1 Samuel 3

1 Samuel 3

Voiced by Amazon Polly

The Lord Calls Samuel

Now the boy Samuel was ministering to the LORD in the presence of Eli. And the word of the LORD was rare in those days; there was no frequent vision.

At that time Eli, whose eyesight had begun to grow dim so that he could not see, was lying down in his own place. The lamp of God had not yet gone out, and Samuel was lying down in the temple of the LORD, where the ark of God was.

Then the LORD called Samuel, and he said, “Here I am!” and ran to Eli and said, “Here I am, for you called me.” But he said, “I did not call; lie down again.” So he went and lay down.

And the LORD called again, “Samuel!” and Samuel arose and went to Eli and said, “Here I am, for you called me.” But he said, “I did not call, my son; lie down again.” Now Samuel did not yet know the LORD, and the word of the LORD had not yet been revealed to him.

And the LORD called Samuel again the third time. And he arose and went to Eli and said, “Here I am, for you called me.” Then Eli perceived that the LORD was calling the boy. Therefore Eli said to Samuel, “Go, lie down, and if he calls you, you shall say, ‘Speak, LORD, for your servant hears.’” So Samuel went and lay down in his place.

And the LORD came and stood, calling as at other times, “Samuel! Samuel!” And Samuel said, “Speak, for your servant hears.” Then the LORD said to Samuel, “Behold, I am about to do a thing in Israel at which the two ears of everyone who hears it will tingle. On that day I will fulfill against Eli all that I have spoken concerning his house, from beginning to end. And I declare to him that I am about to punish his house forever, for the iniquity that he knew, because his sons were blaspheming God, and he did not restrain them. Therefore I swear to the house of Eli that the iniquity of Eli’s house shall not be atoned for by sacrifice or offering forever.”

Samuel lay until morning; then he opened the doors of the house of the LORD. And Samuel was afraid to tell the vision to Eli. But Eli called Samuel and said, “Samuel, my son.” And he said, “Here I am.” And 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. And he said, “It is the LORD. Let him do what seems good to him.”

And Samuel grew, and the LORD was with him and let none of his words fall to the ground. And all Israel from Dan to Beersheba knew that Samuel was established as a prophet of the LORD. And the LORD appeared again at Shiloh, for the LORD revealed himself to Samuel at Shiloh by the word of the LORD.


1 Samuel 3 Commentary

by Hank Workman

God has never done things the ‘normal’ way.


It seems that every story within the Bible is chock full of examples where He called people to do something impossible, give beyond their means, serve in dire situations where they had no authority, and the list goes on and on. Abraham was called to believe he would have a child at an old age and his wife Sarah way beyond her childbearing years would conceive.

Joseph who was incarcerated on false charges would head up the largest relief work project in the ancient Middle East and be second in command to Pharaoh. Moses who had everything against him and should never have lived with the law of baby boys being slaughtered would be saved, run the halls of the palace as a prince, become a murderer, hideout in the desert, and become a great leader in bringing the people of Israel into their own land. He also stuttered. And the list goes on and on.

And so, here we see such a well-known story of Samuel whom the Lord spoke to as a child and was given an incredibly tough word. One would have expected for Eli the older, more mature priest to hear from God. He had more experience with the things of God, he held the proper position. Instead, God revealed Himself to Samuel… a child. Once again, God was not doing things the normal way and showing His chain of command is not based on what we would think. His chain of command is based on faith.

Samuel in his tender years had that faith of a child, filled with awe and wonder, and God revealed Himself in an unprecedented way. This would be the beginning mark upon this young boy’s life that would elevate him toward the position and calling He had for him. Not only would this be evident to Samuel as he grew up, but evident to the people of Israel.

“All Israel from Dan even to Beersheba knew that Samuel was confirmed as a prophet of the Lord.”

1 Samuel 3:20

God works in the most unexpected and surprising channels. He works in any place, at any time and through whomever He chooses to accomplish His will.

1 Samuel 3 Commentary

by Brad Boyles

What I love about this chapter is that Samuel had not yet experienced the voice or guidance of the Lord. His mind had not yet been renewed to spiritual things. However, when the Lord called, he responded, because he was obedient. His obedience was obvious even in his repetitive attempts to go to Eli, as he went every single time he thought that he heard him calling. This was crucial in God’s plan for Samuel. God needed an obedient prophet to speak during these dark times.

Are we this observant of the ways the Lord is leading us in our own lives?

Some scholars believe Samuel was only 12 years old when this word came to him. He may have responded like a deer in headlights. The next day, Eli wanted to know what God was planning. Again, the obedience factor plays in as Eli asks Samuel not to hold anything back from him. It’s probably safe to assume that Samuel was not super excited about the judgment which was coming. Who would be? But he does as he is asked and tells Eli everything. Eli then encourages him to follow through. This is critical.

Once again, obedience.

Eli knows that at this age, Samuel may not be confident enough to deliver such a message. So, he encourages him to tell others. This was Samuel’s calling and his gift. This was what God had prepared for him. The work God had started in Samuel was carried out to completion. However, within that work, there was teachability, cooperation, and yes, obedience.

Are we this observant of the ways the Lord is leading us in our own lives?

Notify of

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments