5.3 1 Samuel -- the Voice of God
In those days the word of the Lord was rare; there were not many visions (1 Sam 3:1).
This is what Amos called "a famine of the words of the Lord" (Amos 8:11). It is a sign of the Lord's displeasure, or even of impending judgment. Given the state of the house of God at Shiloh, this is not surprising. Even so, the nameless prophet spoke to Eli. And then the prophetic stream was resumed through Samuel:
The Lord was with Samuel as he grew up, and he let none of his words fall to the ground. And all Israel from Dan to Beersheba recognized that Samuel was attested as a prophet of the Lord. The Lord continued to appear at Shiloh, and there he revealed himself to Samuel through his word (1 Sam 3:19-21).
At this point, Samuel stood in the tradition of the judges, each of whom spoke God's word to Israel in their own day "as the Spirit moved them." The difference is that Samuel also functioned in the role of priest and could offer sacrifices at the altar.