The God Who Speaks

1 SAMUEL 3

Introduction: One thing that is always assumed in Scripture is this, God speaks. From Genesis 1 though Revelation 22, one common assumption is that God reveals himself. God is a revealing God, and Christianity is a revealed religion. There are times in history when God is silent, and there are other times when he has spoken in abundance, but there are also those times when a Word from the Lord is rare. Samuel began his life in a time when a Word from God was rare, but his life ends in a time when God’s Word is abundant. Throughout the Monarchial period of Israel, God sends his prophets time and time again to the Kings for counsel, admonition, punishment, and reward. Samuel is the first of these prophets, the prophet by which God institutes the Monarchy.
The rarity of the Word of God in Samuel’s beginning days indicates two things to us concerning his time. It is a dark time, this darkness will be highlighted as Israel asks to be relieved of God’s rule in favor of a King. And it is a time of displeasure from God, God has slowed his revelation so much that we can only think that he must be angry at Israel’s repeated disobedience. But even in this time of darkness and divine displeasure, God will show his faithfulness to his covenant once again, and speak to Samuel as he sleeps in the Tabernacle of God’s presence, calling him to a life of service as God’s prophet.

I. The Setting verses 1-3

A. Samuel Is Ministering
B. God Is Silent
C. Eli Is Blind

II. God Calls Samuel verses 4-14

A. God’s Persistence
B. Eli’s Dim Perception
C. Samuel’s Prophecy

III. Samuel Begins His Ministry verses 15-21

A. His Fear
B. He Speaks
C. His Fame

Conclusion: We live in a day like Samuel’s. A Word from God is rare, not because we do not have it (counting the Spanish, Greek, New Testaments, and different translations of the English Bible in my office, I have 32, +1 at work, +2 for my kids, and hundreds of books about the Bible), but because it is not proclaimed. God has spoken and he has spoken clearly, but where are his preachers? We can always hear about someone’s experience, or some practical lessons on marriage, parenting, finances, or any other topic, but our time is calling out for men who will speak God’s Words. God’s Word is rare also, because those who have God’s Word preached to them are dull of hearing. There is no evidence of God’s Word at work in their lives. Hearing God’s Word must also involve practicing his Word. May God grant us the mouths to speak, the ears to hear, and the hands to do his Word.

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