3 Ways Samuel’s Story Helps Us Witness to Children
- Emma Danzey Contributing Writer
- 2022 12 Apr
I remember helping lead worship for a kid’s summer camp for a week a few years back. It was a very well-established ministry and the team leading the camp did an amazing job. One night, I had the privilege of leading the staff in a special time of worship and I was able to share something that God taught me earlier that day.
In 1 Samuel 3, the Lord calls Samuel, but Samuel was young and had never heard God’s voice before. Samuel went to Eli, who eventually pointed Samuel to who was really calling Him. How does the story of Samuel help us witness to children?
1. Samuel Shows That God Can Speak to Children
Throughout 1 Samuel 3 we see the Lord call Samuel four times. The first three times, Samuel answered, “Here I am, you called me.” But he was speaking to Eli the priest. Samuel knew that He was being called, but he did not know who was speaking to Him. It turns out that it was the Lord.
Many times, we can brush off children as “too young” to have genuine faith or disqualify them because of their inexperience. However, many times we see God fulfill His plans through young people.
1 Timothy 4:12 says, “Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity.”
Matthew 19:14 says, “Jesus said, ‘Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.’”
Just before Jesus said this in Matthew 9:14, verse 13 says, “Then people brought little children to Jesus for him to place his hands on them and pray for them. But the disciples rebuked them.” Jesus welcomed little children to come to Him. It is convicting, but at times we as adults can be a hindrance to young people like the disciples because of our own pride or lack of faith that God will actually move in the hearts of little ones. Christ values children, and we should too.
2. Samuel Reveals the Importance of Adult Influences
What I love about Samuel’s story is that Eli was intentionally used by God to point Samuel to the voice of God. Samuel heard the Lord, but did not know Who was calling or what to do with it. 1 Samuel 3:9 says, “So Eli told Samuel, ‘Go and lie down, and if he calls you, say, ‘Speak, Lord, for your servant is listening.’ So Samuel went and lay down in his place.”
Eli was able to talk through what was happening with Samuel – much like when we share about Jesus’ death and resurrection with young people. They probably have a lot of questions and want to know more about who Jesus is and if He is calling them. We as adults are able to confirm the work of the Holy Spirit and affirm that child if he or she is making a genuine decision to accept Jesus into their heart.
3. Samuel Teaches Us That the Lord Will Make Himself Known to Whomever He Chooses
Samuel could have been seen as the lowest of the totem pole. He was given to Eli to serve in the priesthood as his mother Hannah promised. Eli was older and already had sons serving as priests, however they were very disobedient and deceptive. Samuel was just a young boy serving God. 1 Samuel 3:1 says, “The boy Samuel ministered before the Lord under Eli. In those days the word of the Lord was rare; there were not many visions.”
This is what is always exciting about our Lord. He chooses the unexpected to speak to and to minister through. Children may seem foolish to the world. However, it is to keep people humble and remind them that God is in charge. He is the One who does miracles and works in marvelous ways that only He can.
1 Corinthians 1:27-29 says, “But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. God chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are, so that no one may boast before him.”
What causes us to have such strong opinions about if a child can have a genuine relationship with the Lord? There is an amazing woman who was my Bible teacher at school in 2nd and 3rd grade. She was used by God to present the gospel of Jesus in many ways to our class. I believe that it was in her 2nd grade Bible class where I saw a children’s video of the crucifixion and asked Jesus to be my Savior. My life was forever changed. Some would argue that 8 years old is too young to understand, however, I had been taught a lot about God and I know that I made a personal decision. He called my name and I was His. Over the years, I understood more of what that relationship looked like and grew in maturity in the faith, but I had made a salvation decision.
What I loved about this Bible teacher was that she taught us at a high level. She washed our feet, let us put on an Easter play, went through the book What Would Jesus Do, helped us learn Scriptures, and showed videos on creationism vs evolution. She was not afraid to get us thinking and teach the Bible. She believed that the Lord would be able to work in the lives of young people. I am grateful for her obedience and faith so that the Lord could move in my own life.
Who is your “Samuel” right now? What child or children has God placed in your care and how can you share the gospel in faith and leave the results up to the Lord? May we remember Samuel as we witness to the next generation.
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Photo credit: ©Getty Images/kieferpix
Emma Danzey’s mission in life stems from Ephesians 3:20-21, inspiring young women to embrace the extraordinary. One of her greatest joys is to journey with the Lord in His Scriptures. She is wife to Drew for over two years and mom to baby Graham. Drew and Emma serve with Upstate CRU college ministry in South Carolina. Emma is an avid writer for Salem Web Network and provides articles on the Bible, life questions, and on the Christian lifestyle. Her article on Interracial Marriage was the number 1 viewed article on Crosswalk for the year 2021. All the glory to the Lord! She had the joy of hosting Her Many Hats podcast where she explored the many roles that women play while serving One God. Most recently, Emma has released her first Bible Study Book, Wildflower: Blooming Through Singleness.
Emma enjoys singing/songwriting, fitness classes, trying new recipes, home makeover shows, and drinking tea! During her ministry career, Emma recorded two worship EP albums, founded and led Polished Conference Ministries, ran the Refined Magazine, and served in music education for early childhood. Emma also had the privilege of having been a national spokesperson for Mukti Mission based out of India. Mukti has been working to restore shattered lives in India for over 120 years. You can view her articles through her blog at emmadanzey.wordpress.com