Growing with God: A daily devotional with Tonia Slimm.
1 Samuel 2:11 (NIV)
Then Elkanah went home to Ramah, but the boy ministered before the Lord under Eli the priest.
1 Samuel 2:11(MSG)
Elkanah went home to Ramah. The boy stayed and served God in the company of Eli the priest.
“Elkanah [and his wife Hannah] returned to Ramah to his house. But the child [Samuel] served the Lord under the guidance of Eli the priest” -AMPLIFIED
The child, Samuel, was left behind by his father and mother, so that they could return home to Ramah. Hannah symbolically left Samuel in the care of the Lord, as well as in the hands of Eli. The child stayed with Eli in order to serve and minister to the Lord.
Something that we need to consider is that Samuel had to learn how to serve the Lord. It is believed that Samuel would have been somewhere between the age of 3-5 years old. He was still very young and basically untrained in any way.
Samuel would have been assigned certain duties suited to his age. They would have been few at first, but they would have increased in importance as time went on and he matured. His training would have continued until Eli’s death.
Samuel’s service to the Lord at such a tender age is proof that no one is too young to minister and serve the Lord. Remember Paul’s words of encouragement given to the young Timothy? “So go out and insist on these things. Teach them. Don’t let anyone belittle you because you are young. Instead, show the faithful, young and old, an example of how to live: set the standard for how to talk, act, love, and be faithful and pure. Until I get there, make sure to devote yourself to the public reading of Scripture, to exhortation, and to teaching. Don’t neglect the gift that was given to you through the prophecy spoken when the company of the elders laid their hands on you.” -1 Timothy 4:11-14 (VOICE)
The Rev. T.W. Manson is noted as having said, “In the Kingdom of God, service is not a stepping-stone to nobility; it IS nobility, the only kind of nobility that is recognized.” Service to God is expected from every child of God.
Let us bear in mind those words that Paul penned to the Colossians. “Whatever you do [whatever your task may be], work from the soul [that is, put in your very best effort], as [something done] for the Lord and not for men, knowing [with all certainty] that it is from the Lord [not from men] that you will receive the inheritance which is your [greatest] reward. It is the Lord Christ whom you [actually] serve.” -Colossians 3:23-24 (AMP)
Jesus instructed His followers about service in this way, “If anyone serves Me, he must [continue to faithfully] follow Me [without hesitation, holding steadfastly to Me, conforming to My example in living and, if need be, suffering or perhaps dying because of faith in Me]; and wherever I am [in heaven’s glory], there will My servant be also. If anyone serves Me, the Father will honor him.” -John 12:26(AMP)
Paul spoke these words of wisdom and motivation to the Romans, “So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you.” -Romans 12:1-2 (MSG)
Notice, at no time is there ever an age requirement in Scripture for those who will serve God. Remember these words of Jesus, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.” -Luke 18:16 (NIV) The opposite end of the spectrum holds true too; you are never too old to serve God. God used many folks in the Bible to do great work for Him in their old age and even in their golden days.
Age does not, nor will it ever affect your ability to serve God! God will use anyone at any age; all He asks is that they are willing to do exactly what He asks them to do.
Here I am Lord, please use me. A willing heart is all that you require. You do not look at age, abilities or even maturity; but only at the willingness to serve. Help me to remember that applies not only to me, but to others as well. Help me not be judgmental in how others serve you. Instead, help me to be an encourager as they seek to do your will. When it comes to service, help me also remember to do my very best, because I am doing everything as unto you. Be please with me, oh Lord.