Posts Tagged Eli

Serving God by Assisting Eli – 1 Samuel 3

Okay a few cool things I noticed today in 1 Samuel chapter 3.

First was how Samuel served the Lord by assisting Eli. Verse 3 says: “Meanwhile, the boy Samuel served the Lord by assisting Eli.”

Later in this chapter, we find out that Samuel didn’t even know the Lord yet (see verse 7). Yet, he was “serving the Lord” by assisting Eli. I read this and thought to myself how complicated I try to make things. Sometimes serving the Lord is as simple as doing well what He’s asked us to do in the place He has put us. I’m sure being an assistant to a priest was not the most glamorous job in the day, but this is how Samuel served God.

The next thing I noticed is the fact that God called Samuel. While it’s true that God does use you and me to evangelize and spread the good news, there are a few times in scripture when God does the calling all by Himself.  Certainly, the story of the conversion of Saul to Paul is a great example. Paul thought he was doing God a favor by persecuting a little religious movement called The Way, but God had different ideas. Saul did not come to God on his own – God called him. Jesus called people during His time on earth, too. When the Son of God comes up to you and says, “Follow Me” that’s a pretty good example of God calling you directly.

Here, we see a kind of humorous calling from God to Samuel – late at night while he was sleeping. After the third time of being awakened in the night, Eli, being wise, finally recognized this as the calling of God and had to tell Samuel how to respond (because Samuel did not yet know God).

Which is is another cool thing I noticed in today’s chapter. We often need those older and wiser in the faith to point things out to us. That’s why it’s so important for each of us to have a Christian “sage” in your life.

I love the last part of this chapter. It’s encouraging to read how Samuel grew up with the Lord:

“As Samuel grew up, the Lord was with him, and everything Samuel said proved to be reliable. And all Israel, from Dan in the north to Beersheba in the south, knew that Samuel was confirmed as a prophet of the Lord. The Lord continued to appear at Shiloh and gave messages to Samuel there at the Tabernacle.”

At first I was thinking about how cool it would have been to have been raised in the Temple with the priest, and how much I could have learned. However, I re-read this passage and see that Eli is not even mentioned – well, except for how he did not discipline his sons, and how God was going to reign down in judgement on him and his family. So, Samuel grew up and THE LORD was with him.

We can walk with God – every minute of every day. It’s what God wants for us. Yet, how simple is it to get distracted or busy and not spend the day with Him? I love John Eldredge’s book entitled, “Walking With God”. This book has some helpful insight into how to walk with God in really practical ways.

Lord, I want to serve you where you’ve put me – even though sometimes it seems like I could be doing something a bit more glamorous. Forgive my pride. Thank you that I have wise “sages” speaking life into me. And, today, I choose to walk with You.

peace,
e

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1 Samuel 4 – the consequences of disobedience

Wondering what God told Samuel in chapter 3? Check it out:

11 And the LORD said to Samuel: “See, I am about to do something in Israel that will make the ears of everyone who hears of it tingle. 12 At that time I will carry out against Eli everything I spoke against his family—from beginning to end. 13 For I told him that I would judge his family forever because of the sin he knew about; his sons made themselves contemptible, and he failed to restrain them. 14 Therefore, I swore to the house of Eli, ‘The guilt of Eli’s house will never be atoned for by sacrifice or offering.’ ” 1 Samuel 3 (NIV)

Bummer.

So in chapter 4, we see God carrying out his judgment upon Israel. You see, back in chapter 2 Samuel’s sons dishonored God and took advantage of their position in leadership and stealing from God and taking advantage of women at the temple. Look at the devastation their disobedience caused:

Now the Israelites went out to fight against the Philistines. The Israelites camped at Ebenezer, and the Philistines at Aphek. 2 The Philistines deployed their forces to meet Israel, and as the battle spread, Israel was defeated by the Philistines, who killed about four thousand of them on the battlefield.

And, later in the chapter:

10 So the Philistines fought, and the Israelites were defeated and every man fled to his tent. The slaughter was very great; Israel lost thirty thousand foot soldiers. 11 The ark of God was captured, and Eli’s two sons, Hophni and Phinehas, died.

Eli’s sons were killed. The ark of God captured by the enemy.

What a sobering reminder of the consequences of disobedience to God’s commands.

Lord, keep me from temptation to do things my own way today. I long to follow You with all my heart, soul, mind and strength.

peace,
e

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1 Samuel 3 – The Voice of God

Ever heard the voice of God? Samuel did. Well, he thought at first he was hearing Eli call him, but it turned out to be the voice of God:

4 Then the LORD called Samuel.
Samuel answered, “Here I am.” 5 And he ran to Eli and said, “Here I am; you called me.”
But Eli said, “I did not call; go back and lie down.” So he went and lay down.

6 Again the LORD called, “Samuel!” And Samuel got up and went to Eli and said, “Here I am; you called me.”
“My son,” Eli said, “I did not call; go back and lie down.”

7 Now Samuel did not yet know the LORD : The word of the LORD had not yet been revealed to him.

8 The LORD called Samuel a third time, and Samuel got up and went to Eli and said, “Here I am; you called me.”
Then Eli realized that the LORD was calling the boy. 9 So Eli told Samuel, “Go and lie down, and if he calls you, say, ‘Speak, LORD, for your servant is listening.’ ” So Samuel went and lay down in his place.

How amazing would it be to actually hear God’s voice audibly – to where you get out of bed and go to someone else in the house who you thought was calling you?! This is a good reminder for me to listen for His voice. Although I can’t say I’ve ever actually heard his voice audibly, I do know when He has actually spoken to me in my heart. I wonder how many times I’ve “thought” things and dismissed them when it was actually God speaking to me. Plenty, I’m sure.

The other reminder in this chapter is to be honest with each other. Eli asked that Samuel to tell him exactly what God said, even though it was not pleasant to hear. But that’s a story for another day…

Have a great day.
e

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