1The boy Samuel ministered before the Lord under Eli. In those days the word of the Lord was rare; there were not many visions. 2 One night Eli, whose eyes were becoming so weak that he could barely see, was lying down in his usual place. 3 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. 4 Then the Lord called Samuel. Samuel answered, “Here I am.” 5 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. 6 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.” 7 Now Samuel did not yet know the Lord: The word of the Lord had not yet been revealed to him. 8 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. 9 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. 10 The Lord came and stood there, calling as at the other times, “Samuel! Samuel!” Then Samuel said, “Speak, for your servant is listening.” 11 And the Lord said to Samuel: “See, I am about to do something in Israel that will make the ears of everyone who hears about it tingle. 12 At that time I will carry out against Eli everything I spoke against his family—from beginning to end. 13 For I told him that I would judge his family forever because of the sin he knew about; his sons blasphemed God, and he failed to restrain them. 14 Therefore I swore to the house of Eli, ‘The guilt of Eli’s house will never be atoned for by sacrifice or offering.’” 15 Samuel lay down until morning and then opened the doors of the house of the Lord. He was afraid to tell Eli the vision, 16 but Eli called him and said, “Samuel, my son.” Samuel answered, “Here I am.” 17 “What was it he said to you?” Eli asked. “Do not hide it from me. May God deal with you, be it ever so severely, if you hide from me anything he told you.” 18 So Samuel told him everything, hiding nothing from him. Then Eli said, “He is the Lord; let him do what is good in his eyes.” 19 The Lord was with Samuel as he grew up, and he let none of Samuel’s words fall to the ground. 20 And all Israel from Dan to Beersheba recognized that Samuel was attested as a prophet of the Lord. 21 The Lord continued to appear at Shiloh, and there he revealed himself to Samuel through his word. (1 Samuel 3)
When we considered the theme “A world in Need” in 2020, little did we know how much Covid-19 would lay bare the fragility of “normal existence”. The need for believers to serve as God directs is crystal clear, and none of us should be on the side-line. Our assigned tasks from God may be big or small by human standards but in God’s economy our part is always a big part because we serve a big God. So, if not you, then who?
For our Group Bible Study this year we will consider the story of God calling Samuel (1 Samuel 3). Over the next three days, we will consider this passage under the following headings: 1) Call, 2) Confusion, and 3) Confirmation & Challenge.
God’s call of Samuel has unique elements but there are broad lessons applicable to us as we consider our response to God’s call(s). Let’s start by considering how God called Samuel. Please prayerfully read the passage above and consider the questions below.
- Have you ever heard people talking about God’s call on their lives and it sounds like a game of hide and seek? Based on verses 1 – 4, how would you characterize God’s call of Samuel (e.g., direct or indirect, transparent or shrouded in secrecy, specific or general)?
- Of course, God speaks to us in a variety of ways. In what ways have you experienced God’s call on your life?
Sharing your thoughts could be a big help to someone else. Please leave a comment on the blog.