1 Samuel 3:9 (ESV): 9 Therefore Eli said to Samuel, “Go, lie down, and if he calls you, you shall say, ‘Speak, Lord, for your servant hears.’” So Samuel went and lay down in his place.
There is great irony in this verse. Samuel had been taken in by Eli and was growing up in the Tabernacle. Meanwhile, Eli’s grown sons were corrupt and doing wicked things.
Eli knew about their wickedness, but did virtually nothing to stop them. A man of God had already prophesied doom upon Eli’s household because he allowed his sons to continue in their wickedness.
Now, God was calling to Samuel, who didn’t recognize his voice. Samuel would go on to obey God and live for him faithfully. Meanwhile, Eli recognized that God was calling Samuel, yet he had failed to obey God.
It is truly sad when we, like Eli, can recognize God’s voice, but we fail to respond and obey Him. Instead, we should endeavor to be like Samuel, learning to recognize and obey the word of God.
Heavenly Father, tune my ears to your voice. Train my feet to follow your path. Amen.