August 14, 2015
1 Samuel 3
So Eli told Samuel, "Go and lie down and if He calls you, say, 'Speak, LORD, for your servant is listening.'" 1 Samuel 3:9 NIV
LET IT GLOW
Hey, got a minute? So much to do and so little time to get it done. Women all over seem to think that and even say it often, don't they? But.........when someone wants to talk, or share an event with us, when a child wants to show us something they made, do we stop and take time to listen to them when we are busy? Do we multitask instead of giving our undivided attention? Are we sending a message that they are not important to us? If we stop listening to our children, they will eventually stop coming to us to share their life. Then we will wake up one day and wonder why. We will be rocking in the rocker, alone. Giving of your time is an expression of love. What about others-phone calls, emails, texts, letters? Do we answer, showing the Lord's love. or are we put out? After all, He takes time to listen to us. Who could be any busier that the One who runs the universe? A good lesson to learn, friend.
God had spoken directly and audibly with Moses and Joshua, but His Word became rare during the three centuries of the judges ruling Israel. By Eli's time, there were no prophets speaking God's messages. Because of Israel's hardened hearts, the Lord knew they would not listen to Him. We know the reason was the attitudes of Eli's two sons who were priests. They either refused to listen to God or allowed greed and personal pleasure to get into the way of their communication. At any rate, this carless father, Eli, refused to restrain his sons, which meant he honored his sons above the Lord (verse 29). this resulted in Eli's family being removed. We will discuss this later.
Now we understand the environment in which boy Samuel grew up. Commentators suggest Samuel was around age 12 or a teenager when the events in this chapter occurred.
As far as the place, the tabernacle had the Holy of Holies where the Ark of the Covenant and the Mercy Seat was located. Once a year the high priest made an atonement offering for the nation of Israel's sins. In front of it was another room where sacred furniture and animal offerings were prepared. Outside these rooms was a courtyard where the priests lived and slept. Samuel would have slept only a few yards from the Ark.
Samuel ministered to the Lord before Eli. Perhaps his job was to keep oil replenished so the lamps continued to burn. No, keep in mind, Eli's eye sight was failing, he could barely see, as he was getting on in years. All was quiet in the tabernacle, everyone was asleep. Let's pull back the curtain and see what happened:
- The lamp of God was growing dim while Samuel lay sleeping.
- Then the Lord called Samuel and he ran to Eli's side, answering, Here I am; you called me.
- Of course, Eli denied it and Samuel went back and lay down.
- This happened three times to Samuel. Now Samuel did not know the LORD: the word of the LORD had not yet been revealed to him. (verse 7)
- Finally, after the third time the Lord called Samuel's name, Eli realized the Lord had been calling Samuel.
LET IT GROW
What was Samuel doing when the Lord wanted to speak to him? He was quiet and still, lying in bed. He was not busy planning the event of his day. He was not refusing to find out what was happening. Many a time the Lord had to get me on my back (sick) so I would listen to Him.
What were Eli's instructions to Samuel?
Go and lie down, and if He calls you, say, "Speak, LORD, for your servant is listening.
What did Samuel do? Did he refuse? Did he go to working in the temple instead of lying down? Di he do it his way? No. Samuel obeyed Eli by going back to the place where he was when the Lord last spoke to him.
How important it is to meet quietly with the Lord before our busy day begins. If we have left His will and doing our own will, then we need to return to where He last spoke and obey what He said to us. Been there, done that. We won't grow in faith until we obey what He said last, as well as not be in the right fellowship with our Lord.
Why do I not ask the Lord what is on His heart today? I tell Him what is on mine. Ouch!
LET IT GO
Let go of my pride and humble myself before God.
Let go of the active world surrounding me and go to God, putting Him first.
Repent of my disobedience.
Listen to Jesus.
Obey what He told me to do last time.
Look for a blessing.