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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.

Praying With God

We are praying and asking the prayer of God. If you are one with the Lord, you are obeying the Lord, you are abiding in the Lord, and His Word is dwelling in you, then you are one with the Lord, and what the Lord wants to pray, you want to pray, what the Lord wants to ask the Father through your prayer, you want to ask the Father.  So who is really praying here?  Is it us praying or is it God praying?  It is kind of hard to understand.

The Example of Elijah in James

In fact, James 5 talks about a similar principle. The last part of verse 16 says, “The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.” Then James goes on to talk about Elijah.  Verse 17, “Elijah was a man subject to like passions…” He was a man, just like we are. He had feelings just like you and I have. Then it says, “And he prayed earnestly” or the literal Greek is, “He prayed in prayer” or, “He prayed in his prayer”.  It is kind of a strange construction in the English. “He was a man of like passions as we are, and he prayed in prayer that it might not rain”. In other words, Elijah had an experience, here, of not praying his own prayer, but praying the prayer of God. You could say he prayed the prayer that God put on his heart, or prayed the prayer that God burdened him with.  Here Elijah was praying the prayer of God.

The Example of Young Samuel

We have another example of Samuel in the Old Testament.  This is the story of Samuel as a young boy.  He was learning how to serve God and how to do the things of God. He was just beginning, or barely beginning to hear the voice of God.  At one point, he thought Eli, the priest, was calling him, but he eventually learned that it was the Lord who was speaking to him. The phrase that Samuel repeated back to the Lord at this point was, “Speak Lord, for your servant hears.” In other words, Samuel had the attitude that whatever God would speak, he would hear, and whatever God asked him to do, he would do.

This blog was taken from a video on Drew’s YouTube channel.