Samuel—“Tuned In” To God In a World That Is “Tuned Out”
by Christy Pearce
“It’s a boy!”
The sonogram revealed the sex of our third child, and we were thrilled to welcome some “snakes and snails” to our duo of “sugar and spice.”
I began asking God what our first baby boy’s name should be. He took me to this powerful passage about the prophet Samuel. When I read the words at the beginning of Chapter 3, I got chills.
In a time when it was a rare thing for God to come to people, “Then the Lord called Samuel.”
I wanted God to work in my son’s life like that. I knew right away we would call my sweet boy “Samuel.”
Little did I know I’d be calling my Samuel over and over again to no avail. Sometimes, that stinker completely tunes out the sound of my voice and runs in the opposite direction.
But not the Samuel of the scriptures. No—when he heard God’s voice call his name, he “tuned in” and presented himself as a ready servant.
“The boy Samuel ministered before the Lord under Eli. In those days the word of the Lord was rare; there were not many visions. Then the Lord called Samuel.” 1 Samuel 3:1, 4 (NIV)
Asked of God
Samuel was born to Hannah, a woman whose womb had been “closed by the Lord.” But that didn’t stop Hannah from asking, no—begging God to give her a child.
The peak of Hannah’s angst played out as she made a complete spectacle of herself—“pouring out her soul” to God in prayer. (Yes, there were people watching—her husband even thought she was drunk.) Hannah promised to give the child back by devoting him to God’s service.
Samuel’s name, which means “asked of God” or ”heard by God,” was a memorial to the prayer God answered. Hannah asked God for Samuel and was heard. Yet God’s plans for Samuel’s life reached far beyond merely providing a barren woman with a bundle of joy.
God had raised up a servant for Himself.
Called By God
As soon as Hannah weaned Samuel, she took him to live with the high priest Eli to make good on her promise to the Lord.
One night a voice in the dark called Samuel’s name.
Samuel jumped up and ran to Eli, willing to do his bidding. But Eli had not called for Samuel, and sent him back to bed. After three times Eli figured out that it was the Lord who called Samuel in the night.
Eli gave Samuel instructions should he hear the voice again, and sure enough . . .
“The Lord came and stood there, calling as at the other times, ’Samuel! Samuel!’
Then Samuel said, ‘Speak, for your servant is listening.’” Samuel 3:10 (NIV)
God called Samuel. And Samuel answered.
The Blessed One Hears and Obeys
Not only did Samuel answer when God called, but he obeyed the Lord.
Samuel was given some pretty harsh news about his mentor, Eli. He was afraid to share the news with Eli. But Samuel didn’t let fear stop him from delivering that news. Instead, it was the fear and understanding of the Lord that caused him to respond in obedience and worship.
Obedience became a pattern in Samuel’s life—Hebrews says that Samuel was among those “commended for his faith.”
Flashback to my Samuel.
I think about how I call my guy’s name and he doesn’t answer. And as I think about how much that displeases me, it hits me squarely between the eyes that I do the very same thing with God. We all do.
Too often, instead of “tuning in” to God’s voice and then listening for instructions, we tune out. In doing so, we miss our purpose in life—we miss God Himself.
You see, like Samuel, we have been given some harsh news about our friends, family and fellow humans. Judgment lies ahead for those not found in Christ.
“Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God’s wrath remains on them.” John 3:36 (ESV)
It takes a great deal of courage to share this hard news with people. But in love, Christ came to us and gave us “ears to hear” and “eyes to see” our need for Him through the gospel.
Christ desires that His followers serve Him, like Samuel did, by going out and sharing this message with those around us.
I pray that as God calls us from darkness into His marvelous light, that we will be “tuned in” to Him and that we would be listening for His voice of direction in our lives.
And let’s not stop short at listening—I pray that our understanding of God would motivate us to live a life of obedience marked by faith.
Think it over . . .
Are you “tuned in” to God? How do you know?
Has God called you to share the good news of the gospel with someone who is still rejecting Christ? How will you plan to walk in obedience to this call?
Christy would love to connect with you!
You can stop by her blog, “Faith Like Dirty Diapers,” and see how God can use everyday events—even a
Facebook: Faith Like Dirty Diapers-God Speaks in Everything, Even a Dirty Diaper
Here’s Christy’s post about her struggle in the bedroom: “Healing the Broken Bedroom of the ‘Frigid Wife’”
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