Read 1 Samuel 3:1-10
Speak, for Your Servant Hears
Hannah vowed to give Samuel to the Lord’s service in the temple, and she kept her vow. When Samuel was still a boy, probably about twelve years old, he received his first prophetic word. He did not realize that it was God calling him at first. The text explains, “And the word of the Lord was rare in those days; there was no widespread revelation” (1 Samuel 3:1). Where most modern versions use the word “rare” in this verse, some older translations put “precious” (KJV, ASV).
Do we treat the Word of God as precious? We should! It is the revelation of His will; nothing could be more precious than that! Paul says that the Scriptures are “profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness” (2 Timothy 3:16). If we are not diligent in our studies, we will fall short in our service to God.
After mistaking God’s call for Eli’s voice three times, the elderly priest realized what was happening. He instructed Samuel to answer the voice when he heard it again, “Speak, Lord, for Your servant hears,” and the boy Samuel did just that (1 Samuel 3:9, 10).
Has God called you? He has, though not in the same sense that He called Samuel. God does not speak directly to us today. “God, who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets, has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the worlds” (Hebrews 1:1-2). He has called us through the recorded words of Jesus and we must trust and obey what He says! “He who rejects Me, and does not receive My words, has that which judges him—the word that I have spoken will judge him in the last day” (John 12:48).
When you read the Word, is your attitude like Samuel’s? Do you say, “Speak, Lord, for Your servant hears”? Or do you practice selective hearing (and thus, selective obedience)? It is important that we pay attention to “the whole counsel of God” (Acts 20:27), and not just what we want to hear and obey.