Beginning of the End


Punishment: The Ark Taken

This chapter is based on 1 Samuel 3 to 7.

God could not communicate with the high priest, Eli, and his sons. Their sins had shut out the presence of His Holy Spirit. But the child Samuel remained true to Heaven, and giving the message of condemnation to the house of Eli was Samuel’s first task as a prophet of the Most High. BOE 293.1

“While Eli was lying down in his place, and when his eyes had begun to grow so dim that he could not see, and before the lamp of God went out in the tabernacle of the Lord where the ark of God was, and while Samuel was lying down, ... the Lord called Samuel.” BOE 293.2

Thinking that the voice was Eli’s, the child hurried to the bedside of the priest, saying, “Here I am,; for you called me.” Eli answered, “I did not call, my son; lie down again.” BOE 293.3

Three times Samuel was called, and three times he answered in the same way. Then Eli was convinced that the mysterious call was the voice of God. The Lord had passed by His chosen servant, the man of gray hairs, to speak with a child. This in itself was a bitter yet deserved rebuke to Eli and his family. BOE 293.4

No envy or jealousy stirred in Eli’s heart. He told Samuel to answer, “Speak, Lord, for Your servant hears.” BOE 293.5

Once more the voice came, and the child answered, “‘Speak, for Your servant hears.’” BOE 293.6

“Then the Lord said to Samuel, ‘Behold, I will do something in Israel at which both ears of everyone who hears it will tingle. In that day I will perform against Eli all that I have spoken concerning his house, from beginning to end. For I have told him that I will judge his house forever for the iniquity which he knows, because his sons made themselves vile, and he did not restrain them. ... The iniquity of Eli’s house shall not be atoned for by sacrifice or offering forever.’” BOE 293.7

Samuel was filled with fear and amazement at the thought of having received such a terrible message. In the morning he went about his duties as usual, but with a heavy burden on his young heart. The Lord had not commanded him to reveal the fearful condemnation, so he remained silent. He trembled in the fear that some question would force him to reveal the divine judgments against the one whom he loved and reverenced. Eli was confident that the message predicted some great calamity to him and his house. He called Samuel and told him to relate faithfully what the Lord had revealed. The youth obeyed, and the old man bowed in humble submission to the dreadful sentence. “It is the Lord,” he said. “Let Him do what seems good to Him.” BOE 293.8