Bible Reading: 1 Samuel 3.1-14
I Samuel 3:1-14
Now the boy Samuel was ministering to the Lord before Eli. And word from the Lord was rare in those days, visions were infrequent. 2 It happened at that time as Eli was lying down in his place (now his eyesight had begun to grow dim and he could not see well), 3 and 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 that the Lord called Samuel; and he said, “Here I am.” 5 Then he ran to Eli and said, “Here I am, for you called me.” But he said, “I did not call, lie down again.” So he went and lay down. 6 The Lord called yet again, “Samuel!” So Samuel arose and went to Eli and said, “Here I am, for you called me.” But he answered, “I did not call, my son, lie down again.” 7 Now Samuel did not yet know the Lord, nor had the word of the Lord yet been revealed to him. 8 So the Lord called Samuel again for the third time. And he arose and went to Eli and said, “Here I am, for you called me.” Then Eli discerned that the Lord was calling the boy. 9 And Eli said to Samuel, “Go lie down, and it shall be if He calls you, that you shall say, ‘Speak, Lord, for Your servant is listening.’” So Samuel went and lay down in his place. 10 Then the Lord came and stood and called as at other times, “Samuel! Samuel!” And Samuel said, “Speak, for Your servant is listening.” 11 The Lord said to Samuel, “Behold, I am about to do a thing in Israel at which both ears of everyone who hears it will tingle. 12 In that day I will carry out against Eli all that I have spoken concerning his house, from beginning to end. 13 For I have told him that I am about to judge his house forever for the iniquity which he knew, because his sons brought a curse on themselves and he did not rebuke them. 14 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.”
In Old Testament times, God raised up prophets and judges as His spokesmen to reveal new revelation to His people, through visions, dreams or by speaking to them in an audible voice. During the days of Eli, the priest, there was not much prophetic activity, probably because God’s people were not walking in complete obedience to the Lord. This was especially true of Eli’s sons who were taking more than their share of the sacrifices from the altar, and were described as “worthless men” who lived immoral lives (2:12, 22).
God’s first message to young Samuel, was not a very popular prophecy, but something that would cause the ears of the hearers to tingle (3.11). God told Samuel, that He was preparing to judge Eli and his family, because Eli failed to rebuke his sons. The apostasy and sinful disregard for the commands regarding sacrificial system had gone on long enough, and God was ready to act.
What is the legacy that Eli and Samuel left for the generations that came after them? Both of Eli’s wayward sons died in battle, due to God’s judgment and he suffered an accidental death after learning that the ark of God was taken. God would later take the priesthood away from his descendants and give it to the family of Zadok (1 Kings 2:26-27). Samuel, on the other hand, listened to God with an attentive heart, faithfully judged God’s people, and was used of God to appoint both King Saul and David.
What about your legacy? How would you like to be remembered when your life is over? I pray that we would have ears to hear from Him today, and live a life the builds a godly legacy for future generations.
Weekly Memory Verse: For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. John 3.16