. Like any parent, this must have bothered him. The bible is silent on Samuel’s reaction to his children’s behaviour but it must have been a tough time for him to see his kids behaving the way they were doing. However he went to God for advice when the people requested his sons be replaced with a king. He didn’t just think his way through it. He went into the presence of The One whose presence he learnt to dwell in. And God surely spoke and gave him direction.
What a great man of bravery, courage and faith he was!
This post surely hits home for me because some weeks back i found myself in a situation where i was to deliver a message that wasn’t the kind i felt people wanted to hear. It was very tough for me to do and i remember how i felt afterwards and how God used someone on here who didn’t even know what was going on to encourage me.
So as always i can’t finish this without making my decisions;
- The first of course will be to continue to speak as God leads.
- To dwell and rest in God’s presence.
- Not to be so busy doing ministry that i forget to take notice of what my kids are doing.
Please let me know in the comment section below if this ministered to you in any way.
I have created a separate category for this series. Please click on it to read about David, Jephthah, Samson, Barak, Gideon, Rahab, Moses, Joseph, Jacob, Isaac, Abraham and Sarah, Noah, Enoch and Abel.
I will be rounding this series up by looking at The Hero of Heroes. See you next time as we discuss who this person is and why.
God bless you!