The Lord called Samuel a third time, and Samuel got up and went to Eli and said, "Here I am; you called me." Then Eli realized that the Lord was calling the boy. So Eli told Samuel, "Go and lie down, and if he calls you, say, 'Speak, Lord, for your servant is listening.'" So Samuel went and lay down in his place. The Lord came and stood there, calling as at the other times, "Samuel! Samuel!" Then Samuel said, "Speak, for your servant is listening." 1 Samuel 3:8-10
Every night at bedtime the boys and I read the Bible. We were on the story of the great prophet Elijah and talking about God spoke to Elijah and gave him messages to pass on to the people. (Elijah's one of my favorite Bible characters; full of fire he is!) The idea of a God talking to a prophet prompted a lot of questions from Yip and Yap.
How did God talk to the prophets? Was it a normal person's voice, like you talking to me? Or did it come from the sky?
Why doesn't God talk to anyone now and send messages?
Why doesn't God talk to us? Will he if we ask him to?
Wow guys, lots of heavy stuff for Mom at bedtime. But I tackled these questions as best as I could. As we talked I was reminded of Samuel. Samuel and Eli lived and worked in the temple, in a holy place. If anyone would have recognized the voice of God talking to them they would have, right? But no, it took God calling three times before old Eli realized who was calling the boy Samuel.
Maybe God still is talking to us but we don't recognize his voice. Maybe we are too distracted by our daily lives, tasks and technology and God's voice is drowned out by our 'priorities'. Or maybe what we need to hear God is a guide or mentor, like Eli was to Samuel. Sometimes I think God is talking to me.
As the boys and I talked I sure didn't feel like I had the best answers for them. But my advice for them was; if they wanted to hear God speak then they should lay quietly and listen. And don't expect to have to listen with their ears but perhaps they need to listen with their hearts. I think I need to take my own advice to heart.
Dear God, Thank You for Your prophets and they messages they had for Your people. Their messages still ring true for us today. Help me be silen today God so I can hear You speak the message You have for me. Amen.