I always identified with Samuel as a child. Not that my mom dropped me off to live in a temple… or that I was a boy… or that my name was Sam… but just the “called by God” part.
I loved his boldness! He didn’t CHOOSE grow up literally in the church– God and his mother had an amazing relationship and that’s just how he ended up there.
But as I said a while back, I have been reading through the Bible this year, yesterday was the book of 1 Samuel.
I love how God brings out new things each time we seek Him through His word. God speaks in the book of Deuteronomy that prophets’ words had to come true, or else they were considered a false prophet.
If what a prophet proclaims in the name of the LORD does not take place or come true, that is a message the LORD has not spoken. That prophet has spoken presumptuously, so do not be alarmed. Deuteronomy 18:22
God also said that not many people heard directly from God after Moses and Joshua, unless the Spirit of the Lord came upon them. Pretty cool stuff.
In those days the word of the Lord was rare; there were not many visions. 1 Samuel 3:1
So I’ve always wondered why God allowed Samuel to get up three times before Eli realized God was asking him to converse with him.
To me, if Eli hadn’t witnessed Samuel directly hearing from God… then he wouldn’t have taken the upcoming bad news as God’s words. He would’ve probably been angry with Samuel and called him a false prophet (poor kid… right?!).
So God has a conversation with Samuel that night. He tells Samuel that Eli’s sons’ sin was noticed and since Eli turned a blind eye, they would all pay the price.
The next morning, Samuel was afraid (rightfully so) to tell Eli. But because Eli witnessed that it was the Lord speaking the night before, he is eager to hear what the word from God was.
But God protects his righteous. Eli urges Samuel not to lie to him.. to tell him everything God said. So Samuel delivers Eli the terrible news, and Eli says, “Well… He IS God.” (pretty much.)
I love verse 19 and on.
The Lord was with Samuel as he grew up, and he let none of Samuel’s 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. 1 Samuel 3:19-21
All we need to do in tough situations is do exactly what God tells us to do… no more, no less. He will take care of the details!