Samuel’s calling

I love the calling of Samuel from the Old Testament book 1 Samuel chapter 3.

As we read the story we see that three times the Lord spoke to Samuel. Each time Samuel got up and ran to Eli his master and asked what he wanted. The third time Eli realised it was God speaking to Samuel and told him to go back and what to say.

Samuel went back to his bed. Then the Bible tells us that the Lord came and stood there with Samuel. I have read this passage many times, but it was only recently that I realised that God actually came and stood there with Samuel.

On reflecting on this I found that I had to look back and see what happened before God came and stood with Samuel in the flesh. Several things jumped out.

1. Samuel was dedicated to the Lord before his birth

Hannah his mother could not have kids, but she prayed and said she would commit any child to God’s service. God answered her prayer.

2. He lived in the Temple from his early days

The preceding chapters tell us that after he was weaned he was taken to live with Eli the Priest.

3. He served Eli faithfully

We see that he served in the Temple from a young age. It doesn’t say too much of what he did, but it would probably be the things he was able to do and then progressed in importance as time went by. When God spoke we see that he ran to Eli to serve him.

4. He slept near the Ark

Verse three tells us that Samuel slept near the Ark of the Covenant. This is where God’s presence dwelt among his people. If God was going to speak or be present, this is where it would happen. Samuel was right there next to it.

I found these things really interesting. That he was dedicated to God, serving him faithfully from a young age and was right near God’s presence when He came to him.

How does this apply to us?

Perhaps if you are wanting to hear from God you could follow Samuel’s lead. Dedicate yourself afresh, serve with all of your heart and get into God’s presence daily.

I just hope and pray that when God does speak to you, that you will respond like Samuel and say, “Speak Lord, for your servant is listening”.

Jeremiah’s calling

I was reading through the first few chapters of Jeremiah the other morning. One thing that really jumped out at me was Jeremiah’s call from God to be a prophet. God had spoken directly to him and said this is who you are and this is what I want you to do.

This is what God said in verse five of chapter one. “I knew you before I formed you in your mother’s womb. Before you were born I set you apart and appointed you as my prophet to the nations.” Now that is a pretty big statement! Before he was born God chose him to a great prophet to the world. I can relate to Jeremiah’s response is verse six as I would feel pretty much the same. “O Sovereign Lord,” I said, “I can’t speak for you! I’m too young!”

When God speaks to us about doing something big, our first reaction might be one of fear and unworthiness. We might say I can’t do that or surely not me Lord. That person over there has more talent and skill…maybe they would be better Lord. To be honest this is how I reacted when God spoke to me about PASSION and some of the things that I was going to do!

If we look at what happens next we see that God reassures Jeremiah and prepares him for his work in verses seven to nine. “The Lord replied, “Don’t say, ‘I’m too young,’ for you must go wherever I send you and say whatever I tell you. And don’t be afraid of the people, for I will be with you and will protect you. I, the Lord, have spoken!” Then the Lord reached out and touched my mouth and said, “Look, I have put my words in your mouth!”

The reality is that if God has called us to big things, He is not going to leave us alone to do it in our own strength. He is going to be with us and protect us and He is going to give us the right words at the right time…just like He did with Jeremiah all those years ago.

The next time you are feeling nervous or unsure of what God has called you to do. Try to remember the words of Joshua chapter one verse nine. “This is my command—be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”