1 Samuel 3: Samuel Speaks to God


Eli is getting old and Samuel sleeps in the temple to keep the lamp of God lit. He hears a voice calling to him and checks with Eli. Nope, not him. This happens a couple of more times. Eli, understanding that it is God that is calling Samuel tells Samuel to answer God – I hear you. So, God speaks to Samuel and tells him that Eli is going to die and so will his sons, pre the prophesy in 1 Samuel 2. Eli did not stop his vile sons from behaving badly so they all have to die.  In the morning, Eli asks Samuel what God said, so Samuel tells him. And Eli takes the news well. It is the Lord, let him do what seemeth him good.  As Samuel grew everyone recognized that he was established to be the prophet of the Lord after Eli.

In other words:

God speaks directly to Samuel and Samuel keeps thinking it’s Eli.

Favorite bit:

1 Samuel 3:3-10 – Samuel keeps waking up Eli because he thinks it’s Eli who is calling to him, but it’s actually a voice in his head ie: God.

What’s cool?

1 Samuel 3:18 – Samuel told him every whit and hid nothing from him (Eli). And he said, it is the lord: let him do what seemeth him good.  Eli is just really not bothered by the prophesy at all. It’s pretty clear he didn’t really like his sons.

What’s interesting?

As we all know, even in the wizarding world, hearing voices isn't good. But actually, hearing voices – for young kids – while rare, isn't entirely uncommon either.  It’s estimated around 8% of kids hear voices at some point. Only 4% continue to hear them into adulthood. Anyway – we know Samuel is going to continue to speak with God into adulthood which indicates a brain problem – not full-fledged schizophrenia, but a version that’s clearly manageable and it strikes me that perhaps this is why this trait or tendency has not been selected against – someone who could speak to the gods would be very valuable.

Moral Lesson Learned:

Don’t lie (1 Samuel 3)