We will continue the comparison and destinies of two families in 1 Samuel 2-4; Eli’s cursed family and Elkanah’s blessed family. Yesterday we learned how God promised to curse the family that ignored and rebelled from Him. Today we will discover how God promised to bless the family that serves Him in humility. This is a vivid contrast with the destiny of Eli’s family and his wicked sons Hophni and Phinehas. These two wicked brothers will never experience old age. In fact, they will both die early and die on the same day.
1 Samuel 2:26 accentuates the comparison, “By contrast, the boy Samuel grew in stature and in favor with the Lord and with people.”
This is the final story of Elkanah’s family. The once childless and barren Hannah now receives the blessing of fruitful multiplication. The Lord provided Hannah, with five additional children—three sons and two daughters.
Little Samuel, growing up in Shiloh, served the Lord continually. Samuel’s serving the Lord was an ongoing activity, something that was ingrained in his lifestyle. In his service at Shiloh, Samuel wore the ephod, a sleeveless, hip-length garment that only members of the Levitical tribe were authorized to wear. Samuel’s mother brought Samuel a robe, an ephod every year. The clear implication is that Samuel was a member of this tribe (cf. 1 Chr 6:22–28). This was more than a thoughtful gift from his mother, the Levitical tribe was involved in priestly service (Leviticus 8:7).
The bible says that Samuel grew up “in the presence of the Lord.” This Hebrew phrase is the same Hebrew phrase used to describe Moses’ position when he received the 10 Commandments (Exodus 34:28). In the present context this bible seems to suggest that Samuel enjoyed a childhood marked by divine favor and a lifestyle evidencing a Moses-like relationship with the Lord.