Eighteenth Day of Lent

Scripture: 1 Samuel 3:1-18

As I read the familiar story “The LORD Calls Samuel” in 1 Samuel 3:1-18 I find myself being impressed by things that never stood out to me as a child. Right from the offset, we are informed in verse 1 that, "In those days the word of the LORD was rare..."a tragic commentary on the "believers" of that day! I am convinced that it was not God's wish to limit His communication (revelation). Rather, it would seem from the context of Scripture that sinister reasons were to blame. Historically, Israel was engrossed in a vileness of human nature where "every man did that which was right in his own eyes" (Judges 17:6). A cycle of sin… punishment… repentance… and restoration… repeated itself over and over again. There was wholesale immorality. Wickedness was rampant.

A generation of God’s people just prior to this time had not only heard God speak, but also observed Him perform countless miracles on their behalf. Now, in the midst of complacency toward sin, spiritual apathy, wholesale wickedness and religious indifference, there was no reason for God to communicate. The people wouldn't "hear" Him anyway. What a travesty!

Are things any different today? I think not… Society has cast the Bible out of government, schools and homes. Most Christians are too “busy” to hear God speak. Many churches focus much of their energy on social issues with no interest in sound biblical teaching. Every day that goes by, the rarer God’s communication becomes.

Question: In this season of Lent, are you any different from the people of Samuel's time? Are you repeating the same sins that would keep God from communicating with you as well? Oh, that we would have hearts that are repulsed by sin, tender toward the Lord, and surrendered to hearing “the word of the LORD” when He speaks.

Amos 8:11 sums up these sentiments well: “'The days are coming,’ declares the Sovereign LORD, 'when I will send a famine through the land - not a famine of food or a thirst for water, but a famine of hearing the words of the LORD.’”

Mercy Me has a song entitled “Word of God Speak” which articulates a message counter to this. May it be true of each of us! “The last thing I need is to be heard, but to hear what You would say. Word of God speak, would You pour down like rain, washing my eyes to see Your majesty. To be still and know that You’re in this place, please let me stay and rest in Your holiness. Word of God speak.”

Mark Mast
Rainy River ECC
Rainy River, ON