Jesus Without Language

Kid's Ministry & Sunday School Resources

Young Samuel (1 Samuel 3) | Story

This passage is a short story and quite a straightforward message. Samuel is called, but he doesn’t recognise the voice and needs the help of an older believer in learning how to respond.

This retold version of the Bible passage is supplied for inspiration, feel free to omit or embellish to give it your personal voice.

Main Passage : 1 Samuel 3:1-10

Hannah had left young Samuel at the Shiloh temple with the priest Eli. The temple became Samuel’s home. He slept there, ate there, and spent his days helping Eli with various jobs and learning about the God he served. As Eli got older, he started to lose his sight and needed Samuel to do more and more jobs. Eli started sleeping in a small side room and asked Samuel to sleep near the ark to protect it. And that’s where we find Samuel.

It had been a long, warm day and young Samuel was laid on a cushion fast asleep. The last thing he had heard as his eyes closed was Eli softly snoring from the side room. He was woken by a voice calling out. Samuel jumped! Was that his name he’d heard? Did Eli need him? Samuel quickly rubbed the sleep from his eyes and ran, his bare feet echoing each slap against the cold stone floor.

“Eli, Eli,” he called, “I’m coming!” However, when he reached the room, Eli was sleeping. Samuel shook him gently. “Eli, why did you call?” he asked. “I didn’t call,” Eli replied. “Go back and lie down.”

Samuel returned to his cushions, shaking his head, confused. Did he dream the voice? Samuel settled into a comfortable position and closed his eyes to sleep again. Moments later, he heard his name called out. This time it must be Eli! Perhaps Samuel waking him had made him thirsty?

Samuel pulled himself up again and walked to the side room. “Here I am; you called me,” he said as he entered Eli’s room, but the old man was almost asleep. “I didn’t call, my son,” Eli mumbled. “Go back and lie down.”

Was there someone else in the temple? Samuel took a lamp and raised it high to look around, but the two were alone. He lay down onto the cushions again and started at the surrounding walls. Just as his eyes started to close, he heard a voice again. “Samuel” There was no doubt this time, that voice was too loud and clear to have come from outside. It must be Eli! But it wasn’t. This time, Eli realised what was happening. The voice was God’s.

“Go and lie down,” he told Samuel. If he calls you, say, “Speak, Lord, for your servant is listening.” And that’s what Samuel did. He lay down, and when the voice came, he said, “Speak, Lord, your servant is listening.” Then, God spoke to him.

Samuel would hear God’s voice many times in his life. He would learn to recognise it. Samuel’s messages from God guided the people, created kings, and brought both joy and pain. God called Samuel from a young age, and his life would change the future of a nation.

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