1 Samuel 3:1-10, 19-20 (ESV)
The Lord Calls Samuel
3 Now the boy Samuel was ministering to the Lord in the presence of Eli. And the word of the Lord was rare in those days; there was no frequent vision.
2 At that time Eli, whose eyesight had begun to grow dim so that he could not see, was lying down in his own place.3 The lamp of God had not yet gone out, and Samuel was lying down in the temple of the Lord, where the ark of God was.
4 Then the Lord called Samuel, and he said, “Here I am!”5 and ran to Eli and said, “Here I am, for you called me.” But he said, “I did not call; lie down again.” So he went and lay down.
6 And the Lord called again, “Samuel!” and Samuel arose and went to Eli and said, “Here I am, for you called me.” But he said, “I did not call, my son; lie down again.” 7 Now Samuel did not yet know the Lord, and the word of the Lord had not yet been revealed to him.
8 And the Lord called Samuel again the third time. And he arose and went to Eli and said, “Here I am, for you called me.” Then Eli perceived that the Lord was calling the boy. 9 Therefore Eli said to Samuel, “Go, lie down, and if he calls you, you shall say, ‘Speak, Lord, for your servant hears.’” So Samuel went and lay down in his place.
10 And the Lord came and stood, calling as at other times, “Samuel! Samuel!” And Samuel said, “Speak, for your servant hears.”
19 And Samuel grew, and the Lord was with him and let none of his words fall to the ground. 20 And all Israel from Dan to Beersheba knew that Samuel was established as a prophet of the Lord.
“Revelation of the Lord was uncommon” (1 Samuel 3:1)
Up until the mid-1900’s, news was a scarce commodity, and it didn’t travel very fast. For example, when the American colonies declared independence, King George III of England didn’t hear about it for two months! News of the famous “Charge of the Light Brigade,” immortalized by the poet Tennyson, didn’t reach England for nearly a month. But then came the telegraph, the telephone, television, and the Internet. Now almost anyone can get news anytime – including a lot of news that’s unnecessary.
Think of how God communicates with his people. In the time of the Old Testament, he usually spoke through his messengers, the prophets. And so as the writer of 1 Samuel tells us, “revelation of the Lord was uncommon and vision infrequent” (1 Samuel 3:1). But that changed when Jesus poured out his Spirit on Pentecost. The apostles spread the good news of the gospel throughout the known world in a very short time. Empowered by the Spirit, they became the equivalent of high-speed transmission!
As members of the Church, we have inherited the mission of transmitting the Gospel – and what a revolutionary message it is! We carry the news that death has been vanquished, and that there’s no reason to fear. We are here to let people know it’s not just the next life, but this life, that can be transformed through the power of Christ.
The call to evangelize may seem intimidating, especially if you think it’s all up to you. But you aren’t responsible for converting someone else – just for giving what you have. Today, think about one person you know who needs to know Jesus. Pray about one action you can take that will witness God’s love to that person. Perhaps you’ve known someone for years but have never shared your story. Or perhaps you’ve just met someone who is clearly in need of prayer. Take that one step of faith, and see how far the Spirit will carry it. You can become proof that revelation of the Lord is no longer “uncommon”!
Lord, who needs to hear of your life-saving mercy? How can I share your news with that person? Help me to plant just one seed of love in someone’s life today. Amen.