(1 Samuel 3: 11-18) 11 And the Lord said to Samuel: “See, I am about to do something in Israel that will make the ears of everyone who hears about it tingle. 12 At that time I will carry out against Eli everything I spoke against his family—from beginning to end. 13 For I told him that I would judge his family forever because of the sin he knew about; his sons blasphemed God, and he failed to restrain them. 14 Therefore I swore to the house of Eli, ‘The guilt of Eli’s house will never be atoned for by sacrifice or offering.’” 15 Samuel lay down until morning and then opened the doors of the house of the Lord. He was afraid to tell Eli the vision, 16 but Eli called him and said, “Samuel, my son.” Samuel answered, “Here I am.” 17 “What was it he said to you?” Eli asked. “Do not hide it from me. May God deal with you, be it ever so severely, if you hide from me anything he told you.” 18 So Samuel told him everything, hiding nothing from him. Then Eli said, “He is the Lord; let him do what is good in his eyes.”
Obedience is hard. It just is! Even when we’re grounded, and we’re fully committed, being obedient is difficult because it requires something substantial from us…humility. For most people, humility is a personal sacrifice because to submit to someone else means that you have not only given up “ownership” of your life, but you have also said with your actions that you are not the one who matters most.
I’m sure it was more difficult than one could imagine for Samuel to share with Eli what God had shown him. After all, it was harsh, and Eli had been Samuel’s surrogate father, his teacher, and his mentor for most of his life. We know that Samuel laid awake until morning, seemingly in dread of having to be the bearer of such a “hard word” (as they say). He didn’t want to do it. His flesh resisted obedience, just like it all-too-often will. However, when Eli demanded to know all, Samuel’s response was of the highest regard and the greatest humility…he held nothing back.
Shouldn’t this be our response too, not only to God but also to those who have been given authority over us? For in truth, if we are humble, then it’s not about ourselves anyway, and personal sacrifice then comes into play. Fears are set aside, comfort is surrendered, we give our all, we tell the truth, we love by serving, and we OBEY.
Sometimes part of serving God is submitting to the unpleasant. We have to realize, like Eli, that the Lord is sovereign. The Bible tells us that a man reaps what he sows, and unfortunately (even under the grace of Christ) the repercussions of sin must come to pass. Consequences are absolutely unavoidable, but as God’s children we must recognize that He is the father and as such we must give to him the trust and respect he is owed. In the words of Eli, “He is the Lord; let him do what is good in his eyes.”
1 Peter 5:6 tells us, “Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time.” When we have been able to come to a place of humility and obedience, we become malleable in the hands of the Creator, who desires to make something marvelous and incomparable out of our lives…so that when He has completed the work within us, He is able to lift us up over His head as if to say, “Look at this masterpiece!”
(Psalm 25:9) He guides the humble in what is right and teaches them his way.”
Prayer: Father God, I realize that without you I am nothing. I accept your will and I recognize your providence in my life, even when I am facing consequence and hardship. Help me to be humble in all ways, submitting myself as a servant to your call on my life. I know that this is what you require of me if I am to be shaped and taught by you, my Creator and Lord. Amen.