Close Enough to Hear His Voice
1 Samuel 3:1-10
Verse 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.
We have looked at people who came to a point of worship in different ways. Today we start talking about an important factor in worship. Do you remember how the other day we were talking about walking the tight rope of worship? One thing about tight rope walking is that the closer you get to the side you are walking towards, the easier it is to hear the voice of the one that is there cheering you on..
In today’s story we see a young boy whom we have talked about before. This boy, Samuel, is the boy that was the answer to Hannah’s prayer for a child. The child that she had promised to give back to God. Here we see him serving as he was given to do. The lamp in the Tabernacle was kept burning continually, day and night (Leviticus 24:1-4). It was the only source of light in the Tabernacle. Our key verse reveals that the lamp hadn’t yet gone out. This isn’t a hopeful thought since the lamp was never supposed to go out. It kind of hints to the fact that things aren’t being well maintained. We know from verse one that visions and words from God weren’t common in that day. Why would that be?
The story of Eli and his sons show that they weren’t close to God. Eli was an obliging father and his sons were taking advantage of their situation. But notice the boy, Samuel. Here he is sleeping close to the curtain that was obscuring the Ark of the Covenant, the place God had promised to meet with them. He heard the voice but didn’t know who it was. Notice how many times it took Eli to realize that it was God speaking to the boy. Three times! Eli was so removed from hearing from God that it took him three times to realize God was talking to the boy. How do you think it felt to know that as the high priest God would rather talk to a young boy?
God didn’t speak to Eli because he wasn’t walking with God. But this young child is near to God and has been given for His service. God had special work for this young man and He didn’t wait until he was older. What mattered to God was not his age, but his proximity.
In the same way our age doesn’t matter to God when we praise, it is our drawing close to Him that matters. A child singing from the depths of their heart that Jesus loves them in nearer the heart of God than the old man or woman who is living for self. How close are you to God? Could you hear His voice if He called your name? Are you quiet enough of spirit to hear Him?
Making It Personal
Are you close enough to hear His voice if He were to call your name? Do you get quiet in His presence to hear His voice? Do you want to hear His voice? Will you actually listen to Him if He speaks to you?
Making It Personal Kids
Is it easier to listen to someone talk to you in a quiet room or a crowded room? Is it easier to hear someone next you or someone on the other side of the room? What would you think if you would hear God’s voice? Do you listen to what God says in the Bible?
Father, please help us know that we need to listen for Your voice and that we need to come close to You to hear You. Draw us close to You and speak to us. We worship You. In Jesus’ name, amen.