In the calling of Samuel we see God’s uncommon call (at that time the word of the Lord was rare), to an unlikely person, to an unenviable task. Consider the word of the Lord to the young boy: “Behold, I am about to do a thing in Israel at which the two ears of everyone who hears it will tingle. (1 Samuel 3:11)” Just in case it is not clear from the context, tingling ears is not a good thing! Just as in 2 Kings 21:12 and Jeremiah 19:3, the ears of Israel tingle at the declaration of the Lord’s judgment. In the immediate context, Samuel announces the judgment of the Lord upon Eli and his house, but he also grows up to be the last judge of Israel and one of its significant prophets – called by God to speak to the nation’s idolatry and to confront its first kings as needed. God’s call and word to Samuel would not have been easy on his own ears, and we can see from the text that they were not easy to speak (3:15).

Something to Apply:

As we have seen in the “Story of Everything”, moving into the Promised Land did not guarantee an easy life, and neither does God’s call to serve. Samuel shows us that even in the centre of God’s will, we can face opposition. Like Samuel’s, our call from God may require us to confront the brokenness of human sin and systems. This is one reason why Jesus instructs us to pray, “Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. (Mt 6:10)” As you take up, or continue in, God’s call in your life may the following word about Samuel’s life encourage you: “And Samuel grew, and the Lord was with him and let none of his words fall to the ground. (3:19)”