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encounter 5

1 samuel 3:1-21

Welcome, why not begin by listening to the Bible reading by clicking 'Find out more' at the bottom of this page. You will also find below a video for the whole family, and some thoughts on the passage. 


How often is God speaking to us, but instead of listening to God we turn to other people or things and say ‘here I am’? Samuel doesn’t recognise the voice of the Lord, he mistakes it for Eli. He mistakes the supernatural for the natural. How ordinary must the voice of the Lord sounded for Samuel to mistake it for Eli? Elsewhere in scripture we read of the voice of the Lord being like a gentle whisper. God isn’t forceful and demanding, but always gives us a choice as to whether we choose to listen or not. Are you listening today?

In the days of Samuel God’s presence didn’t dwell in the hearts of believers as it does now, but it dwelt in a physical place, in the sanctuary of the temple. This is where Samuel ministered. ‘The lamp of the Lord had not yet gone out’ indicates to us that God’s presence was in this place. This is where Samuel was lying down to sleep. He was resting in the Lord’s presence and God spoke to him. Initially Samuel doesn’t know that it is God speaking to him, he needs Eli to point it out to him, but when he does he responds with ‘Speak Lord, your servant is listening’ and God spoke.

We live in a time where the Holy Spirit of God has been given to dwell amongst and in believers. We have access to the Living God, wherever we are through Jesus Christ. We can ask him to speak to us through reading the bible, through the words of others, through our thoughts, pictures, nature*… God speaks in many ways, but the question is are we listening? Are we bringing ourselves into God’s presence and asking him to speak to us? Are we aware of him in the ordinary?

Why not take a moment to rest in the presence of the Lord, breathe and pray ‘speak Lord, your servant is listening’.

Heavenly Father, thank you for the gift of your Holy Spirit. I invite you to come and live in me. Please will you speak to me, and give me a heart that is willing to hear what you are saying. Here I am. Speak Lord, your servant is listening.