Wednesday, September 17, 2014

1 Samuel 3:1-10 God's Voice to Each of Us

This post comes out of a group discussion with some very dear people I met at a coaching training.
The boy Samuel ministered before the Lord under Eli. In those days the word of theLord 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 revealedto 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.10 The Lord came and stood there, calling as at the other times, “Samuel! Samuel!Then Samuel said, “Speak, for your servant is listening.”
In this passage the boy, Samuel, is living in the house of The Lord being raised by Eli, the priest. One night when Samuel was sleeping, he hears his name being called. He goes to Eli and says, "Here I am." But Eli had not called him and told him to go back to bed. This happens two more times. (Now if I were Samuel, I would have been freaking out just a little by that point.)

Finally on after the third time, Eli realizes that God is calling Samuel and instructs him to say, "Speak, Lord, for your servant is listening."

So why didn't Samuel know who was calling him? The Scripture says that Samuel did not yet know God. Therefore, he had no experience in recognizing God's voice.

Eli gave Samuel a great gift that night. He did not say to Samuel, "It must be God. I'll talk to Him and let you know what He has to say." Instead, Eli told Samuel to respond and listen.

That night Samuel learned to listen for himself. He discovered what God's voice sounds like and that God would speak to him directly. And through that, Samuel experienced God.

Too often we try to be the voice of God for others forgetting that the same Holy Spirt who guides us can guide and counsel all people. In fact, He is even drawing to Himself those who don't yet know Him.

Father, thank You for Your own voice in my life. Use me to point others to You - to hear Your voice - and be forever changed. So be it.

Further Thoughts:
  1. Who does God need you to direct toward Him?
  2. How often do you try to be the voice of God for others? What harm can that cause?
  3. How can you better listen for the voice of God?

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