God uses the insignificant to bring about his purposes. Because we know the story we look back at Samuel as a great man of God. But at this time in Israel’s history Samuel was unknown. Not only is this a reminder that every great work of God has a beginning, it also shows that often God uses to further his purposes what the world would despise. This is seen in multitudes of ways.
God can use the inexperienced to communicate his message. Samuel was obviously so inexperienced in the ways of God that he did not recognise his voice. Verse 7, which says that Samuel did not yet know the Lord, does not mean that he was an unbeliever. What it means is that he had not yet received a message from God to deliver to his people.
God uses the inoffensive to speak on his behalf. An important aspect of speaking on God’s behalf is sensitivity. Samuel was not given an easy message to tell Eli. The function of a messenger of God is to pass on what he commands, even if the messenger may suspect it will be unpalatable. Yet it is evident from the account that Samuel waited for the opportune moment to convey the message of judgment. He was sensitive to the feelings of his beloved mentor, and did not want to rush in and give the impression of unconcern.
God uses the ones who are faithful in little things. Although Samuel had been given this special revelation from God it did not make him proud or superior in his attitude. Nor did it cause him to cease his duties at the tabernacle. He continued to do mundane activities waiting for God in his providence to open the way for him. He is an example of one who became faithful in big things as the prophet in Israel because he was faithful in little things.