“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.” Matthew 5:8
Of all the sketches, pictures, and illustrations of Bible characters, the one of a small, young Samuel caught my eye. He was the answer to his childless mother’s supplicatory prayer to have a son. She made a solemn promise to God that as soon as he was weaned, she would bring him to the temple to stay and serve there. I am also reminded that Scripture mentions that he ministered to the Lord in the presence of Eli, the priest. He “continued to grow both in stature and in favour with the Lord and with man.” (1 Samuel 2:11,18,26, ESV)
“And the word of the Lord was rare in those days; there was no frequent vision.” (1 Samuel 3:1) He had been waiting for a suitable person to use as an instrument. And then, for the first time, the Lord called on Samuel during the night. Three times the boy reported to Eli, and three times Eli assured him that he was not the one who had called Samuel. But then Eli perceived that the Lord wanted to speak to the boy.
Back in his room, and on the advice of Eli, Samuel answered the Lord when he called for the fourth time: “Speak, for your servant hears!” (1 Samuel 3:10). Can you imagine the overwhelming experience of the young Samuel when God really spoke to him directly? Merely a boy and beyond human understanding, God chose him to bear knowledge of God’s future ear-tingling action against the house of Eli and the nation of Israel.
Do you realise what happened here? A young, innocent, and sincere boy becomes God’s future chosen instrument to function as a faithful and trustworthy priest who does what God desires. He should exercise leadership and serve the people in such a way that they will turn their hearts and faces to God again. The Lord must be acknowledged, served and worshipped, as the one and only God.
1 Samuel 3:19-20 testifies to Samuel’s character. “And Samuel grew, and the Lord was with him and let none of his words fall to the ground. And all Israel from Dan to Beersheba knew that Samuel was established as a prophet of the Lord.” Do you hear what God’s preference is? He chooses a spiritual leader with a pure and sincere heart. A blessed one! That is after all what Matthew 5:8 confirms: “Blessed are the pure of heart, for they shall see God.”
You and I often battle to hear when God calls us. Our busy lifestyles, worries, poor quiet times, attitudes towards people, and, and, and leave very little room to get to know the Lord’s voice. But do not be misled, he calls and speaks to us daily. Indeed, not in an audible voice, but especially through his Word and the Holy Spirit in our hearts. And this demands a personal relationship with him, the spot-on reading of the Word regarding the how, as well as attentively listening in the storm and in the stillness.
Dear reader, you might not serve in the foyer of the church, temple or gathering place, but God knows your name. The same God who spoke to small children and important adults, also wants to speak to you. He knows your name and will call you by your name. Not only once, but until you recognise his voice and answers on his call. All you have to do is to live with receptive ears, listen attentively and be ready to answer: “Speak Lord, your child hears and listens!”
Prayer: Heavenly Father, in a world full of insecurities, our commitment is very often also uncertain. I pray that your Holy Spirit will lead me to distinguish your voice from all other confusing voices around me clearly. I also pray that your Word will lead me in truth, so that I can cry out with expectation and enthusiasm: “Speak Lord! Your servant listens!” Amen