COMPARE AND CONTRAST: Compare the first verse with the last verse of the chapter.
“And the child Samuel ministered unto the LORD before Eli. And the word of the LORD was precious in those days; there was no open vision.” v.1
“And the LORD appeared again in Shiloh: for the LORD revealed HIMSELF to Samuel in Shiloh by the word of the LORD.” v. 21
Frist verse: Samuel is referred to as a child. Last verse: Samuel no longer has the word “child” attached to his name.
First verse: Samuel is “before Eli”. Last verse: Samuel is “in Shiloh”.
First verse: “no open vision”. Last verse: “appeared again. . .LORD revealed HIMSELF.”
To me, Samuel went from a child to a Man of GOD in this chapter–he grew up. I have boys, so this chapter interested me. Here are a few of my thoughts about the “growing up” process in the chapter.
“And the child Samuel ministered unto the Lord before Eli. And the word of the Lord was precious in those days; there was no open vision.”
v. 1 = Samuel was ministering (working for the LORD) even before he had knowledge. It was here that he heard the LORD’s voice.
“And it came to pass at that time, when Eli was laid down in his place, and his eyes began to wax dim, that he could not see;”
v. 2 = Eli’s weakness is described as “laying down” vrs. standing, “in his place” = in his comfortable home, “eyes dimmed” = blindness that comes on gradually, “could not see” = lost discernment. Eli is the Caregiver/parent of Eli. This is a WARNING to all of us Caregivers.
“And ere the lamp of God went out in the temple of the Lord, where the ark of God was, and Samuel was laid down to sleep;”
v. 3 = Whereas, with Eli the “lying down” is a sign of weakness, with Samuel, who is a child, it is a necessary place of rest. “I will both lay me down in peace, and sleep: for thou, LORD, only makest me dwell in safety.” Psalm 4:8
“That the Lord called Samuel: and he answered, Here am I.”
v. 4 = Samuel had been taught to answer when called.
” And he ran unto Eli, and said, Here am I; for thou calledst me. And he said, I called not; lie down again. And he went and lay down.”
v. 5 = Samuel had been taught to come when called. He even came “running.”
“And the Lord called yet again, Samuel. And Samuel arose and went to Eli, and said, Here am I; for thou didst call me. And he answered, I called not, my son; lie down again.”
v. 6 = The LORD called Samuel by his name.
“Now Samuel did not yet know the Lord, neither was the word of the Lord yet revealed unto him”
v. 7 = I find great HOPE in this verse in the word “yet”. It is a promise of a coming blessing. Samuel did not yet know the LORD, but he was going to.
“And the Lord called Samuel again the third time. And he arose and went to Eli, and said, Here am I; for thou didst call me. And Eli perceived that the Lord had called the child.”
v. 8 = Eli (the Caregiver/parent figure) allowed the LORD to speak to Samuel and didn’t interfere with the lesson.
“Therefore Eli said unto Samuel, Go, lie down: and it shall be, if he call thee, that thou shalt say, Speak, Lord; for thy servant heareth. So Samuel went and lay down in his place.”
v. 9 = Seven word. “Speak LORD for thy servant heareth.” Only seven words, and yet these words show reverence (LORD), humbleness (thy servant), willingness (go ahead and speak), obedience (I will hear.) Probably a good memory verse!!
“And the Lord came, and stood, and called as at other times, Samuel, Samuel. Then Samuel answered, Speak; for thy servant heareth.”
v. 10 = Here we get that the LORD called out Samuel’s name twice each time HE called. The LORD called “Samuel, Samuel”. From the verses preceding, Samuel only mentions hearing his name called once. HE called out six times. The LORD is very patient–even with our “hard of hearing” boys.
“And the Lord said to Samuel, Behold, I will do a thing in Israel, at which both the ears of every one that heareth it shall tingle.”
v. 11 = When HE executes judgement it begins first in “the house of the LORD.” A warning to us. I Peter 4:17
“In that day I will perform against Eli all things which I have spoken concerning his house: when I begin, I will also make an end.”
v. 12 = At first I wanted to take, “I will also make an end” to mean an end of judgement, but the following verses go against that thought. The following verses use the words, “for ever” and “not be purged. . .” This is a warning to us. There is an eternal judgment, that has no end.
“For I have told him that I will judge his house for ever for the iniquity which he knoweth; because his sons made themselves vile, and he restrained them not.”
v. 13 = This verse is for all of us parents and caregivers. Eli knew and “restrained not.” We are responsible for our kiddos even though they are gifts to us. This verse can be contrasted with Philippians 2: 6 – 11. “Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God:7 But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: 8 And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.”
“And therefore I have sworn unto the house of Eli, that the iniquity of Eli’s house shall not be purged with sacrifice nor offering for ever.”
v. 14 = Again! a warning about a “forever” judgement.
“And Samuel lay until the morning, and opened the doors of the house of the Lord. And Samuel feared to shew Eli the vision.”
v. 15 = Just loved the phrase, “morning, and opened the doors of the house of the LORD.” Don’t have any thoughts, but loved the visual picture.
“Then Eli called Samuel, and said, Samuel, my son. And he answered, Here am I.”
v. 16 = Despite the fact that Samuel knew Eli was going to be judged, Samuel still had respect to the office and position of Eli.
“And he said, What is the thing that the Lord hath said unto thee? I pray thee hide it not from me: God do so to thee, and more also, if thou hide any thing from me of all the things that he said unto thee.”
v. 17 = In verse twelve, it says, “I will perform against Eli all things which I have spoken concerning his house.” Eli had already been warned. He already knew, yet he wanted to hear what the LORD had said to Samuel. Was Eli looking for a second opinion? He already knew! Ignoring warnings is dangerous.
“And Samuel told him every whit, and hid nothing from him. And he said, It is the Lord: let him do what seemeth him good.”
v. 18 = This is a total and complete aside. I find it funny that the word “whit” is mentioned in the Bible, since I live at My Whit’s End. 🙂
“And Samuel grew, and the Lord was with him, and did let none of his words fall to the ground.”
v. 19 = I have never been sure who is who in this verse. Who let whose words fall to the ground? Is is “And the LORD was with [Samuel], and did let none of [Samuel’s] words fall to the ground? or is it “And the LORD was with [Samuel], and [Samuel] did let none of [the LORD’s] words fall to the ground. ????
“And all Israel from Dan even to Beersheba knew that Samuel was established to be a prophet of the Lord”
v. 20 = Dan to Beersheba. See a map here.
“And the Lord appeared again in Shiloh: for the Lord revealed himself to Samuel in Shiloh by the word of the Lord.”
v. 21 = Samuel grew up. And better than that, he grew up to be a man of GOD. That is my hope, too.
Remember, these are gleanings not accomplishments.