Another old friend – Samuel. Samuel’s mom, Hannah, asked for a son, and Samuel was born. Samuel grew “in stature and in favor with the Lord and also with man” (2:26). He is called “a faithful priest” (2:35), and he served as a prophet. Eli had judged Israel for 40 years (4:18), but the nation needed a new, good, and faithful leader. That was Samuel!
The story that follows is very interesting. Old Eli fell over and died when he learned that his sons had died and the Philistines had captured the ark of the covenant. The Philistines thought they had won a great and lasting victory. Nope! The presence of the ark among them resulted in all sorts of problems for them, and they sent it back. A lesson here: It only appeared, for a season, that evil had overcome good. Ultimately, though, God had his way. And so, it has been throughout history, and will ever be. For God's people, night will turn to day. Mourning will turn to joy. Defeat will turn to victory.
God moves in a mysterious way
His wonders to perform.
He plants his footsteps in the sea
And rides upon the storm.
You fearful saints, fresh courage take;
The clouds you so much dread
Are big with mercy and shall break
In blessings on your head. -- William Cowper (1774)