January 15 - Samuel

Sunday, January 15, 2012

January 15 - Samuel

One of the greatest things Eli taught Samuel was how to listen to the Lord.  This wasn’t an easy lesson because, “In those days the word of the Lord was rare; there were not many visions.” (1 Samuel 3:1b).

Samuel heard his name being called at night and went running to Eli because who else would be calling out to him? It took three times for it to finally register with Eli that the Lord was calling.  He taught Samuel how to listen, “…if he calls you, say, ‘Speak, Lord, for your servant is listening.’” (1 Samuel 3:9)

When Samuel responded to the call, the Lord was able to tell him that He was about to do something that would make the ears of everyone who hears it tingle. (1 Sam. 3:11)  The Lord can do amazing things through His people … we just need to respond as His servants!

Samuel remained close to the Lord.

“The Lord was with Samuel as he grew up, and he let none of his words fall to the ground. And all Israel from Dan to Beersheba recognized that Samuel was attested as a prophet of the Lord.” (1 Samuel 3:19-20)

One man presented himself as a willing servant.  That’s all it took.

Samuel was the one, who though unhappy with the idea of Israel setting a king in place because he felt that the Lord should be their only ruler, told the Lord what the people wanted and then, with the Lord’s permission, anointed Saul as the first king of Israel.

It was also Samuel, who, when the Lord rejected Saul as king because of his sin and weakness, then found David.  He was sent by the Lord to Bethlehem to a man named Jesse.  The Lord told him that one of Jesse’s sons was to be king, but left it to Saul to discover which.

The lesson that day was that appearance and height did not matter to the Lord, “The Lord does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” (1 Samuel 16: 7)

None of the seven sons of Jesse passed Samuel’s (and the Lord’s) muster.  The youngest was with the sheep and when Jesse finally sent for him, the Lord told Samuel that this young boy was to be anointed.  He would be the new king of Israel.

Samuel may have begun the first school for prophets (1 Samuel 19:20) “…they saw a group of prophets prophesying, with Samuel standing there as their leader …” and when he died, all Israel mourned his death. (1 Samuel 25:1)

A man dedicated to the Lord as an infant by his mother, raised to hear and respond as a servant of the Lord.  He offered the entirety of His life as he worked to draw Israel into a relationship with God.  His name means ‘heard of God.’  He heard God and God listened to him as well because he came before the Lord as a servant, ready to respond.