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Serving God as a child

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By Arvin Kaufman

Children, too, can serve the Lord.
Jesus loves children. In the Matthew 19:14, He says: “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of Heaven belongs to such as these.”
We continue today’s story from 1 Samuel 2:18. Samuel is Hannah’s son whom she vowed to commit to the Lord when He answered her prayers.
He was now ministering before the Lord together with Eli and his two sons, Hophni and Phinehas.
Even as a little boy, Samuel conducted himself with dignity and honour before the Lord.
While Eli’s two sons who were much older and more experienced were not treating the Lord’s house in the way that they should, the Bible says the boy Samuel ministered before the Lord, even as a child, wearing a linen ephod.
In the Old Testament, clothing worn by priests of God was very important. It was chosen by God.
He commanded Moses that the priests should wear an ephod (Leviticus 8:7). This was a respectful, Holy and dignified way to dress as a priest of the Lord.
His mother, too, would make him a little robe every year and bring it to him.
And so, Samuel’s appearance was always respectful before the Lord and fitting for a priest and his duties.
The Bible says that when Hannah, Samuel’s mother, came for the annual sacrifice, Eli would bless her and her husband that God would grant them more children to take the place of Samuel whom they had dedicated to the Him.
And indeed, the Lord was gracious to Hannah again and she gave birth to three sons and two daughters. The Lord answered Hannah’s prayer again.
Meanwhile the child Samuel grew before the Lord. He grew up in the house of God, serving Him, learning about Him and walking obediently before Him, even as a little child.

Lessons
As children, there is so much we can learn from Samuel’s conduct before the Lord. His integrity in service and his willingness to leave his father and mother to serve in the house of God.
We, too, can set a good example in our communities by living respectful and dignified lives. Even as children, we can commit our lives to God, and serve Him with honour.
God is a rewarder, just like in this story He rewarded Hannah’s family with more children and He showed Samuel great favour.
As parents, we can learn to support our children’s desire to serve the Lord.
Support them and encourage them just as Hannah did with Samuel from a young age.
The Bible says in Proverbs 22:6: “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.”
Indeed, we see that Samuel grew up before the Lord and went on to become one of Israel’s greatest prophets.

Kaufman is the Author of The ABCs of God, a great book for children.

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