Here I Am
1 Samuel 3:1-7 – The boy Samuel ministered before the LORD under Eli. In those days the word of the LORD was rare; there were not many visions. One night Eli, whose eyes were becoming so weak that he could barely see, was lying down in his usual place. 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. Then the LORD called Samuel. Samuel answered, “Here I am.” 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. 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.” Now Samuel did not yet know the LORD: The word of the LORD had not yet been revealed to him.
What a great picture of two different people and their hearts toward God. Young Samuel is serving faithfully and waiting patiently for the Lord while Eli is old and has grown complacent.
It is apparent that despite the lack of God’s presence at that time, Samuel was willing to serve and minister to the Lord. He did not sit back and wait for the blessing of God to come before taking action and doing what was put before him. God desires that we take the step of faith towards Him and then He steps towards us.
James 4:8 – Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.
Meanwhile, Eli could barely see. Not only did he not have physical vision, but his spiritual vision was also dim. Eli was doing the usual; doing his thing. If we as followers of Jesus Christ continue to do the usual we cannot expect God to do the unusual. Also, when we do our own thing we exclude when God wants to do His thing. No wonder the word of the Lord was rare! Eli had it all wrong.
Even with these issues the lamp of God had not gone out. The fire of God was still smoldering and waiting for someone to fan it in to a burning flame … someone with a servant’s heart of obedience and a desire for the presence of God. What would that look like? How about a childlike heart willing to lay down in the Holy of Holies where only the chief priest was allowed to enter once a year? That sounds unusual.
Then the Lord called Samuel! Because of rarity of the word of the Lord, poor Samuel didn’t know the source of the voice. How often has the happened to us? We’ve been doing the usual, engrossed in our own issues and problems and we fail to recognize the voice of God calling our name. God Almighty in heaven is desperately trying to grab our attention so that He can speak words of life, encouragement and blessing to us and through us!
Samuel had a heart for God but did not know Him or God’s ways. The Bible tells us that the word of the Lord had not been revealed to him. We do the seeking. God does the revealing. We do the listening. God does the speaking.
Eli had enough knowledge of God to instruct Samuel on what needed to be done when God calls. In verse 10 it says, “The LORD came and stood there, calling as at the other times, ‘Samuel! Samuel!’ Then Samuel said, ‘Speak, for your servant is listening.’” Oh, that we would be people that have that heart to listen the voice of God when He stands before us calling our name!
We need to read the Bible and let God speak to our hearts. We need to listen to great preaching and teaching. But God has a specially tailored message for us. He has a specific purpose for our life and His word will give us the power to accomplish it. In order to hear God’s voice we need seek His presence relentlessly and not settle for the usual.
When we encounter the presence of the God and the Holy Spirit begins to speak, we will never be the same and neither will those around us.
1 Samuel 3:19-21 – The LORD was with Samuel as he grew up, and he let none of Samuel’s words fall to the ground. And all Israel from Dan to Beersheba recognized that Samuel was attested as a prophet of the LORD. The LORD continued to appear at Shiloh, and there he revealed himself to Samuel through his word.
If our usual is not bringing the life of God, it’s time to do the unusual. Hear the word of God and answer, “Here I am.”