1 Samuel 1-4

Before we get back to our study in Judges we need to look at these chapters of 1 Samuel. Samuel will be the last of the judges in Israel. He and Sampson were contemporaries and had a lot in common. Both had mothers who were barren and God intervened in both births. Both were Nazirites. Nazirites were to be set apart to serve the Lord. They were not to cut their hair which would be evidence of them taking the Nazirite vow. They were not to take or be influenced by intoxicants such as wine or strong drink. They were also to avoid contact with the dead. Both dealt with the same enemy, the Philistines. Samuel judged in the area of Ephraim, north of where Sampson judged in the area of Judah and Dan.

 Sampson, however, does not appear to take his vow seriously. Though he is strong physically he is weak spiritually and his worst enemy is himself. Like the other judges mentioned in the book of Judges, his ministry will be recorded in a few pages. Samuel is not as strong physically as Sampson but he is strong spiritually and his ministry will extend well beyond Sampson’s.

Samuel served in the tabernacle at Shiloh under the Priest Eli. Chapter 3 tells us that Samuel was ministering to the Lord but the Word of the Lord had not been revealed to him.  Apparently, Eli was going through the motions as a Priest but left a lot of ministry undone as God made clear in Chapter 2.  Though still a young boy the Lord called Samuel into service one night but Samuel thought it was Eli calling him. The Lord called again and finally Eli realized it was the Lord calling Samuel and told Samuel if the Lord called again to say, “Speak Lord, for Thy servant is listening.” 1 Samuel 3:9b, NASB

The Lord did call again and the Lord revealed His plan for Eli. Also, in Chapter 3, we find God’s Word for all Israel will be made known through the ministry of Samuel.

I believe deep down inside we know when God is calling. Even if things are going well we may realize something is missing. In that empty feeling, God is calling. Also in our pain and difficulties, if we will stop and listen, we will realize God is calling us to Himself. God sent a prophet to Eli and Eli warned his sons. The call of God was there in His warning but it must be heeded. Eli’s council to Samuel was good, however, Eli’s sons didn’t act when Eli warned them, and they paid the price.

 What about you? Deep down inside when you think you hear God calling, stop, listen, and say, “Speak Lord, for Thy servant is listening.”  Good advice then. Good advice now!

Pastor Dave