The LORD Calls Samuel
The boy Samuel ministered before the LORD under Eli. In those days the word of the LORD was rare; there were not many visions. One night Eli, whose eyes were becoming so weak that he could barely see, was lying down in his usual place. The lamp of God had not yet gone out, and Samuel was lying down in the temple of
the LORD, where the ark of God was. 4 Then the LORD called Samuel. Samuel answered, “Here I am.” And he ran to Eli and said, “Here I am; you called me.” But Eli said, “I did not call; go back and lie down.” So he went and lay down. Again the LORD called, “Samuel!” And Samuel got up and went to Eli and said, “Here I am; you called me.” “My son,” Eli said, “I did not call; go back and lie down.” Now Samuel did not yet know the LORD : The word of the LORD had not yet been revealed to him. The LORD called Samuel a third time, and Samuel got up and went to Eli and said, “Here I am; you called me.” Then Eli realized that the LORD was calling the boy. So Eli told Samuel, “Go and lie down, and if he calls you, say, ‘Speak, LORD, for your servant is listening.’ ” So Samuel went and lay down in his place. The LORD came and stood there, calling as at the other times, “Samuel! Samuel!” Then Samuel said, “Speak, for your servant is listening.” And the LORD said to Samuel: “See, I am about to do something in Israel that will make the ears of everyone who hears of it tingle. At that time I will carry out against Eli everything I spoke against his family—from beginning to end. For I told him that I would judge his family forever because of the sin he knew about; his sons made themselves contemptible, and he failed to restrain them. Therefore, I swore to the house of Eli, ‘The guilt of Eli’s house will never be atoned for by sacrifice or offering.’ ”
Samuel lay down until morning and then opened the doors of the house of the LORD. He was afraid to tell Eli the vision, but Eli called him and said, “Samuel, my son.” Samuel answered, “Here I am.” “What was it he said to you?” Eli asked. “Do not hide it from me. May God deal with you, be it ever so severely, if you hide from me anything he told you.” So Samuel told him everything, hiding nothing from him. Then Eli said, “He is the LORD; let him do what is good in his eyes.” The LORD was with Samuel as he grew up, and he let none of his words fall to the ground. And all Israel from Dan to Beersheba recognized that Samuel was attested as a prophet of the LORD.
The LORD continued to appear at Shiloh, and there he revealed himself to Samuel
through his word.
I’m studying Samuel right now. It’s an interesting study, looking back at the Old Testament. It starts with Eli, and high priest and ends with King David. It’s all about leadership. I’m calling it the Good, the bad and the Ugly. I’m really more of a Jonah than a Samuel. I hate conflict, my face turns red, I look like I’m going to cry, and I sound angry when in reality, I’m just snotfaced scared and nothing more, especially if the person I’m disagreeing with, is someone I admire and whose approval means a lot to me.
If taking on the Characteristics of Samuel is what is required of being a leader, God and I have a lot of work to do.
Samuel is the son of Hannah. Hannah was barren and cried out to God with such passion and fever that Eli thought she was drunk. She wasn’t, but she was hurting. She wanted a baby, and she promised God if he gave her one, she’d dedicate him back to the Lord. He did and so did she. She gave her son, Samuel, to Eli to raise as a priest.
Samuel grows up, and Eli’s own sons do all kinds of things against God and even though Eli rebukes his own sons, they don’t listen so God eventually replaces Eli. Guess who’s job it is to tell him? Yep. Samuel. Poor kid – God speaks to him for the first time, and it’s a message to his mentor of “You blew it, and you’re being replaced, with me.” Yuck.
Can you imagine, being alone in your room and hearing God call out to you? God doesn’t do that to me, thankfully. If he did, I’d think I was crazy. God choses to speak to my heart through nature, people, and his Word. Even worse though with this young man Samuel, is God not only called out to him, he had a message that would force Samuel to confront his mentor. I for one think, if God wants to speak to me, that is be good news, rather than this. Couldn’t God have started out with a nice greeting? You know, something “Hey Samuel, how ya doing? I remember when your mother asked for you. She was so joyous when she had you.” Something simple and happy. But no, that’s not what God did. Which probably explains why God is God, and I am not.
But that’s not what God did.
God uses Samuel to deliver a lot of hard to hear messages. It’s Samuel that get’s replaced for a King (Saul), it’s Samuel that confronts Saul, and it’s Samuel that annoints King David when he’s still a shepherd.
Samuel gets to do a lot of unfun things. I don’t want to be a Samuel. I’m too much of a people pleaser for that. But still, I can learn a lot from Samuel.
- He told the truth in love
- He was more afraid of God than he was his mentors
- He never abandoned those he loved – including Isreal. Even after they replaced him with a King, he still stayed close by to pray for and support.
Neat kind of Guy Samuel.
I’m not there. I hide the truth through acquiescence more often than not, I’m more afraid of my mentors than I am God, I’d rather run away and leave, than stay and confront and work through.
I’m not Samuel, but I can learn from him.