Growing in favor with God before you truly know Him (1 Samuel 2:26; 3:7)?

Discussion in 'OT Historical Books' started by JTB.SDG, Dec 12, 2018.

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  1. JTB.SDG

    JTB.SDG Puritan Board Sophomore

    1 Samuel 2:26: "Now the boy Samuel was growing in stature and in favor both with the Lord and with men."

    1 Samuel 3:7: "Now Samuel did not yet know the Lord. . ."

  2. Ed Walsh

    Ed Walsh Puritan Board Junior


    I did not revisit this topic before writing, nor have I ever studied it with a question like yours in mind, but I have always thought that verse 3:7 meant that Samuel had never befoe experienced the miraculous speaking of God to him. Surely our Reformed teaching is that before we are actually born again we can not be in God's favor in any sense.

    Ephesians 2:12 - [Of the Gentiles before they were "in Christ," Paul wrote:]
    12 remember that you were at that time separate from Christ, excluded from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world.
    13 But now in Christ Jesus you who formerly were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ.
  3. Jack K

    Jack K Puritan Board Professor

    I've always thought similarly to what Ed said. Samuel didn't yet know God in the especially intimate way that a prophet does, and had not yet heard God's voice. But he was already growing into a godly boy in terms of character.
  4. Kinghezy

    Kinghezy Puritan Board Freshman

    Mathew Henry has something similar to what @Jack K and @Ed Walsh say:

    Samuel did not yet know the Lord. He knew the written word, and was acquainted with the mind of God in that, but he did not yet apprehend the way in which God reveals himself to his servants the prophets, especially by a still small voice; this was altogether new and strange to him. Perhaps he would have been sooner aware of a divine revelation had it come in a dream or a vision; but this was a way he had not only not known himself, but not heard of. Those that have the greatest knowledge of divine things must remember the time when they were as babes, unskilful in the word of righteousness. When I was a child I understood as a child. Yet let us not despise the day of small things. Thus did Samuel(so the margin reads it) before he knew the Lord, and before the word of the Lord was revealed unto him;thus he blundered one time after another, but afterwards he understood his duty better. ​
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