1 Samuel 3:1-10 NIV, The boy Samuel ministered before the Lord under Eli. In those days, the word of the Lord was rare; there were not many visions. 2 One night Eli, whose eyes were becoming so weak that he could barely see, was lying down in his usual place. 3 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. 4 Then the Lord called Samuel. Samuel answered, “Here I am.” 5 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. 6 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.” 7 Now Samuel did not yet know the Lord: The word of the Lord had not yet been revealed to him. 8 A third time the Lord called, “Samuel!” And Samuel got up and went to Eli and said, “Here I am; you called me.” Then Eli realized that the Lord was calling the boy. 9 So Eli told Samuel, “Go and lie down, and if he calls you, say, ‘Speak, Lord, for your servant is listening.’” So Samuel went and lay down in his place. 10 The Lord came and stood there, calling as at the other times, “Samuel! Samuel!” Then Samuel said, “Speak, for your servant is listening.”
In our verses, we read that “Samuel did not yet know the Lord” because the Word of God had not been given to Him through personal revelation. He knew of God because Samuel was a servant to the high priest, Eli, who was in the temple of the Lord.
What I find so interesting about these verses is that God chose to speak to a lowly servant instead of a high priest. Eli had spent his entire life in service to God and was responsible for overseeing all the worship in Israel. Unfortunately, his work took over his life, and he neglected his family’s needs, which caused them to suffer.
It is easy to stand on titles, positions, salaries, and status in seeking significance and value. We must be careful to protect our hearts from the divisive schemes of the enemy to lure us into a false sense of worth through material goods and worldly appointments.
Samuel was eager to respond! He had a servant’s heart, humble and willing. God chose Samuel because of his faith and attitude over Eli. God looks at the attitude of the heart, not the status of a person. If we think we are entitled to hear from God because we are pastors, leaders, hard workers, or long-time believers, we have fallen to pridefulness and lack humility before the Lord. Our identity, worth, and significance all come from God. They are eternal markers that set us apart as God’s beloved creation.
Good communication requires listening and responding. In our relationship with God listening and responding is vital to our spiritual growth and missional calling. We may not hear God audibly, but He speaks to us clearly through His Word and Spirit. As with Samuel, when God calls us, we must be willing to act on His Word and the direction of His Spirit – “Here I am, Lord!”.
Oh, how my heart longs to hear my Father’s voice calling my name.