“Now the boy Samuel was ministering to the Lord in the presence of Eli. And the word of the Lord was rare in those days; there was no frequent vision. The lamp of God had not yet gone out, and Samuel was lying down in the temple of the Lord, where the ark of God was.” Then the Lord called Samuel, and he said, “Here I am!” and ran to Eli and said, “Here I am, for you called me.” But he said, “I did not call; lie down again.” So he went and lay down. And the Lord called again, “Samuel!” and Samuel arose and went to Eli and said, “Here I am, for you called me.” But he said, “I did not call, my son; lie down again.” Now Samuel did not yet know the Lord, and the word of the Lord had not yet been revealed to him. And the Lord called Samuel again the third time. And he arose and went to Eli and said, “Here I am, for you called me.” Then Eli perceived that the Lord was calling the boy. Therefore Eli said to Samuel, “Go, lie down, and if he calls you, you shall say, ‘Speak, Lord, for your servant hears.’” So Samuel went and lay down in his place. And the Lord came and stood, calling as at other times, “Samuel! Samuel!” And Samuel said, “Speak, for your servant hears.” Then the Lord said to Samuel, “Behold, I am about to do a thing in Israel at which the two ears of everyone who hears it will tingle.” 1 Samuel 3:1,3-11
I remember well the thrill in my soul the first time I was certain God called me for a specific task. I had regularly read and studied the Scriptures, and spent time in prayer worshiping, thanking, and asking, but the clear sense of His specific voice to me was at once humbling, powerful, personal, and overwhelming. It was through my regular reading that God’s holy word addressed so clearly three specific questions I had, I knew it was the Lord calling me to a new role in ministry. Over the years there have been many times He has, through His good word, led in moves and decisions, confirmed courses of action, given wisdom or ideas or creativity, inspired work and conversations, promised exactly what I sought or lacked or another needed. God still speaks!!
Samuel did not have the Bible as we do, but he was in the right place, in God’s presence, listening and responding as he knew how. His willingness to hear and obey acquainted him with God, fed his faith, and nurtured his growth. “And Samuel grew, and the Lord was with him and let none of his words fall to the ground. And all Israel knew that Samuel was established as a prophet of the Lord. And the Lord revealed himself to Samuel at Shiloh by the word of the Lord.” Today, the revelation in God’s complete word beckons us to come, dig, partake, and say, “Speak, Your servant is listening.” It is as we respond, and apply the truths we glean, that He brings deeper and greater understanding, causing roots to grow and fruit to be borne.
Lord, I come and call to You, knowing You will answer. Awaken me morning by morning, to hear as one who is taught. Keep me making time to seek You with my whole heart through Your word, meditating on Your precepts, learning Your ways, delighting in Your personal, limitless word. (Psalm 17:6; Isaiah 50:4; Psalm 119:10,14-16)