Monday 15 December 2014

Bible Book:
1 Samuel

“Eli said, ‘What was it that he told you? Do not hide it from me. May God do so to you and more also, if you hide anything from me of all that he told you.’ So Samuel told him everything and hid nothing from him. Then he said, ‘It is the LORD; let him do what seems good to him.’” (vv. 17-18)

1 Samuel 3:10-20 Monday 15 December 2014

Psalm: Psalm 25


Samuel had grown up in the temple, given to God by his motherafter her miraculous pregnancy (1Samuel 1). But the family of Eli, the Priest, were scoundrels(1Samuel 2:12) and had abused their positions as the chosenpriestly family. Whether it was the result of their behaviour isunclear but we read that "the word of the Lord was rare" (1Samuel 3:1) and visions equally scarce.

When God calls Samuel in the night, old Eli eventually helps theboy tune in to God's message - even though it must have beendawning on him that his sons' outrageous abuse of the temple wascoming home to roost.

God had spoken earlier to the old priest, revoking a pledge thatEli's descendants would minister for ever, and promising to raiseup a faithful priest who was not from his family (1Samuel 2:27-36). It's a huge moment and Eli - whose heart isalready breaking at the disgrace brought about by his sons -ensures that Samuel doesn't miss his moment.

The old priest, who had been incapable of controlling his sons,is wise enough not to try to stand in the way of God. He says, "Itis the LORD; let him do what seems good to him."

So Samuel listens, Eli fades into the background and the mantleof prophecy passes. The story appears to underline Samuel's directcall from God to be a prophet and that God would "let none of hiswords fall to the ground" (v. 19) - a sign of heavenlyanointing?

To Ponder

  • How do you understand the phrase "the word of the Lord wasrare"? Is it about ignorance or a failure to tune in to God?
  • Can you recall a time when someone has encouraged you, even atthe cost of their own comfort? What happened? How might you passthis on?
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