Bible Study Guides – In the Days of Samuel

July 26, 2015 – August 1, 2015

Key Text

“All Israel … knew that Samuel was established to be a prophet of the Lord.” I Samuel 3:20.

Study Help: Patriarchs and Prophets, 592–606.


“Samuel was … invested by the God of Israel with the threefold office of judge, prophet and priest. …

“[He] gathered companies of young men who were pious, intelligent, and studious. These were called the sons of the prophets.” The Signs of the Times, June 22, 1882.


  • While the Israelites as a nation still continued in a state of secularity and idolatry, what appeal did Samuel make to them? I Samuel 7:3.
  • What was the result of his appeals? I Samuel 7:4–6.
  • What did the Philistines do when they heard of the Israelites gathering in Mizpeh? I Samuel 7:7–9. How did the Lord help His people in response to their genuine repentance? I Samuel 7:10–13.

Note: “The Mighty One Who had descended upon Sinai amid fire and smoke and thunder, Who had parted the Red Sea and made a way through Jordan for the children of Israel, again manifested His power. A terrible storm burst upon the advancing host, and the earth was strewn with the dead bodies of mighty warriors.

“The Israelites had stood in silent awe, trembling with hope and fear. When they beheld the slaughter of their enemies, they knew that God had accepted their repentance.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 590, 591.


  • How was the need of true education brought to the attention of the Israelites? Deuteronomy 6:6, 7; Psalm 119:130.

Note: “The true object of education is to restore the image of God in the soul. In the beginning God created man in His own likeness. … Sin has marred and well-nigh obliterated the image of God in man. It was to restore this that the plan of salvation was devised, and a life of probation was granted to man. To bring him back to the perfection in which he was first created is the great object of life—the object that underlies every other.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 595.

  • For what purpose did Samuel establish the schools of the prophets? Malachi 2:7.

Note: “The schools of the prophets were founded by Samuel to serve as a barrier against the widespread corruption, to provide for the moral and spiritual welfare of the youth, and to promote the future prosperity of the nation by furnishing it with men qualified to act in the fear of God as leaders and counselors. …

“In Samuel’s day there were two of these schools—one at Ramah, the home of the prophet, and the other at Kirjath-jearim, where the ark then was. Others were established in later times.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 593.

  • What were the main subjects of study in those schools? Deuteronomy 6:21–25; Psalms 19:7–11; 71:22.

Note: “The chief subjects of study in these schools were the law of God, with the instructions given to Moses, sacred history, sacred music, and poetry. … In those schools of the olden time it was the grand object of all study to learn the will of God and man’s duty toward Him. … The great truths set forth by the types were brought to view, and faith grasped the central object of all that system—the Lamb of God that was to take away the sin of the world.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 593, 594.


  • How does the Law of God explain that children are influenced by their parents for good or for evil? Exodus 20:5, 6.

Note: “Those who would impart truth must themselves practice its principles. Only by reflecting the character of God in the uprightness, nobility, and unselfishness of their own lives can they impress others.

“True education is not the forcing of instruction on an unready and unreceptive mind. The mental powers must be awakened, the interest aroused. For this, God’s method of teaching provided. He who created the mind and ordained its laws, provided for its development in accordance with them. … God gave to Israel lessons illustrating His principles and preserving the memory of His wonderful works. Then, as inquiry was made, the instruction given impressed mind and heart.” Education, 41.

  • What person stands out in both the Old and the New Testament as a mother who failed to exert a positive influence on her daughters? Luke 17:32.

Note: “The wife of Lot was a selfish, irreligious woman.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 174.

“While her body was upon the plain, her heart clung to Sodom, and she perished with it. She rebelled against God because His judgments involved her possessions and her children in the ruin.” Ibid., 161.

  • Why was “all that [Achan] hath,” including his children, destroyed with Achan? Joshua 7:15, 20, 21, 25.

Note: “[Achan’s household] had not been trained and educated according to the directions given them in the great standard of the law of God. Achan’s parents had educated their son in such a way that he felt free to disobey the word of the Lord. The principles inculcated in his life led him to deal with his children in such a way that they also were corrupted. Mind acts and reacts upon mind, and the punishment, which included the relations of Achan with himself, reveals the fact that all were involved in the transgression.” Child Guidance, 234.


  • What pretext did the Israelites use in support of their plan to have a king to rule over the nation? I Samuel 8:4, 5.

Note: “The cases of abuse among the people [Israel] had not been referred to Samuel. Had the evil course of his sons been known to him, he would have removed them without delay; but this was not what the petitioners desired. Samuel saw that their real motive was discontent and pride, and that their demand was the result of a deliberate and determined purpose.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 604.

  • As Samuel prayed to the Lord about the petition of the people, what did the Lord say to him? I Samuel 8:6, 7.
  • What did the people answer to Samuel when they would not accept the admonition of the Lord? How did their mistake affect their relationship with God? I Samuel 8:19, 22.

Note: “The Lord had, through His prophets, foretold that Israel would be governed by a king; but it does not follow that this form of government was best for them or according to His will. He permitted the people to follow their own choice, because they refused to be guided by His counsel. Hosea declares that God gave them a king in His anger (Hosea 13:11). When men choose to have their own way, without seeking counsel from God, or in opposition to His revealed will, He often grants their desires, in order that, through the bitter experience that follows, they may be led to realize their folly and to repent of their sin. …

“Feeling their dependence upon God, they would be constantly drawn nearer to Him. They would become elevated and ennobled, fitted for the high destiny to which He had called them as His chosen people. But when a man was placed upon the throne, it would tend to turn the minds of the people from God. They would trust more to human strength, and less to divine power, and the errors of their king would lead them into sin and separate the nation from God.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 605, 606.


  • Why did the children of Israel believe that, for them, a monarchy would be the best form of government? I Samuel 8:19, 20. What was the real problem? Deuteronomy 1:30–32; I Samuel 10:17–19.

Note: “Internal dissensions made them [the Israelites] weak; they were continually exposed to the invasion of their heathen foes, and the people were coming to believe that in order to maintain their standing among the nations, the tribes must be united under a strong central government. As they departed from obedience to God’s law, they desired to be freed from the rule of their divine Sovereign; and thus the demand for a monarchy became widespread throughout Israel.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 603.

  • How did the people acclaim Saul, a Benjamite, as king of Israel even before he was inaugurated? I Samuel 10:20–24.
  • Why were some of the people dissatisfied with the choice of Saul, particularly since Benjamin was one of the smallest tribes? I Samuel 10:27.


1 How was the need of true education brought to the attention of the Israelites?

2 Why did God encourage Samuel to establish schools?

3 How does the Law of God explain that children are influenced by their parents for good or for evil?

4 Why were Lot’s wife and others disqualified to exert a positive influence upon their children?

5 What does God often do when people choose to go their own way contrary to His revealed will?

© 2014 Reformation Herald Publishing Association, Roanoke, Virginia. Reprinted by permission.