Read: 1 Samuel 3:1 – 4:1
“The boy Samuel ministered before the Lord under Eli. In those days the word of the Lord was rare; there were not many visions.” 1 Samuel 3:1
I am so fascinated by this passage of scripture. If you’ve read any portion of Samuel’s backstory you know that his mother Hannah prayed relentlessly for a baby after being barren for such a long time. When God answered her prayer she made a huge sacrifice. After weaning Samuel, she took him to the temple to live with the priest Eli, and grow up in the way of the Lord. There are so many resounding truths in this passage that cause me to reflect on my own life and evaluate how I’m living out the counter culture calling on my life.
1. The Boy Samuel – According to Jewish history, Samuel was about 12 years old in this particular scripture. 12! He wasn’t out gallivanting with his friends. Samuel was working in ministry at 12 years old; learning the ways of the faith, the scriptures, caring for the temple ,and serving the priest. He was set apart and learning the ways of the Lord on a daily basis. I had to stop and reflect. How often am I pouring God’s word and truth into my children? There is no junior version of the Holy Spirit. Am I trusting the Holy Spirit to speak to my children in a way they can understand and receive? Am I creating a home life and environment that allows God’s presence to be felt and experienced? All of these are questions we have to ask ourselves as parents, guardians, mentors, and loved ones. Our children are growing up in a world where politics, entertainment, and even education are seeking to box God out. It’s up to us to share God’s love and teachings with our children that they will be able to stand up as witnesses and believers for Christ.
2. ministered before the Lord under Eli – When I was a little girl we lived in a split level until I was about 5 years old. We lived upstairs and our pastor and her husband lived downstairs. She had an organ in her living room, and some Saturday mornings she would call my parents and say, “Send Kelli Rose down”. I’d run down the steps, she’d hand me a piece of strawberry candy, and she’d begin to sing old hymns and play the organ. She’d throw her head back, close her eyes and begin to minister (serve) the Lord through her singing and worship. I didn’t know what most of the songs meant, but I’d find myself throwing my head back, closing my eyes and singing to the Lord also. If it weren’t for her hands on mentoring, I wouldn’t be where I am today.
God uses people to teach other people. He places gifts, experiences, and insight into each one of us so that we can pour into someone else. God blesses people through other people. Those of us who have been in the faith for awhile should be passing on God’s truth to the younger generation. Likewise, those of us who are young in our faith should be willing to listen to the wisdom of those who have walked the way in front of us. This is the currency of the kingdom.
3. In those days the word of the Lord was rare; there were not many visions – Many of us have been in or around a church setting for so long that we can’t even grasp the thought of not hearing from God. Can you imagine coming to church, praying, reading from the scriptures, and singing songs about God but without the expectation that He would respond and speak? For some of us; if we’re honest, imagining that isn’t hard at all because we come to church out of habit or only to see our friends or get out of the house. What would happen if every time we came together in our time of worship we were reminded of the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus which gives us FULL access to God’s presence?
“Now all of us can come to the Father through the same Holy Spirit because of what Christ has done for us “ [Ephesians 2:18]
Friends, THIS is a reason to celebrate. This a reason to shout HALLELUJAH (uttered expression of rejoicing to God) and sing praises to Him. Through Jesus we have been given total access to God and we can EXPECT that when we seek Him individually or come together as a corporate body, HE IS WITH US, HE WILL SPEAK, AND HE WILL MOVE. What a PROMISE!
Pray with me:
Lord, Help us to raise up our children in your word and in your ways. Give them hearts that desire you more than the things of this world. Help us as their parents, teachers, leaders and mentors to be good examples of living out the Christian faith. Give each of us the courage needed in order to be witnesses for you despite the callousness of this culture towards who you are. Use each of us as believers to be a blessing to someone else by sharing our testimonies and insight given to us through your Spirit. And Father, as we go further into this journey of walking with you, help us to never take for granted that we have access to your presence. Meet us in both our private and corporate worship time. We want to experience YOU. You are our heart’s desire. In Jesus’ name, Amen.