Christian History

Introduction to Samuel

Samuel played a key role in the narrative, in the transition from the biblical judges to the institution of a kingdom under Saul, and again in the transition from Saul to David. Let us know more about Samuel and the major events that happened in his life.

SamuelName: Samuel means the Name of God

Family: Elkanah (Father), Hannah (Mother), Abijah, Joel (Son)

Personality:

  • Obedient
  • Insightful
  • Wise
  • Faithful

Major Events in Samuel’s Life

Samuel was born after his mother fervently prayed for a son. He was pledged to serve at the tabernacle as a boy by his parents. He was called by God into lifelong ministry in a very personal way. He was also to become the final judge and the first true prophet in Israel.

At the age of thirty, Samuel began traveling an annual circuit through Bethel, Gilgal, Mizpah, and then back to his hometown of Rama. He would act as judge in each city between accused and accusers.

Samuel was in the care of the priest Eli. He eventually received a vision foretelling the fall of Eli’s house. Samuel was woken up three times in the night by a voice who he thought was Eli. Each time he went to Eli, asking him if he called Samuel, the first two times Eli said no and sent Samuel back to bed. The third time Eli figured out God was speaking of Samuel and told him so, thus causing Samuel to receive the vision of Eli’s family’s downfall.

After Samuel became an adult, he helped inspire the Israelites to have a great victory over the Philistines. The Israelites eventually wanted a king they could see, despite God presiding over them. They went to Samuel, who was now a well-known prophet, and asked him to install a king for them. Samuel got angry and he rejected their proposal, citing it as blasphemous in front of God. However, God told Samuel to anoint a man named Saul and crowned him king of Israel.

Saul proved himself by leading the Israelites in a successful campaign against the Ammonites. After this, Samuel stopped leading the Israelites.

Eventually, Samuel reappeared and rebuked Saul for his growing arrogance and a couple instances of defying God’s wishes and saying that God has rejected him as king. Saul did the sacrifice to God before a battle without permission, Samuel, and only Samuel, was allowed to do this. Saul also told the people to spare the king of the Amalekites and keep their valuables after defeating them in battle. The Israelites had been ordered by God to spare and take nothing from the Amalekites due to them defying the Israelites in the past.

Samuel secretly anointed David as king and he removed himself from the public eye after this, only reappearing at the sanctuary of Naoith. He died, but Saul spoke with his spirit through a medium, and Samuel once again said that God had removed his blessing for Saul to be king. Samuel was buried at his house in Ramah and his death caused great mourning in Israel.

There are a lot of things we can learn from the life of Samuel, and one of those is that we may allow other things or people to occupy the throne of our hearts, but God will always remain sovereign and He will never accept usurpers to His authority in the lives of His subjects.

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