1 Samuel 3:1, The word of YHVH was rare in those days; there was no widespread revelation [open, prophetic vision]. Into this environment of spiritual laxity in Israel, YHVH introduced Samuel, a man who was single-handedly responsible for the spiritual revival of that nation.
The regime of Eli and his wayward sons can be likened to the state of the church in these last days in America. Eli was a weak, ineffectual, compromised, lukewarm, fat and blind leader spiritual leader. The modern church is filled with leaders who like Eli have little or no backbone to stand up to evil, to denounce sin, to refuse to toy with spiritual compromise, to stand up to false leaders who are in the ministry simply for their own personal gain and physical gratification.
On the surface, Eli looked good. He sported the title of High Priest, along with all the trappings and regalia that came with that exalted office including a glorious church building, ceremonial accoutrements and robes. He even had “throne.” Yet at the same time, he was blind and grossly fat. This is the spiritual state of many leaders in the church today. For their own benefit, they have plundered the people they lead becoming financially well off in the process. YHVH denounces these phony and carnal shepherds in Ezekiel 34 who feed themselves at the sheep’s expense caring little or nothing for them. This was the sin of Eli’s sons who not only forcefully plundered the people for their own gain (1 Sam 2:2–17), but fulfilled their sexual appetites as well at the people’s expense (2 Sam 2:22–23). Yeshua rebukes these same hireling shepherds who put their own interests ahead of the sheep they are supposed to care for (John 10:1–13). The apostles of Yeshua who literally laid down their lives for the sheep and the spreading of the gospel had no use for these counterfeits as well. Paul denounces those who peddle the word of Elohim (2 Cor 2:17), and who are greedy for money (Tit 1:11 cp. 1 Tim 3:3, 8; Tit 1:7; 1 Pet 5:2).
Is it any wonder that the word of YHVH was rare in the days of Eli and his sons? How can a righteous and holy Elohim endure dealing with such a people? Remember his aversion to those in Laodicea who viewed themselves as quit well off, thank you very much, but were in reality, from Elohim’s perspective, miserable, wretched, naked, poor, deaf and blind. Unless they repented of their sin, he was ready to vomit these lukewarm believers from his mouth (Rev 3:14–21).
But in the middle of the spiritual morass of Eli’s leadership in Israel, YHVH raised up a pure and innocent vessel in Samuel. YHVH started moving powerfully in the little Samuel’s life when he began to speak to him audibly and by vision. This small start was the beginning of national revival in Israel that eventually led to David becoming king and a temple being built in Jerusalem — the pinnacle of Israel’s glory days as a nation.
In reality, it all started with a faithful, praying mother who once having her prayer answered for a son willingly gave up that son, as a thank offering, to YHVH’s service. The lesson here? Even in the midst of the hopelessness of spiritual societal darkness, YHVH can raise up a Hannah and a Samuel who will take the nation by storm for him! All YHVH needs are a few committed, praying, faith-filled servants who are sold out for him, and who remain pure and undefiled from the spiritual pollutions around them. Are you willing to be such a person?