Reading through the Bible together
Christ’s words, “He that is faithful in the little things, is faithful also in much,” is seen in the life of young Samuel. How often the aging Eli called Samuel to come and help him we don’t know, but it was becoming a normal occurrence. One of Samuel’s tasks was to daily, open and close the doors of the sanctuary.
Eli knew his sons were violating the priesthood for he had talked to them about it. Then God gave a message of warning to Eli again, this time through Samuel who was not yet an adult? This message for Eli was given repeatedly to Samuel as a test of his faith. The priesthood for the family of Aaron was ended and it passed to the young prophet Samuel who faithfully gave God’s message to Eli. A prophet does not keep the message God gives him a secret. He must share it with the intended audience. The opening sentence of chapter four, “And the word of Samuel came to all Israel,” should be at the end of chapter three. The Lord intended the message of the coming judgment on Eli and his sons as a warning to Israel to turn them back to Him.
Eli resigned himself to the word God had given, but did not take the needed action. What a tragic ending of the old priest. The only positive mention in the forty years of his leading Israel is his word to Hannah and his care for Samuel. He loved Samuel, referred to him as, “my son.” He no doubt wished his sons had been like Samuel.
Wishing does not make things happen. Imagining great things for God accomplishes nothing until faith moves us to action. One must take hold of God’s promises and by faith act for God.