Samuel turned in his bed. The soft sheets smoothed his body. The room was homelike and warm. His mother Hannah, under no circumstances would have allowed Samuel to stay in a cold, un-inviting home. Hannah had given Samuel to the Lord’s service; Samuel lived in the Lord’s house. He was under the care of Eli, the priest.
Samuel was a devoted student of Eli, and he followed Eli’s instruction carefully.
Lying in his bed, with a light cover to keep him warm; the sounds of the night started announcing their presence. There were not many sounds. Some light breathing from Eli’s nostrils, he was close by in the joining room. But there were no dripping water sounds of any sort. The birds had stopped chirping for the day. There was only an odd sound, and the volume of the place was comfortable.
The light from the Lord’s lamp was beaming and formed light shades and grey shades here and there. The ceiling rose high in the room, which would have provided a nice echo when voices spoke. Samuel found comfort in the light that shone from the Lord’s lamp. It was the Lord’s lamp, that was undoubtedly the reason for this comfort.
Samuel’s mother had always told him:
“It is the Lord who has given you life! It is the Lord who has favour on you. Your life is dedicated to the Lord!” He felt so special knowing he was set apart for the Lord. He felt doubly loved. To his mother, he was a gift. To the Lord, he was set apart, and he was devoted to the Lord.
His room was also close to the ark of the Lord. Hence the house he lived in was the house of the Lord.
In the sweet, familiar surroundings of Samuel’s room, Samuel soon closed his eyes. Ready to seep into a world of dreams, at least for the night.
The serenity of sleep was meeting him sweetly when all of a sudden, something broke the perfect silence.
“Samuel, my son!” The voice of the Lord spoke to Samuel that night.
Samuel heard the sound. He listened to the voice. Listened to his name being tenderly spoken by…Eli, Was it Eli? He wondered. Was Eli calling his name? How strange.
“Here I am,” Samuel spoke into the dimly lit room. Eyes hazily
Jumping out of bed, he popped by Eli’s bedside.
“Here I am. You called?”
Samuel spoke ever so loudly, his volume interrupting Eli’s slumber.
Tired eyes peek out to see young Samuel.
What was the young boy thinking? Would Eli call his name out in the middle of the night? He had not needed anything.
A little annoyed, Eli said. “Go back to bed, Samuel. It wasn’t me!”
Why it was 11:15 at night. Eli was thinking of all the rest they both needed. They had a big day ahead. Another day to serve the Lord.
Samuel felt a little down.
Admittedly, it had been a voice. Noisy neighbours, perhaps? When had they moved in? Surely not!
Maybe. Was Samuel getting carried away with his imagination?
Eli wanted him back in bed. He had to obey. Was it silly of him to inquire of the voice calling out his name? Samuel.
He tiptoed to his section of the room. Back under the covers. Resting on the sheets. Soft. Silky. Well, somewhat.
Once again, Samuel felt the comfort of the night. A warm breeze from a small opening of the window brushed his thin, sweepy hair. Eyes closed. Dreams enveloped his mind.
“Samuel, my son!” The voice of the Lord was ever so glorious. So touching. So kind. So liquid. So fine. So sure.
Samuel listened to the sound. He heard the voice. Must someone be speaking to me? He thought as he awakened once again.
Was it Eli? It just had to be?
Repeating his previous scenario, he jumped out of bed. Again. After a few steps of running like an obedient dog, he was by the bedside of Eli.
“Here I am. You called me!”
Samuel announced to Eli. The older man was trying to sleep. He opened his eyes wide open.
The boy was back. What now? Was he hungry? Maybe he needed a glass of milk.
“Samuel, I didn’t call you? Won’t you go back to bed? It’s already quite late.” Eli said.
Samuel felt disappointed. No, Eli hadn’t called his name? What was the matter with him? What on earth was going on? Who was calling?
Samuel went back to bed.
A third time the Lord called. Samuel didn’t know what else to do, but to go to Eli. This time he strolled. He tapped Eli, who was trying to sleep.
“It happened again,” Samuel muttered.
Eli, stared at the ceiling wondering how to respond.
Yes, what was going on?
Eli had a sense of what it could be. It could be that the Lord was calling Samuel.
“Samuel, I know what’s happening! Sorry, I didn’t recognise what was going on. But you see. The Lord wants to speak to you. So when the Lord calls your name again. I’ll tell you what. Why don’t you say? ‘Speak Lord. Your servant is listening.’ Okay, Samuel, back to bed for now.” Eli said to Samuel.
Samuel slipped off to bed yet another time. It had turned out to be a lengthy bedtime.
Samuel comfortably lay down and waited for the voice of the Lord to speak. He would be ready to say, ‘Speak Lord, your servant is listening.’ Yes, he would.
The Lord did call on the name of Samuel for the fourth time. Samuel was delighted to answer, and he was extra excited to know that the Lord had chosen to speak with him. It was a privilege. The Lord had a lot to say to Samuel. Essential things, hard things. Even things that the Lord wanted Samuel to retell Eli about. They were tough issues. But maybe God found that Samuel clearly understood God’s secrets. Samuel was childlike, pure and had no intentions of condemning Eli about his sins.
But the Lord would use Samuel to tell Eli about the things He was not happy about concerning him and his family.
God speaks to us today. This true story is a great illustration that God can speak to people. In Christian life, God wants and desires to talk with us even more today. Don’t miss out to hear the voice of the Lord when He speaks to you. What will He tell you? Secret things? Wonderful things? Hard things? Listen to His voice; it is worth it. You might hear the audible voice of God, and that will be wonderful for you. However, you can learn to hear God’s voice as He speaks through His Holy Spirit. It is a reassuring voice.
Read Samuel’s story 1 Samuel 3 in the Bible.