Now the boy Samuel was attending to the service of the Lord under the supervision of Eli. The word of the Lord was rare and precious in those days; visions [that is, new revelations of divine truth] were not widespread.
Yet it happened at that time, as Eli was lying down in his own place (now his eyesight had begun to grow dim and he could not see well). and the [oil] 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, that the Lord called Samuel, and he answered, “Here I am.” He ran to Eli and said, “Here I am, for you called me.” But Eli said, “I did not call you; lie down again.” So he went and lay down. Then the Lord called yet again, “Samuel!” So Samuel got up and went to Eli and said, “Here I am, for you called me.” But Eli answered, “I did not call, my son; lie down again.” Now Samuel did not yet know [or personally experience] the Lord, and the word of the Lord was not yet revealed [directly] to him. So the Lord called Samuel a third time. And he stood and went to Eli and said, “Here I am, for you did call me.” Then Eli understood that it was the Lord [who was] calling the boy. So Eli said to Samuel, “Go, lie down, and it shall be that if He calls you, you shall say, ‘Speak, Lord, for Your servant is listening.’” So Samuel went and lay down in his place.
Then the Lord came and stood and called as at the previous times, “Samuel! Samuel!” Then Samuel answered, “Speak, for Your servant is listening”
1 Samuel 3:1-10 AMP
It is a desire of most faithful parents to pass on a spiritual legacy to their children. The high priest Eli had a deep desire to pass on his love for the God’s house and his spiritual responsibilities to his own sons, Hophni and Phinehas. But the weakness and spiritual disposition of the sons of Eli led them to a pathway of wickedness. Not only did they not listen to God’s voice, their wicked disposition prompted God to cut off their bloodline completely.
Eli had begun to pour his time and attention toward Hannah’s son, Samuel. Samuel had given himself to tending to the chores around the house of God even though the Bible says at this time Samuel did not know God personally. The lesson here is that God is willing to walk with you slowly, if necessary, to allow a spiritual yearning and passion to develop. Would that the church should be so patient with those visiting the house of the Lord.
Life was difficult for an Israelite in these days of Levi. Scripture says that the word of the Lord was rare and precious in those days. Eli’s sons were scoundrels, showing no regard for the Lord whatsoever. Without strong spiritual leadership, the rest of the nation was left to flounder on their own. It is vital to understand that God did not cease to work simply because of Israel’s anemic faith or deaf ears. God just waited until there was someone willing to listen.
Samuel was about to hear a voice that He had no idea was the voice of God. God spoke to Samuel as the boy was sleeping. God did not shout. He did not accentuate His presence or His voice because few were paying attention. He did not speak with signs and miracles to arrest the attention of the masses. He spoke in such a soft way that Samuel thought it was Eli who was calling him.
In a world where we hear the sound of knees falling to the ground on a football field, rather than the sound of diplomats trying to disarm bombs that could wipe out countries; where we hear the sound of those complaining about standing in lines, rather than the sound of those in the medical field warning us of contagious diseases; and where the platform of the official voices of politics have become a loud speaker for the profane; let me assure you that God is still here and He is not silent.
The world wants to convince you that God is not speaking. Don’t ever let the tension of the times scare you so that it lulls you into thinking that God is absent.
Give God a life that He can trust His words to. Be still, know God and listen. You will be surprised at what you hear.