When Samuel received his first message from God, he was afraid to tell anyone about it. He was just a boy, and the message was very serious.
So Samuel tried to act as if nothing had happened. He remained until morning in the place where he usually slept. Then he opened the doors of the sacred tent that was Godís house. He would have continued to carry out all his usual duties but then Eli called him.
This time, it really was Eli, the chief priest, who called. Samuel did not want to tell Godís message to Eli, but he still went to him. Eli knew that God had been calling the boy (3:8). It was clear to Eli that God had given a message to the boy. So Eli insisted that Samuel must tell him Godís message.
In the end, Eli had to be strict with Samuel. Godís message to Samuel was not a private message; Samuel had a duty to speak that message. Also, Samuel had a responsibility to declare Godís message accurately. He must not miss out anything that God had said. Eli even asked God to punish Samuel if Samuel still refused to declare Godís message to him. As Godís chief priest, Eli had the right to ask God to do that.
When Samuel heard that, he told Godís message to Eli. Eli had heard what God had said about these matters on a previous occasion (2:27-36). So it was clear to Eli that Samuel really had heard from God.
Eli simply accepted the message. God would do what he considered to be right. We do not read that Eli made himself humble in front of God. We do not even read that he prayed for his sons or his family. Usually people did those things when they received such a severe message from God. Sometimes God was kind to them. But Eli neither asked for nor received any special kindness from God.
Next part: Samuel becomes a prophet (1 Samuel 3:19-21)
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© 2014, Keith Simons.