Summary: How Samuel heard the voice of God
-Since Pastor Craig is out of town, I would like to take this opportunity to give him a bad time.
-We were working at a mental institution on top of the roof, putting on Christmas lights. I think that he thought that I was too close to the edge and that I would fall and he yelled out, “Hey! Get away from there!! Are you CRAZY!!!”
-Obviously it was a little awkward because of where we were at. It was a very embarrassing and inappropriate choice of words.
-Words are very important. There is a lot of power in words. JAMES says that out of the same mouth proceed blessings and cursing. Also, just like a great ship is controlled by a tiny rudder, so is the tongue a small thing that boasts great power.
-Words can be very powerful. They have the ability to inspire us and challenge us and in the case that we will look at today, we see how the words that a young man named Samuel heard would change and guide a nation.
-Samuel heard the words of God.
-In the scripture we will look at it says that “the word of the Lord was rare in those days, there was no widespread revelations”.
But, what I wonder, was it because God was not speaking or was it because his people were not listening? Corruption ruled the church, and people did what was right in their own eyes and nobody listened. Every generation had a prophet, but not this one.
-But, I have to believe that the still small voice that Elijah heard was rattling on waiting for someone to find the right frequency.
-And, I also believe that the still small voice continues today, waiting to be heard.
-The question is, how can we put ourselves in a posture to listen? I think we can learn something from Samuel.
Please turn to 1 Samuel 2: 18-25
-Last week we spoke about Hannah pleading with God to grant her a child. She makes a deal with God saying “you give me a child and I will dedicate him to you.” The boys name is Samuel and she places him in the care of Eli the priest. Samuel comes from a strong family and is placed in the service of God under a strong mentor.
-The first thing we will talk about is how Samuel separated himself from evil
-Here is Samuel, a child, who ministers before the Lord. We see his parents were very religious and that he had the benefit of living with a strong mentor in Eli, but we also see that Eli had failed on his own sons. They were serving as priests and were entirely wicked. So wicked that God had already decided to take them out. Samuel was surrounded by terrible examples of what a priest should be.
-My question is why did Samuel remain good with all the bad around him? He was just a child, surely he was impressionable.
-I think we can find a hint of an answer in something Samuel said much later in life before his death. He said “I am old and gray-headed, but I have walked with you from my youth unto this day.”
-This does not sound like a person that got lucky and followed God, and managed to make the good choices by random chance. This to me sounds like someone who made a commitment early in life
-I tell our students, if you are offered drugs, alcohol, sex will you take it? You must decide today, right now, because if you wait until it is offered, you have failed.
-We must choose sides because, “failing to plan is planning to fail”
-I believe that Samuel chose to walk with God early in life, however it does not matter what stage of life we make this decision. All that matters is that we make that decision to follow God.
-V. 18 And, I like the verse “although he was young, he ministered before the Lord”. What this tells me is that Samuel’s walk was not without its obstacles. Neither is ours. We can insert our own obstacle. Despite his age, despite his influences, he ministered.
-By rising above the obstacles and distractions, it gave him a clearer view of who God was.
-C.S. Lewis wrote:
The instrument through which you see God is your whole self. And if a man’s self is not kept clean and bright, his glimpse of God will be blurred — like the Moon seen through a dirty telescope. That is why horrible nations have horrible religions: they have been looking at God through a dirty lens.
-We must clear our lives so that we can see God more clearly.
-Next, we look at the result