God Speaks to Samuel; The Hand of Judgment Falls (1 Samuel 3:1 – 4:11)

Samuel, by now, is moving in the flow of the ministry in the temple.  Because of Israel’s sin, there were only rare occurrences of God’s Word being shared.  There was no widespread revelation.  In this Godless time, the Lord called to Samuel, and Samuel answered and ran to Eli, thinking he had called him.  This happened three times, and Eli finally realized that God had spoken to Samuel.  He sent him back to bed one more time and told him to say, “Speak, Lord, for Your servant hears.”  He obeyed Eli, and responded as he instructed, and the Lord began to reveal Himself to Samuel.

1 Samuel 3:11–14 (NKJV)
11 Then the LORD said to Samuel: “Behold, I will do something in Israel at which both ears of everyone who hears it will tingle. 12 In that day I will perform against Eli all that I have spoken concerning his house, from beginning to end. 13 For I have told him that I will judge his house forever for the iniquity which he knows, because his sons made themselves vile, and he did not restrain them. 14 And therefore I have sworn to the house of Eli that the iniquity of Eli’s house shall not be atoned for by sacrifice or offering forever.”

Eli laid down and went about his business, but was afraid to tell Eli the vision.  However, Eli forcefully asked what the Lord had told him, and he revealed it all.  Eli received it, and Samuel grew and favored him.  The nation then knew that Samuel was a prophet.  The word of the Lord then came to all Israel.

In times when God’s Word seems to be missing from the church or the life of Christians, it only takes one person to bring the Word back to the people.  Too often, we struggle with being the catalyst, but God needs a man or a woman to step up and be a leader.  If God calls you, answer!

The Israelites went out to battle against the Philistines, who soundly defeated Israel, killing about four thousand men.  The Israelites brought the Ark of the Covenant from Shiloh, with Hophni and Phinehas bearing the ark.  The roar from the camp of Israel struck fear in the hearts of the Philistines.  However, they encouraged themselves, and took up the fight.  The Philistines defeated Israel, and every man fled to their tents.  The Ark of God was captured, and the two sons of Eli were killed.

It is not enough to wear a cross pendant, or a t-shirt with a Jesus slogan, and suppose to invoke the protective presence of God.  Symbols alone do not make one a Christian, but rather a real relationship with the Lord.  Live for Him and in relationship with Him.  Do not just wear the symbols: truly know the Lord!

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