“… that the Lord called Samuel. And he answered, “Here I am!” So he ran to Eli and said, “Here I am, for you called me.”And he (Eli) said, “I did not call; lie down again.” And he went and lay down. Then the Lord called yet again, “Samuel!” So Samuel arose and went to Eli, and said, “Here I am, for you called me.” He answered, “I did not call, my son; lie down again.” 1 Samuel 3:4-6 NKJV
We continue of study of Samuel Chaper 3 today. As the personal servant of Eli, Samuel would have been sleeping within hearing range in case Eli needed him during the night. When the Lord called Samuel he thought it was Eli and he “ran to him” and answered, “here I am”.
There are three interesting revelations in this short passage.
1. We can confuse the voice of God with the voice of others. I would say this is especially true of those who have authority over us. What people “speak” into our lives often becomes a false identity within us. For example: if you had someone who abused or belittled you, the inner voice of God can be confused with the harsh voice of authority that made you feel less than loved. It may be difficult for you to accept God’s unconditional love, if you have been used to feeling unworthy of love. How do you overcome this? You find scriptures that speak of God’s love, design and purpose for His children and begin to recite these passages when the voice of deceit whispers otherwise in your mind’s ear. The Word of God is a powerful weapon, capable of dividing truth from lies, capable of transforming us from the inside out, capable of teaching us the true “voice” of God.
2. Respond when God speaks. As soon as Samuel heard God’s voice he responded, “here I am”. When God speaks it requires action on our part. Samuel ran to Eli when God called. He didn’t linger and he showed no sense of agitation for being disturbed. When God speaks, run to Him with your full attention. Be willing to listen and obey. A. Sometimes He just wants to spend some quality Father time with you. We miss such an opportunity to minister to the heart of God if our prayer life only consists of a list of requests. Crawl up in His lap and lavish Him with love. B. Sometimes He is calling you to intercede for others. God has called us to love others as we love ourselves. Pray for those who need healing-physical, emotion or spiritual. Pray for those with financial needs. Pray for the broken-hearted, the poor, the lost. Our prayers can move Heaven and Earth! We see many times in the Old Testament when God was ready to bring judgment, but someone prayed and asked for His mercy. It’s easy to think, God’s going to do what God wants to do, so why pray? But He is often waiting for someone willing to stand in the gap. Be that person who says, “Here I am Lord.” C. Sometimes He wants to reveal something to You. If Samuel would have ignored God’s voice that evening, turned over in bed and went back to sleep, he would have missed his destiny. We can’t afford to dismiss God. He’s not silent. We just haven’t learned how to listen. He longs to give you direction. He created you for a specific purpose and your life will only be complete when you discover and pursue His will for your life.
3. He did not call Eli. Eli was the priest, yet God skipped over him to speak to a servant. Why? Commentary on this verse suggests it was because Eli was more interested in comfort than serving God. It also suggests there was corruption in the Temple and as the priest it was his responsibility to correct this. Whatever the reason, God chose Samuel over Eli. Don’t ever think you are not qualified to be used by God. There is a saying you may have heard that is appropriate for this time: “God doesn’t choose the qualified, He qualifies the chosen.” He is looking for the “willing heart”.
Lord, thank You for choosing me to be Your child. Thank You for providing a way of connection to God through the cross. Help me Father to be able to distinguish Your voice from the many voices that compete for my attention. Help me to LISTEN and respond when You call. “Here I am” – speak Lord, I’m listening.