Most of us are familiar with the story of Eli and Samuel from 1 Samuel, where Eli was a priest, who loved and served the Lord. But his love and passion for God was not shared by his two sons. They didn`t know the Lord, and did everything to bring disgrace on the family and House of God. Eli, knowing what his sons did, never restrained them, and so he brought judgment and punishment upon his house.
At that time Samuel was still young, and he didn`t know the voice of the Lord. He wasn’t a priest, but just a child, who was innocent and open to hear from the Lord. Interestingly enough, the Lord chose him, but not the real priest, to speak His Word about the situation in the priest’s family.
One night God had spoken to Samuel about what was going to happen to Eli’s house, and, even though he was afraid to bring such strong message, he didn’t try to make the message look better than it was. He ‘told him everything, hiding nothing’ (1 Samuel 4:18). I believe it was a sort of a test from the Lord for Samuel, to see whether he would be courageous enough to speak the truth of God, even if it was hard to say.
As I read the scripture where it says that the Word of the Lord was rare in those days, it made me wonder why this was so. There was the priest who served and loved the Lord, but God wasn’t speaking through him to the nation. His heart wasn’t completely after pleasing the Lord, but after pleasing men. He compromised the truth he knew for his personal attachment and love for his sons.
As for Samuel, he was different, he responded to the Word of God with respect and awe, not choosing the parts he liked. And I believe that it was the beginning of a new season in Israel where the Lord was ready to reveal Himself to the nation again; ‘the Lord continued to appear in Shiloh, for the Lord revealed Himself to Samuel in Shiloh, through the Word of the Lord’ (1 Samuel 3:21).
So what can we learn from this story? I believe this story teaches us how to have reverence and respect for the Word of the Lord. God looks for the uncompromised heart, ready to do His will, even if it’s very costly. He chooses to use young and inexperienced people, like Samuel was at that time, people who’re willing to obey Him fully. Let’s be the people whom God is willing to use to speak His Word through, either for our personal lives or into the lives of others. Let’s not compromise the truth of the gospel for our own comfort, convenience, or out of fear. Let’s do our best not to hear the same words spoken about our generation, ‘the Word of the Lord was rare in those days’, because of uncommitted hearts. Let’s be those vessels that God’s willing to use, and that He can be confident in.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, I pray that You will show me where my heart isn’t fully committed to You. Please change my heart so that I can be used by You to bring glory to Your holy name and Your Kingdom, in Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.
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