Chapter 3 of 1st Samuel begins with a sad state of affairs. It says, “the Word of the Lord was rare in those days.”  It’s really sad because we find that there was an awful lot of religious activity taking place and the Priests and Levites were busy with the service around the tabernacle and making sacrifices and all the other religious activity, but God, for the most part was silent.

One of the most important tasks of the priesthood was to guide people to God and to help them cultivate their personal relationship with Him. Eli and his family of priests had failed the people. Instead of leading people to God, they were using their office to their own benefit.

In the first 10 verses of chapter 3 The Word of the Lord came to Samuel four times. Samuel thought it was Eli calling him. One of the marks of a faithful servant is an attentive ear and an immediate response. He rises each time and runs to Eli. Even though Eli was a dreadful example of what a man of God should be, young Samuel submitted totally to his authority. Because Samuel was faithful to his earthly master, even though he was an undeserving one, he became a mighty instrument in God’s hand.

We too find ourselves servants to those we sometimes think don’t deserve our respect. Paul tells us “whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for man.” Samuel was a great example of this.