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God speaks to young Samuel

1 Samuel 2:1-4:22
Young Samuel thinks Eli is calling him but it is God's voice he hears in the night.
Contributed by Sweet Publishing
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Young Samuel grew up serving God at the Tabernacle. – Slide 1
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Every year his parents Elkanah and Hannah would travel from Ramah to visit him and his mother would bring him a new coat. Eli blessed Elkanah and his wife and asked God to give them other children to take the place of Samuel who had been given to the Lord. The Lord gave Hannah three sons and two daughters. – Slide 2
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Eli was now old and growing blind. His two sons, Hophni and Phinehas, were priests. However they had no respect for God or Eli. – Slide 3
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Whenever anyone offered a sacrifice, Eli’s sons would send over a servant with a three-pronged fork to take some of the meat. – Slide 4
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God saw their contempt for His offerings as a serious matter. They also abused their position by misbehaving with the women who assisted at the entrance of the Tabernacle. – Slide 5
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Eli warned them, ‘I have been hearing bad reports about the wicked things you are doing. You must stop, my sons! If someone sins against another person, God can mediate for the guilty party. But if someone sins against the Lord, who can intercede?’ But Eli’s sons wouldn’t listen to their father. – Slide 6
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Meanwhile, Samuel grew taller and in favour with the Lord and with the people. Samuel was sleeping in the Tabernacle near the Ark of God. Suddenly the Lord called out, ‘Samuel!’ – Slide 7
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He got up and ran to Eli. ‘Here I am. Did you call me?’ ‘I didn’t call you,’ Eli replied. ’Go back to bed.’ So he did. – Slide 8
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Then the Lord called out again, ‘Samuel!’ – Slide 9
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Again Samuel got up and went to Eli. ‘Here I am. Did you call me?’‘I didn’t call you, my son,’ Eli said. ‘Go back to bed.’ – Slide 10
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Samuel did not know God was calling his name as the Lord had never spoken to him before. He went back to bed. The Lord called a third time, and once more Samuel got up and went to Eli. – Slide 11
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‘Here I am. Did you call me?’ Eli realised it was the Lord who was calling Samuel. So he said, ‘Go and lie down again, and if someone calls again, say, “Speak, Lord, your servant is listening.”’ – Slide 12
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The Lord came and called as before, ‘Samuel! Samuel!’ – Slide 13
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Samuel replied, ‘Speak, your servant is listening.’ The Lord said to Samuel, ‘I am about to do a shocking thing and carry out all my threats against Eli and his family. – Slide 14
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‘Judgment is coming upon his family forever, because his sons are blaspheming God and he hasn’t disciplined them.’  Samuel stayed in bed until morning, then got up and opened the doors of the Tabernacle. He was afraid to tell Eli what the Lord had said to him. – Slide 15
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Eli called Samuel and insisted he tell him everything God had said. So Samuel told Eli everything.‘It is the Lord’s will,’ Eli replied. ‘Let Him do what He thinks best.’ – Slide 16
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At that time the Philistine army had defeated the Israelites in battle. So they sent men to Shiloh to bring the Ark of the Covenant to them to take into battle. Hophni and Phinehas, the sons of Eli, were with the Ark of the Covenant of God. It was not something God had told them to do. – Slide 17
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They went into battle against the Philistines again. 30,000 Israelite soldiers died that day. The survivors turned and fled to their tents. The Ark of God was captured, and Hophni and Phinehas, the two sons of Eli, were killed. – Slide 18
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Eli was waiting beside the road to hear the news of the battle. A messenger told him how the battle had been lost, the Ark of the Covenant captured and Eli’s sons killed. Eli fell backward from his seat in shock, broke his neck and died. – Slide 19
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The wife of Phinehas was pregnant. When she heard the news her husband was dead she went into labour but died in childbirth. The baby lived and was called Ichabod (which means ‘Where is the glory?’), for she said, ‘Israel’s glory is gone.’The Lord continued to appear at Shiloh and gave messages to Samuel at the Tabernacle. – Slide 20
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