Teenagers In The Bible

Christians can often quote in youth groups 1 Timothy 4:12, about not letting others look down upon others for their youth. However, not often do youth groups or pastors highlight how young some of the biblical heroes were when they exercised moments of great faith. 

Whether you’re 9 or 29, or your child is, these figures can exemplify how you or they can live a life for Christ, even at an early age. 

Although we remember most of the well-known people in the Old Testament because of the things they did as adults, we can sometimes discover hints about what these remarkable people were like in their teens. In fact, discovering the decisions and choices they made while growing up may help you in living your life today.

Teenagers In The Bible


Born to Abraham and Sarah when they were in their old age, Isaac was a child of promise. Although the scriptures do not give his exact age, they say he was a “lad” when he accompanied his father Abraham and was prepared to become a sacrifice (Genesis 22:3–19). He learned from his father to follow the Lord’s guidance and show faith; then Isaac’s life was preserved.


After being discovered as a babe in the bulrushes and taken to the palace to be raised as a prince, Moses received a first-class education (see Acts 7:22). In his teens, he may have been taught to read and write Egyptian.


Samuel was born as a gift from the Lord to his mother Hannah. She promised to give him to the Lord to be raised by the priest Eli. Samuel grew and served, and when he was about 12 years old, he was awakened by the voice of the Lord calling to him in the night (see 1 Samuel 3:4–10). Even as a boy, Samuel learned to listen to the voice of the Lord. This began his preparation to become a prophet.


Ruth was young when her first husband died. Rather than return to her family, Ruth chose to go with her mother-in-law and accept what she had been taught about the God of Israel. She said to Naomi, “Intreat me not to leave thee, or to return from following after thee: for whither thou goest, I will go; and where thou lodgest, I will lodge: thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God” (Ruth 1:16). Ruth married again and became the great-grandmother to King David, the line in which Jesus Christ was eventually born.


Joseph was about 17 when his older brothers sold him to traders who took him as a slave to Egypt. Even in such circumstances, Joseph was blessed. Joseph did a good job for Potiphar, the man who bought him, and everything Joseph worked at prospered (see Genesis 39:3–4). Joseph continued to work hard and was loyal to his master. Despite false charges and accusations, Joseph eventually rose to become a leader in Egypt second only to Pharaoh. His success put him in a position to help his own family during difficult times.


After his family and people were captured and taken to Babylon, Daniel and three friends were brought to serve in the palace of the king. As teenage boys, they refused to eat the sacrificial meat and drink the wine that those in the palace ate. They kept the commandments and were given knowledge and skill. In Daniel 1:20, it says that the king found these four “ten times better than all the magicians and astrologers that were in all his realm.”


David was the youngest of eight sons who lived in Bethlehem. While a boy, he proved his courage by saving his father’s sheep from attack by a lion and a bear. While still a teen, David was chosen by the prophet Samuel to be a king (see 1 Samuel 16:12–13). At first, Samuel thought David’s older brother was the one whom God would choose because he was tall and well-built, but the Lord said to the prophet that it was the boy David who was to be made king. Samuel was told, “The Lord seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart” (1 Samuel 16:7).

When did the men and women of the Old Testament begin preparing for a lifetime of service to the Lord? From the scriptures we find that it was when they were young. When you are in your teens, you are old enough to learn about the Lord and do His will. As the prophet Alma said to his son Helaman, “O, remember, my son, and learn wisdom in thy youth; yea, learn in thy youth to keep the commandments of God” (Alma 37:35). Instead of waiting until you’re an adult, right now is the perfect time to start living a righteous life.

Teenagers In The Bible

1 Timothy 4:12 ESV / 193 helpful votes 

Let no one despise you for your youth, but set the believers an example in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, in purity.

2 Timothy 2:22-26 ESV / 148 helpful votes 

So flee youthful passions and pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace, along with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart. Have nothing to do with foolish, ignorant controversies; you know that they breed quarrels. And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but kind to everyone, able to teach, patiently enduring evil, correcting his opponents with gentleness. God may perhaps grant them repentance leading to a knowledge of the truth, and they may come to their senses and escape from the snare of the devil, after being captured by him to do his will.

1 Corinthians 10:13 ESV / 83 helpful votes 

No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.

Isaiah 40:30-31 ESV / 69 helpful votes 

Even youths shall faint and be weary, and young men shall fall exhausted; but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.

2 Timothy 1:7 ESV / 51 helpful votes 

For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.

1 Peter 5:7 ESV / 46 helpful votes 

Casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.

Ecclesiastes 11:9 ESV / 45 helpful votes 

Rejoice, O young man, in your youth, and let your heart cheer you in the days of your youth. Walk in the ways of your heart and the sight of your eyes. But know that for all these things God will bring you into judgment.

2 Kings 15:2 ESV / 41 helpful votes 

He was sixteen years old when he began to reign, and he reigned fifty-two years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Jecoliah of Jerusalem.

Genesis 4:7 ESV / 35 helpful votes 

If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin is crouching at the door. Its desire is for you, but you must rule over it.”

Titus 2:6 ESV / 32 helpful votes 

Likewise, urge the younger men to be self-controlled.

Proverbs 22:6 ESV / 30 helpful votes 

Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.

2 Chronicles 26:3 ESV / 30 helpful votes 

Uzziah was sixteen years old when he began to reign, and he reigned fifty-two years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Jecoliah of Jerusalem.

Matthew 4:1-25 ESV / 21 helpful votes 

Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. And after fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. And the tempter came and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, command these stones to become loaves of bread.” But he answered, “It is written, “‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’” Then the devil took him to the holy city and set him on the pinnacle of the temple …

Titus 3:3 ESV / 17 helpful votes 

For we ourselves were once foolish, disobedient, led astray, slaves to various passions and pleasures, passing our days in malice and envy, hated by others and hating one another.

Ecclesiastes 12:1-14 ESV / 17 helpful votes Helpful Not Helpful

Remember also your Creator in the days of your youth, before the evil days come and the years draw near of which you will say, “I have no pleasure in them”; before the sun and the light and the moon and the stars are darkened and the clouds return after the rain, in the day when the keepers of the house tremble, and the strong men are bent, and the grinders cease because they are few, and those who look through the windows are dimmed, and the doors on the street are shut—when the sound of the grinding is low, and one rises up at the sound of a bird, and all the daughters of song are brought low— they are afraid also of what is high, and terrors are in the way; the almond tree blossoms, the grasshopper drags itself along, and desire fails, because man is going to his eternal home, and the mourners go about the streets

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