October 12, 2011

The Ears of a Hero

1 Samuel 3

Samuel said, “Speak, for your servant is listening.”
1 Samuel 3:10


Today’s verses begin with the note that “the word of the LORD was rare” and “there were not many visions” in those days. Eli the priest was growing old, and his sons had dishonored the Lord through disobedience and abuse of their role as priests who were supposed to serve God.

In the midst of this silence and this trouble, Samuel began to serve in the house of the Lord, where the ark of God was. The ark contained the tablets of the Ten Commandments and served as a symbol that God was still present among his people.

When God woke him in the middle of the night, Samuel didn’t know who was speaking. He thought it might be Eli. Eventually Eli realized that the Lord might be speaking to Samuel, and then Samuel received the instruction that would direct his future and his role in God’s kingdom.

The posture that opened up that future for Samuel was one of listening. Despite the fact that God gave us two ears and only one mouth, we live in a world that unleashes a torrent of words. We need space and peace and silence in order to hear and focus on God’s Word to us today, provided in the Bible. God invites us: “Be still, and know that I am God” (Psalm 46:10).

God is still speaking. Are we listening?

Dear God, may your Spirit direct us to still our hearts so that we can hear your Word to us. Direct our paths and our lives, we pray, and help us listen to you. In Jesus, Amen.

About the author — Julius T. Medenblik

Rev. Jul Medenblik is a former attorney who was called to pastoral ministry and became the founding pastor of a church in New Lenox, Illinois. He is currently serving as president of Calvin Theological Seminary, Grand Rapids, Michigan. Jul and his wife, Jackie, are blessed with a son, Joshua, and a daughter, Julianne.

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