A Current Bible Study:

I Samuel Chapter 3

       Remember, if you don't read the passage we are studying carefully, you will miss the real message. It seems the older I get the more I turn to the Old Testament. It IS old, and we no longer live under its legal and sacrificial covenant. Still, God doesn't change, and there is a lot about God in the Old Testament. Through the New Covenant (found in the New Testament) we can enter a love relationship with Him through His son, Jesus Christ. It only makes sense that if we enter this relationship we would turn to any true source that could reveal more about the One we have come to love, and about His love for Man. That is why I spend time in the Old Testament and encourage others to also.

"AND the child Samuel ministered unto the Lord before Eli. And the word of the Lord was precious in those days; there was no open vision." Vrs. 1

       In those days real, heart-felt worship was rare. People had become spiritually impotent. It was difficult, even for God, to find a person to listen to Him and to speak out His message. It WAS a long time ago, but, c'mon, these folks weren't so different from what we have in America today. God has never stopped speaking or reaching out to Man, but who will listen?

"Then Samuel answered, Speak; for thy servant heareth" Vrs. 10

       Friend, Samuel is just a little boy in this passage, but what he says here is exactly what we need to say to God today. Samuel is different from us, but not so different. He was destined for the priesthood, and so are you, in Jesus Christ.
       Well, let's see who isn't listening to God: There's the priest, Eli. Eli is old and wise and does some good things, but the temple is being polluted right under his nose and he is way too tolerant. He's not in open rebellion against God, but his faith has become tepid and timid. Notice, God doesn't speak to him anymore.
       Then there's Eli's two sons. These guys have every spiritual privilege and advantage. They are religious, but only in appearance. They're from the right family and they hold the position of priests at God's temple, but they are disgracing both. If they were gutter bums, they would have more of an excuse. Their selfishness has silenced God in His own temple.
       But then Samuel, this naive little boy comes along. His mom, Hannah, was having trouble getting pregnant so she used to go to the temple and pray for a baby. She made a commitment to the Lord that if she had a son she would see that he became a priest. God accepted, and little Samuel was born. Now Hannah sends this little boy to live in the temple and he sort of runs errands for Eli. The only thing this dear little child has going for Him is that he is open to God. And that's all it takes to open Heaven. It's the same with you and God today. Which one of these characters do you most resemble in your life right now?

"And the Lord said to Samuel, Behold, I will do a thing in Israel, at which both the ears of every one that heareth it shall tingle. Vrs. 11

       Well, here is God's message to His people and it is harsh and personal and passionate. It's a hard message to deliver. You wouldn't think a message like this would be entrusted to a sweet little boy, but God looks on the heart, not at appearances. What do you appear to be today? Always remember the Lord knows what's in your heart. We can fool each other, but never Him. If you don't love Him today, you might as well come right out and say it. He knows. But the amazing thing is, He still loves you. He loved these folks back then and that's why He isn't ignoring their sin. As rotten as they are being, He's going to do whatever it takes to save this people, Israel, and from them He will eventually bring forth His Son, your savior. You see, we really are connected to this old passage.

"And Samuel grew, and the Lord was with him, and did let none of his words fall to the ground. And all Israel from Dan even to Beersheba knew that Samuel was established to be a prophet of the Lord."  Vrs. 19-20

       Opening your heart to God isn't an isolated miracle. It can lead to an eternal relationship.                               May Jesus Christ richly bless you - JKD 6/23/99