Samuel sleeping, just before he is "called". Photo by Amanda Truss
Samuel receives his calling (1 Samuel, Chapter 3) - How awesome would it be to actually know beforehand your calling in life? Well, in this chapter the young child Samuel receives his calling, and it is fairly amusing story.
Late at night, the child Samuel is awakened by a voice calling him. He goes to his dad (Eli) and asks what he wants. Eli says he didn't call him and to go lie back down. This happens two more times.
The second time it happens, Eli figures that Yahweh (Israelite god) has been calling Samuel, and so Eli tells Samuel to lay down and the next time he hears the voice to say, "Speak, for your servant hears you."
So, on the third time that Samuel is called, he responds, "Speak, for your servant hears you."
Yahweh explains that He's going to do something that will "tickle the ears" of all Israel, and what He's going to do is this: punish the House of Eli! Because of the horrible things that Eli's sons have done, the House of Eli will be punished. This brings up a good moral question: Should the sins of one group of people be brought to bear upon their descendents?
So, the next morning Eli is interested in hearing what Yahweh had told young Samuel. And Samuel tells him everything. Eli is content with it, and basically says, "Let Yahweh do whatever He thinks is good."
And that brings up ANOTHER moral dilemma - is what God says always good?