Samuel’s Call — The wickedness of Eli’s sons & Samuel’s call from God.
Reading 1: 1 Samuel 2:12-21
Reading 2: 1 Samuel 3
Reading 3: Psalm 99:6-7
Today’s readings contain perhaps the most powerful (and disappointing) contrasts we have yet seen among those who are following God (at least in name). Yesterday we read of the young Samuel’s miraculous birth and dedication to God, now we see the empty religious system into which he has come. Eli is old and no longer cares for God’s reputation or glory. Eli’s sons are worse and have turned away from God’s values entirely, seeking only their own profit and comfort. These two examples are sobering for any of us who follow Jesus. Do we seek our own benefit above God’s glory? Do we shrug and respond with resignation when God points out sin? Have we given up on the presence and power of God at work in our lives?
Samuel has not, and does not. With a little coaching from Eli, he hears God’s voice at a very young age, and reports God’s heart to his elder. The responsibility for the inaction that follows lies solely with the discouraged priest, and not with the young boy who is hungry for God. Judgment is coming, but in God’s timing, and Samuel is neither the recipient nor the instrument of that judgment. Instead, he purely seeks God.
We may identify with one or more of the characters in today’s reading. Maybe you are challenged that your relationship with God has been all about what you can get (like Hophni and Phinehas) or maybe you are tempted to sit back in negativity and defeat, like Eli, resigned to “whatever”?
May we all be like Samuel, calling on God, crying out to the Lord for help, hearing Him speak, and then choosing to follow His instructions!
Have a great day!