Samuel was dedicated to the Lord by a praying, woman of God in 1 Samuel 1
1 Sam.2:11 “And the boy was ministering to the Lord in the presence of Eli the priest.”
-Samuel ministers TO THE LORD. We don’t know what Eli was doing.
Again in v.18,21- notice Samuel’s pattern of ministry TO THE LORD. No mention of any ministry to man.
3:1 “Now the boy Samuel was ministering to the Lord in the presence of Eli. And the word of the Lord was rare in those days; there was no frequent vision“-Samuel was ministering to the Lord and who knows what Eli was doing. However, spiritual vision and hearing from God was rare.
3:2 “At that time Eli, whose eyesight had begun to grow dim so that he could not see, was lying down in his own place.” – Eli’s eyes (spiritually?) were dim and he did not stay in the Temple.
3:3 “The 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.” -Samuel was not only in the Temple but in the Holy of Holies! Samuel knew to abide in the presence of God and not out of obligation but out of love! It was just Samuel and God!
in 3:4-14 Samuel has his encounter with God that every Sunday School child knows about. I have nothing to add to that.
“Samuel lay until morning; then he opened the doors of the house of the Lord.“-Samuel was the one to wake up early and open the Temple. Where was Eli? Probably home in bed.
v.19 “And Samuel grew, and the Lord was with him and let none of his words fall to the ground. 20And all Israel from Dan to Beersheba knew that Samuel was established as a prophet of the Lord“
Let’s never forget that God is our first love! We minister to Him in the secret place first and never stop! Apparently Eli stopped and his sons were heathens, Eli lost his vision and even left the presence of God. God even spoke to a young boy about Eli’s son’s future and (unlike Moses) Eli didn’t intercede and try to change God’s heart…he basically said “that’s life…” Did Eli let his “ministry” get in the way of his relationship with God?