Summary: Here’s a sermon to challenge us as we begin a new year. It uses an interesting story to illustrate the need for us to listen for God’s direction
"A New Year! Listen To God!"
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.
10Now the LORD came and stood and called as at other times, "Samuel! Samuel!" And Samuel answered, "Speak, for Your servant hears."
Just across from the Post Office in Bone Gap is the old railroad depot building. The railroad tracks have been removed, but south of town you can still find some telegraph poles running along the old railroad right of way. Let’s go back in time about 125 years to when the telegraph was the fastest method of long-distance communication.
One day, the depot manager at Bone Gap retired and the railroad began the search for someone to take his place. One of the main duties of this new depot manager would be to receive and send telegraph messages. Therefore, the man they hired for the job would have to be familiar with Morse code. The railroad placed an ad in the newspaper hoping to attract several applicants for the job. It just so happened that a young man named Edwards saw the advertisement and decided to apply for the job as a Morse code. He went to the address listed in the newspaper ad and entered a large, busy office filled with noise, clutter and the sound of Morse Code clicking in the background. Edward was instructed to fill in the application form and wait with the seven other applicants until they were called into the inner office for an interview. Edward filled in the form and sat down. The environment of the office was so noisy it was difficult to carry on a conversation so most of the applicants sat silently, some reading magazines, others dozing lazily paying no attention to what was going on around them. Edward, however, sat poised and ready to enter the office the very moment he was called to do so.
Like the railroad company, God is seeking workers.
He has sought them in every generation.