From defeat and disobedience, from testing God to acceptance. How do we hear Him when He speaks? 1 Samuel 3 

The core Truth of the whole matter for believers is this: God means what he says. From the first line to the last line of the Word of God, what God says goes. His powerful Word is sharp as a surgeon’s scalpel, cutting through everything, whether doubt or defense, laying us open to listen and obey.

Nothing and no one can resist the revelation of God’s Word.

There is absolutely no escape from the revelation of God’s Word.

We cannot avoid it, nor can we get away from it—no matter what.

1 Samuel 3:1-11Easy-to-Read Version

God Calls Samuel

The boy Samuel was Eli’s helper and served the Lord with him. At that time the Lord did not speak directly to people very often. There were very few visions.

Eli’s eyes were getting so weak that he was almost blind. One night he went to his room to go to bed. The special lamp in the Lord’s temple[a] was still burning, so Samuel lay down in the temple near where the Holy Box was. The Lord called Samuel, and Samuel answered, “Here I am.” Samuel thought Eli was calling him, so he ran to Eli and said, “Here I am. You called me.”

But Eli said, “I didn’t call you. Go back to bed.”

So Samuel went back to bed. Again the Lord called, “Samuel!” Again Samuel ran to Eli and said, “Here I am. You called me.”

Eli said, “I didn’t call you. Go back to bed.”

Samuel did not yet know the Lord because the Lord had not spoken directly to him before.[b]

The Lord called Samuel the third time. Again Samuel got up and went to Eli and said, “Here I am. You called me.”

Finally, Eli understood that the Lord was calling the boy. Eli told Samuel, “Go to bed. If he calls you again, say, ‘Speak, Lord. I am your servant, and I am listening.’”

So Samuel went back to bed. 10 The Lord came and stood there. He called as he did before, saying, “Samuel, Samuel!”

Samuel said, “Speak. I am your servant, and I am listening.”

11 The Lord said to Samuel, “I will soon do things in Israel that will shock anyone who hears about them.

The Word of God for the Children of God. Gloria! In Excelsis Deo! Alleluia! Amen

Every Single Day, The Word of God for the Children of God reveals Truth ….

The heavens tell about the glory of God.
    The skies announce what his hands have made.
Each new day tells more of the story,
    and each night reveals more and more about God’s power.
You cannot hear them say anything.
    They don’t make any sound we can hear.

Except, in the days of Eli the Judge, we read 1 Samuel 3:1 when the central truth of the day was – “the word of the Lord was [indeed] precious but there were no open visions.” God was still revealing Himself, but the people had gone numb.

The Judge Eli had grown old and was nearly blind – both physically, spiritually.

I can particularly relate to the opening verse of the reading from 1 Samuel.

“During the time young Samuel was minister to the Lord under Eli, a revelation of the Lord was uncommon and vision infrequent.”

For Judge Eli it took several tries before the source of the message to Samuel became apparent. In today’s world perhaps we have come not to expect such revelation.

Perhaps this lack of expectation has led us to become bad listeners. (I know this is one trait which is lacking in my prayer and in my family interactions as well.)

Perhaps it’s the incredible effort it takes to be a Godly family (Ephesians 6:1-3), to raise children according to Proverbs 22:6 Train up a child in the way he should go [teaching him to seek God’s wisdom and will for his abilities and talents], Even when he is old he will not depart from it, contrary to the noise of counter-culture.

It is perhaps all of the continuous distractions and extraneous noise we hear as we walk or ride or drive down the street with both our ear buds stuck in our ears blaring and blasting all of our favorite music collections over all of the car horns telling us to move or turn faster – we don’t hear the siren directly behind us, so, in disobedience, we do not pull over to the side of the road as the law requires.

Then, as fate and luck would have it, we also fail to notice the police car who has turned their lights on, who pulls in behind us, then gives us a blast of his siren.

Perhaps it is our 21st century Being Christian and Being Church and Doing Life.

It is impossible for one person to reach the whole world. What about people groups reaching people groups? What about communities of faith reaching out together to other communities? Indeed, there are no lone-ranger Christians.

Being Church is not about personal devotions or individual heroics.

It is about 21st century living as a Church by God weaving together visible faith through “gospel communities.”  

This means doing church isn’t about activities within a church building. It means flourishing Christian witnesses all over our world.

In sum total, considering 1 Samuel 3:1 as it communicates and relates to us, we fail to notice the obvious things which makes God the biggest difference in life.

As the blind and aged and spiritually numbed Eli failed to recognize God’s voice when the youthful Samuel came rushing from his place of sleep to Eli’s room.

I fail, you fail, we all fail to recognize the voice of God because, perhaps, in our own day and age, visions and revelations are too easily believed to be much too infrequent or even more significantly, (GASP) non-existent.

How do we hear God when He speaks?

First Samuel 3:1 shows us a picture of God’s faithfulness to speak to us even when we have ignored Him in the past.

When God Speaks

In 1 Samuel 3, we read that Samuel was serving God without yet knowing Him. The very same thing happens today, doesn’t it? Many people are “religious”, and they adhere to perfunctory rules without having a relationship with Him.

The people of Israel had cut themselves off from the Lord, and so the Lord had cut Himself off from them.

For this reason, we read in 1 Samuel 3:1,

“Word from the Lord was rare in those days.” He no longer communicated with His people because they turned a whole society, a whole community, a whole culture of collective deaf ears to Him. They just did not listen to Him.

Even Samuel did not recognize the voice of God when God called him.

But Eli, as dim as he had grown spiritually, realized that God was speaking.

Even through his own spiritual numbness, He told Samuel to respond to God and listen to whatever He had to say. Samuel obeyed, listening as God told him that the line of Eli would be destroyed as a result of sin.

This prophecy reveals a major transition in the history of Israel, marking the moment Samuel became a true servant of the Lord, a recipient of His word.

Today, a keyway we hear from God is through reading the Word and through prayer. God is not silent when we read Scripture; He is faithful to teach us.

Because of God’s immeasurable measure of faithfulness, through our own sin of spiritual numbness, spiritual unawareness, we should turn to God, “shake out the cobwebs” train ourselves to hear His voice, listening when God speaks to us.

In the time of Samuel revelations and visitation from God were uncommon. So much so that when the Lord called Samuel, he did not recognize that it was the Lord. He thought his teacher was saying his name.

He couldn’t even imagine that the Lord would call to him. But once he realized that it was, in truth, the Lord, he was of course happy to do the Lord’s bidding.

I’m afraid we are in times like Samuel’s. Revelations and visitations from God seem uncommon now. In fact, today if people would say that God spoke out loud to them, they would be viewed as insane. People seem to think that God is far away, or at least does not directly and physically interact with people.

Someone like Samuel, hearing his name called out loud, might himself suspect insanity instead of a visitation from God. But I truthfully believe God does call to us and does reveal himself and visit. Maybe not with an audible voice, but in far more subtle ways in our everyday lives.

All the time, all around us there are opportunities to help others physically and spiritually. In the Gospel, Jesus is healing people, and when others ask for him, he says “Let us move on to the neighboring villages so that I may proclaim the good news there also. That is what I have come to do.” (Mark 1:38, Luke Chapter 15)

Every day there are opportunities for us to proclaim the good news. We are here to do his will, and that is to help people however we can.

Last month during the Easter season, I saw many opportunities from God to help someone heal. Every day God was asking me to make a sacrifice and help. And so, every day, I would re-devote myself to God’s Word by these devotions I send out literally into the whole world so God can “shake out our cobwebs!”

It’s not a lot, but whatever I can do. And I am grateful for this opportunity from God to be able to help in whatever way I can. From my dining room into God’s Kingdom, it’s only a tiny bit, but when God calls, we should all do what we can.

Every day we look around us at all the opportunities there are to proclaim the good news, we need to hear Samuel when he realized he was being called. We need to look around us and say, “Speak, for your servant is listening.”

We need to hear the Lord when he calls.

When we hear or see vast numbers of the opportunities for doing good for God’s sake, we need to do God’s bidding.

“Here am I, Lord, I will come to do your will.”

“Here am I, Lord; I have come to do your will.”

In the name of God, the Father and God the Son and God the Holy Spirit,

Let us Pray,

I am no longer my own, but thine.
Put me to what thou wilt, rank me with whom thou wilt.
Put me to doing, put me to suffering.
Let me be employed for thee or laid aside for thee,
exalted for thee or brought low for thee.
Let me be full, let me be empty.
Let me have all things, let me have nothing.
I freely and heartily yield all things to thy pleasure and disposal.
And now, O glorious and blessed God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit,
thou art mine, and I am thine.
So be it.
And the covenant which I have made on earth,
let it be ratified in heaven.
Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia! Amen

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Author: Thomas E Meyer Jr

Formerly Homeless Sinner Now, Child of God, Saved by Grace.

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