The first twelve chapters in 1 Samuel have much to teach Christians today about how they should act. In 1 Samuel 1:27, Hannah states that God gave her the child that she prayed for. Hannah had prayed that she would have a child who would bring Israel out of its chaotic, sinful state; the fact that God answered her prayer shows that he was willing to use her to accomplish what needed to be done. Sometimes God uses miracles to accomplish things, but usually he works through a person. It is important for Christians to remember that everyone can be and is used by God. Everyone has a purpose in bringing about God’s will on earth, and prayer can be used to learn God’s will. This is why prayer is so imperative in the Christian life.
1 Samuel 2:1-10 records Hannah’s song of thanksgiving. In this song, she thanks God for giving her the child that she asked for and praises him for his goodness and strength. It is important for Christians today to also remember to give thanks to God when he is good to them and to praise him at all times.
In chapter three, God speaks to Samuel and tells him what will happen to Eli and his household. When Samuel lets Eli know what will happen in 1 Samuel 3:18, Eli says something very important: “It is the LORD; let him do what seems good to him.” This attitude is one that many people today find extremely difficult to comprehend. Most Christians would find it extremely difficult to accept the news that God intended to perpetually punish their family. However, Eli immediately accepts what will come because he knows that it is God’s will. Christians should learn from Eli and continually remind themselves that even when they are undergoing difficult times, God is with them. God always has a reason for the things that happen, but Christians today often have difficulty remembering that fact.
Chapter six gives the story of the ark returning to Israel, and verse nineteen states that the descendants of Jeconiah did not celebrate its return with the rest of the town. Because of this, God killed seventy of the town’s inhabitants. Though this entire scenario is very different than anything that would happen today, a great deal of information can still be gathered from it. This passage shows that God is holy and worthy of praise, and that anyone who does not worship him faces death. It is important for Christians to spread God’s word because anyone who does not believe in God faces eternal death.
In 1 Samuel 7:3, Samuel gives Israel a command that should still be followed. He tells the Israelites to put away their “foreign gods” and only serve the true God. Nowadays Christians usually do not sin by turning to the gods of other religions; instead, they turn towards less blatant idols such as money, power, or celebrities. As Samuel says, if people want to worship God and serve him with their entire hearts, they cannot also rely on other gods. It is necessary for Christians to ensure that they are not unknowingly putting material things before God.
In 1 Samuel 9:21, Saul believes that he is unworthy to be praised so highly by Samuel. He belongs to the humblest family in Benjamin, the humblest tribe of Israel, yet he is the man that God chose to be the first king of Israel. Just as with Hannah’s prayer, this passage shows that God can use anyone for his plans. He does not always choose the people who would seem best able to do his work; in fact, he often chooses those who seem the least worthy so that his own glory can be more easily seen. It is, again, essential for Christians today to remember that God can use anyone for his great plans.