11 And the Lord said to Samuel: “See, I am about to do something in Israel that will make the ears of everyone who hears about it tingle. 12 At that time I will carry out against Eli everything I spoke against his family—from beginning to end. 13 For I told him that I would judge his family forever because of the sin he knew about; his sons blasphemed God, and he failed to restrain them. 14 Therefore I swore to the house of Eli, ‘The guilt of Eli’s house will never be atoned for by sacrifice or offering.’” 15 Samuel lay down until morning and then opened the doors of the house of the Lord. He was afraid to tell Eli the vision, 16 but Eli called him and said, “Samuel, my son.” Samuel answered, “Here I am.” 17 “What was it he said to you?” Eli asked. “Do not hide it from me. May God deal with you, be it ever so severely, if you hide from me anything he told you.” 18 So Samuel told him everything, hiding nothing from him. Then Eli said, “He is the Lord; let him do what is good in his eyes.” 19 The Lord was with Samuel as he grew up, and he let none of Samuel’s words fall to the ground. 20 And all Israel from Dan to Beersheba recognized that Samuel was attested as a prophet of the Lord. 21 The Lord continued to appear at Shiloh, and there he revealed himself to Samuel through his word.
(1 Samuel 3:11-21)
Over the past few days we’ve studied God’s call to Samuel to become a prophet. God gave Samuel a message which he fully and faithfully delivered to Eli at the appropriate time, despite it not being a pleasant message to deliver.
After years of being employed as a servant to the priests in the tabernacle, Samuel was now a prophet. His training was in one area but after he came to know God [1 Samuel 3:7, 10], God called him to do something else with his life.
This is a good lesson for those of us who are God’s children. Before we know God we do one thing with our lives. Maybe we are a doctor, or teacher, or computer programmer. But after being born-again, it is very possible that God may call us to do something else with our lives – something that more directly impacts His eternal kingdom.
While there is no guarantee that God will do this we should not resist Him if He does. No matter where we are at in life we can live for God in some way. A doctor can volunteer her skills to help others through a Christian charity that brings health and the gospel to those who don’t know it. A lawyer can donate part of his income to his church or charity that does work in the name of Jesus.
God doesn’t always call us to change professions. But He may. I know many pastors who were not believers in college. They were studying to be stock brokers or teachers. But after they came to know Christ, God called them into full-time ministry.
When the Lord does this, and we obediently follow His leading, He will be with us to make sure we succeed just like He was with Samuel and continued to appear at Shiloh (where Samuel was living) where He revealed Himself to Samuel.
God did not leave Samuel on his own to figure things out. He continued to teach Him how to be a prophet. But notice how God did this. He did it through His word.
God’s word – the Bible – is our main source of information about Him. He certainly speaks to us via an inner voice when we pray. But we primarily get our information about God from the Bible.
The result was that everything Samuel said about God was true – God let none of his words fall to the ground. An arrow that falls to the ground has missed its mark – it has failed to accomplish its mission. The words of a true prophet never fall to the ground. They are always 100% accurate.
Since everything Samuel said came true, all of Israel from Dan to Beersheba recognized that Samuel was a prophet of the Lord. Dan was a town in northern Israel and Beersheba a town in the south. This phrase is similar to our saying “from New York to California” – that is, the entire country.
God can use us to impact others, just like He did Samuel. Maybe its just a few people – like our friends on Facebook. Or maybe it is an entire nation. Or, as in the case of Billy Graham, the entire world.
But we have to be like Samuel was – open to hearing His voice, faithfully studying His word, and willing to do with our lives that which He asks us to.
Comments? Questions? I’d love to hear from you. Please feel free to contact me about this post.