Samuel: The Little Boy Who Heard God’s Voice #2:
“The Lord called Samuel. And he answered, “Here I am!” So he ran to Eli and said, “Here I am, for you called me.” And he said, “I did not call; lie down again.” And he went and lay down. Then the Lord called yet again, “Samuel!” So Samuel arose and went to Eli, and said, “Here I am, for you called me.” He answered, “I did not call, my son; lie down again.” (Now Samuel did not yet know the Lord, nor was the word of the Lord yet revealed to him.) And the Lord called Samuel again the third time. Then he arose and went to Eli, and said, “Here I am, for you did call me.” Then Eli perceived that the Lord had called the boy. Therefore Eli said to Samuel, “Go, lie down; and it shall be, if He calls you, that you must say, ‘Speak, Lord, for Your servant hears.’ ” So Samuel went and lay down in his place. Now the Lord came and stood and called as at other times, “Samuel! Samuel!” And Samuel answered, “Speak, for Your servant hears.” (1 Sam. 3:4-10).
Matthew Henry writes of this passage in his commentary, “Samuel did not now rise and run as before when he thought Eli called, but lay still and listened. The more sedate and composed our spirits are the better prepared they are for divine discoveries. Let all tumultuous thoughts and passions be kept under, and every thing be quiet and serene in the soul, and then we are fit to hear from God. All must be silent when he speaks.”
This is one of the reasons that Jesus taught His disciples to pray like this, “But you, when you pray, go into your room, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly.” (Matthew 6:6). It’s when we shut the door to all of the distractions in our lives, when we are alone in the secret place, that we hear God’s voice more clearly.
HOW TO HEAR GOD’S VOICE:
1. The Still Small Voice (1 Samuel 3:4 – the Lord called Samuel).
“Then (the Lord) said, “Go out, and stand on the mountain before the Lord.” And behold, the Lord passed by, and a great and strong wind tore into the mountains and broke the rocks in pieces before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind; and after the wind an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake; and after the earthquake a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire; and after the fire a still small voice.” (1 Kings 19:11-12). To hear the still small voice we need (1) to be quiet and (2) request the Lord to speak to you.
2. Through the Word
“Then the Lord appeared again in Shiloh. For the Lord revealed Himself to Samuel in Shiloh by the word of the Lord.” (1 Samuel 3:21). This is one of the primary ways that God speaks to us—through His Word. The more familiar we are with the written Word, the more we will learn to recognize His voice and His presence.
3. Through Walking in Obedience and Holiness
Why was the word of the Lord rare in those days? Because of the sins sons of the priest. These sons of Eli should have been the ones hearing God’s voice, but they weren’t walking in obedience and holiness, so the Lord passed them over and spoke to the young boy Samuel. Why did the Lord reveal Himself to Samuel? Samuel was doing what He knew to do from God’s revealed will—ministering to the Lord.
4. Through Prophetic Words
“So Samuel lay down until morning, and opened the doors of the house of the Lord. And Samuel was afraid to tell Eli the vision. Then Eli called Samuel and said, “Samuel, my son!” And he answered, “Here I am.” And he said, “What is the word that the Lord spoke to you? Please do not hide it from me. God do so to you, and more also, if you hide anything from me of all the things that He said to you.” (1 Samuel 3:15-17). We will talk more about the prophetic in the days to come.
Our God is a God who speaks. He is a God who delights to reveal Himself to us. He will speak to us through the still small voice, through the Bible, as we walk in obedience and holiness, and through prophetic words. Let’s have the same heart as Samuel and say to the Lord, “Speak, for your servant is listening!” Then let’s listen, and be quick to respond to the Lord.
Pastor Chris Jordan