Reading: 1 Samuel 3: 1-20
Verse 17: “What was it He said to you? Do not hide it from me”.
No one likes bad news. No one likes to hear bad news. No one likes to be the bearer of bad news. We can all relate to what unfolds in today’s scripture. For Samuel, he is young and inexperienced with hearing from God. The bad news pertains to his mentor, who is old and in failing health. For Eli, the first news is unspoken: the torch has been passed. God will now speak through another. Eli mush have known that God spoke something to Samuel and because Samuel did not come right away to share the news, that the news must not have been good news.
Both Samuel and Eli could have sat on the bad news. Both could have waited it out – maybe God could bring a new word. Eli is old and failing, but he remains faithful to God, in spite of his failure to deal with his sons. Eli calls Samuel and begins with, “Samuel, my son”. I can envision Eli putting his arm lovingly around Samuel and looking deeply into his eyes as he says these words. Eli then encourages Samuel to share, saying, “What was it He said to you? Do not hide it from me”. Samuel tells Eli all that God had said. As a witness to his faith, Eli acknowledges that this will be done according to God’s good will.
What can we learn from this passage? The first lesson comes from Eli – help the bearer of bad news to know that it is OK to share the news that they have been entrusted with. Also from Eli we can see the example of receiving bad news knowing that God is and will be present in and through it. The third lesson we learn comes from Samuel – trust in God for the strength and courage to share what He has given us to share. In all of this we are called to learn from Romans 8:14: “For those who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God”. He loves us and will care for us.
Our God is just and loving and true. We can trust into all that God has for us and for our lives. May it be so. Amen.