God calls Samuel (07-08-21)
Bible Reading:1 Samuel 3:1-2, 4-10
The boy Samuel ministered before the Lord under Eli. In those days the word of the Lord was rare; there were not many visions. One night… the Lord called Samuel. Samuel answered, "Here I am." And he ran to Eli and said, "Here I am; you called me." But Eli said, "I did not call; go back and lie down." So he went and lay down. Again the Lord called, "Samuel!" And Samuel got up and went to Eli and said, "Here I am; you called me." "My son," Eli said, "I did not call; go back and lie down." Now Samuel did not yet know the Lord: The word of the Lord had not yet been revealed to him. A third time the Lord called, "Samuel!" And Samuel got up and went to Eli and said, "Here I am; you called me." Then Eli realized that the Lord was calling the boy. So Eli told Samuel, "Go and lie down, and if he calls you, say, 'Speak, Lord, for your servant is listening.'" So Samuel went and lay down in his place. The Lord came and stood there, calling as at the other times, "Samuel! Samuel!" Then Samuel said, "Speak, for your servant is listening."
Samuel was born between the time of Moses’ leadership and the time when Israel was ruled by kings; the time when Israel was led by Judges. Samuel grew up to be both the last of the Judges and also a prophet. As a prophet he anointed the first two kings of Israel, Saul and David.
As a baby, Samuel had been dedicated to the Lord by his mother, Hannah, and grew up in the temple. Yet we are told that ‘In those days the word of the Lord was rare’. Maybe this was part of the reason the nation regularly turned away from God.
Lord, may this nation be led and governed by the teachings of the Christian faith.
The word of the Lord could have come to the people in one of two ways, either through the teachings of Moses, in written or oral form, or through the words of individual prophet. It seems there was an absence of both teachers and prophets at this time.
Lord, please raise up men and women who will teach and speak your word faithfully today.
The people may have abandoned God, but God had not abandoned his people. He was about to speak to them again, and he had chosen Samuel for this purpose. But first Samuel needed to learn to discern God's voice.
Samuel initially confused God’s voice with that of Eli the priest but, with guidance from Eli to go and lie down and, if God calls, say ‘Speak, Lord, for your servant is listening’, Samuel learnt to recognise God's voice.
God still speaks today, all he asks is that we make time to learn to discern his voice. He speaks to us through the scriptures, he speaks to us through the promptings of the Holy Spirit, and he speaks to us through the wisdom and guidance of others.
What might God have been saying to you recently?
Speak, Lord, for your servant is listening.
Speak, O Lord, as we come to you.