Tag Archives: Obedience to God

God Speaks to Samuel

God Speaks to Samuel

Haystack Rock, Cannon Beach, Oregon

Haystack Rock, Cannon Beach, Oregon

Let’s read from the third chapter of I Samuel 3:1, “Now the boy Samuel was ministering to the LORD under Eli, and the word of the LORD was rare in those days; there was no frequent vision.” It is interesting that the writer would say that the Word of the LORD was rare. God was not speaking much in that day because the hearts of the people were far from Him.  I have heard people comment, “It doesn’t seem like the Lord is speaking, and when I read the Word it’s not living and real to me.” Number one, when our hearts are not open to God and the things of God, and we really don’t want to listen, then God doesn’t speak that much.  Secondly, when God knows we aren’t going to obey what He says, He is not obligated to speak to us.

God’s Word was rare in those days because the priesthood was polluted and the people were being led astray.  God began to speak to Samuel, but Samuel didn’t yet know the Lord in a real way. God called to Samuel, “Samuel, Samuel”.  Samuel said, “Here am I”, but he thought it was Eli who was speaking to him.  The Lord was speaking to Samuel, yet Samuel didn’t recognize it was the Lord speaking to him. The Lord continued to call out to Samuel, and Samuel kept going to Eli asking, “Didn’t you call me?”  Finally Eli got the picture that it was probably the Lord who was calling Samuel. He instructed Samuel, “Samuel,  if you hear that again, it must be the Lord speaking to you, so just say, ‘Speak Lord, Thy servant hears’.”  God called Samuel again and Samuel responded as Eli had instructed him, “Speak Lord, Thy servant hears.”

Samuel was telling the Lord that he was ready to listen to what He had to say.  He was saying, “Speak, Lord. I am Your servant. I am here to do whatever You want me to do.” I believe those are the two conditions for hearing God speak. Number one, you need an ear to hear, and number two, a heart to obey and to do what God wants done. Samuel did not know the Lord, but he was in the process of learning to recognize the voice of God. When Samuel said, “Speak, Lord, for Thy Servant hears”, this indicated he had an ear to hear, and a heart to obey what God was speaking to Him.

God’s Sheep Hear His Voice

God’s Sheep Hear His Voice - Tree in Israel

God’s Sheep Hear His Voice – Tree in Israel

God’s Sheep Also Hear His Voice

Now that we have looked at this example of Samuel in the Bible, I want to look at some places in the New Testament that I believe have reference to this matter of Samuel and the Lord speaking to Samuel. John 10 speaks a lot about hearing the voice of God. John 10:3, “To him the porter openeth; and the sheep hear his voice…” Who are the sheep referred to here? We, as believers in Jesus Christ, are the sheep. We can hear God’s voice. Continuing in verse 3ff, “And he calleth his own sheep by name, and leadeth them out. 4 And when he putteth forth his own sheep, he goeth before them, and the sheep follow him: for they know his voice. 5 And a stranger will they not follow, but will flee from him: for they know not the voice of strangers.” In other words, God’s people are figuratively referred to as sheep, here, and they know the voice of God.
Let’s continue down to John 10:14ff where Jesus is speaking, “I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine. 15 As the Father knoweth me, even so know I the Father: and I lay down my life for the sheep. 16 And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd.” There you have God speaking, and we, as God’s sheep, recognizing His voice, just like Samuel in the Old Testament eventually began to recognize the voice of God.
Jesus continues to speak about His sheep listening to His voice in verse 27ff, “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: 28 And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. 29 My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand. 30 I and my Father are one.” Jesus says, “My sheep hear My voice.” We need to learn to recognize the voice of God and hear when God speaks. There is also a promise in the Bible, that we will never be plucked out of the Lord’s hand or out of the hand of the Father.

Jonah in the Bible

Jonah – When God speaks, He eventually gets His way.

Jonah was commissioned by God to go to Nineveh to preach and teach there, and to bring the people of that city to the Lord. We might tend to think Jonah should be able to go wherever he wanted to go, but that is not a principle taught in the Bible.  Jonah decided to go in a direction completely opposite the direction the Lord wanted him to go. Jonah did not want to go to Nineveh because he knew the people in that city were very cruel. Jonah feared that if they didn’t accept the message God had for them they might persecute or even kill him. We can understand why he wouldn’t want to go there!

We read that Jonah went out from the presence of the Lord. He turned his back on the Lord and went his own way!  Jonah took passage on a ship to go where he wanted to go.  Eventually they found themselves in the middle of a ferocious storm and the people on the boat learned that Jonah wasn’t doing what his God told him to do. Jonah knew this storm was a direct result his disobedience to the Lord, so he directed them to throw him overboard.  He saw that as the only chance of saving the ship and crew. What happened next seems rather strange to some people but it says God prepared a fish.  Some say it was a whale but the Bible doesn’t really say that.  It was a big fish.  This big fish swallowed Jonah, and he was in the belly of this fish for three days.  That is a brief summary of Jonah chapter one.

In chapter 2, we find Jonah in the belly of this big fish. He begins to pray and cry out to God?  Why?  He is in a big predicament and he doesn’t know if it will be life or death for him.  Jonah eventually prays and God delivers him. This fish spits him out on the shore.

In Jonah 3 it says that God spoke again to Jonah. In other words, God didn’t give-up on Jonah. He still wanted Jonah to fulfill the original intention, purpose or burden that God had for him. God again asked Jonah to go to Nineveh, the city He had originally commissioned him to go to. Eventually Jonah obeys, goes to that city and preaches, and as a result those people turned away from their unrighteousness and to God.

What is the simple principle we can learn from the story of Jonah?  When God speaks, eventually God gets His way.  If we don’t follow or go along with the Lord, He will sometimes allow something to happen that will bring God to our attention. In Jonah’s case, he spent three days in the belly of a big fish. There are two other examples in the Bible of people who went their own way and did their own thing and eventually got into trouble. Don’t forget, eventually God gets His way. 

The video this text is taken from is being uploaded to  Drew’s YouTube channel.

Devotion and Obedience to God gives Power in Prayer

“Tell me wherein thy great strength lieth.”  It is the question we fain would have answered the men of old, and in later times, as intercessors for others, have had power with God, and have prevailed.  More than one, who has desired to give himself to this ministry, has wondered why he found it so difficult to rejoice in it, to persevere, and to prevail.  Let us study the lives of the leaders and heroes of the prayer world.  Maybe some of the elements of their success will be discovered to us.

The true intercessor is a man who knows that God knows of him that his heart and life are WHOLLY GIVEN UP TO GOD AND HIS GLORY.  This is the only condition on which an officer at the court of an earthly sovereign could expect to exert much influence.   Moses, Elijah, Daniel and Paul prove that it is so in the spiritual world.  Our blessed Lord is Himself the proof of it.  He did not save us by intercession, but by self-sacrifice.  His power of intercession roots in His sacrifice; it claims and receives what the sacrifice won.  As we have it so clearly put in the last words of Isaiah 53, He poured out His soul unto death, and was numbered with the transgressors, and He bare the sins of man.”  Study this in connection with the whole chapter of which it is the crown—“and made intercession for the transgressors.”  He first gave Himself up to the will of God.  There He won the power to influence and guide that will.  He gave Himself for sinners in all-consuming love, and so He won the power to intercede for them.  There is no other path for us.  It is the man who seeks to enter personally into death with Christ, and gives himself wholly for God and men, who will dare to be bold like Moses or Elijah, who will persevere like Daniel or Paul.  Whole-hearted devotion and obedience to God are the first marks of an intercessor.

These are quotes from The Inner Chamber by Andrew Murray on Moses the man of prayer.