Night time is way different in my house from say two years ago. Night time is different from three years ago and five years ago, wow! Sleep was easy then. Now, I notice every noise. I think about every noise. In seminary and college I would stay up late to work. It was no problem because I knew when I went to bed I could sleep. If it was two hours I knew that I could sleep soundly. Now, this is not the case. Now, I may head to bed at 1:00 A.M. and I lay down and start to go to sleep and then I hear footsteps. I look over and there is Mercedes, “Daddy, can I sleep in your room?”
Let’s travel back 2200 years and talk about another man and his night, just one particular night. This man was Eli and he was a judge and a priest.
Twas the night of Samuel’s calling and all through the Temple not a creature was making noise except Samuel.
Read with me 1 Samuel 3:
The boy Samuel ministered before the Lord under Eli. In those days the word of the Lord was rare; there were not many visions.
2 One night Eli, whose eyes were becoming so weak that he could barely see, was lying down in his usual place. 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.4 Then the Lord called Samuel.
Samuel answered, “Here I am.” 5 And he ran to Eli and said, “Here I am; you called me.”
But Eli said, “I did not call; go back and lie down.” So he went and lay down.
6 Again the Lord called, “Samuel!” And Samuel got up and went to Eli and said, “Here I am; you called me.”
“My son,” Eli said, “I did not call; go back and lie down.”
7 Now Samuel did not yet know the Lord: The word of the Lord had not yet been revealed to him.
8 A third time the Lord called, “Samuel!” And Samuel got up and went to Eli and said, “Here I am; you called me.”
Then Eli realized that the Lord was calling the boy. 9 So Eli told Samuel, “Go and lie down, and if he calls you, say, ‘Speak, Lord, for your servant is listening.’” So Samuel went and lay down in his place.
10 The Lord came and stood there, calling as at the other times, “Samuel! Samuel!”
Then Samuel said, “Speak, for your servant is listening.”
11 And the Lord said to Samuel: “See, I am about to do something in Israel that will make the ears of everyone who hears about it tingle. 12 At that time I will carry out against Eli everything I spoke against his family—from beginning to end. 13 For I told him that I would judge his family forever because of the sin he knew about; his sons blasphemed God,[a] and he failed to restrain them.14 Therefore I swore to the house of Eli, ‘The guilt of Eli’s house will never be atoned for by sacrifice or offering.’”
15 Samuel lay down until morning and then opened the doors of the house of the Lord. He was afraid to tell Eli the vision, 16 but Eli called him and said, “Samuel, my son.”
Samuel answered, “Here I am.”
17 “What was it he said to you?” Eli asked. “Do not hide it from me. May God deal with you, be it ever so severely, if you hide from me anything he told you.” 18 So Samuel told him everything, hiding nothing from him. Then Eli said, “He is the Lord; let him do what is good in his eyes.”
19 The Lord was with Samuel as he grew up, and he let none of Samuel’s words fall to the ground. 20 And all Israel from Dan to Beersheba recognized that Samuel was attested as a prophet of the Lord. 21 The Lord continued to appear at Shiloh, and there he revealed himself to Samuel through his word.
- Let’s talk about Samuel.
- It seems that in 1 Samuel 3 Eli and Samuel are laying down for the night.
- Samuel would sleep in a room near the Ark of God.
- It wasn’t that late yet because the lamps of God were still lit.
- In Exodus chapter 27:20-21 God had told them to bring clear oil to keep the lamps burning. The candlestick which was 7 branched was filled with just enough oil to burn through one night.
- The Lord gave the Israelites the instructions to make this candlestick in Exodus 25:31-39. Anyways, they were still lit and now God tried to communicate to Samuel.
- In 1 Samuel 1 his mother would come to the temple to pray. Hannah was a Godly woman. She couldn’t have children but she wanted to badly.
- She came to the House of God every year and would sacrifice and pray for a son. She was praying and wept bitterly. She made a vow to God that if He gave her a son she would give him to the Lord all the days of His life.
- Eli saw her praying and her lips were moving but she wasn’t talking. Eli thought she was drunk and rebuked her. It was then that she explained her great distress. She went home and God gave her a son. This son is now Samuel. Hannah weaned him and then dedicated him to the Lord’s service. (That is all from 1 Samuel 1)
- Now Samuel was ministering to the Lord with Eli.
- He is only 12 years old. Eli was approaching his 98th year and his son’s are not godly men. (1 Samuel 2:22; 4:15)
- Verse 1 says that word from the Lord was rare at that time and so were visions.
- Think about this, this is critical. God had not communicated to the people.
- But on this night something miraculous happened.
- Eli and Samuel are both in bed.
- Samuel heard a voice calling his name. “Samuel!” thought it was Eli.
- Eli hears Samuel’s feet walking towards his room. Eli wonders what is going on.
- Samuel asked what Eli needed.
- I am sure that Samuel is used to helping Eli in the night.
- Eli told him, “I didn’t call.”
- It seems that Eli had no idea what this was. Again, remember the word from the Lord was rare in those days.
- Maybe Eli thought he might be dreaming.
- But Samuel heard it again. Again, Eli hears Sam’s feet entering to his room.
- Neither of them knew it yet but it was the Lord.
- The Lord said: “Samuel!!!”
- Eli told him to go lie down.
- Samuel didn’t know the Lord yet and God’s word was not revealed to him yet.(1 Samuel 3:7) That is why he didn’t know it was from God.
- The Lord called him again. Again, Eli heard his feet coming to his room. But this time Eli knew it was the Lord. Eli instructed Samuel to say, “Speak Lord for thy servant is listening.” Samuel went back to bed and this time the Lord actually came to Him. Samuel could actually tell that His presence was there. In fact verse 10 it says the Lord came and “stood” and called…” The Lord said, “SAMUEL!!! SAMUEL!!!” Samuel responded speak, for Your servant is listening.” The Lord told Samuel some awesome things that night. Then the Lord begins to powerfully use Samuel.
- We must minister as Samuel ministers
- Josephus says the boy was probably around 12 years old and he was serving the Lord through Eli. (Also, see Luke 2:42 and Jesus at the temple at 12)
- His mom dedicated him to God. (1 Sa. 1:28)
- Each time Samuel heard his name he jumped up to see what was needed. Are we that ready to serve?
- Are we willing to be dedicated to God? Are we willing to dedicate our children? Are we willing to serve as Samuel served?
- Samuel, being a servant and being dedicated to God was able to hear God. There was not a distraction.
- What is distracting you from hearing God? Are you in the Word? Are you connected to the Body of Christ?
(The next point is because Samuel didn’t have any distractions He head God’s supernatural calling.)
- We must be encouraged by Samuel’s calling
- Samuel was called 4 times
- The word for “call in verse 4” then in verse 10: on the fourth time God stood beside him.
God speaks through His Spirit in:
In His Word
Through the church
On July 4 we did things backwards. I told you how Mercedes wakes us up. She comes in our room in the night and tries to sleep next to me. On July 4 I woke her up at about 9:15, so she had been asleep a little while. Then I said we are going to go see fireworks. It took her a minute to wake up and then we walked down the road to see the fireworks. Mercedes asked many questions. “I want to see purple,” she said. Then, “Is the sky going to burn down? Are the houses going to be okay?” But what was profound was the comment, “Everyone has a name.” I asked, “Every what has a name?” She said, “My teacher [Chrissy Rigney] told us that every star has a name.”
Wow! My thanks to Chrissy on that one. But that was Mercedes being aware of God’s presence. Mercedes at a young age is aware of God. We must be aware of God. Samuel was aware of God’s presence.
We must be like Samuel. Samuel was a minister already at age twelve. We must be encouraged that God spoke to Samuel. God will speak to us through His Spirit, by His word and His church.
God created us to be with him. (Genesis 1-2)
Our sin separated us from God. (Genesis 3)
Sins cannot be removed by good deeds (Gen 4-Mal 4)
Paying the price for sin, Jesus died and rose again. (Matthew – Luke)
Everyone who trusts in him alone has eternal life. (John – Jude)
Life that’s eternal means we will be with Jesus forever. (Revelation 22:5)