The Word of God is inspired, infallible, inerrant, and authoritative. When we hold the Bible in our hands, we hold the miracle of God’s illuminating revelation of Himself and His instruction for Godly living. We mustn’t take it for granted.
When Samuel was young, “the word of the Lord was rare and prophetic visions were not widespread” (1 Samuel 3:1) but God graciously chose to reveal Himself and His Word.
Like Isaac, Joseph, Sampson, and John the Baptist, Samuel was miraculously born to aged parents. Samuel’s momma prayed, and God answered her worshipful pleading with a bouncing baby boy, Samuel. Even as a young child, Samuel was God’s instrument, chosen according to God’s sovereign and providential plan. “I will raise up a faithful priest for myself. He will do whatever is in my heart and mind. I will establish a lasting dynasty for him, and he will walk before my anointed one for all time” (1 Samuel 2:35).
As a youngster, Samuel served in the Lord’s house with the priest, Eli. Late one night, as Samuel lay in his bunk, he heard the Lord calling. Mistakenly, he thought that Eli had called, so he jumped out of bed and ran to Eli’s bedside. “ ‘Here I am; you called me.’ ‘I didn’t call,’ Eli replied. ‘Go back and lie down.’ So he went and lay down. Once again the Lord called, ‘Samuel!’ Samuel got up, went to Eli, and said, ‘Here I am; you called me.’ ‘I didn’t call, my son,’ he replied. ‘Go back and lie down.’ Now Samuel did not yet know the Lord, because the word of the Lord had not yet been revealed to him” (1 Samuel 3:4-7).
Samuel knew that someone was calling, but he didn’t recognize God’s voice. He heard, but he didn’t grasp the significance of the message.
“Once again, for the third time, the Lord called Samuel. He got up, went to Eli, and said, ‘Here I am; you called me.’ Then Eli understood that the Lord was calling the boy. He told Samuel, ‘Go and lie down. If he calls you, say, “Speak, Lord, for your servant is listening.” ’ So Samuel went and lay down in his place. The Lord came, stood there, and called as before, ‘Samuel, Samuel!’ Samuel responded, ‘Speak, for your servant is listening’ ” (1 Samuel 3:8-10).
“The Lord said to Samuel, ‘I am about to do something in Israel that will cause everyone who hears about it to shudder’ ” (1 Samuel 3:11).
Are we a little like Samuel? Do we read the Living Word of God and fail to recognize the personal invitation to join Him in his work? Have we missed the alarming importance of His message?
Folks, I wonder if God is repeating Himself. “I am about to do something that will cause everyone who hears about it to shudder.” With Samuel, let’s be ready to respond,
“Speak, for your servant is listening.”
All Scripture quotations, except as otherwise noted, are from
Holman Bible Publishers’ Christian Standard Bible.