Summary: Do you have some people in your congregation that are less than faithful attenders, Bible readers, and witness? Preach this sermon!
Keep The Light Burning!
1 Samuel 3:1 -- 10
1 Then the boy Samuel ministered to the LORD before Eli. And the word of the LORD was rare in those days; there was no widespread revelation.
2And it came to pass at that time, while Eli was lying down in his place, and when his eyes had begun to grow so dim that he could not see,
3and before the lamp of God went out in the tabernacle of the LORD where the ark of God was, and while Samuel was lying down,
4that the LORD called Samuel. And he answered, "Here I am!"
5So he ran to Eli and said, "Here I am, for you called me." And he said, "I did not call; lie down again." And he went and lay down.
6Then the LORD called yet again, "Samuel!" So Samuel arose and went to Eli, and said, "Here I am, for you called me." He answered, "I did not call, my son; lie down again."
7(Now Samuel did not yet know the LORD, nor was the word of the LORD yet revealed to him.)
8And the LORD called Samuel again the third time. Then he arose and went to Eli, and said, "Here I am, for you did call me." Then Eli perceived that the LORD had called the boy.
9Therefore Eli said to Samuel, "Go, lie down; and it shall be, if He calls you, that you must say, 'Speak, LORD, for Your servant hears.' " So Samuel went and lay down in his place.
10 Now the LORD came and stood and called as at other times, "Samuel! Samuel!" And Samuel answered, "Speak, for Your servant hears."
In the Book of 1 Samuel we see the contrast...
between the wickedness of Eli's family...
and the faithfulness of the young boy Samuel.
Samuel ministered before the Lord...
under the guidance and supervision of the priest Eli...
at a time when God was not speaking to His people very often.
The spiritual leaders were corrupt,
and God's people were not obeying His Law,
(Sounds a lot like today)
The "Lamp of God" was the 7-branched golden candlestick...
that stood in the tabernacle holy place before the veil,
to the left of the golden alter of incense.
Verse 3 tells us that the light went out.
It was the only source of light in the holy place.
The priests were commanded to keep it burning always.
"And you shall command the children of Israel that they bring you pure oil of pressed olives for the light, to cause the lamp to burn continually.
Leviticus 24:1 -- 4
1 Then the LORD spoke to Moses, saying: 2 "Command the children of Israel that they bring to you pure oil of pressed olives for the light, to make the lamps burn continually. 3 Outside the veil of the Testimony, in the tabernacle of meeting, Aaron shall be in charge of it from evening until morning before the LORD continually; it shall be a statute forever in your generations. 4 He shall be in charge of the lamps on the pure gold lampstand before the LORD continually.
Since there were no windows in the tabernacle,
it was necessary to have light in the holy place,
so the priests could see as they ministered there.
The golden lamp stand provided that light.
Each morning and evening,
the high priest was to care for the lights on the lamp stand
to make sure they would continue to burn.