And Samuel grew, and the LORD was with him, and did let none of his words fall to the ground. (1Sa 3:19)
Samuel was born to a determined woman, Hannah, who prayed earnestly for a child. When God gave her a child, she weaned him and not long afterward (we don’t know how long) gave him to the Lord to work as Eli’s child servant in the Temple. The World Health Organization of the U.N. says that the average age of weaning children today is 4.2 years of age. That seems high but that's what they say.
It is not that old in the developed nations of the world today. The weaning age of children in America is closer to 12 months. The question is not if a mother could suckle a child that long, for there are cases on record of American women keeping a child on breast feeding for a long time for the mother’s own comfort or for the health of a sick child.
If Hannah weaned Samuel at age four as an only child, being near his mother gave him some advantages. I am remembering that Hannah was not an average woman and not an average mother. The Bible record is short and makes an abrupt change in his situation as Samuel is weaned and is suddenly at the Temple as a resident. We read:
And when she had weaned him, she took him up with her, with three bullocks, and one ephah of flour, and a bottle of wine, and brought him unto the house of the LORD in Shiloh: and the child was young. And they slew a bullock, and brought the child to Eli. And she said, Oh my lord, as thy soul liveth, my lord, I am the woman that stood by thee here, praying unto the LORD.For this child I prayed; and the LORD hath given me my petition which I asked of him: Therefore also I have lent him to the LORD; as long as he liveth he shall be lent to the LORD. And he worshipped the LORD there. (1Sa 1:24-28)
Who “worshipped the LORD there?” The Bible does not name the person who worshiped there. Most commentators avoid the subject. Some suggest that Eli thanked God for this woman and this child. Maybe Samuel’s father worshiped the Lord? Not likely because he has not been in the picture except to encourage his determined wife.
Matthew Henry and John Wesley are convinced it was the child who worshiped the Lord in some meaningful way, so much so that the Bible counted it as worship. I agree. That is, he said his prayers to God. We can believe this is not the first-time Samuel worshiped the Lord.
May I suggest that before Samuel could walk as a toddler his mother had been humming and singing the most worshipful songs there was in Israel or maybe made up some herself as she did in chapter two for ten full verses. What a rich and full stream of praise she uttered to the God of Israel. She was a praying woman; a believing woman; a persistent woman; a passionate woman; a woman on a mission.
There was nothing ho-hum about Hannah. She had this special child from God nursing her and as soon as he could make sounds, Hannah was putting words in his mouth and teaching him to utter them to the God of Israel.
I believe that’s what happened to Samuel for at least two years before he moved to the Temple. Woshiping God was nothing new for Samuel. It was old-hat for him to bow on his knees and worship the God of Israel. And therefore, God did let none of his words fall to the ground. That is, when Samuel said something, it happened. His reputation was known from the city of Dan at the north of Israel to Beersheba, in the south of Israel; a distance of 150 miles.
Our picture for today is cute rather than a good picture of Samuel. It suggests a young child who is a born-intellect. Samuel was above his fellows in intellect and social development. It is amazing how smart Samuel was in handling his situation with Eli, the weak priest. Samuel surely reflects his mother’s image in wisdom, discernment, and dedication to the Lord. We have two worthwhile comments on young Samuel.
“This first act of Samuel as a prophet was recognized by Eli as having come from God. This was only the beginning of a public ministry as prophet, which would last through a lifetime and be recognized by all the people as a divine calling. The word of the Lord had been rare in those days (1Sam_3:1). Now, however, it would be common, for God had found a man to whom He could entrust it. The sign that Samuel was a spokesman for God was the fact that God let none of his words fall to the ground (1Sam_3:19), that is, everything he prophesied came to pass.
All Israel from Dan to Beersheba (the northernmost and southernmost towns in Israel — a distance of about 150 miles) recognized that Samuel was… a prophet of the Lord. There was no clearer indication that a man was called to be a prophet than the fact that his predictive word invariably was fulfilled (Deu_18:21-22). When it was understood that Samuel’s credentials as a prophet were established, a new era was under way. Revelation through priest and ephod was passing away, and revelation through prophets was beginning. (Bible Knowledge Commentary)
F.B. Meyer says: “It was a heavy burden that the young boy had to carry. To remind Eli of his sons’ shameful sin; to reprove him for his neglect; to utter a judgment which no sacrifice could avert-all this was so painful that Samuel seems to have lain with wide-open eyes till daybreak. Then he appears to have gone quietly about his usual duties, as if still unwilling to disturb the quiet serenity of old age. It almost seems that Samuel realized the implicit rejection of Eli and his family, since he, and not Eli, had received the divine message.
“Samuel’s delicacy in trying to save Eli’s feelings is as beautiful as the old man’s resignation in hearing the awful disclosure of judgment; and in many a trying hour in after-life, he must have recurred to Eli’s reverent expression of submission: “It is the Lord: let Him do what seemeth Him good.” The secret of a blessed life is to say Yes to God, and as sons to receive the discipline of His chastening and refining providence, Heb_12:7. (F. B. Meyer)
How soon should mother’s influence their young toward the Lord? How about singing to them and praying over them while they’re in the womb? How about reading to them the best Bible story book you can find and showing them the pictures in the book and talking to them about the people in the pictures? How about putting their hands on your Bible and making the sounds of “Bible!” Get the youngster to see and say the name of the “Bible.”
How about singing to them “Jesus loves me this I know, for the Bible tells me so…” as you rock them to sleep in the afternoon. Nothing is as powerful as a mother nursing her child and singing little songs over and over again. How about praying as soon or even before the child is conceived? Many preachers were prayed over in the womb by their mothers.
Read Through the Bible in a Year
MAY 10, 2017 - WEDNESDAY
A.M. 1Kings 21-22 P.M. John 3:1-21
(Bible Gateway will read this to you if you like. Look for the speaker icon.)
Memory Verse This Month:
And he said unto them, These are the words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms, concerning me. (Luke 24:44)
Song for Today:
Burdens Are Lifted At Calvary (4:51) (Gaither Group)
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