“Speak, for your servant hears,” so ends the OT reading for this morning (I Samuel 3:1-10). When I received my call, after eight years of preparation, I had no idea where Becky and I would be going. Turns out it was to St. Martin’s in Winona, MN. However, Samuel didn’t know the word of the Lord.
The Lord’s word to him that night is not exactly what one would expect. His call was to his home congregation, the temple at Shiloh. The Lord said, “I am going to do something in Israel that will make people’s ears ring.” Sounds exciting? Well, think again. The Lord is about to wipe out Eli’s whole family.
Eli had heard that his two sons had been sexually assaulting the women who served in the temple. He spoke with them, but they blew him off. Hophni and Phinehas were also bullying worshipers. They took the best part of the sacrifice first for their own dining pleasure. Samuel’s first assignment was to tell Eli about the destruction of his family.
Now with some trepidation in the pit of my stomach, I’ve had to preach a few, not many, tough sermons to a congregation. 3:19 has this promise, “The Lord was with him and let none of his words fall to the ground.”