The word of the Lord first revealed to Samuel. (1-10) God tells Samuel the destruction of Eli's house. (11-18) Samuel established to be a prophet. (19-21)
Verses 1-10 The call which Divine grace designs shall be made effectual; will be repeated till it is so, till we come to the call. Eli, perceiving that it was the voice of God that Samuel heard, instructed him what to say. Though it was a disgrace to Eli, for God's call to be directed to Samuel, yet he told him how to meet it. Thus the elder should do their utmost to assist and improve the younger that are rising up. Let us never fail to teach those who are coming after us, even such as will soon be preferred before us, ( John 1:30 ) . Good words should be put into children's mouths betimes, by which they may be prepared to learn Divine things, and be trained up to regard them.
Verses 11-18 What a great deal of guilt and corruption is there in us, concerning which we may say, It is the iniquity which our own heart knoweth; we are conscious to ourselves of it! Those who do not restrain the sins of others, when it is in their power to do it, make themselves partakers of the guilt, and will be charged as joining in it. In his remarkable answer to this awful sentence, Eli acknowledged that the Lord had a right to do as he saw good, being assured that he would do nothing wrong. The meekness, patience, and humility contained in those words, show that he was truly repentant; he accepted the punishment of his sin.
Verses 19-21 All increase in wisdom and grace, is owing to the presence of God with us. God will graciously repeat his visits to those who receive them aright. Early piety will be the greatest honour of young people. Those who honour God he will honour. Let young people consider the piety of Samuel, and from him they will learn to remember their Creator in the days of their youth. Young children are capable of religion. Samuel is a proof that their waiting upon the Lord will be pleasing to him. He is a pattern of all those amiable tempers, which are the brightest ornament of youth, and a sure source of happiness.
This chapter gives an account of the Lord's calling to Samuel in the night season, which he first took for the voice of Eli, but being instructed by him, made answer to the voice, 1Sa 3:1-10, and of a message sent from him by Samuel to Eli, foretelling the destruction of his family, 1Sa 3:11-14 and of the delivery of it to him, which Samuel was first fearful of doing, but, encouraged by Eli, he delivered it to him, to which he patiently submitted, 1Sa 3:15-18 and the chapter is closed with the establishment of Samuel as a prophet of the Lord, who continued to appear and reveal himself to him, 1Sa 3:19-21.