Samuel’s story is significant from beginning to end. He is the final judge before the people of Israel get their earthly king. Samuel was the only son of Hannah. Hannah made a vow to God that if he would give her a son then she would give him back to the Lord as a Nazirite (just like Samson). She stood by her vow and after Samuel was weened he went to serve God with the priest, Eli. While there, God called Samuel to be a judge of Israel (1 Samuel 3). At the end of Samuel’s life one of the most significant turning points in the story of the people of God happened: they demanded a king. That’s where we pick it up in 1 Samuel 8:
Passage: 1 Samuel 8
Big Idea: The people of God reject God as their king.
Reading: 1 Samuel 8:1-9
Discuss: What does Samuel do near the end of his life (v 1-3)? What do you think is important about this? Why? How is this different from the way that other people became judges? What was the response of the people (v 4-5)? What did God say (v 7-9)? Why do you think is a significant turning point?Activity: Make a list of qualities or a drawing of the perfect king.
Reading: 1 Samuel 8:10-18
Discuss: What are the things that God says will happen as a result of the people demanding a king? Do you think you would have agreed to this? Why do you think that they wanted a king so bad?
Reading: 1 Samuel 8:19-22
Discuss: How do Christians today act the same way as our ancestors did in Samuel’s time?
Activity: Make a list of the areas of our lives that are supposed to look different from people who don’t follow Jesus. Kids, take a piece of paper and fold it in half. On one side draw a diagram of a Christian. One the other side, draw a diagram of someone who isn’t a Christian. What do you think would be the same and what would be different?