A child may have an ear for God’s call;
a mind for God’s service and a message for God’s bidding,
for God will not be without a mouthpiece even though the ordained priesthood be deaf to His voice.
I Samuel 1
1 And the child Samuel ministered unto the LORD before Eli. And the word of the LORD was precious in those days; there was no open vision.
2 And it came to pass at that time, when Eli was laid down in his place, and his eyes began to wax dim, that he could not see;
3 And ere the lamp of God went out in the temple of the LORD, where the ark of God was, and Samuel was laid down to sleep;
4 That the LORD called Samuel: and he answered, Here am I.
5 And he ran unto Eli, and said, Here am I; for thou calledst me. And he said, I called not; lie down again. And he went and lay down.
6 And the LORD called yet again, Samuel. And Samuel arose and went to Eli, and said, Here am I; for thou didst call me. And he answered, I called not, my son; lie down again.
7 Now Samuel did not yet know the LORD, neither was the word of the LORD yet revealed unto him.
8 And the LORD called Samuel again the third time. And he arose and went to Eli, and said, Here am I; for thou didst call me. And Eli perceived that the LORD had called the child.
9 Therefore Eli said unto Samuel, Go, lie down: and it shall be, if he call thee, that thou shalt say, Speak, LORD; for thy servant heareth. So Samuel went and lay down in his place.
10 And the LORD came, and stood, and called as at other times, Samuel, Samuel. Then Samuel answered, Speak; for thy servant heareth.
11 ¶ And the LORD said to Samuel, Behold, I will do a thing in Israel, at which both the ears of every one that heareth it shall tingle.
12 In that day I will perform against Eli all things which I have spoken concerning his house: when I begin, I will also make an end.
13 For I have told him that I will judge his house for ever for the iniquity which he knoweth; because his sons made themselves vile, and he restrained them not.
14 And therefore I have sworn unto the house of Eli, that the iniquity of Eli’s house shall not be purged with sacrifice nor offering for ever.
15 ¶ And Samuel lay until the morning, and opened the doors of the house of the LORD. And Samuel feared to shew Eli the vision.
16 Then Eli called Samuel, and said, Samuel, my son. And he answered, Here am I.
17 And he said, What is the thing that the LORD hath said unto thee? I pray thee hide it not from me: God do so to thee, and more also, if thou hide any thing from me of all the things that he said unto thee.
18 And Samuel told him every whit, and hid nothing from him. And he said, It is the LORD: let him do what seemeth him good.
19 ¶ And Samuel grew, and the LORD was with him, and did let none of his words fall to the ground.
20 And all Israel from Dan even to Beer-sheba knew that Samuel was established to be a prophet of the LORD.
21 And the LORD appeared again in Shiloh: for the LORD revealed himself to Samuel in Shiloh by the word of the LORD.
I Samuel 1 – J. Vernon McGee
1 Samuel 3:1-9 – Speak, Lord; for Thy Servant Heareth
As we read again these familiar verses, we are taken back in thought to the dear scenes of childhood—to the home we remember so well and to the mother’s voice, perhaps now silent. This story, which was our favorite then, is hardly less dear to us now that we are well advanced on the pathway toward the home beyond.
The dying lamp of the Tabernacle, the glimmering dawn, the silence and awe of the Holy Place were in strict accord with the boy’s attentive ear and opened heart. The rug or couch on which he lay was not too lowly for the eternal God to visit. Stooping from His high heaven, He came, and stood, and called. He was not angry because the child did not understand; nor did he, impatient of the delay, close the interview because He was not recognized. He knew that, once he understood, Samuel’s heart would be eager to obey the call. With all of us there is ignorance as well as mistake. In our confusion we run hither and thither. It is best to lie still, even though the heart throbs and the attention is alert, until the knock is again heard on the door. —Through the Bible Day by Day
1 Samuel 3:10-21 – A Message through a Child
It was a heavy burden that the young boy had to carry. To remind Eli of his sons’ shameful sin; to reprove him for his neglect; to utter a judgment which no sacrifice could avert—all this was so painful that Samuel seems to have lain with wide-open eyes till daybreak. Then he appears to have gone quietly about his usual duties, as if still unwilling to disturb the quiet serenity of old age. It almost seems that Samuel realized the implicit rejection of Eli and his family, since he, and not Eli, had received the divine message.
Samuel’s delicacy in trying to save Eli’s feelings is as beautiful as the old man’s resignation in hearing the awful disclosure of judgment; and in many a trying hour in after-life, he must have recurred to Eli’s reverent expression of submission: “It is the LORD: let him do what seemeth him good” (1 Samuel 3:18). The secret of a blessed life is to say Yes to God, and as sons to receive the discipline of His chastening and refining providence, Hebrews 12:7. —Through the Bible Day by Day
I Samuel 3:10—And the LORD came, and stood, and called as at other times, Samuel, Samuel.
See the urgency of God! Four times He came, and stood, and called. Mark how He stands at the door to knock. At first He was content to call the lad once by name; but after three unsuccessful attempts to attract him to Himself, He uttered the name twice, with strong urgency in the appeal, Samuel! Samuel! This has been called God’s double knock. There are seven or eight of these double knocks in Scripture: Simon, Simon; Saul, Saul; Abraham, Abraham.
How may we be sure of a Divine call?
We may know God’s call when it grows in intensity. If an impression comes into your soul, and you are not quite sure of its origin, pray over it; above all, act on it so far as possible, follow in the direction in which it leads and as you lift up your soul before God, it will wax or wane. If it wanes at all, abandon it. If it waxes follow it, though all hell attempt to stay you.
We may test God’s call by the assistance of godly friends. The aged Eli perceived that the Lord had called the child, and gave him good advice as to the manner in which he should respond to it. Our special gifts and the drift of our circumstances will also assuredly concur in one of God’s calls.
We may test God’s call by its effect on us. Does it lead to self denial? Does it induce us to leave the comfortable bed and step into the cold? Does it drive us forth to minister to others? Does it make us more unselfish, loving, tender, modest, or humble? Whatever is to the humbling of our pride, and the glory of God, may be truly deemed God’s call. Be quick to respond, and fearlessly deliver the message the Lord has given you.