1 Samuel 3:10b
Discuss listening and recognizing. There are a lot of sounds we recognize without seeing what made them. We even have game shows based on that idea, like “Name That Tune” and “Beat Shazam.” Talk about some sounds you hear while on the road, like railroad crossing bells, horns, etc. Samuel wasn’t familiar with God’s voice when God called to him in his dream. We see that because Samuel thought Eli had called to him. But Eli knew God’s voice and was able to tell Samuel to reply to God. Talk about hearing and recognizing God’s voice. Just like we recognize the sounds we hear in the car, we should recognize God’s voice too.
Samuel was set apart for God by his mother because he was a gift from God. Eli was the priest of the time and was in charge of God’s temple. He was to raise and guide Samuel in the way of the Lord. But because he didn’t listen to God’s messenger about his own sons, God used Samuel. After Samuel told Eli God’s message, Eli proclaimed the Lord’s sovereignty.
How often have you missed God’s message and God had to use someone else or some other method to get your attention?
Eli and Samuel had many meals together and discussed God and how to serve and live in a godly manner. What are some things you think came up in those conversations? (For example: creation, the flood, wandering in the desert....) What would be their perspective of these life experiences? Think of praying before your meal. How did Eli teach Samuel to pray? Practice praying in new ways and giving God thanks. Talk about different ways you’ve heard God’s voice and how you’ve replied.
GO DEEPER: Talk about how Eli failed to raise his sons. Did he fail in raising them or did his boys choose poorly? What were the consequences for Eli and his sons?
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