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Speak, I am Listening

Good morning. It is Thursday, August 19, 2021

As a child, one of my favorite stories was of Eli and Samuel. I say “one of my favorites” because in truth I have many, but this one was extra special because as a child it taught me that God will speak to children, not just adults.

I was 13 years old the first time I heard God speak to me. Perhaps you have read that story already. Lost in the mountains above Spokane; afraid. I knelt and prayed, and God led me right back to camp.

It was because of that time at the age of 13, I have been able to recognize His voice throughout the years. God has answered my prayers directly. He has said my name and stopped me in my tracks. He has interrupted my thoughts and my cooking with commands and ideas. It still amazes me when I think about it.

I follow Tim Tebow on social media, and he said once that he had never heard God speak. I was blown away! My first thought was “I thought God spoke to everyone!” My second thought was “I believe God does speak to everyone, but not everyone has learned what that voice sounds like.”

Back to my story…speak Lord for thy servant heareth.

Samuel’s mother was Hannah, and she could not have children. Worse yet, her husband had two wives and his other wife was able to have children. Her name was Peninnah and she mocked and teased Hannah for not being able to have a baby.

We are told that Hannah prayed at the temple. She not only prayed but she wept in anguish. She wanted a son!

One day she made a vow to the Lord; if he would allow her to have a son, she would dedicate that son to the Lord.

Long story short, read it in 1 Samuel chapter 1, she became pregnant, gave birth to a son, and named him Samuel, which means “Heard by God”

When Samuel was a very young boy, soon after being weaned, she took him to the temple and dedicated his life to the Lord. She left him at the temple in the care of Priest Eli and she would visit him each year.

Chapter 2 tells us the child Samuel grew in stature and in favor both with the Lord and with men.

Okay, here is where it gets good! When Samuel was young, maybe 12 or 13 years old, God gave him a prophesy. Imagine! That young, being used by God!

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.”

Eli said, “I didn’t call you. Go back to bed.” And so he did.

God called again, “Samuel, Samuel!”

Samuel got up and went to Eli, “I heard you call. Here I am.”

Again Eli said, “Son, I didn’t call you. Go back to bed.” (This all happened before Samuel knew God for himself. It was before the revelation of God had been given to him personally.)

God called again, “Samuel!”—the third time! Yet again Samuel got up and went to Eli, “Yes? I heard you call me. Here I am.”

That’s when it dawned on Eli that God was calling the boy. So Eli directed Samuel, “Go back and lie down. If the voice calls again, say, ‘Speak, God. I’m your servant, ready to listen.’” Samuel returned to his bed.

Then God came and stood before him exactly as before, calling out, “Samuel! Samuel!”

Samuel answered, “Speak. I’m your servant, ready to listen.”

God said to Samuel, “Listen carefully. I’m getting ready to do something in Israel that is going to shake everyone up and get their attention. The time has come for me to bring down on Eli’s family everything I warned him of, every last word of it. I’m letting him know that the time’s up. I’m bringing judgment on his family for good. He knew what was going on, that his sons were desecrating God’s name and God’s place, and he did nothing to stop them. This is my sentence on the family of Eli: The evil of Eli’s family can never be wiped out by sacrifice or offering.”

Samuel stayed in bed until morning, then rose early and went about his duties, opening the doors of the sanctuary, but he dreaded having to tell the vision to Eli.

But then Eli summoned Samuel: “Samuel, my son!”

Samuel came running: “Yes? What can I do for you?”

“What did he say? Tell it to me, all of it. Don’t suppress or soften one word, as God is your judge! I want it all, word for word as he said it to you.”

So Samuel told him, word for word. He held back nothing.

Eli said, “He is God. Let him do whatever he thinks best.”

Samuel grew up. God was with him, and Samuel’s prophetic record was flawless. Everyone in Israel, from Dan in the north to Beersheba in the south, recognized that Samuel was the real thing—a true prophet of God…(1 Samuel 3 The Message Bible)

If you think God is speaking to you, stop and listen. Tell Him, “speak to me Lord, I am listening.” You never know what He has waiting to reveal to you. I know it will be good!

“Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change. Of his own will he brought us forth by the word of truth…” James 1:17-19 ESV

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