Summary: This is a sermon based on the call narrative of Samuel. It motivates us into our own call... especially in times of a spiritual droubt.
The boy Samuel ministered before the LORD under Eli. In those days the word of the LORD was rare; there were not many visions. 2 One night Eli, whose eyes were becoming so weak that he could barely see, was lying down in his usual place. 3 The lamp of God had not yet gone out, and Samuel was lying down in the temple of the LORD, where the ark of God was. 4 Then the LORD called Samuel. Samuel answered, "Here I am." 5 And he ran to Eli and said, "Here I am; you called me." But Eli said, "I did not call; go back and lie down." So he went and lay down. 6 Again the LORD called, "Samuel!" And Samuel got up and went to Eli and said, "Here I am; you called me." "My son," Eli said, "I did not call; go back and lie down." 7 Now Samuel did not yet know the LORD: The word of the LORD had not yet been revealed to him. 8 The LORD called Samuel a third time, and Samuel got up and went to Eli and said, "Here I am; you called me." Then Eli realized that the LORD was calling the boy. 9 So Eli told Samuel, "Go and lie down, and if he calls you, say, ’Speak, LORD, for your servant is listening.’" So Samuel went and lay down in his place. 10 The LORD came and stood there, calling as at the other times, "Samuel! Samuel!" Then Samuel said, "Speak, for your servant is listening." 11 And the LORD said to Samuel: "See, I am about to do something in Israel that will make the ears of everyone who hears of it tingle. 12 At that time I will carry out against Eli everything I spoke against his family-- from beginning to end. 13 For I told him that I would judge his family forever because of the sin he knew about; his sons made themselves contemptible, and he failed to restrain them. 14 Therefore, I swore to the house of Eli, ’The guilt of Eli’s house will never be atoned for by sacrifice or offering.’" 15 Samuel lay down until morning and then opened the doors of the house of the LORD. He was afraid to tell Eli the vision, 16 but Eli called him and said, "Samuel, my son." Samuel answered, "Here I am." 17 "What was it he said to you?" Eli asked. "Do not hide it from me. May God deal with you, be it ever so severely, if you hide from me anything he told you." 18 So Samuel told him everything, hiding nothing from him. Then Eli said, "He is the LORD; let him do what is good in his eyes." 19 The LORD was with Samuel as he grew up, and he let none of his words fall to the ground. 20 And all Israel from Dan to Beersheba recognized that Samuel was attested as a prophet of the LORD. 21 The LORD continued to appear at Shiloh, and there he revealed himself to Samuel through his word.
“How Many Times Do I Have To Tell You?”
How many times do I have to tell you… the floor is not a hamper? How many times do I have to tell you… to turn the lights off when you leave a room? How many times do I have to tell you… don’t touch MY thermostat? How many times do I have to tell you?
I imagine that God was thinking something along those lines as we has trying to communicate with Samuel. Calling out to Samuel… and Samuel doesn’t listen. Calling out to Samuel… and Samuel doesn’t listen. Calling out to Samuel… and Samuel doesn’t listen. What’s going on here? Is God just not speaking clearly enough? Is Samuel just not listening? How many times… am I going to have to tell you?
Is it in the telling? Is it in the listening? Communication… is such a very delicate thing… isn’t it? It is so easy to get communication all messed up. You know… it is hard to even say the right thing in the right way. Just one word out of place and it might mean the difference between a happy congregation and a mad congregation. Just one letter out of place, and you may say a word you never meant to say. Let’s take… just for example… the top 10 list of misprinted bulletin announcements.
1. Don’t let worry kill you -- let the church help.
2. Thursday night - Potluck supper. Prayer and medication to follow.
3. Remember in prayer the many who are sick of our church.
4. For those of you who have children and don’t know it, we have a nursery upstairs.