Summary: The Birth of Samuel - (Powerpoint slides to accompany this talk are available on request – email:


A divided home (vs 1-8).

A devout prayer (vs 9-18).

A distinguished son (vs 19-28).



• David Cameron's new Cabinet were all dining together in a very posh London restaurant,

• The waiter asked the P.M. what he wanted to eat,

• David Cameron replied; “I’ll have the roast beef please”

• The waiter then asked, “And what about the vegetables?”

• Without looking up the P.M. replied, “They will have the same!”

We all moan about our leaders – but good leadership is essential in all areas of life:

• We need good leadership in our homes,

• We need good leadership in our Churches,

• We need good leadership in our nation!

The Hebrew people (the Israelites, the Jews) experienced four types of leadership in the Old Testament:

• FIRST: From approximately 2000 to 1500 BC - Israel was led by ‘patriarchs’;

• Although technically Israel was not a nation at this point.

• What would become the nation was led by patriarchs; that is heads of families,

• i.e. Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph.

• SECOND: From approximately 1500 to 1000 BC - Israel was led by ‘prophets’

• i.e. Moses to Samuel.

• THIRD: From approximately 1000 to 500 BC - Israel was led by ‘princes’ (or kings)

• i.e. Saul through Zedekiah.

• FOURTH: From 500 years leading up to the time of Christ - Israel was led by ‘priests’

• i.e. Joshua through to Annas and Caiaphas.

Samuel the Bible book that you are beginning to studying:

• Describes that second phase of leadership:

• From prophets to princes (or kings).

• The nation was moving from a theocracy to a monarchy.

• A theocracy (God through his prophets and a series of Judges);

• To a monarchy (“People asked for a human king”)

The story of this first book is built around two main characters;

• Samuel who is the last Judge and he is born in chapter 1.

• The beginning of the book.

• And Saul who became the first king and who died in chapter 31.

• The last chapter of the book.

• Now if these are the two main characters;

• There are two more key characters in their shadows.

• In the shadow of Samuel we will find a declining Eli.

• In the shadow of Saul an inclining David.

• (The Jews still speak of King David’s reign as the golden era of peace and prosperity).


• Yet the book starts off Israel at a low point spiritually:

• We see a deterioration and decay in the nation;

Quote chapter 3 verse 1b:

“…In those days the word of the LORD was rare; there were not many visions.”

• In other words you could come to worship God;

• But it was very unusual to hear God speak!

• You might hear the voice of the priest;

• You might hear the hustle and the bustle of activity;

• But it was very rare to encounter God!

• That sadly means that most the people who went up to worship came home disappointed!

• They left as empty and godless as when they had arrived.

Yet the book starts off Israel at a low point spiritually, we see deterioration and decay in the nation;

• i.e. The priesthood was corrupt (1 Samuel 2: 12-17 & 22-26),

• i.e. The Ark of the Covenant was not at the tabernacle (1 Samuel 4:3 – 7:2),

• i.e. Idolatry was practiced (1 Samuel 7:3-4),

• i.e. The judges were dishonest (1 Samuel 8:2-3).

• So the book starts off with Israel at a low point spiritually;

• It was a period of deterioration and decay.

• Yet in time;

• Through the godly influence & leadership of Samuel the prophet and David the king;

• These conditions would be reversed.

• At the end of second Samuel we read that (2 Samuel 24:25).

• The anger of the Lord was withdrawn from Israel.


• Dr. John Geddie was a Scots-Canadian missionary;

• Who was known as "the father of Presbyterian missions in the South Seas”;

• In 1848 he pioneered missionary work in the New Hebrides islands, Aneityum (Anatom);

• And worked there for God for 24 years.

• On the tablet erected to his memory these words are inscribed:

• ‘When he landed, in 1848, there were no Christians.

• When he left, in 1872, there were no heathen’.

Wow! That is what you call having an influence on people:

• Samuel & David would lead and influence their nations;

• And through their godly influence & leadership;

• The nation’s spiritual decline would be reversed.


• In the Old Testament, when God has a special purpose for a man;

• There is often something special about his birth.

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