1st Samuel 3
I Hear You Knocking
1 Now the boy Samuel was ministering to the LORD under Eli.
The word of the LORD was rare in those days; visions were not
widespread. 2 At that time Eli, whose eyesight had begun to grow
dim so that he could not see, was lying down in his room; 3 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. 4 Then the LORD
called, "Samuel! Samuel!" and he said, "Here I
am!" 5 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. 6 The LORD called again, "Samuel!"
Samuel got up 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." 7 Now Samuel did not yet know the LORD,
and the word of the LORD had not yet been revealed to him. 8 The
LORD called Samuel again, a third time. And he got up and went
to Eli, and said, "Here I am, for you called me." Then
Eli perceived that the LORD was calling the boy. 9 Therefore Eli
said to Samuel, "Go, lie down; and if he calls you, you shall
say, 'Speak, LORD, for your servant is listening.'" So Samuel
went and lay down in his place. 10 Now the LORD came and stood
there, calling as before, "Samuel! Samuel!" And Samuel
said, "Speak, for your servant is listening." 11 Then
the LORD said to Samuel, "See, I am about to do something
in Israel that will make both ears of anyone who hears of it tingle.
12 On that day I will fulfill against Eli all that I have spoken
concerning his house, from beginning to end. 13 For I have told
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. 14 Therefore I swear to the house of Eli that
the iniquity of Eli's house shall not be expiated by sacrifice
or offering forever." 15 Samuel lay there until morning;
then he opened the doors of the house of the LORD. Samuel was
afraid to tell the vision to Eli. 16 But Eli called Samuel and
said, "Samuel, my son." He said, "Here I am."
17 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." 18 So Samuel told him everything
and hid nothing from him. Then he said, "It is the LORD;
let him do what seems good to him." 19 As Samuel grew up,
the LORD was with him and let none of his words fall to the ground.
20 And all Israel from Dan to Beer-sheba knew that Samuel was
a trustworthy prophet of the LORD. 21 The LORD continued to appear
at Shiloh, for the LORD revealed himself to Samuel at Shiloh by
the word of the LORD.
Knock, Knock. Who's There?
Just as the last passage was the origin of Samuel, this is
his call. The response "Here I am" rings familiar to
Abraham and Moses, and here it is spoken by Samuel to Eli. Calling
three times simply emphasizes that it really is God calling, although
in this situation it also has a very good comedic effect. Once
the confusion about just who is calling is cleared up, Samuel
responds to God and he is called to be a prophet and leader. Good
for Samuel, bad for Eli. Eli wasn't surprised; it simply confirms
what God had already told him would happen.
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