Today’s passage: 1 Samuel 3:1-21
- This chapter details the transition of Samuel the boy to Samuel the prophet (The first prophet on a national scale since Moses).
- God speaking to people in those times (Prior to the ministry of Samuel) was rare. It was more common during the days of Moses, in contrast.
- This passage should not serve as a proof text for us to expect to hear things from God. It should reaffirm that hearing from God is not something we should expect and not something that should be sought out, especially because we now have the finished written Word of God. (2 Timothy 3:16-17)
- God must have used Eli’s instruction and response to encourage Samuel’s ministry.
- Samuel was to accurately and exhaustively communicate the Word of the Lord, even if he thought the listener might not like what he/she hears.
- The Lord is holy and righteous. What He declares He will do must be understood as right and just.
- Strength in the message communicated does not come from the response of the hearers but in the holiness of it’s origin, God.
Questions to consider:
- God’s act of speaking to people through Samuel made him a prophet. If a person today claims that God is speaking to them and sharing with others through books, TV shows, etc. they are claiming to be prophets (Whether they admit it or not). What instruction does Deuteronomy 18:20-22 give concerning people who believe God is speaking to them and through them? Since we are in the New Covenant (Christ has fulfilled the Law), how should believers today (The Church) respond to these false prophets?
- How does knowing who God is help us to receive what He has said to us in His Word? How do the attributes of God give us great reason to trust Him?
- Why might it have been tempting for Israel to idolize Samuel as he grew in “publicity’? Who was Israel to turn to as a result of Samuel’s ministry?