Tuesday, May 31, 2011

1 Samuel 3:10-21

10 The LORD came and stood there, calling as at the other times, “Samuel! Samuel!”

Then Samuel said, “Speak, for your servant is listening.”

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 about 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 blasphemed God, 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.’”

15 Samuel lay down until morning and then opened the doors of the house of the LORD. He was afraid to tell Eli the vision, 16 but Eli called him and said, “Samuel, my son.”

Samuel answered, “Here I am.”

17 “What was it he said to you?” Eli asked. “Do not hide it from me. May God deal with you, be it ever so severely, if you hide from me anything he told you.” 18 So Samuel told him everything, hiding nothing from him. Then Eli said, “He is the LORD; let him do what is good in his eyes.”

19 The LORD was with Samuel as he grew up, and he let none of Samuel’s words fall to the ground. 20 And all Israel from Dan to Beersheba recognized that Samuel was attested as a prophet of the LORD. 21 The LORD continued to appear at Shiloh, and there he revealed himself to Samuel through his word.

Questions to consider:

  • Why is the fact that God is speaking to Samuel here especially important? [hint: look back at verse one of this chapter]
  • Would you have been afraid if you were in Samuel's position?
  • Why is God holding Eli responsible for the sins of his sons?
  • Why do you think Samuel was afraid to tell Eli about the vision?
  • What do you think about Eli's response? If the vision had been about you, would you have been able to respond gracefully?
  • What does it mean that the Lord let none of Samuel's words "fall to to the ground"?

Possibilities for prayer:

As I think about how God came and stood before Samuel in the middle of the night and told him these things about Eli and Eli's family, I can't help but wonder how I would have responded. Would I have been fearful? Would I have been humbled? Confused? Elated that God had chosen ME to speak to in a time when God wasn't really speaking?

Even though Samuel was nervous about sharing all that God had told him with Eli, he does so anyway, which to me is a great indication of courage. Being courageous doesn't have to mean not ever being afraid, but instead maybe being afraid and doing the right thing anyway. Let's ask that God would be growing in us this ability to overcome fear with courage that comes from him, giving us the ability to do what's right, even if it's not the most popular or comfortable thing to do.