And the child Samuel grew in stature, and in favor both with the Lord and men. (1 Samuel 2: 26)
Samuel was literally an answer to prayer. His barren mother, Hannah, prayed for a son. God heard her prayer and answered it with the child, Samuel. When Hannah prayed, she promised to give the child to the Lord. Since God kept His promise to her, she kept her promise to Him and turned the child over to the priest, Eli, to raise him in the house of the Lord. This very short line of scripture, in 1 Samuel 2: 26, reveals how Samuel grew and matured in Shiloh under the tutelage of Eli.
First of all, he grew in stature. Yes, over the years, he did increase in physical size, but stature also means the respect and regard that others have for you. Then, he grew in favor with God. He not only had God’s favor. He grew by means of this favor and it was increasingly apparent in his life.
Finally, the text says that he also grew in favor with men. In other words, he was not so holy that he only appealed to God. He was so wholly holy that he also earned the favor of men. Of course, it is important to grow in wisdom and knowledge, but there is no greater reward of spiritual maturity than to be referred to as one who has grown in stature and favor with God and men.