Tag Archives: 1 Samuel 3

Monday through Friday with People of Faith: Day 77/260: Eli

Read 1 Samuel 2:12-17, 22-36; 3:11-18

Let the Lord Do What Seems Right To Him

How faithful was Eli the priest? The Bible does not offer a glowing report of this man. His sons, Hophni and Phinehas, were “corrupt” and “did not know the Lord” (1 Samuel 2:12). Eli deserves at least part of the blame for their shortcomings. While it is true that they will face the ultimate consequences for their own actions, Eli will have to own his failure as a father to these men.

Did Eli rebuke his sons? The text says that he did. “Why do you do such things? For I hear of your evil dealings from all the people. No, my sons! For it is not a good report that I hear. You make the Lord’s people transgress” (1 Samuel 2:23-24). His sons would not listen; their hearts were hardened against the truth. God would make an example out of them and their wickedness.

Eli stands as an example as well—a bad example. He did not raise his children properly, and he did not deal with their iniquity in a godly fashion. He rebuked them but they continued sinning. Something stronger was required but Eli did not deliver.

God then speaks to Samuel and delivers some bad news about Eli and his family. Samuel was afraid to tell the priest. Yet, Eli’s reaction to the news was not what Samuel expected. When Eli heard the word that God had delivered through Samuel, he responded, “It is the Lord. Let Him do what seems good to Him” (1 Samuel 3:18).

Though he was unfaithful when it came to parenting, Eli showed faith in the justice of God. Eli knew that he had fallen short, and he was content to accept the judgment of the Almighty. Did he wish he could travel back in time and correct his mistakes? Perhaps, but the text does not say that he dwelt on the past. He simply took God’s proclamation through Samuel as what it was—a fair judgment.

How do we respond when we come across a passage of Scripture that tells us we are in the wrong? Perhaps we have failed to do something that God commands, or maybe we have been doing something that He forbids. Do we seek to correct ourselves or do we look for loopholes? Jesus plainly says that we can know the standard by which we will be judged (John 12:48). We must learn to accept His authority and submit to Him! “It is the Lord. Let Him do what seems good to Him.”

Monday through Friday with People of Faith: Day 76/260: Samuel

Read 1 Samuel 3:11-21

Don’t Be Afraid to Tell the Truth

The word of the Lord came to Samuel; God said, “Behold I will do something in Israel at which both ears of everyone who hears it will tingle” (1 Samuel 3:11). To use an expression which we might hear today, He was going to do something that was going to send chills up and down the spine of everyone who heard about it.

Because of the sins of Eli’s sons, God was going to “judge his house forever.” Their iniquity was not something they had kept hidden from Eli; he was aware of their shortcomings but failed to correct them or discipline them. “And therefore I have sworn to the house of Eli that the iniquity of Eli’s house shall not be atoned for by sacrifice or offering forever” (1 Samuel 3:14). They were too far gone to come back now.

Can you imagine Samuel’s reaction to this revelation? Remember, according to 1 Samuel 3:1, inspiration tells us that “the word of the LORD was rare in those days; there was no widespread revelation.” And now Samuel received bad news about his mentor, Eli. It is no surprise then that “Samuel was afraid to tell Eli the vision” (1 Samuel 3:15). “So Samuel lay down until morning, and opened the doors of the house of the LORD” (1 Samuel 3:15). Had he slept a wink? Or did he simply lay there, rehearsing his conversation with Eli, fearing his reaction?

What happened after he got out of bed? He got busy doing his chores, of course! I imagine he busied himself to avoid Eli most of the day. Perhaps he repeated the same tasks over and over just so he wouldn’t have to face Eli and the question that he knew he would ask. Eventually, though, he would have to speak to him

“What is the word that the LORD spoke to you? Please do not hide it from me. God do so to you, and more also, if you hide anything from me of all the things that He said to you” (1 Samuel 3:17). Despite his fear, Samuel answered truthfully. “Then Samuel told him everything, and hid nothing from him” (1 Samuel 3:18). How difficult that must have been!

Do you face the same difficulty today? When you need to confront a close friend or a family member about the way they are living which may be in opposition to God’s revealed truth? Don’t be afraid! Muster up the courage of Samuel! Tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth!

Monday through Friday with People of Faith: Day 75/260: Samuel

Read 1 Samuel 3:1-10

Speak, for Your Servant Hears

Hannah vowed to give Samuel to the Lord’s service in the temple, and she kept her vow. When Samuel was still a boy, probably about twelve years old, he received his first prophetic word. He did not realize that it was God calling him at first. The text explains, “And the word of the Lord was rare in those days; there was no widespread revelation” (1 Samuel 3:1). Where most modern versions use the word “rare” in this verse, some older translations put “precious” (KJV, ASV).

Do we treat the Word of God as precious? We should! It is the revelation of His will; nothing could be more precious than that! Paul says that the Scriptures are “profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness” (2 Timothy 3:16). If we are not diligent in our studies, we will fall short in our service to God.

After mistaking God’s call for Eli’s voice three times, the elderly priest realized what was happening. He instructed Samuel to answer the voice when he heard it again, “Speak, Lord, for Your servant hears,” and the boy Samuel did just that (1 Samuel 3:9, 10).

Has God called you? He has, though not in the same sense that He called Samuel. God does not speak directly to us today. “God, who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets, has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the worlds” (Hebrews 1:1-2). He has called us through the recorded words of Jesus and we must trust and obey what He says! “He who rejects Me, and does not receive My words, has that which judges him—the word that I have spoken will judge him in the last day” (John 12:48).

When you read the Word, is your attitude like Samuel’s? Do you say, “Speak, Lord, for Your servant hears”? Or do you practice selective hearing (and thus, selective obedience)? It is important that we pay attention to “the whole counsel of God” (Acts 20:27), and not just what we want to hear and obey.