Train Them Up

Scripture: 1st Samuel 3:1-10

Key Verse: And the Lord came and stood, calling as at other times, “Samuel! Samuel!” And Samuel said, “Speak, for your servant hears.” (v. 10)

Observation: Samuel was the answer to his mother’s (Hannah) prayer for a child. Hannah had been barren for years and received abuse from her husband Elkanah’s other wife because of her inability to have children. Hannah fulfilled her vow to give Samuel to the Lord so that as soon as he was weaned, Samuel lived and served in the temple with Eli the priest. Under Eli’s mentoring Samuel grows in stature and favor with God and man. Scripture tells us that the time came when God called Samuel by name. Samuel had been serving in the presence of Eli but now God calls Samuel specifically and begins the transition of the priesthood from Eli’s house/descendents to Samuel. There is a bit of confusion as Samuel does not immediately realize that it is God calling him and mistakenly thinks it is Eli. Eli, the good mentor that he is, finally understands what is happening and instructs his student how to properly respond. Samuel humbly submits and answers God’s call by saying, “speak, Lord, for your servant hears.”

Analysis: When people call us by name it can be comforting. Samuel eagerly jumped up each time he thought Eli was calling him and rushed to see why Eli was calling. The relationship that has been developed between these two is reflected in Samuel’s response each time he heard his name being called. We are reminded of the need for developing relationships with the younger generation(s) so that when we (the older generation) call them by name they respond with eagerness and a willingness to see why we are calling and hear what we have to say. In order to have this effect, we have to remember that it is God who knows us all by name and it is God who has called us to serve God’s self with our entire lives. Most of us are not dedicated to living continually in the temple or church building like Samuel and Eli, but each and everyone of us is called to hear and share the word of God through our service in our daily lives. God has given each one of us mentors in the faith who will lead and guide us as we minister side by side. Similarly, God has placed us in the lives of those coming after us to train the next generation of believers.

Prayer: Gracious God, we are thankful for the people who have shared the light of your word with us and have loved us enough to serve as examples we can follow to get to know you more. Grant, Lord, that we might serve as examples to those you have entrusted us to mentor. In the name of Jesus, Amen.

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