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)
As we learned yesterday, all of Israel came to recognize that God was speaking through Samuel. What is amazing about this was that Samuel was still a boy. Notice the phrase “as he grew up“. Samuel was not yet fully grown. As best we can tell, he was about twelve years old here.
God will very often use the most unlikely of people to accomplish His goals. We see this repeatedly in the Bible. A few examples:
Moses was a criminal who had murdered an Egyptian and was living in Exile in modern-day Saudi Arabia [Exodus 2:11-16]. Not to mention he was far from eloquent [Exodus 4:10]. Yet God used Him to deliver a message to the most powerful man in all of Egypt [Exodus 5:1].
David was just a boy – the youngest and least impressive of eight brothers [1 Samuel 16:6-13]. Yet God chose him to be king of Israel.
Esther was a Jewish woman who became the unlikely queen of Persia. God used her to save the Jewish people from extinction [Esther 7:1-7].
Saul was devout Jew who did all he could to stop people from believing in Jesus, even killing them [Acts 7:54-58]. Yet God used him to plant churches all throughout Asia Minor and Europe and to write most of the New Testament.
Peter was a fisherman who had an impulsive personality but down deep was a coward [John 18:15-18, 25-26]. Yet God used him to deliver His message to the Jews after Jesus ascended into heaven.
Similarly, Samuel was just a boy when God called him to be the first prophet in Israel.
Samuel has essentially been raised in the tabernacle by Eli, his surrogate father, from the time he was five. He faithfully served there doing menial, but important, tasks like opening the doors and doing errands for Eli.
As a result of his faithfulness, God rewarded him with further ministry opportunities. Because he was faithful in the small things, God gave him more important things to do [Luke 16:10; 1 Timothy 1:12].
At a time in Israel when the nation was not paying any attention to Him, God raised up an unlikely prophet. The fact that this prophet was just a boy proved that his message was from God because how else could such a young person be able to speak such truthful words 100% of the time?
God will not use those who are already famous or those who people already consider to be leaders. Otherwise, people will not understand and believe that the message comes from God. They will give credit to the human speakers, not to God. And as a result, people will not be drawn to Him.
He will not speak through Donald Trump or Hilary Clinton. He will not speak through Oprah or Madonna or Kanye. If He did these people would get the credit and people would put their faith in them for their futures. As a result, they’d end up in hell after they die.
God wants people to be drawn to Him not because He is an egomaniac. He wants people to be drawn to Him – and Him alone – because He – and only He – has the power to save people from their sins.
So He doesn’t speak through those that the world knows. He speaks through those that the world knows not.
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