1 Samuel: A Saviour is Born

Sermon & Small Group Resources

This is the first sermon in our series on 1 Samuel ‘In Search of a King’. Preacher: Michael Calder. Bible Reading: 1 Samuel 1-3.

Download the Small Group Questions, Going Deeper, and Sermon Transcript (PDF).

Next Steps this Week

BIBLE READING: 1 Samuel 1:1-12

There was a certain man from Ramathaim, a Zuphite from the hill country of Ephraim, whose name was Elkanah son of Jeroham, the son of Elihu, the son of Tohu, the son of Zuph, an Ephraimite. He had two wives; one was called Hannah and the other Peninnah. Peninnah had children, but Hannah had none.

Year after year this man went up from his town to worship and sacrifice to the LORD Almighty at Shiloh, where Hophni and Phinehas, the two sons of Eli, were priests of the LORD. Whenever the day came for Elkanah to sacrifice, he would give portions of the meat to his wife Peninnah and to all her sons and daughters. But to Hannah he gave a double portion because he loved her, and the LORD had closed her womb. Because the LORD had closed Hannah’s womb, her rival kept provoking her in order to irritate her. This went on year after year. Whenever Hannah went up to the house of the LORD, her rival provoked her till she wept and would not eat. Her husband Elkanah would say to her, “Hannah, why are you weeping? Why don’t you eat? Why are you downhearted? Don’t I mean more to you than ten sons?”

Once when they had finished eating and drinking in Shiloh, Hannah stood up. Now Eli the priest was sitting on his chair by the doorpost of the LORD’S house. In her deep anguish Hannah prayed to the LORD, weeping bitterly. And she made a vow, saying, “LORD Almighty, if you will only look on your servant’s misery and remember me, and not forget your servant but give her a son, then I will give him to the LORD for all the days of his life, and no razor will ever be used on his head.”

As she kept on praying to the LORD, Eli observed her mouth. Hannah was praying in her heart, and her lips were moving but her voice was not heard. Eli thought she was drunk and said to her, “How long are you going to stay drunk? Put away your wine.”

“Not so, my lord,” Hannah replied, “I am a woman who is deeply troubled. I have not been drinking wine or beer; I was pouring out my soul to the LORD. Do not take your servant for a wicked woman; I have been praying here out of my great anguish and grief.”

Eli answered, “Go in peace, and may the God of Israel grant you what you have asked of him.”


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CONNECT: What is something - even very simply - about your Easter celebrations that you could share this coming week? Who would you like to share that with?

WARM-UP Questions

  1. If someone was to ask you what the first eight books of the Bible are about, how would you answer them?

  2. What impact does knowing someone intimately have on your relationship with them, compared to just being acquaintances? 

READ 1 Samuel 1:1-11

  1. What was the religious state of Israel at this time? What was so surprising about Elkanah and Hannah?

  2. In response to her great suffering and pain, what did Hannah do? What does this say her, and our, God?

  3. In your life, how do you respond when life becomes painful and full of hurt? How can God help us and what makes it clear that he loves us and cares for us?

  4. After pleading with God and giving birth to Samuel, why are verses 26-28 so remarkable?

  5. What does Hannah’s prayer in 2:1-11 say about God and who He is? When in your life have you seen God work in these ways? How did you react?

READ 1 Samuel 2:12-17, 22-26

  1. What does it mean for God to be jealous? How is this different to our jealousy?

  2. Why were the sins of Hophni and Phinehas especially noted here? (Note 1:3) How does Eli respond to his son’s failures?

  3. At the heart of it, what was at the root of the sins of the priests? What was Samuel doing that was different all throughout this passage?

  4. What does it mean to fear God? How can we both fear him and experience his joy and grace?

READ 1 Samuel 3:10-4:1a

  1. Why is this event so significant in this period of Israel’s history?

  2. “Our God is a God who speaks” - what difference does this reality make in our relationship with God? How do we hear God speak?

APPLY This Week: How is your trust in God, fear of God, and listening to God going?


Almighty God, you are above and in control of all things, yet you love and care for us so deeply. Thank you for your love, ultimately shown in the death and resurrection of Jesus. Help us to trust in you, to be in awe of you, and to listen to you this week and all the days of our lives. In Jesus Name, Amen.


On Your Frontline This Week: As a new school term commences, who do you see during the week that you can intentionally get to know better?

Audio and Video 

Key Resource

  • 1 Samuel For You” by Tim Chester is an excellent introduction to 1 Samuel that will be suitable for people reading at a range of levels. The guide includes helpful discussion of the content of 1 Samuel, along with plenty of practical and devotional application. Watch an introduction to the book by Tim Chester. 

Other Helpful Books, Articles, and Courses