A Position to Hear
Background Story: Samuel was the first son of Hannah and an answer to her prayers to God. Hannah brought Samuel at a young age to serve God under the priest named Eli.
Read 1 Samuel 3
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.”
11 And the Lord said to Samuel: “See, I am about to do something in Israel that will make the ears of everyone who hears about it tingle. 12 At that time I will carry out against Eli everything I spoke against his family—from beginning to end. 13 For I told him that I would judge his family forever because of the sin he knew about; his sons blasphemed God, and he failed to restrain them. 14 Therefore I swore to the house of Eli, ‘The guilt of Eli’s house will never be atoned for by sacrifice or offering.’”
15 Samuel lay down until morning and then opened the doors of the house of the Lord. He was afraid to tell Eli the vision, 16 but Eli called him and said, “Samuel, my son.”
Samuel answered, “Here I am.”
17 “What was it he said to you?” Eli asked. “Do not hide it from me. May God deal with you, be it ever so severely, if you hide from me anything he told you.” 18 So Samuel told him everything, hiding nothing from him. Then Eli said, “He is the Lord; let him do what is good in his eyes.”
19 The Lord was with Samuel as he grew up, and he let none of Samuel’s words fall to the ground. 20 And all Israel from Dan to Beersheba recognized that Samuel was attested as a prophet of the Lord. 21 The Lord continued to appear at Shiloh, and there he revealed himself to Samuel through his word.
Big Idea: We can position our lives to hear God’s voice more clearly.
How many times in our lives is God trying to speak to us yet we are too busy or distracted to hear? In today’s world, we are surrounded by NOISE! The noise of the internet and social media, the noise of school and responsibilities, and the noise of pressure and expectation from our peers. It’s no wonder surrounded by all that noise, that sometimes it can be hard to hear the voice of God speaking into our lives. How can we position ourselves like Samuel to have ears that hear God’s voice and calling?
1- Approach God with Expectation: By the third time God called out to Samuel, you’ve got to believe that Samuel was on the edge of his seat in anticipation waiting for God’s voice. It can be easy in our time with God to make it part of our routine and not approach God with anticipation ready for Him to speak to us. Instead of checking a box, remove all distractions and start by asking God to help you have ears to hear and a heart to understand what He wants to say to you today.
2- Approach God in Humility: When Samuel heard from God, he came with a teachable heart and referred to himself as God’s servant. He came to God with a heart to serve not a hand extended asking for blessings. We read in Psalm 25:9 that God, “guides the humble in what is right and teaches them his way.” If we are wanting to hear from God, we must bring Him a humble, teachable heart that is surrendered to His will.
3- Arrive Hungry: Verse 19 says an amazing statement about Samuel. It says, “The Lord was with Samuel as he grew up, and he let none of Samuel’s words fall to the ground.” That means that Samuel hung on every word God said to him and communicated it out throughout his life. The results was that, “all Israel from Dan to Beersheba recognized that Samuel was attested as a prophet of the Lord.” Too often we take for granted the Bible that sits in our room collecting dust. God’s word is present, already written and available in every situation we walk through. Be hungry for the Word of God being like Samuel not wasting one single word.