Toxic Tabernacle

TODAY’S SPECIAL: 1 Samuel 2:12-26

TO CHEW ON: "Meanwhile the boy Samuel grew up in the presence of the Lord....And the boy Samuel continued to grow in stature and in favor with the Lord and with people." 1 Samuel 2:21, 26

Do you think it’s possible to live as a Christian in a neighborhood where you have no friends who love Jesus? What about in a school where people tease you if they find out you read the Bible, or in a family where you’re the only one who trusts in God and prays?

You would expect for little Samuel, the tabernacle, where people came to worship God, would be the easiest place in the world to get to know God. But it wasn’t. Instead, it was a place full of rebellion, disobedience and sin.

The trouble was not with Eli, the old priest, but with his sons. They had no respect for God and pretty much did as they pleased. They demanded offering meat before it was ready and had sex with the servant girls who worked near the Tabernacle. Even after Eli scolded them, they didn’t change.

Meanwhile Samuel was growing up. Every year he got stronger and taller. Every year his parents came to Shiloh with a set of bigger clothes for him.

But he never got to go home with them. Instead he stayed in that toxic tabernacle with Eli and his sons. No doubt he learned about God from Eli. But he also saw the bad things Eli’s boys were doing. Who knows, they may even have teased him when he didn’t join them in their sin. But he didn’t.

How did Samuel keep from following their example and becoming just like them? God was with him. He helped him resist temptation and stay sensitive and pure. He can do the same for you as the only Christian in your home, school or neighborhood.

PRAYER: Dear God, You know how alone I feel as a Christian in my home / school / neighborhood. Please help me always stay close to You. Amen

MORE: Lonely Christians

Do you feel lonely as a Christian? Here are some things you can do to help. Can you think of more?

1. Read your Bible and talk to God every day. He is the best friend a kid could ever have.

2. Pray for a Christian friend.

3. Find Christians friends online through Christian websites (but only with your parents’ permission and supervision).

4. Attend a church, Sunday School or kids’ club in your neighborhood.

5. If kids from your church don’t live in your neighborhood, invite one or two to your home for sleepovers, parties or to accompany your family on special outings.

6. If there is a Christian club at your school, join it.

Can you think of more?

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