1 Samuel 3:1-10 (NIV) — 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 Eli, whose eyes were becoming so weak that he could barely see, was lying down in his usual place. The lamp of God had not yet gone out, and Samuel was lying down in the house of the LORD, where the ark of God was. Then 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.”
Of all the Biblical personalities that served our Lord; I would say the prophet Samuel holds my attention and my imagination more than any other.
Samuel’s mother Hannah had prayed to our Lord in First Samuel 1:11 “and she made a vow, saying, ‘O Lord Almighty, if you will only look upon your servant’s misery and remember me, and not forget your servant but give her a son, then I will give him to the Lord for all the days of his life.’”
In 1 Samuel chapter 10:1 Saul is anointed Israel’s first king by Samuel.
In the 16th chapter Samuel also anoints David as the second king of Israel.
And just as Samuel had anointed Saul king, in 1st Samuel 13, Saul is rebuked by the prophet Samuel.
Imagine your mother praying for your birth. When she is well past the age of bearing children. And then after you’re weaned, you’re given to be raised in the House of our Lord.
Having grown and to be known as a godly young man until he becomes known as a prophet of God. An individual who anoints and rebukes kings. A person who God in trusted with His presence, His voice of instruction, and His people’s wellbeing.
A reputation free from some of the drama and shortcomings of the other Biblical personalities.
I find his life absolutely fascinating.
The third chapter opens (3:1b) “In those days the Word of the Lord was rare; there were not many visions.”
The NIV (New International Version) says, “rare” but the KJV (King James Version) uses the term “Precious”.
Rare, precious or scarce either way it’s a great thing to be identified as this person in and at this time.
God moving, making some changes. Major changes such as leadership style. Theocracy to Monarchy or simply from priest to king as a style of leadership. Which I find Samuel’s part again, extremely interesting.
So I’m curious about God calling Samuel. He called the young boy four times.
The Scripture says; “Now Samuel did not know the Lord; the Word of the Lord had not been revealed to him.”
Off the top I would have thought that was a key role of Eli’s duties involving Samuel. But I can see Eli as an advanced elder focusing on teaching Samuel the duties rather than the relationship. Teaching routine seems far easier than teaching relationship.
I find this point very encouraging. God made it a point to call Samuel. To make Himself known to the youngster as it’s written in 1st Samuel 3:8-10 and again in 3:21.
Something that holds my attention and my imagination is God called Samuel four times before he said; “Speak your servant is listening.”
Have we been called? I wonder if our Lord has called us the fifth or sixth or just how many times?
John 6:44-45 – “Jesus answered, ‘No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him and I will raise him up at the last day. It is written in the prophets: They will all be taught by God.’”
This verse is also worth considering – Matthew 22:14 – “many are called, but few are chosen.”
A simple understanding of that verse may be “many are invited, many are called, but only a few accept the calling of invitation.” Many refuse or reject based on unbelief.
Mark 9:23-24: “Jesus said to him, ‘If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes.’ Immediately the father of the child cried out with tears, ‘Lord I believe; help my unbelief.’”
Five days until Christmas Day.
Have you considered God’s call upon your life?
Hmm…or wondered how many times God has called you, but you didn’t recognize his voice.
There’s a quote from General William Booth, founder of The Salvation Army that comes to mind:
“Not called, did you say? Not heard the call, I think you should say.”
I challenge you to look up the passage of Scripture 1 Peter 2:9.
I sincerely hope, if you need a word of hope, a word of encouragement, that you find it in the Bible known as God’s word or visit one of the many church congregations here on Kodiak Island.
It’s good to have a preachers and teachers but no one can teach you like God’s Holy Spirit.
If I may suggest, pray before you start to read the Bible. Pray and ask the Holy Spirit to reveal God to you. Pray and ask the Holy Spirit to guide you to the church home that’ll meet your need, a place of worship and service where you can grow where your planted.
John 14:12-13 (NIV) — “Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son.”
Season’s greetings and Merry Christmas