1 Samuel 3

1 Samuel 3 has God coming to Samuel.  It was a bit unusual because “the word of the Lord was rare in those days; there was no frequent vision”.  It seems that God had hidden His truth from them, but scripture says “the lamp of God had not yet gone out”.  As Samuel was lying in bed, “the Lord called Samuel, and he said, Here I am”.  Samuel awoke and quickly ran to Eli and said “here I am, for you called me”.  But Eli hadn’t called, it was God Himself who was calling.

God called again, and Samuel came and found out Eli hadn’t called.  It happened a third time, and “then Eli perceived that the Lord was calling the young man”.  Samuel hadn’t been connected with God yet.  Scripture says “Samuel did not yet know the Lord, and the word of the Lord had not yet been revealed to him”.  But Eli gave Samuel direction on what to do.  “Go, lie down, and if he calls you, you shall say, ‘Speak, Lord, for your servant hears”.  So Eli returned to bed and as you might expect, the Lord called again.

And the Lord told Samuel “Behold, I am about to do a thing in Israel at which the two ears of everyone who hears it will tingle. On that day I will fulfill against Eli all that I have spoken concerning his house, from beginning to end”.  You may recall that Eli’s sons were very disobedient to living according to God’s direction.  They were rebels and focused on themselves rather than obedience.  God did not forget.  “I declare to him that I am about to punish his house forever, for the iniquity that he knew, because his sons were blaspheming God, and he did not restrain them”.

Parenting obviously matters in the eyes of the Lord.  Eli’s sin here was that he did not take action when his adult sons were violating God’s laws.  These weren’t kids – they were grown up – yet God holds Eli accountable as the father to intercede in their behavior.  Samuel knows the word from the Lord was not something Eli would like to hear, so he doesn’t run in there and tell him. “Samuel was afraid to tell the vision to Eli” but Eli presses him for the truth and “Samuel told him everything and hid nothing from him”.  It was a heavy load but Eli accepts it.  And now scripture tells us “Samuel grew, and the Lord was with him and let none of his words fall to the ground”.  He is becoming the Lord’s voice.

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