Today’s Reading: 1 Samuel 2:22-4:22 (additional reading: Psalm 106:1-12 and Proverbs 14:30-31)
As people we have a tendency to listen only to what we want to listen to. There is a story of a man who noticed that every time he ate his favourite food, pork chops, his foot pained him immensely that evening. The family doctor confirmed his suspicion of pork-induced gout. When the man returned home his wife asked him how the appointment had gone. He plopped off his shoes and replied, “The doctor said I’m going to have gout about 3 times a week.”
In Ezekiel, God complained that “these people have ears to hear but they never hear eyes to see, but they never see” (12:2)
In today’s text we see that ‘Samuel was lying down in the temple of the LORD, where the ark of God was. Then the LORD called Samuel. Samuel answered, ’Here I am.’” Here we see the first important lesson. To hear God speak, we need to be where God is. James 4:8 tells us “Draw near to God and he will draw near to you.”
Secondly, we need to sort our priorities. God spoke to Samuel in the middle of the night while he was asleep. There will be times when listening to God will be inconvenient (3:8-9). God often calls us to things that don’t fit our schedule, don’t fit our agenda and don’t fit our ideas of what should be done.
Thirdly, in order to hear God, we have to give God permission to speak to us (3:9-10). It’s odd Eli should give it this advice because Eli hadn’t listened to for years. Partly the reason God gave His message to Samuel was that Eli had refused to listen.
If you’re going to hear God, you’ve got to listen to Him speak, it’s not always easy, particularly when our hearts often deceive us like the man in the story above. But once we make that decision, it will change our lives.
- How can you listen to what God is saying to you?
- How can you put your own thought and wishes on hold so that they don’t interfere with what God wants to teach you?
Father, Thank You so much that You chose to speak with us. Help us to be always listening. Not hearing what we want to hear but hearing You speak. Thank You for the relationship we can have with You. In Jesus’ name, Amen