The LORD continued to appear at Shiloh, and there he revealed himself to Samuel through his word.
-1 Samuel 3:21
This chapter shows us that God reveals Himself by His Word. For us, this means that Scripture alone is the Word of God. If we want to find out what God thinks, then we must turn to Scripture. If we want to find out what our lives should look like, then we mus look to the Words of our God. I’ve met professing Christians who spurn Biblical studies, insisting instead upon their own experiences. What is disturbing to me is that the very thoughts of God are, in one fell swoop, diminished, made light of, despised, as those who spurn the Word seek something else.
Well, what else is there? How else do we know the Word of the Lord?
It is by God’s mercy and grace that we have the Bible, the written record of His dealings with men, the written revelation of what He desires – the book that reveals His holiness, love, wrath, power, and Triunity. And there are “Christians” who look down upon this? It saddens me that we are so sinful that we think our experiences outweigh the testimony of holy Scripture. While we have the very mind of Christ and have been given the contents of His mind, His thoughts, we search after other things to supplement what is all sufficient in and of itself.
The Word of the Lord may not always be comforting, it may strike terror into our hearts as we consider the depth of our sins. It may command us to call others out for their sins against the Lord, as the Word Himself commanded Samuel to call Eli out for his complacency. It may wound those to whom we preach, but it will also heal those who have been given ears to hear the consoling words of the Gospel. If we are to find out who God is, our task is not to seek after new experiences, but to search the Scriptures, to delight ourselves in the Law of God, to see Him there, to bask in the beauty of His holiness, and to enjoy Him who loved us and washed in His own blood.
What did Samuel learn about God?
He learned that God is just, the Perfect Judge who sees all and judges accordingly.
Samuel learned that God is not a respector of persons; therefore, Eli, regardless of the fact that he was Israel’s priest, could be rebuked by a boy.
Samuel learned that God opposes the proud, but He gives grace to the humble.
And he also learned that it is God who chooses who He will or will not save, because it is God’s Word that declares in v.14: “And therefore I have sworn to the house of Eli that the iniquity of Eli’s house shall not be atoned for by sacrifice or offering forever.” God clearly reveals to Samuel that it is He who atones for the sins of some, and who does not atone for the sins of others. Samuel, therefore, learns that salvation is all of God’s work; God owes His mercy to no man.
The Word of the Lord teaches us, reveals to us, the character of God.
Only the foolish think they can know Him apart from His Word.