call of samuel
“ And Samuel grew, and the Lord was with him and let none of his words fall to the ground.”
i am amazed and impressed by the call of Samuel the prophet in this chapter. His mother gave him to the Lord out of gratitude, as a fulfillment of her vows, (1 Sam.1:27-28), and Samuel remained there in the house of the Lord. And the Bible says, “Samuel continued to minister before the Lord in His house under Eli the priest.” I would like to confine my devotional thought with regard to the call of Samuel in two areas in the beginning of his ministry.
Firstly, God’s assurance of His presence with Samuel, “The Lord was with Samuel as he grew up, and He let none of his words fall to the ground.”(v.19) Picture an arrow aimed at the mark and never fall to the ground from the bow, nor ever miss the mark every time it is shot. That is how God had designed every word spoken by Samuel. “As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, so is my word that goes out from my mouth; it will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desired and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.”(Isa. 55:10-11) And this is exactly what happened to Samuel as he led Israel during his days. This was the time when Israel was still without a king and people lived according to their own will and had abandoned the Lord. Yet, at a time such as these Samuel was called, and he took the challenge, and with all his integrity and skillfulness he brought back-slidden Israel back to the Lord.
One thing is to be noted, that Samuel came from a praying and dedicated family. A family who loved the Lord and would do anything to please God. Moreover, as if that was not enough, they kept their son in the house of God and desired that he should serve the Lord with his whole life. This “no-string-attached” commitment and surrender allowed God to use Samuel in His own way–God’s way. Samuel was groomed and trained to know and obey the Word, and apart from this, there was nothing else that contributed to his bold leadership, integrity, as a judge, an intelligent leader, and the incredible accomplishments as a prophet of God.
God calls us to surrender our lives to Him with no no-string-attached
And Secondly, “And all Israel from Dan to Beersheba recognized that Samuel was attested as a prophet of the Lord.”–V20
Before Samuel, the word of God was very rare in Israel and hardly one would hear the word, because people were so engrossed in sins, idolatry, and rebellion against the Lord; this was the time when the whole nation had abandoned the Lord and “everyone did as he saw fit” (Judges 21:25). The degree of anarchy in Israel during the time of the Judges may shock us. Chapters 19-21 are particularly graphic and gruesome in their presentation of people’s daily life. But when the Lord was with Samuel “none of his words fell to the ground” and the (Israel) nation recognized the authenticity, that Samuel was established and confirmed as a prophet of the Lord. With the leadership of Samuel as a prophet, “…the Divine word was not rare anymore (I Sam.3:1):
1. His authority was universally accepted. It was familiarly known throughout the land that he had been appointed as a regular medium of communication between Jehovah and His people.
2. His utterances were widely disseminated, and regarded with reverence. “The word of Samuel came to all Israel.”(1 Sam.4:1).
3. His work thereby became highly effective; its full effect appeared long afterwards. “He spent his time in a slow but resolute work of kindling the almost extinguished flame of a higher life in Israel.”–The Pulpit Commentary.
It’s time for the church to follow the steps of Samuel in this final hour. To grow up in stature and in favour with the Lord and with men, none of the words that she (church) speaks will fall to the ground, and the whole world should know that God has established and anointed her to proclaim the prophetic words for the salvation of the whole creation. The task and responsibility of the church is huge and urgent as we draw closer and closer to the end. Let us all learn from Samuel’s call and ministry.