Are You Listening When God Speaks - 1 Samuel 1-3

Written by Chris Jarrell | July 4, 2010 |

“And the Lord came and called as before, ‘Samuel! Samuel!’ And Samuel replied, ‘Speak, your servant is listening.‘“1 Samuel 3:10

As we begin in 1 Samuel, It was a very dark time for Israel.  Eli, the priest—had sons who were abusing their power as priests. These priests were sexually immoral. They were doing horrible things. 1 Samuel 2:12, referred to them as “scoundrels who had no respect for the Lord or for their duties as priests.”  And Israel itself was being threatened by a super-power, the Philistines. The ones that Israel should have trusted were abusing their power.

Before all this is 1 Samuel 1, Hannah really wanted a baby. Her husband was married to another woman too who had several babies…and she just wanted one baby. So Hannah begged God for a child—and promised if she had a son, she would give him to the priest, Eli.  After Samuel was weaned, she dedicated him to the Lord and worshipped Him for the blessings of Samuel.  We later learn that Hannah was blessed with three sons and two daughters.

However, one of my favorite things found throughout these three chapters is, that while Samuel was still a boy he served the Lord.  Samuel was called.  Samuel also began to get messages from the Lord, 1 Samuel 3;1 says,“Now in those days messages from the Lord were very rare, and visions were quite uncommon.”  As God begins speaking to Samuel, Samuel begins listening.  Not realizing at first that this was the voice of God, he went in and woke up Eli three times.  Eventually in verse10, he recognized God’s voice and I love his response to God—- “Speak your servant is listening.”    As a prophet, God began to use Samuel by speaking through him.  Samuel had to share with Eli some hard Truth.  Matter fact, we are told that Samuel did not hold anything back.  Lord, was with Samuel and we are told that as Samuel grew up, “the Lord was with him, and everything Samuel said proved to be reliable.”

What I want to challenge all of us with is this:  In the same way God called Samuel and he responded—God still calls us today. Are we listening for His voice when He speaks to us? Is our response like Samuel?  Will we respond like Samuel… embracing the truth of God’s message? Even when it scares us? Even when it is a horrible message we do not want to share? Will we answer, “Yes Lord, your servant is listening”—when God calls us?
My prayer is that each us, would be opened to hearing God’s voice as he speaks to us and we would step out and be obedient to His voice in our lives.