You are about to embark on a wonderful journey as you read of some of the most familiar people in the Old Testament. You will read in 1 Samuel of Samuel, King Saul, and David. The lessons you can learn from them will be seen in the way God worked in their lives and the plan God had for each of them. You will see the need to have a personal relationship with the Lord and to follow His laws and instructions. God places high priority to prayer, belief, and obedience.
1 Samuel 1 - God introduces us to Samuel by bringing us into the intimate concerns of Samuel's parents, Elkanah and Hannah. Elkanah had married two wives (a practice allowed by God during Old Testament days). One wife, Peninnah, had several children while Hannah was barren. Hannah was heartbroken that she could not get pregnant, and though Elkanah sought to encourage her she felt the need to cry out to God for His willingness to give her a son. She promised to "loan him" back to God. God was pleased to grant her request and she fulfilled her promise in dedicating her son, Samuel, to the Lord and literally gave him to the priest, Eli, to serve in the tabernacle. (It is not uncommon for some translations to use the word "temple" when speaking of the "tent of meeting," the tabernacle. The actual Temple would not be erected until the days of Solomon).
1 Samuel 2 - Though Hannah had just given her son to the Lord she still rejoiced that God had answered her prayer. Samuel would grow up with Eli and serve him. In the meantime God showed His disfavor with Eli for his allowing his sons to live immoral lives and despise the priestly work they were ordained to do. God predicted that these two men would die in one day.
1 Samuel 3 - One of the most familiar accounts in Samuel's life is seen here when God called to him in the middle of the night. Samuel thought Eli had called and came to him each time to see what he wanted. It wasn't until the third time the Eli realized it was God who was calling Samuel and he instructed him to reply, "Speak Lord, for your servant is listening." Samuel did respond and God spoke to him about the judgment He would bring on Eli's sons.
We can learn from Samuel that God does "speak in the night." When you wake up unexpectedly in the dark hours of the night pay attention. God may have a word of instruction, encouragement, comfort, or admonition for you to heed.