Reading: 1 Samuel 3: 1-20
Verse One: “In those days, the word of the Lord was rare; there were not many visions”.
As Eli aged the word of the Lord was not often heard. Eli had chosen to ignore the immoral actions of his sons in the temple, thereby allowing them to continue to sin against God. Ultimately God will not forget – there will be a consequence to pay for their actions. I wonder if this is how God looks at us and at our world from time to time. As a whole, Christianity is not the voice that rises up against obvious wrongs or injustices. Does God think we too often sit silent when we should speak?
It can be difficult to speak out, especially when it seems to go against the norm or the popular or accepted thought of the day. Even within our communities of faith, it can be difficult to hold one another accountable without seeming like we are being judgmental. But if we are open to it and seek to hear what God is saying to us, like Samuel, we too can receive guidance and instruction from the Lord.
All it takes for God to speak is one receptive ear. Our passage today tells us, “In those days, the word of the Lord was rare; there were not many visions”. Eli had turned a deaf ear to the messages about his sons. So God turned to Samuel. But Samuel was young and Eli was still seen as the prophet of God. It took a few times, but Eli did realize that God was calling out to Samuel. Eli must have realized that this signaled a changing of the guard as well. Perhaps this is why Eli pushes Samuel to tell him what God revealed to him. Eli appears to know that the bad news pertains to him and his household.
How receptive are we to the voice of God in our lives? Do we create time and space for His voice to be heard? Do we try and discern if God is speaking into our life or into a situation in our life or in our world? God desires to be active and involved in our lives. May we be receptive to our God and His word. Like Samuel, may we too say, “Speak, for your servant is listening”.