1. If God gave Hannah a son, what would she do? What would the child be? Did she keep her promise?
Hannah promised that she would give her son to the Lord for his whole life, like Samson was supposed to be. The child would be a Nazarite and be dedicated to God. When the child was a few years old, Hannah brought him to the temple, just like she said she would.
2. How does the Bible describe how Samuel grew up in the Temple? Why was Samuel different than the other priests?
How was he different than Eli’s sons? When God came to Samuel, what did he tell him? 1 Samuel 2:26 “Now the boy Samuel continued to grow both in stature and in favor with the LORD and also with man.” This is the same way the Bible describes how Jesus grew up (Luke 2:52). Samuel was different because he was a child and because he was not from the line of Levi. He was from Judah. Samuel was holy to God and was righteous. Eli’s sons, Hophni and Phineas were wicked and immoral and treated the Lord with no fear. God came to Samuel and told him that he had rejected Eli’s family to be priests before him. The sons would die in the same day and the Lord would not let them continue to serve in his temple.
3. When Israel went to battle, what did they bring and why? What happened to the Ark? What happened to Dagon, the Philistine’s god?
Israel brought the Ark of the Covenant. They thought having the Ark there would give them victory. They treated God’s presence like a good luck charm. God was not feared or treated as holy before Israel. The ark was captured and Israel was defeated. When Eli heard this news, he fell over and died because losing the Ark was so terrible and shocking. When the Ark was put in the temple of the Philistine god Dagon, the idol fell over the first day and then its head and all its limbs were cut off and fell down the second day. God was showing he was the supreme God, not Dagon.
4. How did the Ark get back to Israel? What did that show? What tragedy happened when the Ark got back to Israel?
God sent plagues on the Philistines (like he did Egypt) so they put the Ark on a cart with two oxen who had never done that, and the Ark went straight back to Israel. This showed that it was really Israel’s God who was greater than the Philistine gods. When the Ark got back to Israel, 70 men looked upon the Ark and were killed. They treated God with no reverence or fear. The same problem remained; how can a sinful people live in the presence of a holy God?
5. How did God use Samuel to deliver Israel when the Philistines came against them?
Samuel told the people to put away their idols and serve Yahweh only. And they did. He brought them together and built an altar and burned sacrifices. While they were repenting before God, the Philistines attacked them. And through Samuel calling Israel to repent and making sacrifices for them, God came and defeated the Philistines with a mighty sound and made them all confused so that Israel could defeat them.
6. What does this teach us about who God is? How does this point to Jesus?
God is to be treated with fear and reverence. He will not be treated as a good luck charm. He will not allow unfaithfulness to go without being punished. God is a God who saw Hannah’s suffering and provided so much grace to her to answer her prayers. God is a God who is greater than any other god of the nations. God is a God who is holy and righteous and must be approached the way he says to.- Jesus is our prophet, priest, and king. Jesus is the one who is a faithful priest over God’s house, a faithful prophet whose words are always true, and he is the king who defeated our enemies of sin, Satan, and death. Samuel’s life points to Jesus’ ability to be our ultimate Prophet, Priest, and King. Let us worship him in awe and holiness and praise him for what he has done.