And the child Samuel grew on, and was in favor both with the LORD, and also with men.
1 Samuel 2:26
Samuel was the result of a vow of desperation. His mother Hannah promised God that she would dedicate her son to His service if He would enable her to conceive.
God granted her wish and so it was that Samuel was born and brought to the house of Eli to serve the LORD.
Have we ever made a promise to God to be in His service when we were going through difficult phases of our lives?
What was going through Samuel’s mind as he stood there watching the sons of Eli bullying their ways, grabbing the best sacrificial portions, and sleeping with the women who were ministering at the temple?
What was going through the impressionable mind of a young child as he watched the daily ‘service’ to God exhibited by the sons of his teacher? It would have been very easy for him to follow. They were the living examples of what it is to serve God.
During his formative years when he was being weaned, his mother would have told him about her vow to God and how special Samuel was. He would have heard her sing of God’s greatness. And he would be serving this great God in the temple.
The LORD maketh poor, and maketh rich;
He bringeth low, and lifteth up.
He raiseth up the poor out of the dust,
and lifteth up the beggar from the dunghill,
to set them among the princes,
and to make them inherit the throne of glory;
for the pillars of the earth are the LORD’s,
and He hath set the world upon them.
1 Samuel 2:7-8
As Samuel watched Eli’s sons, he would have in his mind the memory of his mother’s words.
Those were words from years ago. Now faced with the reality of the unfolding witness of Eli’s sons, what would he do? Which path would he take?
And this is the situation facing perhaps some of us.
We set out with a mission and are inspired to try to achieve something meaningful. But as time goes by, we see the harsh reality of life. We get jaded and perhaps even disillusioned with what we see. Life isn’t so inspiring after all.
In fact, it can be downright unfair.
For Samuel, he stayed the course. He had a mission and he kept to that mission. He knew there was a divine purpose for his being. And he stayed true to it in spite of all the distractions and negative influences around him.
And… Samuel… was in favor both with the LORD, and also with men.
All of life is permeated by divine purpose.
Do you believe in this?
Are you still keeping to that purpose?