Eli, Israel’s priest was aged and his two sons, Hophni and Phinehas were worthless rebels. Rather than assist in the temple worship they gorged themselves on the sacrifices. They mocked worship and blasphemed God. Eli, who knew better, only helped them. Israel’s future depended on a gluttonous priest and his two spoiled brat sons. And the word of the LORD was rare in those days; there was no frequent vision. (1 Samuel 3:1 ESV) Even God had gone quiet.

But God will have his way.

What Israel didn’t know was who God had waiting in the wings. He wasn’t a decorated general or a celebrated politician. He didn’t run a Fortune 500 company or lead a major non-profit organization. He was a boy–his name Samuel. Born from the former barren womb of the anguished Hannah, she gave him to God. Little did she know that her boy would step up to the plate in the bottom of the ninth with two outs. God called little Samuel to a big task.  And the LORD came and stood, calling as at other times, “Samuel! Samuel!” And Samuel said, “Speak, for your servant hears.” (1 Samuel 3:10 ESV)

God will have his way.

Within a short time of Samuel’s call, Israel fell to the Philistines. In a day 30,000 Israelites died, including Hophni and Phinehas. When Eli heard the news, he collapsed and died of a broken neck. Why did God judge Israel? Because Eli refused to discipline his sons. Why? Because he refused to heed God’s warnings. Phinehas’s wife was pregnant. When she heard the news of the defeat of the Israelites and the death of her husband, she went into labor. She aptly (and sadly) named her baby boy Ichabod saying, “The glory has departed from Israel!”

But God will have his way.

God called Samuel. Samuel answered God’s call. Though God’s glory had departed from Israel, his love for Israel had not waned.

And Samuel grew, and the LORD was with him and let none of his words fall to the ground. And all Israel from Dan to Beersheba knew that Samuel was established as a prophet of the LORD. And the LORD appeared again at Shiloh, for the LORD revealed himself to Samuel at Shiloh by the word of the LORD. (1 Samuel 3:19-21 ESV)

I am convinced that the answer for our country’s woes will not come from a politician. It definitely won’t come from media moguls or dot.com executives.  Somewhere in the shadows is a Samuel.

Because God will always have his way.