Summary: “Now the Lord came and stood and called as at other times, ‘Samuel! Samuel!’ And Samuel answered, ‘speak, for your servant hears”. (1 Samuel 3:10)
We live in the information age with tremendous technological advancements in the field of communications. Almost everyone in the world has access to television, cell phones, computers and the internet. We have the choice to decide what radio frequency we listen to or what television channel we watch. The most widely used media today to share information is social media but what we often see and hear is not the truth. All the advances in information technology is nothing compared to God’ way of communication. When God speaks, His message is always the truth. It is directed to the right person, the right way and at precisely the right time but He leaves us the choice to decide whether or not to listen to His voice.
Step One: The voice of God
a) The voice of the world
The voice of the Lord is audible to those who “pay attention to His words and incline their ear to His sayings”. (Prov. 4:20) Technology has been widely used today to make people focus their attention on what the world is saying rather than on what God is saying. The world is able to drown out the voice of God because of our greed, our love of money, and our desire to achieve fame and power. We respect, admire and celebrate the wealthy no matter the source of their wealth.
b) The voice of the devil
The devil is also using technology to steal, kill and destroy. He is stealing our youth, killing and murdering innocent people and destroying lives. The devil desires to destroy the sanctity of marriage by introducing same sex marriages and the sanctity of the life of the unborn child.
c) The voice of the Lord
The Lord speaks to His creation through His Word. He speaks to us through the lives of His servants and during our trials and difficulties. He speaks to us during our times of fellowship, praise, worship and prayer.
The Voice of the Lord is the Word of God and speaks to our heart and mind. In the time of Samuel “the word of the Lord was rare and there was no widespread revelation” due to the corruption of spiritual leadership and the disobedience of the people. The sons of Eli, the priest, showed their lack of respect for the holiness of God by sleeping with the women who worked at the entrance to the Tabernacle. Eli did nothing about their behaviour and their transgressions disqualified them from serving the Lord in the Temple. God needed a new prophet to replace them and Hannah met God’s will when she prayed and promised to dedicate her son, who was yet to be born, to the service of God. Hannah fulfilled her promise and Samuel served in the tabernacle under Eli, who taught him what he had failed to teach his own sons. At God’s appointed time He called Samuel to lead His people. At the time Samuel was not familiar with the voice of the Lord and through Eli he learnt how to respond to God’s voice. Samuel responded to God’s call and became a trustworthy servant of God.
As believers our focus should be on the Word of God. They are life and healing to us when we keep them in our hearts. Let us shift our focus from wealth, fame and power to God’s Word that is able to take care of all our needs.
Step Two: The revelation of God
a) God reveals His identity
The voice of God is the Word of God and the Word of God is the revelation of God. God reveals His identity in His Word. God’s Word reveals Jesus Christ as the Messiah. When Jesus declared that “the Son of Man is lord even of the Sabbath” (Mark 2:28) He was saying that He is the Messiah.
b) God reveals His will
God reveals His will in His Word. His will is to die for the salvation of man and that believers proclaim that Christ paid the penalty for sin for our salvation and that we are “saved by grace through faith, and that not of ourselves, it is the gift of God”. (Eph. 2:8)
c) God reveals our new identity
God reveals our new identity in Christ in His Word. In Christ we are a new Creation with the Holy Spirit, the power of God, living in us and empowering us to witness about Christ. The Holy Spirit assures us that “He who is in us is greater than he who is in the world”.
The sacrifice of Christ gives life for “As in Adam all die, even so in Christ all will be made alive”. (1Co 15:22) Salvation is only a free gift because Jesus Christ paid the full price for sin. It does not cost us anything but it cost God all He had, His only Son. Jesus Christ took our place and bore the full judgement of God on sin so that we could take His place. He became our sacrifice for the sin offering. Under the Old Covenant the sacrifice for the sin offering had to be repeated over and over again because the judgement of God on sin was far greater than the sacrifice. It pointed to the need for a better sacrifice, a perfect sacrifice that would not have to be repeated. It pointed to the sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the cross. There Jesus Christ after He had exhausted all the judgement of God on sin cried out “It is finished”. The sacrifice of Jesus Christ was far greater than the judgement therefore there was no longer any need for a sacrifice.