1 Samuel 3:11-41 gives the account of Samuel’s first prophetic revelation. That prophecy had to do with how God would deal with Eli’s house. It was not at all a comforting or pleasant prophecy! Because Eli’s sons had “made themselves vile,” God would cut off the house of Eli.
No doubt, this would be a difficult thing for Samuel to do. Eli had been the priest that raised him in the Lord’s service. Now he would have to deliver this harsh rebuke to the older man. There is a good lesson here for us. It takes courage and strength to do all that God has commanded us to do! He has not given us a spirit of fear, “but of power and of love and of a sound mind” (2 Tim. 1:8). Sometimes we must rebuke those that we love because they are not following the Lord as they should. Paul loved Peter enough to tell him when he was wrong (Gal. 2:11). No doubt, this was difficult for Paul, an apostle born out of due time (1 Cor. 15:58). But Paul cared more for Peter’s spiritual well-being than he did his own comfort. We must be willing to speak up when we need to. Not only for our own good (cf. Ezek. 33:8, 9), but also for the good of our brethren (James 5:20).
But the rebuke wasn’t only because of Eli’s sons. God said that it was against Eli also, because “he did not restrain them.” Eli had a responsibility to teach his sons and “rebuke” them when necessary. The word “
The rebuke of Samuel’s first prophecy wasn’t just against Eli’s sons. It was against Eli because “he did not restrain them.” Let us be careful not to make the same tragic mistake Eli made!