1 Samuel 3:1-10 3 And the child Samuel ministered unto the Lord before Eli. And the word of the Lord was precious in those days; there was no open vision. 2 And it came to pass at that time, when Eli was laid down in his place, and his eyes began to wax dim, that he could not see; 3 And ere the lamp of God went out in the temple of the Lord, where the ark of God was, and Samuel was laid down to sleep; 4 That the Lord called Samuel: and he answered, Here am I. 5 And he ran unto Eli, and said, Here am I; for thou calledst me. And he said, I called not; lie down again. And he went and lay down. 6 And the Lord called yet again, Samuel. And Samuel arose and went to Eli, and said, Here am I; for thou didst call me. And he answered, I called not, my son; lie down again. 7 Now Samuel did not yet know the Lord, neither was the word of the Lord yet revealed unto him. 8 And the Lord called Samuel again the third time. And he arose and went to Eli, and said, Here am I; for thou didst call me. And Eli perceived that the Lord had called the child. 9 Therefore Eli said unto Samuel, Go, lie down: and it shall be, if he call thee, that thou shalt say, Speak, Lord; for thy servant heareth. So Samuel went and lay down in his place. 10 And the Lord came, and stood, and called as at other times, Samuel, Samuel. Then Samuel answered, Speak; for thy servant heareth.
God still calls people to serve Him in specific ways and to take on certain responsibilities. Samuel is being called of God in this passage and it took God repeating the same call for him to respond. The first three times he mistakenly thought it was his mentor Eli the prophet speaking to him. We can thank God that we live in the time where we have the full revelation of God’s Word and a source of guidance (Psalm 119:105, 130) and we have His Spirit in us to lead us (Romans 8:14). We can also learn some insights into the call of God from Samuel’s experience.
1. GOD HIMSELF IS THE ONE WHO CALLS.
Verses 4, 6, 8 He is the One Who initiated this call to Samuel. God personally calls His servants. Men do not call us and we cannot give ourselves a calling. It is God who both calls and equips us. The call is God working in us both to will and to do of His good pleasure (Philippians 2:13).
2. WE DON’T ALWAYS UNDERSTAND THE FULL REVELATION OF THE CALL.
Verse 7 tells us the even-though God was calling to him, the Word of the Lord had not yet been revealed to him. Often we have to take the first step of obedience to get more understanding. It is not: understand then obey; but obey to understand.
3. GOD AT TIMES CAN USE OTHERS TO HELP US SORT OUT HIS CALL
Verses 8, 9 Thank God he lived in a place of faith or gathering of people he could trust to get help. Many who live in isolation of the Church can miss God’s call and help. So often Believers choose to put more credence to the opinions of friends who have never obeyed God or responded rather than the authorities God has placed in their lives (including parents). Thank God for spiritual and mature parents, leaders, elders, and believers who have experienced hearing God’s call in their own life and are open to help us.
4. GOD SPEAKS IF WE’LL LISTEN FOR HIM.
Verse 9, 10 God continued to speak but it was to a yielded heart and hearing ear in Samuel that was listening. If our heart is closed toward God, it will effect our ear or hearing.