January 9, 2012 § 3 Comments
Samuel’s calling in 1 Samuel 3:1-20 is full of irony. Even the circumstances of this calling of the Lord are fairly odd. The Lord calls a young boy who is under the authority of someone else (3:1). Both Samuel’s youth and his social position relative to Eli would have been serious obstacles for the delivery of a message that is, ironically, against Eli and his house. These difficulties were compounded by the fact that it was already a time during which “the word of the Lord was rare; there were not many visions” (3:1). And to add yet another dynamic, “Samuel did not yet know the Lord: The word of the Lord had not yet been revealed to him” (3:7). No wonder that at the beginning (ironically) Samuel confused the Lord’s voice with Eli’s (3:5). It shows how difficult spiritual discernment really is. There are many voices competing for our attention and it is not always that easy to distinguish between God’s voice and all the other voices. And yet, Samuel’s story is a story of how the Lord was with Samuel (3:19) and never gave up on him as His servant despite the odd and ironic circumstances. That is true about you and me as well. We are not defined by our circumstances, but by the patience of the Lord who will continue to appear in our lives with His call of sending us on His mission.