Bible Society of South Africa
Louise Gevers

Walking with God – Day 13

Walking with God as a servant: Samuel

Bible text(s)

Samuel at Shiloh

18In the meantime the boy Samuel continued to serve the LORD, wearing a sacred linen apron. 19Each year his mother would make a little robe and take it to him when she accompanied her husband to offer the yearly sacrifice.

1 Samuel 2:18-19GNBOpen in Bible reader

There is something very special and touching about this description of the young Samuel ministering in the temple. Perhaps, in part, it is because we know how much Hannah yearned and prayed for this precious child, and can imagine the love and pride that went into that little robe each year; but perhaps a more real aspect is the immensity of the role in which he was being trained by Eli, as he “ministered before the LORD” (1 Samuel 3:1), a miniature priest.

Young children can devote themselves to an important task seriously and we may have special memories of our children dressed in Dad’s army boots, or Mom’s high heels, “fixing” an appliance or stirring soup, as carefully as any grownup; so Samuel, raised with no distractions and born as a result of Hannah’s fervent prayers, “continued to grow in stature and in favour with the LORD and with men” (1 Samuel 2:26).

1 Samuel 3:1 says, “In those days the word of the LORD was rare; there were not many visions,” but one night Samuel heard God call him audibly. God appeared to him and told him of his anger against Eli’s family and the judgement that he was soon going to implement. What a difficult task it was for Samuel to tell Eli of this devastating proclamation from God, but it undoubtedly proved his commitment to God. From then on, Samuel became known as God’s servant throughout Israel and learnt increasingly about God as He revealed himself to him through his word. “The LORD was with Samuel as he grew up, and He let none of his words fall to the ground.” (1 Samuel 3:19)

The death of Eli and his sons, who had shown no regard for God that they had even removed the Ark of the Covenant from the Most Holy Place to take into battle, marked the end of the dark, semi-chaotic time of the judges and opened the way for Samuel’s ministry to the Israelites, which brought about rebirth of worship. Samuel gave clear guidelines when the Israelites repented and sought God. He also interceded with God for them and led with integrity: “If you are returning to the LORD with all your hearts, then rid yourselves of the foreign gods and the Ashtoreths and commit yourselves to the LORD and serve Him only, and He will deliver you out of the hands of the Philistines.” (1 Samuel 7:3)

Samuel’s life shows the importance of being set apart for God’s purposes. His close relationship with God from an early age moulded him over time to be priest, judge, prophet and counsellor to the people; God also chose him to anoint the first two kings of Israel, Saul and David. Throughout his life, he focused unfalteringly on the LORD and served him faithfully and obediently in everything.

Bible Society of South Africav.4.21.9
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