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Read 1 Samuel 3:1–21

‘The boy Samuel ministered before the LORD under Eli. In those days the word of the LORD was rare; there were not many visions.’ (v1)

Arguably, the start of 1 Samuel reflects one of the darkest and most depressing spiritual periods of God’s people found in Scripture.

Commencing with a story of physical barrenness (chapter 1), chapter 3 depicts a season of spiritual barrenness and darkness.

Spiritual darkness is one thing, yet a silent darkness is another – ‘the Word of the Lord was rare’. On top of this, the clergy were also fraudulent, with Eli indifferent to his sons’ rebellion and abuse of their office (v13).

Yet even here, encouragement is offered as verse 1 tells us, ‘The boy Samuel ministered before the Lord…’ Even in the midst of this bleak chapter, the Lord is at work in and through a little boy called Samuel.

The Advent season reminds us that God brings hope into despair, light into darkness. We too might find ourselves in a dark chapter of faith and following.

It can be easy to be overwhelmed by life’s events and circumstances, with perhaps even God Himself seeming distant and silent. 

Yet we too can look for the ‘little Samuels’, for the ways God is still at work – working His purposes out in spite of, not because of, us.

As the chorus says, He is our ‘Way maker, miracle worker, promise keeper, light in the darkness.

Whatever we are facing at the moment – let us look for the ‘little Samuels’ of God’s providence and care.


‘Lord, help me to see how You are working – even when all around seems dark. Amen.’

Let’s ask ourselves: How do we see the Lord working in our lives, even in the smallest ways?

Gen. 1:1–3; Isa. 53:1–12; Matt. 4:12–17; John 1:1–13

Micha Jazz is Director of Resources at Waverley Abbey, UK.