Not too many years ago, we had no idea who was calling when the phone rang, and the only option was to pick up the phone to find out. Now, the first thing we do when the phone rings is to look at caller id to see who it is. If it’s someone we don’t want to talk to, we hang up or send it to voicemail to deal with later.
In 1 Samuel 3, Samuel heard the call of God. Eli and Samuel had been laying down when Samuel heard it. He didn’t know who it was. In fact, he heard the call several times and each time, he went to Eli to inquire about it. You can feel Eli’s exasperation when Samuel comes to Eli’s bedside for the third time. He tells Samuel to go back to bed, but if he hears a call again, he should answer, “Speak. Your servant is listening”.
The scripture notes in 1 Samuel 3:1 that the Lord’s voice wasn’t heard often. Eli had known what it was to hear God’s voice in the past. He had failed as a father and as the priest for the children of Israel because he allowed his sons to engage in immorality and cheat the people of Israel. How sad that Eli lost the opportunity to hear God’s call himself. Rather, God was calling a child.
Though Eli’s service to God at this point was far from perfect, he still knew God’s voice and told Samuel how to respond. Samuel’s response placed him in a position to hear God’s call and prepare him for a life of service as the religious leader in Israel during a critical time in their history.
There are times in life when we hear God calling us, and he gives us the opportunity to experience the rewards of a life of service to him. We make a choice to answer that call or ignore it. It’s totally up to us.
God can empower the least among us for a dynamic life of service to him. As he calls to you today, answer his call with, “your servant is listening.”
– TH –