1 Samuel 3 starts out with a sobering reality… "In those days the word of the Lord was rare."

This reality makes the events of the rest of the chapter startling.  God speaks to Samuel.  God calls out to him.  God forms words and makes the audible to Samuel… just a boy.  The highest priest in all of Israel couldn't even hear… but Samuel could.  God said.

And when God says… something happens.  In the darkness of the night, God speaks to Samuel.  In effect… God said, "Let there be light." 

The chapter ends with Samuel continually being in the presence of the Lord… and continually relaying God's word to the people of Israel.  1 Samuel 3:19 points out that Samuel never let any of God's words fall
to the ground.  He heard every word.  We get the picture that his ear
was cupped and turned to God's mouth all the time.  1 Samuel 3:21 points out that the Lord continually What once was rare,
now was a continuous steady stream of life giving breathed out
spoken-ness. A remarkable shift happens in 1 Samuel 3.  The earnest prayer of one mom in chapter 1 and the terrible sins of the religious in chapter 2 give way to the power and plan of God to act in chapter 3. 

This gives me hope for today… 

…God hears the prayers of a righteous heart… even in the middle of barrenness.  The Lord crushes the terrible sins of those who act in the name of "god".  And the Lord speaks patiently to those who respond with a simple "here I am".

Now God does not always act in our timing.  It's striking that the sins of chapter 2 continued for a while.  It's striking that God groomed Samuel over at least two decades before truly releasing him.  It's striking that the earnest prayers of Samuel's mom led to her making a tremendous sacrifice.  It's striking that God acts above time while acting in time (or "on" his time).

But the Good News is that God says.  And the Good News is that those who humbly respond to the Lord become his agents of transformation.  In a dark, deaf world, where the voice of God seems silent… the Lord will raise up the pure in heart who listen to his voice.  "My sheep," Jesus said, "are those who listen to my voice." 

Image courtesy of Tracy Schaan.

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