Then Eli realized it was the Lord who was calling the boy. So he said to Samuel, “Go and lie down again, and if someone calls again, say, ‘Speak, Lord, your servant is listening.’”
This chapter starts, “now in those days, messages from God were very rare, and visions uncommon.”
We too live in a time when the voice of God appears quiet. And many of us find it hard to discern his voice, and when people claim to hear it, we are not sure it is God they are hearing!
But in I Samuel Chapter 3, God shows up, and it is as clear as anything. Even if it took the old priest a little while to figure what was going on.
Eli is a hero here. He works out what is going on, and tells his young prodigy what to do, and then listens when God speaks to him through Samuel now, saying, “Let God do what he thinks best.”
Some of us who have been around for a while often find it hard to listen to youth. All the new energy and naivety is easy to dismiss. But as we’ll see in next weeks version of this (2 Samuel 3), there are times when God starts speaking through the next generation. And us older folk should not be so quick to dismiss them.
This last Sunday my daughter, Claira, blogged her reaction to a vote our church leadership made that is deeply unpopular in some quarters. It was wonderfully written, and started being shared at a rapid rate. One of denominations main blogs picked it up… and has only served to catapult this wonderful daughter of mine onto a larger stage this week. I’m proud of her, and hope to recognize my responsibilities as the older generation, and find ways to not be threatened by the newness, or become defensive when we are called out on how we lead when we were full of energy and naivety… God has used every generation, and we limit God when we insist on having it our way until we are in the grave.
Samuel needed Eli. God worked through Eli here. May I be as willing to play Eli’s role, as I said I was to play Samuels.