“And the LORD came, and stood, and called as at other times, Samuel, Samuel. Then Samuel answered, Speak; for thy servant heareth.”
Young, maybe thirteen years old, having spent his life in the sheltered walls of the home of the Priest Eli, Samuel had never heard the voice of the Lord before. He had no idea what it would sound like, what to listen for or even what to say when it called upon him.
Still a boy, there could be little doubt that there was still just so much more for Samuel to learn at the feet of his elderly mentor whom he had been sent to live with from the earliest of ages.
Yet, in the quiet of the night, the darkness all around him as he laid there asleep amidst the silence that encompassed the evening, there would come the whispering voice that would break through.
He had no idea what it was. At first he could have sworn it was his master in the other room calling to him. Yet as he awoke and hurried off to him he was given the assurances that he was not called, at least not by Eli, who had been asleep in his own bed. The long walk back to his room, he probably just had thought he was dreaming or that his ears were playing tricks on him. He probably went back to bed determined to just put it out of his mind as nothing more than the wind or some animal howling.
The voice would come again...
The voice would come again and once more he would go running to Eli. Again though the Priest would tell him, it was not I who called you. But then it would dawn on him. The calling whisper, it would be the Lord speaking to the boy. "Go back and when you hear the voice again say, “Speak; for thy servant heareth.”
He would once more go back to his room, perhaps perplexed by the recent turn and the instructions by Eli. Still, as the voice once more broke through the night Samuel would heed his words and would call back “Speak; for thy servant heareth.”
The path laid out for Samuel wasn’t an easy road. In an age of Judges who governed over His people according to their own ways, according to their own precepts, there was considerable darkness and danger that lurked. He would charged with coronating a King and preaching to a people prone to idolatry despite the miracles they had seen at the hands of the Lord. They were governed by the Philistines in captivity for a generation as they even took the Ark of the Covenant.
There would be no easy task for the Prophet called by the voice of the Lord from the earliest of days of his youth. Yet the Lord would provide for him, He would protect Samuel, guiding him by the hand as He lead him to those places He intended for him.
We perhaps don’t hear the voice of the Lord, not like Samuel did as this whispering sound that breaks through the night to lead us by the hand, and to guide us according to His will. Yet each of us, as the redeemed children of the Heavenly Father, washed clean in the precious blood of the lamb, are called, just as Samuel was, to preach against unrighteousness and wickedness, to lift up the call of the captives and the oppressed, to speak out against injustice and tyranny wherever it may lurk. We are to proclaim, in all places, through all challenges, the love that the Lord God Almighty has for His children.
Perhaps we don’t know where this road will lead or the direction that it will take us in, yet the call of the Lord, it cannot be ignored.
Preach therefore to the lost and the fallen, pray for the slaves and the captives, teach of the love of Christ, and the mercy of the Lord, humble yourself to the will of God that you may be used as vessels of His divine love, trusting in His plan and His grand design. As Samuel once did, so too let your cry to Lord be, “Speak; for thy servant heareth” and give your life to the message of freedom and liberty, justice and righteousness of our Heavenly Father for the edification, nourishment and sanctification of His children.
Yes, the road may be filled with challenges, the darkness and chaos may be all around us, and the old Adversary may wage his war on our souls with the suffering and the affliction of the captives and the slaves, yet we know that through all things, in all things we have a loving and merciful God who provides and who contends with the cause of His children in utter devotion and faithfulness to them.
Listen to the call of the Lord, listen for His call, knowing that ours is to do the work of the Heavenly Father here on earth and that He uses us for the freedom of our fellow man that there may be no bondage, no captivity, that shall be able to hold them. Go forth and do the work of our God and shine His light from your life as a beacon of hope in an unrighteous world so prone to chaos and pain, agony and hardship, knowing that by His mercy, His grace and His compassion He shall lead you even when we know not where the road will lead us. He is vigilant and true and so too are His promises to us….
Be imitators of Christ therefore in all aspects of your life, with every step you take, just as Samuel sought to live as God had intended, used for the healing of your fellow man and for their liberty even as the injustice of this world seems to lurk all around us. It is then that you shall know that, in all things, through all things, you have heard the call of our Lord in your life and that you have become what He has intended for you to be.
Lord, in your mercy, grant this unto us all.
In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.