From Eternity Past


Chapter 57—Punishment: The Ark Taken

This chapter is based on 1 Samuel 3 to 7.

God could not communicate with the high priest and his sons. Their sins had shut out the presence of His Holy Spirit. But the child Samuel remained true to Heaven, and the message of condemnation to the house of Eli was Samuel's commission as a prophet of the Most High. EP 421.1

“When Eli was laid down in his place, and his eyes began to wax dim, that he could not see; and ere the lamp of God went out in the temple of the Lord, where the ark of God was, and Samuel was laid down to sleep; ... the Lord called Samuel.” EP 421.2

Supposing the voice to be that of Eli, the child hastened to the bedside of the priest, saying, “Here am I; for thou calledst me.” The answer was, “I called not, my son; lie down again.” EP 421.3

Three times Samuel was called and thrice he responded in like manner. Then Eli was convinced that the mysterious call was the voice of God. The Lord had passed by His chosen servant, the man of hoary hairs, to commune with a child. This in itself was a bitter yet deserved rebuke to Eli and his house. EP 421.4

No envy or jealousy was awakened in Eli's heart. He directed Samuel to answer, “Speak, Lord; for thy servant heareth.” EP 421.5

Once more the voice was heard and the child answered, “Speak; for Thy servant heareth.” EP 421.6

“And the Lord said to Samuel, Behold, I will do a thing in Israel, at which both the ears of everyone that heareth it shall tingle. In that day I will perform against Eli all things which I have spoken concerning his house: when I begin, I will also make an end. For I have told him that I will judge his house forever for the iniquity which he knoweth; because his sons made themselves vile, and he restrained them not... . The iniquity of Eli's house shall not be purged with sacrifice nor offering forever.” EP 421.7

Samuel was filled with fear and amazement at the thought of having so terrible a message committed to him. 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 denunciation; hence he remained silent. He trembled lest some question compel him to declare the divine judgments against one whom he loved and reverenced. Eli was confident that the message foretold some great calamity to him and his house. He called Samuel and charged him to relate faithfully what the Lord had revealed. The youth obeyed, and the aged man bowed in humble submission to the appalling sentence. “It is the Lord,” he said; “let Him do what seemeth Him good.” EP 422.1