Growing with God: A daily devotional with Tonia Slimm.
1 Samuel 3:1-4 (NIV)
The boy Samuel ministered before the Lord under Eli. In those days the word of the Lord 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.”
1 Samuel 3:1-3 (MSG)
The boy Samuel was serving God under Eli’s direction. This was at a time when the revelation of God was rarely heard or seen. One night Eli was sound asleep (his eyesight was very bad—he could hardly see). It was well before dawn; the sanctuary lamp was still burning. Samuel was still in bed in the Temple of God, where the Chest of God rested. Then God called out, “Samuel, Samuel!” Samuel answered, “Yes? I’m here.” Then he ran to Eli saying, “I heard you call. Here I am.”
“Now the boy Samuel was attending to the service of the Lord under the supervision of Eli. The word of the Lord was rare and precious in those days; visions [that is, new revelations of divine truth] were not widespread. Yet it happened at that time, as Eli was lying down in his own place (now his eyesight had begun to grow dim and he could not see well). and the [oil] 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, that the Lord called Samuel, and he answered, “Here I am.”” -AMPLIFIED
Chapter 3 of 1 Samuel shifts back to the young Samuel. We find the boy attending to his services to the Lord. He is still in training under Eli, learning how to best serve and minister to the Lord God.
We are then informed that in those days having any word from the Lord was rare. Remember the state of the nation of Israel at this point, “…every man did what was right in his own eyes”. People chose to do whatever they wanted to do, even if it went against the Lord’s commands. The fact that the people had chosen to do things their way instead of God’s way had caused a rift in their relationship with Him. This meant that God had not been heard from or His works done among them very much in a long time. The Amplified tells us, “The word of the Lord was rare and precious in those days; visions [that is, new revelations of divine truth] were not widespread.” The state of affairs between Israel and God was in a sorry condition.
We are then told that Eli and Samuel were sleeping within the Tabernacle area one night; as was usual for them to do it appears. Eli’s eyes had grown heavy with sleep, although we are also told that his eyesight was poor as well. It must have been in the wee morning hours; for dawn had not yet arrived. We are told that the lamp of God was still burning from the oil that had been placed in it from the day before.
The young Samuel was at rest, probably in a deep sleep, when a voice called to him. It is important for us to look at the quick response and action that this budding boy/prophet took. Samuel hears someone call his name and what does he do? He jumps up, runs to Eli and responds with, ““Here I am.”. There was no hesitation on his part; he immediately responded to the call.
At this point Samuel does not know who it is that is calling his name, he assumes that it is Eli; whomever it is he is quick to respond and obey the call. We may think it strange that Eli would be calling the young Samuel in the night, but remember, if his eyesight was poor and we know he was old; getting up in the middle of the night was probably the norm. Eli would have needed assistance.
We are going to find out that this Godly calling of Samuel will happen two times before Eli makes the connection and tells Samuel that it is the voice of the Lord calling him. We will look more into that tomorrow. Today we want to focus on the need to respond and obey the voice of God when He calls our name. Remember too, God can and will work through whomever He chooses and He is no respecter of persons. In Samuel’s case we see God turning to the young child to speak to and not the aged priest, Eli.
God sees the heart of every man woman, and child. He knows who will listen and obey. Samuel, when he was older, was told by God; “But the LORD said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The LORD does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.” -1 Samuel 16:7 (NIV)
Jeremiah realized this truth, “But You, O Lord, know me [and understand my devotion to You]; you see me; and You examine the attitude of my heart toward You.” -Jeremiah 12:3 (AMP)
God spoke and reminded Jeremiah with these words; “”I the LORD search the heart and examine the mind, to reward each person according to their conduct, according to what their deeds deserve.” -Jeremiah 17:10 (NIV)
When God calls your name will you obey?
“When God calls you to it,’DO IT!’” – Rev. Tommy Flood
Lord, help me to be quietly listening for your still, small voice; so that I can quickly obey. In a World were I am surrounded by constant noise and chaos there are times that I miss hearing your call; forgive me please. Help me to keep myself in tune with you. I want to be obedient to whatever it is that you desire of me to do. Here I am, Lord!