1 Samuel Chapter 3.
The setting: Eli and Samuel are sleeping in the house of God, with the Lamp of God still burning, and the Ark of the Covenant right there with them. How cool is that? It reminds me my trip to the Vatican. I remember the feeling of the presence of God deep down in my soul. It was truly special. I think Eli and Samuel truly appreciated and revered that special presence. Eli’s sons? Not so much.
In the previous chapter Eli received a warning from a messenger of God that because Eli did not restrain his sons from the evil deeds they did there would be severe consequences for the family. In Chapter 3 God actually speaks out loud to Samuel and gives the same warning. It’s the beginning of Samuel’s life as a prophet.
I love Eli’s coaching of Samuel. It’s interesting that he is so able to coach Samuel but not his own sons. Because Samuel listened to his mentor he was actually able to hear directly from God. God didn’t talk to Samuel until he replied with the statement
“Speak, for your servant is listening.”
When God nudges me, assuming I’m even receptive enough to hear or feel it, how often am I so open as to say “Speak, for your servant is listening”? If I’m truly honest with myself, do I say that to God – and mean it? Am I truly willing to do what He says? Even when I don’t want to?