Summary: The Birth of Samuel - (Powerpoint slides to accompany this talk are available on request – email: firstname.lastname@example.org)
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.