Just when You
. . . You Learn
IN APPROX. 1105 B.C., in an obscure part of
the Middle East, there lived a woman who
was barren, unable to conceive a child. One
often finds barren women depicted in the
Bible; each one provides an important object
In this case, the woman's name was Hannah.
And she was so distressed over her condition,
that one day she cried out to God for help.
The Bible says, "And she was in bitterness of
soul, and prayed unto the LORD, and wept sore.
And she vowed a vow, and said, O LORD of
hosts, if thou wilt indeed look on the affliction
of thine handmaid, and remember me, and not
forget thine handmaid, but wilt give unto thine
handmaid a man child, then I will give him unto
the LORD all the days of his life, and there shall
no razor come upon his head." 1 Sam. 1:10-11
And the Lord remembered her . . .
Hannah's was an amazing prayer when one
considers that she was vowing to give away the
very thing she wanted most. Perhaps it was
her sacrificial attitude that prompted God to
greatly bless her: "Wherefore it came to pass,
when the time was come about after Hannah
had conceived, that she bare a son, and CALLED
HIS NAME SAMUEL, saying, Because I have
asked him of the LORD." 1 Sam. 1:20
Hannah finally had what she had always
wanted. And to her credit, she didn't forget her
end of the vow. Within a few years she and
Samuel visited Eli, the temple priest at that time.
Hannah told Eli "For this child I prayed; and
the LORD hath given me my petition which I
asked of him: Therefore also I have lent him to
the LORD; as long as he liveth he shall be lent to
the LORD. And he worshipped the LORD there"
(1 Sam. 1:27). And so Hannah returned home,
leaving the child Samuel behind and "the child
did minister unto the LORD before Eli the priest."
1 Sam. 2:11
Eli's mistake . . .
Now, Eli was no lonely fatherless man who had
suddenly inherited the son he always wanted. In
the Bible, priests had wives, and Eli had two
grown up sons of his own.
However, they were nothing to be proud of.
Eli had done a terrible job of raising them. The
Bible says, "Now the sons of Eli were sons of
Belial; they knew not the LORD." 1 Sam. 2:12
Eli's sons worshipped Belial, the neighborhood
heathen god--the devil in disguise. Satan's idea
of Belial worship meant casting one's baby into
the fire. Nothing good ever came of worshipping
Belial. Nothing good came of Eli's sons.
Eli's sons were so wicked that they even
performed blatant sexual acts in the temple.
What a contrast those two sons were to
Samuel: "Wherefore the sin of the young men
was very great before the LORD....But
Samuel ministered before the LORD." 1 Sam.
It should come as no surprise then, that of Eli's
sons, the Bible says, "they knew not the LORD."
Surely, the same could not be said of righteous
Samuel. Surely he knew the Lord!
Not exactly . . .
ONE NIGHT, when "Samuel was laid
down to sleep" (1 Sam. 3:3), something
strange happened. The Bible says,
"That the LORD called Samuel: and he
answered, Here am I." 1 Sam. 3:4
Now, you may not think Samuel's response
was strange; anyone being raised in the temple
under the watchful eye of a priest would
naturally say, "here am I" Lord!
However, it wasn't the Lord he was responding
to; Samuel thought Eli had called "And he ran
unto Eli, and said, HERE AM I; FOR THOU
CALLEDST ME. And he said, I called not; lie
down again. And he went and lay down" (1 Sam.
3:5). Samuel obeyed Eli, perhaps shaking his
head on the way back to bed. But this was not
the last of it. God called again:
"And the LORD called yet again, Samuel.
And Samuel arose and went to Eli, and said,
Here am I; for thou didst call me. And he
answered, I CALLED NOT, MY SON; LIE DOWN
AGAIN." 1 Sam. 3:6
The next verse tells us why Samuel still didn't
know it was God calling him:
"Now Samuel DID NOT YET KNOW THE
LORD, neither was the word of the LORD yet
revealed unto him." 1 Sam. 3:7
Samuel, whose very name alludes to the
miracle behind his conception, "did not yet know
the Lord." Samuel, who had been exposed to
the things of God since a toddler, did not know
God. Arguably, if anyone's righteousness
deserved Heaven, it was Samuel's. And yet, the
Bible says he didn't know God anymore than the
two wicked sons of Eli.
The same Hebrew word . . .
The sons of Eli "knew not the LORD" (1 Sam.
2:12). And the same was said of Samuel who
"did not yet know the LORD" (1 Sam. 3:7). If
you look up the words "knew" and "know" in
Strong's Hebrew Dictionary of the Bible, you'll
find the same meaning given to both. Both
words mean to know by personal experience. To
know the Lord, in this case, means to personally
relate to Him. Samuel may have known ABOUT
the Lord--he may have known some descriptive
facts. But he did not know God personally.
Samuel pictures the millions of religious people
today who may know something ABOUT God,
but don't know Him personally. So let's take a
closer look at Samuel and learn what it really
means to know God.
"God's gift to the world?"
Samuel's birth was a miracle of God. Thus,
many would look at that birth as proof Samuel
was a shoe-in for Heaven.
Likewise, many today among the religious--
minded are assuming they know the Lord, and
are going to Heaven simply because they were
born into a religious family.
The Jews of Jesus' day assumed the same
thing. They put a lot of stock in their Jewish
heritage; they were trusting in that heritage as a
means to Heaven. But John the Baptist warned
them: "And think not to say within yourselves,
We have Abraham to our father: for I say unto
you, that God is able of these stones to raise up
children unto Abraham." Mat. 3:9
Heritage, genealogy, or being born into the
right family, means nothing when it comes to
knowing God. Jesus Christ said, "Verily, verily,
I say unto thee, Except a man be BORN AGAIN,
he cannot see the kingdom of God." John 3:3
A person will never see Heaven unless he/she is
born again into God's family. Knowing the Lord
involves a spiritual birth that results in a
Heavenly Father/child relationship--a relationship
based on trust and obedience.
To be born again, you must trust Jesus Christ,
receive Him as your Saviour and make Him your
Lord. "But as many as received him, to them
gave he power to become the sons of God, even
to them that believe on his name: Which were
born, NOT OF BLOOD, nor of the will of the
flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God." John
The term "NOT OF BLOOD" refers to those
who are trusting in their heritage or genealogy--
their heritage won't save them. How about you?
Do you claim to know the Lord? On what basis?
Have you been born again into God's family?
Ministering to God?
Samuel ministered to God, and, yet, he still
didn't know the Lord. Imagine all the poor misled
souls, in our day and age, who assume they
know God because they serve Him diligently.
You may not think it's possible to serve God
without knowing Him. But the following passage
says it all. Jesus warned, "Not every one that
saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the
kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of
my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to
me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not
prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have
cast out devils? and in thy name done many
wonderful works? And then will I profess unto
them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that
work iniquity." Mat. 7:21-23
How about you? Do you claim to know the Lord
simply because you are ministering to Him in
some way? The persons you just read about
were trusting in their "many wonderful works,"
and yet in the end, they obviously didn't truly
know the Lord--the Lord didn't even know
Better than others?
In an earthly sense, Samuel was "better" than
the sons of Eli, and yet he didn't know God any
more than they did. How many today are
erroneously trusting in their presumption that
they are better than most? And yet, in God's
eyes, there is no such thing as better, "For ALL
HAVE SINNED, and come short of the glory of
God" (Rom. 3:23). You see, no one can claim to
be better, because, "As it is written, THERE IS
NONE RIGHTEOUS, NO, NO ONE." Rom. 3:10
We ALL need the Saviour. Jesus once
encountered some self-righteous Jews who
thought they were better than a certain group of
Galilaean "sinners." He told them, "Suppose ye
that these Galilaeans were sinners above all the
Galilaeans, because they suffered such things?
I tell you, Nay: but, EXCEPT YE REPENT, YE
SHALL ALL LIKEWISE PERISH." Luke 13:2-3
Those self-righteous Jews needed to repent.
We all must repent also. What about you? Do
you know the Lord, AFTER having repented of
your sin and self-righteousness, and trusting
Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour?
"In" with the man of God?
You could say Samuel was being raised "going
to church," and yet he still didn't know the Lord.
He even knew the temple priest personally.
Samuel was closer to him than the average Jew
at that time. If anyone was "in" with God's man,
it was Samuel. How many today are trusting in
the fact that they know the preacher personally?
However, it's not a matter of knowing the
preacher, priest, or minister. What counts is
knowing the Lord, Himself. What about you? Do
you know Him, or are you trusting in your
relationship with your minister? The sad fact is,
your minister won't be standing beside you on
You can know Him . . .
The Bible says, "Samuel did not YET know the
LORD." Samuel eventually knew the Lord, and
you can too. Please read the back [below] of this
pamphlet for more information concerning
salvation and knowing God personally.
IF you were to die today, are you 100% SURE
you would go to Heaven? The Bible says
YOU CAN BE SURE (1 John 5:13).
BUT FIRST, you must realize that what keeps you
from going to Heaven are your sins, because:
"...your iniquities [sins] have separated
between you and your God," Isaiah 59:2.
In fact, in God's eyes YOU ARE A SINNER: "For
all have sinned, and come short
of the glory of God;" Romans 3:23.
SECONDLY, you must realize that there is
NOTHING you can do to save yourself and earn
Heaven: "For by grace are ye saved through
faith; and that not of yourselves: it is
the gift of God: Not of works, lest any
man should boast." (Eph. 2:8-9) Baptism, good
deeds, church membership, self-righteousness are
all examples of good works that cannot save you,
because, "Not by works of
righteousness which we have done, but
according to his mercy he [Christ] saved
us," Titus 3:5.
THE ONLY WAY you can get saved is through
Jesus Christ. He said: "I am the way, the
truth, and the life: no man cometh unto
the Father, but by me." (John 14:6) THAT'S
WHY: "...while we were yet sinners, Christ
died for us." Romans 5:8-9
THEREFORE: You must REPENT (change your
mind); admit that you are a Hell deserving sinner
and can't save yourself. And call upon Christ, and
Him alone, to save you. "if thou shalt confess
with thy mouth the Lord Jesus [REPENT], and
shalt believe in thine heart [TRUST] that God
hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be
saved." Romans 10:9
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