The Lord came and stood there, calling as at the other times, “Samuel! Samuel!” Then Samuel said, “Speak, for your servant is listening.”
1 Samuel 3:10
The Lord Calls Us in the Darkness
The book of Judges is one of the darkest, bloodiest books of the Bible. It is the seventh book in the Old Testament. And it tells the story of what happened to the nation of Israel after they entered the Promised Land of Canaan. From about 1400 B.C. until about 1000 B.C., the Israelites fell into perverted idolatry and senseless violence. Although this book is hard to read, it isn’t much different than the corruption that we see in our society, and especially in our own hearts.
As the time of the Judges was coming to a close, we hear a remarkable story about the calling of Samuel. Samuel was a young boy who was an apprentice for the High Priest, Eli. Even though Samuel worked at the tabernacle, the Bible says, “Now Samuel did not yet know the Lord: The word of the Lord had not yet been revealed to him” (1 Samuel 3:7).
Yet, the Lord, in his grace, called out to the boy, “Samuel, Samuel!” Samuel didn’t know who was calling him. So the priest, Eli, instructed Samuel, “Go and lie down, and if he calls you, say, ‘Speak, Lord, for your servant is listening’” (1 Samuel 3:9). And that’s just what he did. The next time the Lord called, Samuel replied, “Speak, your servant is listening” (1 Samuel 3:10).
What can we learn about the Lord from this account?
• God is still calling his people to follow him, even in dark days.
• God calls us, even when we aren’t looking for him.
• God opens our heart so that we can listen and receive him.
When the world seems so dark and wicked, it might seem like God has abandoned us. But he is still here, still calling us to believe him, follow him, and serve him. May we, like Samuel, answer, “Speak Lord, for your servant is listening.”
Thank you, Lord, for speaking to me through your words in the Bible. Help me always to listen to what you say. Amen.