Summary: Are you listening or just hearing? It will affect how you proceed in the call that God has for your life.


1 Samuel 2:12 Now the sons of Eli were sons of Belial; they knew not the LORD.

1 Samuel 3:7 Now Samuel did not yet know the LORD, neither was the word of the LORD yet revealed unto him.

Here are different settings of people who did not know the Lord, but their hearts were very different one from another.

IL.: A Navajo indian from the reservation of New Mexico went to visit a friend in NYC. As they were walking around the downtown area, the indian spoke. He said, "Listen, I hear the sound of a cricket." His friend responded, "you must be crazy. How could you possibly hear a cricket above all the noise of the city?" The indian walked a few steps where there was a bush. He moved a branch, and sure enough there was a cricket. His friend could hardly believe it. The indian tried to explain that it all had to do with a tuned-in ear. He then proceeded to give his friend and example. He took a handful of coins from his pocket and let them fall to the sidewalk. Almost everyone within a block turned around to investigate.

There is a natural hearing

There is a spiritual hearing

He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith.

Sleeping Dangers. 1 Sam. 3:1-10

I. The Sleep Intrusions

Eli and Samuel both laid down with the intention of going to sleep. God speaks and Samuel hears His voice. Only Samuel gets up to investigate. Eli is comfortable in his bed and hears nothing from God. Eli does not even ask God about what may be going on. It would appear that Eli is more interested in sleeping than finding out what God has to say. After Samuel comes a third time to wake up Eli, the priest finally perceives that God really is talking to this young boy. Even with that revelation, Eli goes on back to his bedchamber.

A. The Sleep of Negligence

Eli knew full well about the vices of his own sons. The rumors and accusations had reached him more than once.

But Eli was distracted. After all, he was the priest and many things demanded his attention. His schedule was full of responsablilities.

He was distracted because this was a family matter. They are just youngsters sowing some wild oats. They will come around.

Too many people are big gossips; they need to keep quiet.

Or the age old excuse of correcting the matter a little later. Like tomorrow---tomorrow never comes.

Let us be very careful of the "distractions of life". Good intentions are not enough. Someone once said that the road to hell is paved with good intentions.

Don't allow the GOOD become the enemy of the BEST.

B. The Sleep of Sin

Hophni and Phinehas were deceived.

They believed that their position in the temple was just a job.

The term "sons of Belial" meant "from the fallen angels" or "of no value".

The mentality was basically that of serving the Lord on Sunday and enjoy the pleasures of the world the rest of the week.

It was also a political matter for them. They figured that they were in line for promotions in the priesthood. They were going to take advantage of the extra bonuses.

They were sleeping the sleep of sin without considering its consequences.

C. A Sleep of False Security

Dad is the main man, he is the high priest.

We can make, break, and change the rules.

After all, no bolts of lightning have struck us.

Eccl. 8:11 Because sentence against an evil work is not executed speedily, therefore the heart of the sons of men is fully set in them to do evil.

Don't forget to whom we must give account.

Romans 14:12 So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God.

II. The Call

God call those whom He desires to call. One cannot or at least should not invent his or her calling. On the same note, no one should ignore their calling.

It is interesting to note that Samuel was ministering to God before he actually knew Him. Samuel made himself available for the service of God. He truly desired to be used for the glory of God. It wasn't about fame or recognition, neither about a nice position or great privileges.

I wonder how many miss the call of God because they do not give ample time and opportunity for God to show them some direction.

Others may have the charisma, the golden tongue, and the pedigree, but they are lacking a legitimate passion for the service.

Eli already had a cold heart. It would seem that his service as priest was out of habit and mechanical.

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