“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 3.15-21
Many things are happening in this account. First, Samuel is given a word of judgement for Eli which he is hesitant to reveal. And understandably so, it’s a tough message. Second, Eli accepts his fate and submits to the Lord’s decree saying, “He is the Lord; let him do what is good in his eyes.” Thirdly, Samuel begins to grow in the Lord, ministering in God’s house, gaining respect throughout the land and receiving revelations from God through his word.
Eli’s time has come and gone and his family will no longer rule over the priestly offerings of the land for the Lord. The sins of Eli’s sons, and his unwillingness to call them out, was the reason for this judgement. Now Samuel is God’s priest by which the Lord will reveal himself to the nation of Israel. The Holy Spirit spoke to Samuel, surrounded Samuel, and abided with Samuel. (It’s what I learned from my New Testament professors at seminary as “selective filling” of God’s Holy Spirit. The Lord is selective in whom he fills with his Spirit and reveals his word. The fulfillment of this idea is what we experience today and which Jesus made possible at Pentecost. It’s “general filling” in which anyone who calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved and those who believe shall receive the Holy Spirit.)
So Samuel is God’s person. He was willing to be used by the Lord and reveal God’s word to the nation. And when he spoke, the Lord “let none of Samuel’s words fall to the ground.” In other words, what he said was truth and happened just as he said.
Today we have also been given the Word of God. Everything we have from Genesis to Revelation is God’s word revealed to us. Now some of it may apply more to certain situations than others, but all of it is God’s word. Some of it is more contextual, but the common thread is this — God is the Lord, Jesus is his son, and he wants to have a relationship with all people through the power of the Holy Spirit. And for those who listen, God will reveal his word through and to them.
Maybe you feel like you haven’t heard from God lately. This happens to all of us. But I must ask, to whom are you listening? Is social media, friends or sin filling your mind and thoughts. This crowds out God. It’s not that God can’t intersect your behavior, but he’s given us the ability to turn to him or to our own selfish desires. Free will has allowed us to spend hours on Instagram or time in his Word.
If you are feeling disconnected then disconnect from the world and connect to the Lord. Spend time in his Word, speak to him through prayer, talk with him in conversations and lift in up in worship. Then get ready to listen to a God who wants nothing more than to connect with you.
“O Lord God, I hear you. I know you. I love you. And still I falter, turn to sin, and battle obedience. But with you, all things are possible. Come now, Lord Jesus, fill me with the power of your Holy Spirit. Help me hear clearly from you a word for our world today. I love you Lord and praise your name. For you are good and your love endures forever.” Amen