Summary: Uses radio and technology as a running theme / illustration for keeping in touch with what God is saying to you. Link inc. to formatted text, audio, and PowerPoint Presentation.
Tune in to God
Tune in to God! Don’t Tune Out! It’s nice to have the ability to hear from God, but we don’t often take advantage of the technology.
We were on the radio again this morning, and it’s a privilege...but many more are tuning in each week online, taking advantage of technology.
Thesis: We need to make sure our built-in radio is tuned to God. Samuel tuned in to God while Eli had tuned God out.
[momma always said I had a face for radio!]
v. 1 The Word of the Lord was precious...no open vision—God was still on the air, but few had tuned in!
There is one interview with a pro football player that stands out in my mind as we think of tuning into God. This player told a sports reporter why he chose to go to a certain city to play ball. He was honest enough to say that God spoke to him and he responded back. “In other words I talk to God.”
He was the late Reggie White, who at that time had just completed the terms of his contract with the Philadelphia Eagles, where he had made the All-star team almost every year since he became a professional. After his contract with Philadelphia had been fulfilled, White, who is also an ordained minister – hence his nickname, "The Minister of Defense" – had been free to sign with any team he wished. And he had several offers that would have made him a very rich man. But when decision time came, White shocked most football observers and many of his friends by signing with the team which was located in the smallest city of all the National Football League franchises – the Green Bay Packers. The reporter who was conducting the interview asked White how he had reached his decision to play for the Packers. I will not soon forget what White said next. "I spent a lot of time praying about this," White said. "And one day as I prayed, I heard God say, ‘Reggie,
go to Green Bay.’ So that’s what I did."
White saw something in the way the interviewer looked at
him at that point because White said this: "You know, when you tell people you’ve been talking to God, they don’t have a problem with that. That’s praying. If you believe in that sort of thing, it’s okay. But when you
say that God talked to YOU, then they think you’re crazy or something! Isn’t prayer supposed to be a conversation with God? And in a conversation, don’t BOTH parties talk?"
Throughout the Bible you will find men and women who share their story of how God spoke to them. The key to hearing the voice of the Lord had to do with their willingness to tune into God’s voice. There are also many instances in the Bible when the individual tuned God out. These individuals did not want to listen to what God was telling them so they changed the station.
Prop – Radio on podium. Play with the station. Tuning it in and tuning it out…
There once were two men of God…one became God’s honorable spokesman because he tuned into God whereas the other one tuned God out and paid the price of his actions and died in dishonor. The two: Eli the fallen priest and Samuel the Prophet of God. One man was a failure & the other man successful. One finished poorly and the other finished strong. One tuned in / the other tuned out…
• His Sinful Sons [2:12, 17a]
v. 22 says they were full of lust…they were unsaved, ungodly, selfish, didn’t respect the things of God
v. 18 But Samuel…
No doubt Eli’s sons laughed at Samuel and ridiculed him.
• His Selfish Disobedience [vv. 22-26; 3:13]
read 2:29 The reason he is so overweight was he, along with his sons kept taking the best from the offerings. They would actually steal more meat than they needed and they would binge like gluttons and they would get fatter and fatter. The truth is they stole from the offerings that were meant for God. They stole from their own people.
• His Severe Judgment [vv. 29-30]
Thru v. 36 God removes him from his office.
• His Call from the Lord [3:1-10]
About 12 yrs. old…was sleeping…at first he thought it was blind Eli calling him. The old man may have been removed, set on the shelf, but Eli remembered what the voice of God had sounded like before he tuned out!
Young Samuel got tuned in!
• His Message from the Lord [vv. 11-14]
The person who is surrendered to the Lord and is willing to tune in will receive the signal and learn God’s will!