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Sleep Stories in the Bible: Middle of the Night DM | 1 Samuel 3:1-21

Oh how we love the story of Samuel. If you are crying out to God and saying, Lord, I’m asking you for this [and it’s a good thing], remember Hannah’s story. Be faithful, just like her, when God answers your prayer.

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Welcome to the Bible for Busy People. I’m Erica, and I’m drinking my coffee out of one of those soup style mugs this week, too. There’s just not enough, right? You turn your clocks back and you’re just not quite right for a few days, but that’s why we’re doing sleep stories in the Bible, and I’m super excited about this one.

I’m gonna tell you Samuel’s backstory at the end, so look forward to that. But right now, open your Bible, or open your Bible app on your phone, to First Samuel chapter three. It’s in the Old Testament, near the beginning of your Bible. We’re picking it up in verse one.

Meanwhile, the boy Samuel served the Lord by assisting Eli [Eli was a priest]. Now, in those days, messages from the Lord were very rare, and visions were quite uncommon. One night, Eli, who was almost blind by now, had gone to bed. The lamp of God had not yet gone out, and Samuel was sleeping in the tabernacle near the arc of God. Suddenly the Lord called out, Samuel. Yes. Samuel replied, What is it? He got up and ran to Eli. Here I am. Did you call me? I didn’t call you, Eli replied, Go back to bed. So, he did. Then the Lord called out again. Samuel. Again, Samuel got up and went to Eli. Here I am. Did you call? I didn’t call you, my son, Eli said. Go back to bed. Samuel did not yet know the Lord because he had never had a message from the Lord before. So, the Lord called a third time. [Don’t you love that he never gives up on us?] And once more, Samuel got up and went to Eli. Here I am. Did you call me? Then Eli realized it was the Lord who was calling the boy. So, he said to Samuel, Go and lie down again. And if someone calls again, say, speak Lord. Your servant is listening. That’s our takeaway verse today. So, Samuel went back to bed. [Don’t you wanna say that every day to the Lord? Speak Lord. Your servant is listening]. And the Lord came and called us before Samuel. Samuel. And Samuel replied, Speak. Your servant is listening. Then the Lord said to Samuel, I am about to do a shocking thing in Israel. I’m going to carry out all my threats against Eli and his family from beginning to end. I have warned him that judgment is coming upon his family forever because his sons are blaspheming God and he hasn’t disciplined them. So, I vow that the sins of Eli and his sons will never be forgiven by sacrifices or offerings. Such bad news for Eli, the priest. Samuel stayed in bed until morning, then got up and opened the doors of the tabernacle. As usual, he was afraid to tell Eli what the Lord had said to him. But Eli called out to him, Samuel, my son. Here I am, Samuel replied. What did the Lord say to you? Tell me everything and make God strike you and even kill you if you hide anything from me. So, Samuel told Eli everything. He didn’t hold anything back. It is the Lord’s will, Eli replied. Let him do what he thinks best. As Samuel grew up, the Lord was with him and everything Samuel said proved to be reliable, and all Israel from Dan in the North to Beersheba in the South knew that Samuel was confirmed as a prophet of the Lord. The Lord continued to appear at Shiloh and gave messages to Samuel there at the Tabernacle.

It’s a really sad story about Eli, isn’t it? But it’s a beautiful story because Samuel was a very special child. His mom is named Hannah. She’s one of the reasons I named my daughter Hannah, because she was such a woman of faith. She was married to a man who had two wives. She was one, and the other wife just kept getting pregnant and having children. But Hannah could bear no children, and she was devastated. And she cried out to the Lord in tears and said, Lord, if you give me a child, I will give him back to you. And Hannah was faithful. She kept her word and God gave her a baby. She gave that baby back to the Lord. And guess who that was? It was Samuel. And God used Samuel in a mighty way. What we’ve just read was just the beginning. So, today, if you are crying out to God and saying, Lord, I’m asking you for this, and it’s a good thing, remember Hannah’s story, and be faithful just like her when God answers your prayer.

Okay, until next time. Remember, you are really loved.

Thank you so much for listening to the Bible for Busy People. If you need prayer or you’re ready to go a little deeper in your faith, we’ve posted some resources for you in our show notes. We’d love for you to share this podcast with a friend and leave us a review. It helps us reach even more people with the hope of Jesus. This podcast is part of Purposely, a podcast network designed with practical podcasts to help you find and live in God’s purpose for your life. Find more podcasts that will recharge you at

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