1 Samuel 1 — God has a thing for miraculous births. First Sarah, Rebecca, Rachel, Samson’s mother, and now Hannah, and later on Elizabeth, all give birth after having their wombs closed for years. Ultimately, Mary would give birth having never touched a man.
Samuel’s situation seems similar to Samson’s in that he was vowed to be a Nazirite before his borth. The difference between the two is that Samuel kept his vow so far as I can tell while Samson didn’t (he came into contact with a dead animal [Judg. 14:8-9 cf. Num. 6:6] and his hair was cut [Judg. 16:19 cf. Num. 6:5]; some even suggest that he imbibed alcohol in Judg. 14:10).
1 Samuel 2:1-10 — What a wonderful prayer expressing God’s sovereignty! I can think of a number of prosperity preachers who would say that Hannah’s prayer contained some bad theology because of v. 7.
1 Samuel 2:22 — Not quite what Deuteronomy 23:18-19 spoke of but I think it’s close enough to fall under the same indictment.
1 Samuel 2:26 — Cf. Luke 2:52.
1 Samuel 3:1 — How sad!
1 Samuel 3:10 — Do we have a theophany here? What is the significance of the LORD coming and standing?
1 Samuel 3:11-21 — Samuel is a prime example of what a prophet is supposed to be, namely obedient to the LORD, even if uncomfortable. He didn’t want to tell Eli what the LORD had said because it wasn’t good news and Eli was his friend but he told him anyway. More often than not true prophets brought bad news. One wonders if God would have ever needed prophets if there was no correction to be offered. That’s a far cry from what I’m accustomed to seeing in the Charismatic/Pentecostal churches I’ve been frequenting for the last decade. I’m used to the kinds of prophets who say “peace, peace” when there is no peace (Jer. 6:14 cf. 8:11). James Spinti has been posting excellent excerpts from the book Thus Saith the Lord? on this very subject. Check them out if you get a chance.