Samuel Grows Up in the Tabernacle
March 25 - Nº 84 1 Samuel 1:20 – 3:21
Before he was born, Hannah dedicated her son to God. She promised that he would serve the Lord for his whole life. So, when Samuel was old enough, she took him to the Tabernacle in Shiloh and presented him to Eli, the high priest. She explained how God had answered her tearful prayer in the sanctuary. After praising God for all He had done for her, she left Samuel in Eli’s care. Hannah and Elkanah visited their son every year. Hannah always took him a new robe she had made. When they visited, Eli would bless Elkanah and Hannah and ask God to give them more children. God listened to Eli’s prayers; He gave Hannah three more sons and two daughters. Meanwhile Samuel grew up in the Tabernacle. And as he grew, he continued to gain respect from the people and favor with God. But Eli’s own sons, who were in the priesthood, did just the opposite! Hophni and Phinehas cheated the people who came to worship and did many other evil things. Instead of leading people to God, they led them away from Him! When Eli found out how they were behaving, he was ashamed. He went to them and challenged them, but they wouldn’t even listen to him. Sadly, Eli chose not to do anything about it. One day God sent a prophet to tell Eli that since his family failed to honor God, his descendants would no longer be the ones to minister in the Tabernacle. Hophni and Phinehas were going to die in the prime of their lives. Then God would raise up a faithful priest who would love and obey Him. Soon it was revealed that Samuel would be the new priest. One night, while Samuel was sleeping, God called him: “Samuel, Samuel.” He didn’t realize it was God’s voice, so he ran to Eli and said, “Here I am. I heard you call me.” But Eli said, “That wasn’t me. Go back and lie down.” This happened two more times. Each time Samuel was sure that Eli was calling him and ran to him. The third time Eli realized that it was the Lord Who was calling Samuel. So, he told Samuel, “Go back and lie down, and if He calls again answer, ‘Speak, Lord, your servant is listening.’” Samuel went back to his bed. This time the Lord physically showed up in the Tabernacle. He called again, “Samuel, Samuel.” And Samuel replied, “Speak, Lord, your servant is listening.” God spoke to him. He told him how unhappy he was with Eli’s sons and how poorly Eli had handled their situation. In fact, because of their wickedness, God could not allow them to continue serving Him in the Tabernacle. The next morning Eli asked Samuel what God had said. Samuel shared everything. God was with Samuel from that day on and continued to speak to him. Samuel continued to obey. God allowed everything Samuel told the people to come true. The Israelites soon realized that he was not only a priest—he was a true prophet of God.
Have you ever heard God calling you? His voice is not usually audible, like it was for Samuel. And we don’t have a Tabernacle where He will show up. Instead, we have the Scriptures.
Make the Bible your meeting place with God. As you open it every day, invite him to speak to you. You too can say: “Speak, Lord, your servant is listening.”