Now Samuel did not yet know the LORD: The word of the LORD had not yet been revealed to him. (1 Samuel 3:7 NIV)
Have you ever considered what a rare privilege it is to know God and to recognize His voice? Samuel was learning to serve in the tabernacle and had no idea the special relationship that God initiated with this night time conversation. Samuel knew how to perform all the religious rituals associated with tabernacle service. At a very young age he became an expert at religious duty. I think he also discovered the evil that men were capable of as he watched Eli’s sons openly engage is sinful behavior while pretending to serve God. However, he did not know God.
For some reason, Eli had not introduced Samuel to God. Maybe that was the problem with Eli’s sons. They had been taught their duties in the tabernacle, but possibly they had never been introduced to the God they were serving. God determined that this would not be the case with Samuel. He would grow to serve the people of Israel as priest, judge, and prophet. God never appeared to Samuel in the same way He did to Moses, but Samuel grew to know God better and better as God continued to talk with Samuel directly throughout his life.
What about you?
Have you ever heard God’s voice. Reading the Bible is a sure way to get to know God through His Word. Some people claim to have heard an audible voice that they were certain was God speaking. I have never heard an audible voice from God. I am certain that I have heard God speaking to me. In the two cases I can remember the voice in my head was very clear. I argued with God both times, because I did not want to do what He was clearly calling me to do. In the first case rationalization won the day and I went my own way. In the second case I knew I wanted to say no and at the same time I knew that God was right and that I was being asked to do was for my best. Obedience brought peace and a deeper understanding of God’s desire for me.
God may not be calling you to lead a nation, but I am just as confident that His plans for us are bigger and better than anything we could dream up on our own. Will you answer as Samuel did:
The LORD came and stood there, calling as at the other times, “Samuel! Samuel!” Then Samuel said, “Speak, for your servant is listening.” (1 Samuel 3:10 NIV)