Do you remember the story of Samuel from the Bible? His mom was Hannah, who prayed in her infertility and promised to dedicate her son to God if He would grant her the privilege of being a mom. And God answered her prayer with Samuel, who she gave up after she had weaned him so he could live in the temple and serve the priest. (And God blessed her with other kiddos.)
What always stuck out to me about Samuel, though, is that he heard the audible voice of God. In 1 Samuel 3 of the Bible,the second half of the first verse tells us that “In those days the word of the Lord was rare; there were not many visions.” Then, the chapter continues where Samuel heard his name being called and thought it was the priest Eli. Verse 7 tells us that at that time, “Now Samuel did not yet know the Lord. The Word of the Lord had not yet been revealed to him.” Each time Samuel would hear his name, he would run to the priest Eli and say “you called me” and the priest would tell him that he didn’t call him and to go back to bed. The third time, though, Eli realized that it was God calling the boy, so he told Samuel to say “Speak, Lord, for your servant is listening” if he heard his name again (1 Samuel 3:9). The very next verse says “The Lord came and stood there, calling as the other times: ‘Samuel! Samuel!'”
How great would it be to hear the voice of God and have Him call us right where we’re at, whether in bed, on the road or cooking dinner? Just imagine Him coming to stand next to us to reveal His plans to us? To hear our name from our Lord?
As I continued reading, 1 Samuel 3:19 tells us “The Lord was with Samuel as he grew up, and he let none of his words fall to the ground.” I underlined and put a star next to this verse. Samuel didn’t let any of God’s words fall to the ground. I thought about how many times I’ve read the Bible, but have I really retained it? Have I soaked it in, have I practiced and applied it? Or have the words fallen to the ground?
But it’s the last verse of 1 Samuel 3:21 that stuck out to me the most: “The Lord continued to appear at Shiloh, and there He revealed Himself to Samuel through His Word.”
How does God speak to us? The right answer is any way He chooses! That said, God’s Word is often where He reveals Himself to us. We know the Bible to be truth whereas relying on feelings or our own thoughts can’t always be trusted.
Are we living in days where there aren’t as many visions and God’s audible voice isn’t always heard? We need to pray and seek God while He may be found…and the best place to start is in the Bible. And, we need to be more like Samuel who didn’t let any of those words fall to the ground. May God reveal Himself to us through His Word! May we know Him! God, we ask you to speak – we are listening!
Dear Heavenly Father, thank You so much for revealing Yourself and Your plans to us through Your Word. Thank You for the Bible and the ability to read it. God, may we not let any of Your words fall to the ground. May we know You and apply what You reveal to us to our lives. Please forgive our sin so that we may draw nearer to You. Speak, Lord, we’re listening! In Jesus’ powerful name, AMEN!