Are You Listening?

Thursday, February 2, 2012

are you listening?
The Lord came and stood there, calling as at other times, "Samuel! Samuel!" Then Samuel said, "Speak, for your servant is listening." 1 Samuel 3:10 (NIV)

The story of Samuel is a fascinating one. Of all the people in Israel, God chooses to appear to this young boy and speak his word, bypassing Eli, the Priest. What fascinates me more than the fact that God chose to speak to this boy is what we are told in verse one of this chapter. It says, "In those days the word of the Lord was rare; and there were not many visions." What was the reason for this? I don't think it was because the Lord stopped speaking. I believe it was because people stopped listening. The reason why God spoke to Samuel rather than Eli is because Eli stopped listening and Samuel was ready to hear.

Verse two tells us that Eli was laying down in his usual place but Samuel was laying down in the temple where the ark of God was. Do you notice the significance in the sleeping arrangements? Eli had grown accustomed to the silence. Somewhere along the way he had stopped listening and that was okay with him. Samuel, on the other hand, wasn't okay with this. Maybe this kid didn't know any better, but he wanted more. Perhaps he was reading the scrolls about how God used to speak to his people. I'm sure he was familiar with the story of Moses and his encounters with God and he became uncomfortable with settling for less than what Moses experienced. The implication for us today is huge. Are we comfortable with the way things are today? Is God's voice a faint memory of the past or something other generations experienced? Are we bothered by the absence of the voice of the Lord around us? Are we laying down in our usual place day after day, or are we like Samuel, determined to find out where God might show up and laying down there?

There is one more aspect of this story that is even more frightening. Not only was Eli comfortable with not hearing God's voice, but when God did finally speak, he didn't care. When Samuel comes to Eli for the third time thinking he was calling, Eli suddenly realizes that the Lord had shown up in Samuel's bedroom to speak to him. I would have expected Eli to jump up and run into the temple, almost knocking Samuel over in his rush to get there. But no, Eli goes back to sleep and lets Samuel do the listening for him. The danger of being comfortable is that we risk becoming hardened to the voice of God in our lives. God never stops speaking to us, we just stop listening.

Are you comfortable with were you are in life? Are you longing to hear a fresh word from the voice of God? Perhaps you need to change your sleeping arrangements. Move away from the same place you have always been in like Eli and find out where God is speaking. Make that your new place. If you do, I can guarantee that God will begin to call out to you in the night like he did with Samuel. When he does, all you have to do is simply respond, "Speak, Lord, for your servant is listening."

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10 comments:

Lisa said...

Wow David! So much to consider after reading this post. Have I gotten comfortable where I am or am I positioning myself to be as close to God as possible? I don't ever want to be in that place where I have stopped hearing God's voice.

Love this post ~ many blessings!

David Good said...

Thank you Lisa. Glad it spoke to you as it did me. My prayer is to be like Samuel and not be comfortable with the absence of God's voice like Eli was. Blessings to you! I subscribed to your blog via Google. Looking forward to reading more posts.

Wally said...

I really appreciate reading a fresh way to read and apply a story I've heard all of my life! Thank you.

We are such creatures of habit it's so easy to get used to certain rhythms of life like "laying down in our usual place..." Your comments challenge me to step back and take another look at the place where I'm laying.

I've always believed that God has never stopped talking to His people. We just don't always want to take the time to really listen.

Good stuff here.

David Good said...

Thank you for your comments, Wally. God has been speaking to me about my "usual places" in life and challenging me to reposition myself to hear new things from Him.

Blessings and thanks for stopping by my blog. I hope you come back often.

Carolyn said...

Thank You....for such a wonderful insight on this scripture.

David Good said...

Thank you Carolyn. Thankful that it blessed you. The Lord is still showing me much more from this story. I will write more about it when I process it some.

Blessings!

Unknown said...

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David Good said...

Welcome back to my blog. I try to write a post a couple of times a week. You can subscribe to my blog and get them delivered by email automatically here: http://feeds.feedburner.com/NewSongsOfPraise

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David Good said...

Albert - there is a subscription button at the very top of the right-hand sidebar. Click on that and it will give you a few choices on how to subscribe. If you can't find it, here is the link:
http://feeds.feedburner.com/NewSongsOfPraise

 
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