Summary: God is always teaching, the question is are we listening?
Let us continue to learn from the Book of 1 Samuel; please open your bibles there….. We noted from the first 2 chapters of 1 Samuel about Eli the High Priest who was a compromising believer. Eli was called to be a leader for God but he did not totally follow God and allowed sin in the Temple and in his family. Because of Eli’s sinfulness, God judged him and all his descendants!
God is a loving God but there are always consequences to sin.
We also noted a boy named Samuel who was totally given to the Lord by his mother. Samuel desired to be godly and God protected and nurtured him in the Temple. We also noted Hannah always praying for her son Samuel. Read along with me now 1 Samuel 3…..
The first time I read this I had to ask, why did God have to bring Samuel to Eli 3 times? Why didn’t God just made sure Samuel knew it was God speaking right away? But as we look at how Eli responded, we can note that God was really still teaching Eli, even in his old age.
I believe this is the main lesson for us from this passage; yes, we are introduced to Samuel being called by God but God is telling us through Samuel, Eli, and God’s people, God is always teaching!
How did God teach Samuel?
v1: through the church and the High Priest (Samuel lived in God’s house the Temple in Shiloh!)
v3-10: speaking directly to Samuel
And did Samuel learn through his experience with Eli? Samuel was placed in God’s Temple and he witnessed both man’s folly and God’s power and Grace. You see, especially as God had Samuel interact with Eli in
v15-18: God taught Samuel through circumstances
And what does v19 indicate? And as indicated as our Scripture verse for the week, the verse reads better in other English translations.
v19: Samuel personally witnessed the honesty and power of God’s words. Samuel personally witnessed whatever God said, it happened!
Now, going back to Eli, even though he was already old and was the high Priest in God’s Temple for a long, long time, Eli still had some learning to do. How did God teach old man High Priest Eli?
Let us not forget that God had been trying to teach Eli for years through His Word and direct teaching. But Eli, stopped listening and sinned against God! What did God do to get Eli’s attention to be taught again??
v2-18: God used an innocent little boy!
God is always teaching and He can teach in many ways until people listen. Eli stopped listening and sinned and as we noted; even though Eli was a believer, there were consequences for his sins. But isn’t it interesting that God did not stop trying to reach out to Eli. How stubborn was Eli? Did you notice that even though Eli knew God spoke to Samuel, Eli demanded from Samuel what God said? It doesn’t tell us Eli’s heart attitude when he demanded form Samuel what God said but history tell us that Eli has been gratifying himself with the offerings to God. Eli was a compromising believer; Eli said he believed in God but he pleased himself instead of God.
And when Eli found out what God said, Eli got the message didn’t he?
v18: God continued to teach Eli till there was repentance!
God is always teaching! Besides Samuel and Eli, who else did God teach?
v20-21: God also taught all Israel through Samuel and His presence in the Temple!
The application for us is simple isn’t it? God is always teaching; are we listening?
And as we noted, God will use many ways to speak to us!
God is always sending His message to us, the problem is in the receiving!
Would you grab one of your ears for a moment……….
Jesus stated over and over to His churches, which includes us, He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says!
As we prepare for Communion, take a moment to quietly hear from God; what does taking the bread and the cup really mean to you? Make a commitment to listen to God everyday and through everything, especially the Bible! Don’t be a compromising Believer; don’t be like Eli who said he believed in God but he just lived pleasing himself.
Take a moment to quietly pray right now about what God is teaching you….