1 SAMUEL 3:
What the boy had heard of God from his studies was a pretty stark contrast to what he’d seen and experienced.
His own mother had given him away as a toddler—convinced he was a gift from God that she must return and dedicate to service. So the temple was all Samuel ever knew as a home, and the motley crew of priests raising him was basically the only family he really had.
Eli wasn’t all that bad, and took the role of father figure to the boy. Perhaps he considered this a second chance to raise a child that respected the office and others, and who would truly honor God. For his own two sons—also temple priests—were downright scoundrels.
Samuel watched them day-in-and-day-out cheat and lie and even steal the sacrifices. The best (and maybe only) sheep and goats that villagers would bring to atone their sins were literally swiped right off the altar by these two. They liked their dinner rare, after all.
So even though he was still so young, it must have been with some inner conflict that Samuel continued his service to God and the questionable men who worked as divine representatives.
Until one night asleep, Samuel heard a voice calling his name.
Over and over he reported to Eli’s sleeping quarters, only to be turned away by the aging and jaded man. Finally, Eli had a revelation… It has been so long since he’d heard that voice… so he instructed Samuel to try answering.
Again the voice called out.
For the first time ever, Samuel separated the idea of Priest from God in his mind, and answered.
“Here I am. I’m listening.”
by: Corbin Watkins