In context for this chapter, remember that the boy Samuel has been placed with Eli the prophet, for service and training for God, as soon as he was weaned! That is a WOW in itself. In chapter one and two we read about Hannah's journey to do so, and Eli's sons' disobedience and sins against the Lord.
In verse one of chapter 3 we are told that God is not communicating much with his people.
"In those days the word of the Lord was rare; there were not many visions." NIV
Now I find it further amazing that already, Samuel has grown into a speaking, listening, son in the temple under the tutelage of Eli, so that when he hears the Lord call his name, he thinks it is Eli calling him, and he obediently goes to Eli. This happens three times (v. 2-9) until Eli realized that likely it was the Lord calling Samuel, so he instructed Samuel to say, "Speak Lord, for your servant is listening."
The fourth time that the Lord called unto Samuel, Samuel did as Eli had instructed. Then the Lord spoke. It was not a fun or pleasant message. It was about impending dismal upon Eli's house and it can be read about (v. 11-14).
Samuel did not want to speak of this impending demise, but upon Eli's urging, he did. (v.15-17) When Eli heard the fate of his family prophesied about, he responded in humility, and respect, with
"He is the Lord; let him do what is good in his eyes." (v. 18)
v. 19-21 tell us of Samuel's continued growth in reputation and God's continued revelation to men through Samuel.
How much are we like Samuel, to hear God call us and not recognize His voice, and not respond ready to listen further to His voice?
How often are we like Eli, to fail in the flesh (like he did in leading his sons)?
May we be ready to be listening, like Eli and Samuel tried to do.
May we be ready to encourage with wise counsel like Eli did when he advised Samuel on how to respond to that voice that He was hearing.
May we be of tender heart the way Samuel was- not wanting to bring bad news to his friend and mentor Eli.
May we be like Eli and be humble and God honoring even when things do not go the way of our heart's desire.
Dear Father in Heaven, thank you for Your word preserved for us. Thank you for Your mercy and grace. Thank you for giving us each a path, a journey, where we may learn and grow in obedience and to be used by You, in circumstances fun and not fun, in our successes and our failures.
Help us Father, to respond to life in harmony with the Holy Spirit, to represent kindness, thoughtfulness, and truth and wisdom from You. Your will be done, in our hearts, in our lives, in our family's life, in our community, and in all the world. Your will be done, Father, and thank you for Jesus, that through Him we may have forgiveness.
Thank you for preparing a place for us in Heaven. In Jesus's name I pray. AMEN