4-The Mystery of Childhood


Part 4: Samuel

God’s people had lived happily in Egypt for long time and were happy. But sadly everything suddenly changed. A new Pharaoh—who was like a king—ruled the country and he did not like the people of God. God saw what was happening and decided they should leave Egypt. He called Moses to lead them to another land that would become their very own country. So soon after they started a long journey toward the promised land. Along the way they had all kinds of adventures, and sometimes they had to walk through hot areas called deserts where they couldn’t find water to drink or food to eat, but God did miracles, like making water come out of rocks, and He also dropped from heaven a food, called “manna,” that was like bread, to fill their tummies

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Building the tabernacle – Public Domain – Compliments Vista Church of Christ

During the long journey God told Moses to build a tent-like-church called a tabernacle so that when they traveled they could pack it up and take it with them, and when they stopped they could put it up quickly. God also chose a man, called a high priest, to be their teacher. Much later when they reached the “Promised Land,” they set up the tabernacle at a place called Shiloh. At this time it had a high priest whose name was Eli.

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One day a woman named Hannah came to the tabernacle holding a little boy by the hand. When she saw Eli she came to him and said, “Do you remember me?”

Eli thought a while and finally he said, “Of course, You were the lady who came here about five years ago, and you knelt down all by yourself and prayed that God would give you a child to raise for Him, and you also promised that if God would answer your prayer, you would give your child back to Him so that he could serve in the tabernacle.”

Hannah smiled, “I’m glad you remembered, because God answered my prayer and now I must do what I promised Him. So here he is. I will miss him so very much, and he will miss his Mama, but I know that you’ll take good care of him and teach him carefully.”

Eli looked kindly at the Mama and the little boy. “I promise that I will do my very best. But what is his name?”

“His name is Samuel which means, “asked of the Lord.”

“Dear lady,” Eli said as tears came to his eyes, “How precious it is to see that God answered your prayer, and may He bless you for keeping your promise.”

The Mama looked at her little son whom she loved so very much, and almost changed her mind about leaving him, but in her heart she knew that a promise—especially one that is made to God—must always be kept. She bit her lip hard to keep from crying, hugged him one last time, and put his small hand into the strong hand of Eli. Then she turned around and left the tabernacle.

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Samuel teaching – Public Domain – Courtesy of Christian Image Source

Once she was all by herself and hidden by some trees she let out all the tears that she’d kept inside of her. Her husband came to her and took her into his arms and wiped away her tears. Bravely, they both started their journey home. As they walked they felt comforted little by little and soon they began to talk cheerfully about their precious son who would learn all about God while serving Him in the tabernacle.

Hanna knew deep down in her heart that Samuel would be happy with Eli, and that he would also make old Eli happy in return. She also knew, deep down in her heart, that he would grow up to be a great man of God and leader of His people.


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