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Called and Anointed (1 Samuel 3:1-10)

Updated: Oct 18, 2023

Sermon on 8 Oct 2023 by Pastor Gaius


The passage today is about Samuel’s encounter with God. It was during the days of Judges, which was a chaotic time of lawlessness. The people of Israel did not obey God and did what they pleased. Enemies kept attacking.

In those days there was no king in Israel. Everyone did what was right in his own eyes. - Judges 21:25

The mother of Samuel prayed for a son, and promised to dedicate the boy to God. Samuel, under the tutelage of Eli, grew up well. One day, Samuel kept hearing him

self being called. He thought it was Eli, but it was not. Eli realised it was the Lord calling Samuel, so Eli told Samuel to respond to God.


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. - 1 Samuel 3:1

In those days, the Lord seldom revealed Himself to man, as the people did not have God in their hearts. If there is no repentance, there is no presence of God. God wants

to talk to us, but do we want to talk to Him?

At that time Eli, whose eyesight had begun to grow dim so that he could not see, was lying down in his own place. 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. Then the Lord called Samuel, and he said, “Here I am!” and ran to Eli and said, “Here I am, for you called me.” But he said, “I did not call; lie down again.” So he went and lay down. And the Lord called again, “Samuel!” and Samuel arose and went to Eli and said, “Here I am, for you called me.” But he said, “I did not call, my son; lie down again.” Now Samuel did not yet know the Lord, and the word of the Lord had not yet been revealed to him. - 1 Samuel 3:2-7

Knowing needs revelation. Both Eli and Samuel were called by God. Eli knew that God must be trying to talk to the boy, Samuel. And he taught Samuel how to respond to God. Samuel honoured God and responded with reverence.

And the Lord called Samuel again the third time. And he arose and went to Eli and said, “Here I am, for you called me.” Then Eli perceived that the Lord was calling the boy. Therefore Eli said to Samuel, “Go, lie down, and if he calls you, you shall say, ‘Speak, Lord, for your servant hears.’” So Samuel went and lay down in his place. And the Lord ca

me and stood, calling as at other times, “Samuel! Samuel!” And Samuel said, “Speak, for your servant hears.” - 1 Samuel 3:8-10

Eli had two sons, but they did not know the Lord. They sinned against God.

Now the sons of Eli were worthless men. They did not know the Lord. - 1 Samuel 2:12

Thus the sin of the young men was very great in the sight of the Lord, for the men treated the offering of the Lord with contempt. - 1 Samuel 2:17

If someone sins against a man, God will mediate for him, but if someone sins against the Lord, who can intercede for him?” But they would not listen to the voice of their father, for it was the will of the Lord to put them to death. - 1 Samuel 2:25

And this that shall come upon your two sons, Hophni and Phinehas, shall be the sign to you: both of them shall die on the same day. And I will raise up for myself a faithful priest, who shall do according to what is in my heart and in my mind. And I will build him a sure house, and he shall go in and out before my anointed forever. - 1 Samuel 2:34-35

And I declare to him that I am about to punish his house forever, for the iniqu

ity that he knew, because his sons were blaspheming God, and he did not restrain them. - 1 Samuel 3:13

The bible tells us that many are called, but few are chosen. Those who are chosen have a willing heart. Eli was unfaithful to the responsibility given by God. He was unfaithful to his calling. Eli knew that his sons were blaspheming God, but did not do anything about it. Therefore, Eli has no anointing.

How do we be faithful to our calling? It is by our actions. Both Samuel and Eli were called, but only Samuel had the anointing. Samuel was faithful to God’s calling as he did what God called him to do.

So Samuel told him everything and hid nothing from him. And he said, “It is the Lord. Let him do what seems good to him.” And Samuel grew, and the Lord was with him and let none of his words fall to the ground. - 1 Samuel 3:18-19

The Lord was with Samuel. In the presence of God, there is fullness of joy. God always wants to be with us, but examine yourselves - do we want to be in His presence? Samuel was also a witness for God. Let us be like Samuel, glorifying God in everything we do.

And all Israel from Dan to Beersheba knew that Samuel was established as a prophet of the Lord. And the Lord appeared again at Shiloh, for the Lord revealed himself to Samuel at Shiloh by the word of the Lord. - 1 Samuel 3:20-21

Earlier, Samuel did not know God because God had not yet revealed Himself to Samuel. But now, Samuel has been anointed.


And the Lord came and stood, calling as at other times, “Samuel! Samuel!” And Samuel said, “Speak, for your servant hears.” - 1 Samuel 3:10

Verse 10 is telling of a person who is very willing. Samuel did not know God, but Eli did, and Samuel was obedient to Eli. Samuel did not know what God was going to tell him, but

he had a willing heart, a heart of obedience.

Let us learn from Samuel’s example - be obedient, humble and very willing. Let us respond correctly to God.

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