1 Samuel 3 continued

1 Now the young man Samuel was ministering to the LORD under Eli.  And the word of the LORD was rare in those days; there was no frequent vision.
Vision is critical in this narrative, since Samuel will flow as a seer, a calling that requires vision to be operative and cleansed and visions to be present.

 2At that time Eli,<sup class="xref" value="(C)”> whose eyesight had begun to grow dim so that he could not see, was lying down in his own place.


Eli, whose eyesight had grown dim, maybe because the sun was setting on his ministry is contrasted with Samuel in the following verse, was set in contrast to Samuel who was beginning his ministry.  I would say that, even though Eli got a lot of judgment from us in the church, perhaps some grace should be extended him because he chose to protect and mentor Samuel.  Samuel was his spiritual heritage, legacy, and successor. 


3 The lamp of God had not yet gone out, and Samuel was lying down<sup class="xref" value="(E)”> in the temple of the LORD, where the ark of God was.

It was not yet going out, though it was about to, for the carelessness that this generation, represented by Hophni and Phineas, treated the things of God.  They treated the things of God in the temple with contempt, as shown by the lamp of God.  It was in this moment of dimness, where Samuel was sleeping and functioning not in rebellion but ignorance (ignorance is not necessarily a bad thing, since we frequently as believers stumble into the things of God through ignorance because He takes hold of us), that God chose to speak.  

4Then the LORD called Samuel, and he said, “Here I am!”

Samuel is willing and ready to do whatever is asked of him.  He is obedient at the first, and to the last.  This is the mark of a vessel that is fit for use by God.  
 
5and 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.

Samuel is intent on obeying, even in ignorance.  He believes that he has been called, and so he, with a soft heart, unlike Hophni and Phineas, and, to a certain extent, Eli, runs to Eli and tells him that he is ready to obey.  This repeats several times until…

6And the LORD called again, “Samuel!” and Samuel arose and went to Eli and said, “Here I am, for you called me.” But he said, “I did not call, my son; lie down again.”  

7Now Samuel did not yet know the LORD, and the word of the LORD had not yet been revealed to him.

Samuel is following what he does not know.  Many times, we are prompted of the Lord, but cannot give a satisfactory explanation for our actions, but simply that we are following and obeying the Lord.

8And the LORD called Samuel again the third time. And he arose and went to Eli and said, “Here I am, for you called me.” Then Eli perceived that the LORD was calling the young man. 

9Therefore Eli said to Samuel, “Go, lie down, and if he calls you, you shall say, ‘Speak, LORD, for your servant hears.'” So Samuel went and lay down in his place.

This is where Eli trains Samuel to recognize and obey the voice of God.  This is where Samuel is raised up in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye.  This is a watershed moment in further establishment of Israel, as we will see at several critical verses in the next passage.  Samuel’s actions dictate the flow of the rest of the book.   

Thoughts?? 

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