Our Old Testament scripture reading for this week is 1 Samuel 3:1-10.
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. ”And he ran to Eli and said, “Here I am; you called me.” But Eli said, “I did not call; go back and lie down.” So he went and lay down. Again the Lord called, “Samuel!” And Samuel got up and went to Eli and said, “Here I am; you called me.” “My son,” Eli said, “I did not call; go back and lie down.” Now Samuel did not yet know the Lord: The word of the Lord had not yet been revealed to him. A third time the Lord called, “Samuel!” And Samuel got up and went to Eli and said, “Here I am; you called me.” Then Eli realized that the Lord was calling the boy. So Eli told Samuel, “Go and lie down, and if he calls you, say, ‘Speak, Lord, for your servant is listening.’” So Samuel went and lay down in his place. The Lord came and stood there, calling as at the other times, “Samuel! Samuel! ” Then Samuel said, “Speak, for your servant is listening.”
Hearing God’s call in our lives is a wonderful thing. God calls each of us to a relationship with Him and assigns us responsibility accordingly. However, we must listen for His voice and be ready to respond, taking our place in His plan for creation.
Samuel was responding to the priest Eli, believing the call came from him, when in fact God Himself spoke. After he was instructed, he answered the Lord “Speak, for your servant is listening”. Sometimes we need instruction as well to be able to hear and answer appropriately.
People say “I wish God would speak directly to me” but make no effort to go to Him or listen patiently. If we expect a text message with a list of instructions, we are liable to be disappointed. While God has given us specific guidance through His chosen servants and His word in scripture, it is up to us to hear the message and accept the task.
Loving Lord, help us to seek Your word and do Your will. May we listen and respond enthusiastically when You call. Amen.