We Need Each Other
I. WHAT is actually HAPPENING here. (v.1-21)
A. A TIME of TRANSITION. (v.1,21)
B. A PROCESS of LEARNING. (v.7,19-21)
C. Good NEWS and BAD news. (v.11-17)
Finally we get to hear from Samuel, or at least watch him. The first two chapters (and the last two sermons) have focused on Hannah. Now we move into Samuel’s life and get a fly o the wall view of his first encounter with Yahweh. It was not what he was expecting.
1. Kid’s Question: How do you think that God talks to people?
2. What stands out to you personally about this story of Samuel hearing from God? Why?
II. WHAT Eli and Samuel TEACH us.
A. There is a DIFFERENT kind of SEEING. (v.2)
B. FLAWED people have spiritual DISCERNMENT. (v.8,13,18)
C. The PROCESS of RECOGNIZING God. (v.4-10)
D. Often TRUTH is DIFFICULT. (v.11-15; Mt. 16:25)
These stories from the Old Testament help us to reflect on our own lives and experiences. We learned from Samson’s bad example, and we can learn from the good and bad that surround the actions of Samuel and Eli. The writer is telling us something if we can slow down long enough to see and hear.
3. Why do you think the writer called attention to Eli’s near blindness? What do you think Jeff meant by “a different kind of seeing”?
4. Do you find it easy or difficult to believe that God works in flawed people? How open are you to hearing God through “those” people?
5. Where would you say you are in the process of learning to discern and hear from God? Have you had experiences when you know God spoke to you in some way?
III. LEARNING to HEAR from God. (Jer. 33:3; Jn 8:47)
A. Adopt a LISTENING POSTURE. (v.9,17; Prov. 4:20-22)
B. It takes time AND OTHERS. (v.7-9; I Sam 23:16; Acts 15:28)
C. LET God define GOOD. (Jdg. 17:6; v.18; Rom 12:1-2)
As always, we want to bring the text into our lives today. What is here that helps us learn to hear from God. Very few of us will ever hear an audible voice. Even fewer will spend their nights in the church making sure the lamp has oil. So how can we learn to be more sensitive and open to God when He speaks to us?
6. What might you need to change in your life this week to adopt a listening posture?
7. How willing are you to engage with 1 or 2 others about your own spiritual life? If youaren’t why not?
8. When has God defined “good” differently than you? What was that experience likefor you?