Samuel was sleeping in the temple of the LORD
where the ark of God was.
The LORD called to Samuel, who answered, “Here I am.”
Samuel ran to Eli and said, “Here I am. You called me.”
“I did not call you, ” Eli said. “Go back to sleep.”
So he went back to sleep.
Again the LORD called Samuel, who rose and went to Eli.
“Here I am, ” he said. “You called me.”
But Eli answered, “I did not call you, my son. Go back to sleep.”
At that time Samuel was not familiar with the LORD,
because the LORD had not revealed anything to him as yet.
The LORD called Samuel again, for the third time.
Getting up and going to Eli, he said, “Here I am. You called me.”
Then Eli understood that the LORD was calling the youth.
So he said to Samuel, “Go to sleep, and if you are called, reply,
Speak, LORD, for your servant is listening.”
When Samuel went to sleep in his place,
the LORD came and revealed his presence,
calling out as before, “Samuel, Samuel!”
Samuel answered, “Speak, for your servant is listening.”
Samuel grew up, and the LORD was with him,
not permitting any word of his to be without effect.
1 Samuel: 3: 3-10
The Old Testament reading today ends too soon. The most impressive part is just after this passage where the Lord tells Samuel what He is about to do, which is to doom the House of Eli because Eli knew his sons were blaspheming God by their actions and he did not reprove them. Samuel tells Eli this bleak prophecy. Eli has served God all his life and now he learns that his family will be blotted out by God. Rather than rage against God and accuse Him of injustice, Eli says:
“It is the LORD. What is pleasing in the LORD’s sight, the LORD will do.”
We are ever ready to accept blessings from the Hand of God and ever ready to avoid the chastisements He might send us. This of course is a very human reaction and it is also a very wrong reaction. God is All Just, just as He is All Good and All Loving. From His hands we receive only good, no matter how bitter that good may be in mortal terms. Here below in this fallen world we discern God dimly, our wits befuddled by sin. In the next world perhaps all may be made plain. Perhaps not. Perhaps God will give the same answer to our queries as He did long ago to a question in Judaea: “What is that to Thee? Follow thou Me!”. Our duty is to follow Him, not to follow our own doubts and folly.