101 | Listening for Another Voice: Call | George Hinman
Listening for Another Voice | Call
John 15:16 & 1 Samuel 3:1-18
April 15, 2018
Introduction: The prophet Samuel served God during a critical hinge point in the history of God’s people, the nation of Israel. During Samuel’s life, the Hebrew people will reject God as their ruler and demand to have a king like all of the nations around them. Samuel is called upon to go and anoint Saul to become Israel’s first king. Later, as Saul and the people drift further from listening to God, Samuel is called upon to anoint David as Saul’s successor although David is but a young boy at the time. In our scripture this week, we learn that Samuel was the perfect instrument for God to use in calling David since Samuel himself had heard the calling of God at a young age. If you are unfamiliar with Samuel, we recommend that you read Samuel’s story from the beginning of the book of First Samuel, but for those who are unable to do that, it is important to know that Samuel’s birth was God’s answer to the prayer of Hannah, Samuel’s until-then childless mother, who fulfilled her promise to dedicate her firstborn son to the lifelong service of God. Keeping her promise, Samuel was presented to the chief priest, Eli, as soon as he was weaned. Samuel serves at the temple under Eli’s direction as this passage begins.
Prayer: Lord speak to us through the study of your word and tune our ears and hearts to more clearly hear your call to us. Grant us a deeper understanding of our identity in you and your purpose for our lives. May our discussion bring you glory. Amen.
Read: John 15:16 & 1 Samuel 3:1-18
Review: Have you been able to use what you know about Jesus when talking to others (or yourself)?
1. What call did Samuel hear? What did he think he heard? Who did he go to about it?
2. The Lord’s message to Samuel was not happy news for Eli. (For the background on Eli’s sons see 1 Samuel 2:12-17.) What did Samuel do with what he heard from God?
3. God tells us what he wants us to know in many ways. In what ways has the Lord ‘spoken’ in your life? (for example: the Bible, inner voice, other Christians’ words, writings or actions)
4. Read John 15:16 with Ephesians 1:11-12; 2:10. What is God’s purpose in calling us?
5. Where have you been confused by a call? What is helpful to you in your confusion? Where do you go with your questions?
6. God calls us first before we call to Him. How will this truth encourage you this week?
Application: This week set aside some time alone with God. Be prepared to share with your group any guidance you receive through this time of discernment.
Pray: Lord, as we depart grant us attentiveness to your calling this week and help us have the courage to respond. Amen.