The LORD continued to appear at Shiloh, and there he revealed himself to Samuel through his word.1 Samuel 3:21-4:1a NIV
And Samuel’s word came to all Israel.
Samuel was a pivotal character in the life of Israel. He was the transitional character between the time of the judges and the monarchy. The time of the judges was a bleak period for Israel. The people, by and large, had forgotten what God had done for them, and each one did what was right in their own eyes. And this third chapter of 1 Samuel starts by saying that the word of the Lord was rare in those days; there were not many visions. God, it seems, was mostly quiet. But that changed with Samuel.
This chapter records God’s revelation of himself and his word to Samuel. And it offers insight into how God’s word came to us through the prophets as well as the inspired writers of the Scripture. For us today, we call the Bible the word of God. But that was not the case here in Samuel. The word of God was his actual spoken word to Samuel.
God’s word came to Samuel, and then Samuel’s word went out to the people. Both God and his prophet were involved in getting his word out. And that is true today when we read the Bible. We are reading the words of the Bible’s human authors as they express the word of God given to them. The Bible is God’s word revealed to us through the words of its inspired human authors.