The Lord was with Samuel as he grew up, and he let none of Samuel’s words fall to the ground. (1 Samuel 3:19 NIV)
The call of Samuel is a very intriguing one. Lots of elements can be explored in it and others have done a great job outlining them.
What this encounter says to me at present is the importance of the personal contact with God. The third chapter of 1 Samuel starts by establishing that Samuel ministered before the Lord under Eli. He is also used to sleeping where the ark of the covenant is. For all of that, though, it’s intriguing that when God calls Samuel, he thinks it’s Eli calling, because that’s all Samuel knows. He has never had his own contact, he doesn’t know. He can serve in the Lord’s place of worship, but he doesn’t know the voice of the Lord he’s serving.
That encounter with God changes everything for Samuel. Not only does he have his engagement with God, but he is entrusted with the word of the Lord and is recognised for that. His obedience in hearing and then sharing the word of the Lord given to him marked him out to the people.
It’s one thing to read the words and to be doing church or godly stuff. You can even be around godly people, but it’s vital to actually encounter and engage with the living Author of the living Word that we read. That makes all the difference. It’s about developing the awareness of God when He speaks and being attentive to what He says when He speaks.
For His Name’s Sake
C. L. J. Dryden