Summary: Second look at 1 Samuel 3:1 and how to hear the voice of God.

Title: When God Speaks

Theme: Understanding how to hear the voice of God

Text: 1 Samuel 3:1 - 10

1 Samuel 3:1-10 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. (2) And 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, (3) and before the lamp of God went out in the tabernacle [10] of the Lord where the ark of God was, and while Samuel was lying down, (4) that the Lord called Samuel. And he answered, "Here I am!" (5) So 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. (6) Then 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.) (8) And 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. (9) Therefore 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."


Last week as we looked at the first verse of this passage we discovered the importance of vision. Israel had had no vision (revelation) from the Lord. It was rare in those days. Probably because of the sinful condition of the nation. Judges (the book before here) gives us a glimpse in the plight of the nation:

Judges 21:25 In those days there was no king in Israel; everyone did what was right in his own eyes.


Proverbs 3:5-6 Trust in the Lord with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; (6) In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct [3] your paths.

Proverbs 14:12 There is a way that seems right to a man, But its end is the way of death.

A king in the land would be a person of vision and direction. They would hopefully be a person who can hear from God and be directed by God. In the nation of Israel there were some who did this: like King David, Solomon, Hezekiah, Josiah, Jeroboam, etc. There were some who did not like: Rehoboam, Ahab, Manasseh,

This usually came through the priest and the prophets of God. These men of God would be the voice of God for advice. We see this in Elijah, Nathan, Elisha, etc.

This was rare in the land. Even though there was a priest in the land. The priest name was Eli. We will talk more about him later on.

So God raised up a prophet that would listen to his voice. It all begins right here. The chosen miracle child of Hannah. Became a man of purpose who could hear the voice of God.

It is one of the toughest challenges we face today. Common question asked, “How do I hear God?” or even a deeper question, “How do I know the will of God?”

Last Sunday we talked about how getting revelation of God opens us up or bring breakthrough in our life. We see things so clearer. Now God does not give us all the answers but we now have direction and purpose.

So, “How do we hear the voice of God?” The was Samuel’s challenge. This morning I want to glean some principles when hearing the voice of God.

I. Location Location Location

It is interesting how this story plays out. Samuel was in the temple of God. He was “sleeping in the temple of God where the ark was”. The ark represented the presence of God and that is where Samuel wanted to be.

Vision Illustration

Based on an article from the American Academy of Ophthalmology, “A person with 20/20 vision can see what an average individual can see on an eye chart when they are standing 20 feet away”. The term 20/20 vision, or normal vision, is the goal when using corrective lens; “however, 20/20 vision is not perfect vision”. This vision measurement, determined by an eye chart, is all based on the distance a person can see compared to the distance a person with normal vision can see. When it comes to vision, distance can make a huge difference in how one sees.

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