Chapter 10: Standing Tall, Falling Hard
Timeless Truth: God uses willing hearts to serve him.
Bible Basis: 1 Samuel 1, 3, 8-10:9
Key Verse: “The Lord has filled my heart with joy. He has made me strong” (1 Samuel 2:1).
Resource: The Story: Teen Edition, The Story for Kids/Children/Little Ones: Chapter 10
Use the Table Talk questions to start a discussion around the dinner table during the week. The Living Faith activity will help your family learn to listen for God. The Extra Mile has your family watch a video about God’s lost ark and understand that the Bible isn’t filled with stories—it’s filled with truth.
Get the Point:
Preschool: God answered Hannah's prayer. God hears me pray, too.
Elementary: God answered Hannah's prayer. God hears me pray, too.
Middle School: With God on the throne of your life, you’ll be able to avoid a multitude of sin and live for Him.
High School: Knowing about God leads to failure. Knowing God helps you stand tall.
- Hannah made a very big promise to God by telling him and she would give her first son to serve him. When Samuel was born, do you think it was hard for Hannah to hand over her son to Eli at the temple?
- Have you ever made a promise so big that you didn’t want to keep it? What did you do?
- How did God reward Hannah? (She had three more sons and two daughters. Plus, she got to see Samuel grow up to mightily serve the Lord.)
- Later in chapter 10, it says the people of Israel wanted a king, even though God was supposed to be their king. God let Samuel anoint Saul to be king. If you were king, what decisions would you make? Would you order dessert to be eaten before dinner? Would you outlaw tests at school?
- Eli’s sons Hophni and Phinehas grew up in the temple, but didn’t honor God. They took for themselves what was God’s. Is there an area of your life that you’re holding onto, instead of giving it to God?
- Hophni and Phinehas knew a lot about God, but didn’t truly know, love and fear him. How can you show God that you know, love and fear him?
- What do you think it means in 1 Samuel 10:9 when it says, “God changed Saul’s heart?” How has God changed your heart?
- Saul was 30 years old when he became king of Israel. Is that too young to be king? Do you think his age played a part in Saul sinning against God?
God calling Samuel in the middle of the night is one of the most well-known stories in the Bible. When Eli finally figures out that it’s the Lord speaking to Samuel, he tells Samuel to say, “Speak, Lord, for your servant is listening” (1 Samuel 3:9). What great advice! The Lord wants us to be ready and eager to hear him anytime—day or night.
Construct an old-school “telephone” by using plastic or paper cups, string and tape. Kite string or yarn works well. Once you gather the needed materials, poke a small hole in the bottom of each cup with a pencil. Thread the string through each hole, tie a large knot and then tape the knot on the bottom of the inside of the cups. When you pull the string tight, you’ll be able to hear each other when one person speaks softly into the cup and another person listens with the cup to his ear. See if you can say special messages to each other around the corner of a wall or down the stairs. Put the string under furniture or through the banister and see if it works. How long can you make the string and still communicate with each other?
When you’re done experimenting, ask:
- What was the hardest part of communicating using the old-fashioned telephone?
- God doesn’t speak to us through cups (although he could). What ways does God speak to us today? (Through the Bible; through godly advice from parents or pastors; through our prayers; through circumstances.)
- Because of the way that God communicates with us today, does it make reading the Bible and going to church more important? How can you make these two activities more of a priority in your life?
- What do you think you’d do if you heard a voice in the night calling your name?
- What do you think God wants you to do for him?
In this part of The Story, the Philistines defeat Israel in battle, kill 30,000 soldiers (including Eli’s sons Hophni and Phinehas) and capture the Ark of God (1 Samuel 4:10-11). Although King David brought the Ark back to Jerusalem (2 Samuel 6), it was eventually lost. Movies, including Raiders of the Lost Ark, have been made regarding the quest to find God’s lost ark. To see what the ark may have looked like, go to youtube.com and look up “Ark of the Covenant,” and watch the video by Howard Conder that is 2:01 long. For older children, the 5:46 long video on youtube.com called “Ark of the Covenant -- Lost or Hidden Away” discusses where the Ark is now. Discuss as a family what you learn. Does this video give you more faith that what the Bible says is real?