Summary: Principles about hearing God’s voice from 1 Samuel chapter 3.
RECOGNIZING GOD’S VOICE
1 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.
This morning, we’re going to be talking about Recognizing God’s Voice.
If you were here last, week, you’ll remember that we talked about a woman named Hannah. And Hannah was married, but had no children. And, we read where Hannah prayed for a child. And she promised God that if He would give her a son, she would give Him back to the Lord. And the Lord granted her request. And she had a son named Samuel, which means “The Lord Hears.” And as Hannah promised, she gave the Samuel to the Lord to be raised at the Tabernacle by Eli, the High Priest. And so, Samuel lived in the city of Shiloh, the place of peace and tranquility, at the Tabernacle with Eli, and his sons, Hophni and Phinehas.
1a The boy Samuel ministered before the LORD under Eli. In those days the word of the LORD was rare; there were not many visions.
In other words, nobody was hearing from God.
They were “serving” the Lord. They were making their sacrifices. They were fulfilling their obligations. But there was no life to it.
We might say, “They were going to church. They were singing the songs. They were paying their tithe. But it wasn’t heartfelt. It didn’t mean anything to them. They were just going through the motions.
Do any of you feel like you are just going through the motions? With no reward. With seemingly no effect.
That’s the way the religious people of that day had become. They did their job, fulfilled their duty. But really, it didn’t mean much to them. It didn’t mean much to God either.
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…