As this next passage starts, the year is 1070 BC and “messages from the Lord were very rare, and visions were quite uncommon” (1 Samuel 3:1). It was a time of a spiritual drought. What happens when people stop communicating with God? They turn to their own ways and it usually doesn’t end well. As is the case in these next two chapters. However, there’s a young lad name Samuel who’s in for the surprise of his life. Let’s dig in….
1 Samuel 3 – Hearing the Voice of God
Meanwhile, the boy Samuel served the Lord by assisting Eli. Now in those days messages from the Lord were very rare, and visions were quite uncommon.
2 One night Eli, who was almost blind by now, had gone to bed. 3 The lamp of God had not yet gone out, and Samuel was sleeping in the Tabernacle near the Ark of God. 4 Suddenly the Lord called out, “Samuel!”
“Yes?” Samuel replied. “What is it?” 5 He got up and ran to Eli. “Here I am. Did you call me?”
“I didn’t call you,” Eli replied. “Go back to bed.” So he did.
6 Then the Lord called out again, “Samuel!”
Again Samuel got up and went to Eli. “Here I am. Did you call me?”
“I didn’t call you, my son,” Eli said. “Go back to bed.”
7 Samuel did not yet know the Lord because he had never had a message from the Lord before. 8 So the Lord called a third time, and once more Samuel got up and went to Eli. “Here I am. Did you call me?”
Then Eli realized it was the Lord who was calling the boy. 9 So he said to Samuel, “Go and lie down again, and if someone calls again, say, ‘Speak, Lord, your servant is listening.’” So Samuel went back to bed.
10 And the Lord came and called as before, “Samuel! Samuel!”
And Samuel replied, “Speak, your servant is listening.”
11 Then the Lord said to Samuel, “I am about to do a shocking thing in Israel. 12 I am going to carry out all my threats against Eli and his family, from beginning to end. 13 I have warned him that judgment is coming upon his family forever, because his sons are blaspheming God and he hasn’t disciplined them. 14 So I have vowed that the sins of Eli and his sons will never be forgiven by sacrifices or offerings.”
Samuel Speaks for the Lord
15 Samuel stayed in bed until morning, then got up and opened the doors of the Tabernacle as usual. He was afraid to tell Eli what the Lord had said to him. 16 But Eli called out to him, “Samuel, my son.”
“Here I am,” Samuel replied.
17 “What did the Lord say to you? Tell me everything. And may God strike you and even kill you if you hide anything from me!” 18 So Samuel told Eli everything; he didn’t hold anything back. “It is the Lord’s will,” Eli replied. “Let him do what he thinks best.”
19 As Samuel grew up, the Lord was with him, and everything Samuel said proved to be reliable. 20 And all Israel, from Dan in the north to Beersheba in the south, knew that Samuel was confirmed as a prophet of the Lord. 21 The Lord continued to appear at Shiloh and gave messages to Samuel there at the Tabernacle.1 Samuel 3 NLT
Points to Ponder
- When people lack spiritual sustenance, they turn to worldly things to help fill the void. I know I did. I certainly wasn’t getting it in the Catholic Church!
- It wasn’t until Eli realized that it was God that was calling Samuel, that he told him to answer the next time he heard his name called, “Speak, your servant is listening.” I thought it interesting that Samuel slept near the Ark of God.
- It seems that Eli, who was the priest, didn’t seek God’s guidance and wisdom as he should have.
- God warned that Judgement was coming. Samuel’s mother, Hannah, relayed that message in her prayer…
“Do not keep talking so proudly1 Samuel 2:3 NLT
or let your mouth speak such arrogance,
for the Lord is a God who knows,
and by him deeds are weighed.”
God gives us fair warning over and over again. Do we listen?
Do You Lack Spiritual Sustenance?
Can you hear the voice of God? It’s certainly not for lack of access to the Bible — the Word of God!
Recommended Bible Study Apps:
The Right Church
The other place to hear God’s voice is at the right church. One that preaches the true Gospel of Jesus Christ, is not “woke” and doesn’t water it down. Look for a non-denominational church or a Calvary Chapel. Join a Bible study group — that’s the best way to make new Christian friends.
Read the Bible Daily!
How would you know if you’re hearing the truth or not if you don’t read it for yourself?! The Holy Spirit will also guide you to the right church when you surrender your life to Christ.
Also, shut off the distractions and spend some quality time every day with God.
What are you waiting for?!