Reading For Tuesday 1 Samuel 3:1-21


Samuel is going about his service but a word from the Lord was rare in those days. Samuel and Eli, who is elderly and almost blind, had retired for the night. The fading light of the lamp of God from within the Holy Place gave only a small amount of illumination to Samuel's quarters. Three times in the darkness Samuel heard the voice of God but mistook it for the voice of Eli. The narrator excuses this mistake by saying that Samuel did not yet know God nor did he have any experience receiving a word from God. Three times he hurried to the side of the old man. Finally, Eli recognized that God was calling the boy. He instructed his protege to respond to any further calls by saying, "Speak, Lord, for your servant hears." When God called to Samuel the fourth time, Samuel responds as Eli had instructed him. 

Samuel was informed by the Lord what Eli had been told some time earlier. God was about to do something that would make the ears of all who heard of it tingle. The family of the old priest would fall under divine judgment because his sons had made themselves contemptible and Eli had failed to rebuke them. The Lord further declared that no sacrifice would atone for the sins they had committed. Samuel received this word and lay down until the morning. He went about his usual chores and routine while trying to avoid a confrontation with Eli. He was afraid of hurting his beloved mentor should he be forced to divulge what he had learned during the night. Finally, Eli sent for the boy and put him under a divine curse if he withheld any part of the message. Samuel told him everything and Eli accepted the disconcerting news with godly resignation. He knew that God had revealed his will to Samuel, and he believed that God would do what was right. Eli resigned himself to accept the verdict of God.

God was with Samuel, and the Lord let none of his words go unfulfilled. Samuel's reputation spread throughout the land, and because his prophecies were constantly being fulfilled, the people recognized that he was confirmed as a prophet. God continued to appear at Shiloh to Samuel. There is a sharp contrast between the fully accredited Samuel on the one hand, and the timeworn Eli and his wicked sons on the other.

Thing To Consider:

  • Is it rare for you to hear from the Lord? Why or why not?  
  • How does God speak to us today?  
  • What do you think Eli's poor sight points to metaphorically?  
  • Samuel responds quickly to Eli in his service. What can we learn from the way he responds in his assignments and attentiveness?  
  • It takes Eli several times to discern what is going on. How do you think Eli felt about God calling to Samuel instead of him?  
  • God declares that there could be no atonement for their sin. Why do you think God responded this way?  
  • In what ways did Samuel grow?