09/12/S – Speak, For Your Servant is Listening

1 Samuel 2:22-3:18; John 5:19-23; Psalms 106:1-2; Proverbs 23:6-8

OT: “The boy Samuel served the Lord in Eli’s presence. In those days the word of the Lord was rare and prophetic visions were not widespread. One day Eli, whose eyesight was failing, was lying in his usual place. Before the lamp of God had gone out, Samuel was lying down in the temple of the Lord, where the ark of God was located. Then the Lord called Samuel, and he answered, “Here I am.” He ran to Eli and said, “Here I am; you called me.” “I didn’t call,” Eli replied. “Go back and lie down.” So he went and lay down. Once again the Lord called, “Samuel!” Samuel got up, went to Eli, and said, “Here I am; you called me.” “I didn’t call, my son,” he replied. “Go back and lie down.” Now Samuel did not yet know the Lord, because the word of the Lord had not yet been revealed to him. Once again, for the third time, the Lord called Samuel. He got up, went to Eli, and said, “Here I am; you called me.” Then Eli understood that the Lord was calling the boy. He told Samuel, “Go and lie down. If he calls you, say, ‘Speak, Lord, for your servant is listening.’” So Samuel went and lay down in his place. The Lord came, stood there, and called as before, “Samuel, Samuel!” Samuel responded, “Speak, for your servant is listening.” The Lord said to Samuel, “I am about to do something in Israel that will cause everyone who hears about it to shudder.”” (‭‭1 Samuel‬ ‭3:1-11‬ ‭CSB‬‬)

The days when Samuel grew up were a dark time spiritually in Israel. Eli’s sons (the heirs to the priesthood) were disdaining the ways of the Lord and making a mockery of the priesthood. They were taking the best of the offerings and getting fat off of what belonged to the Lord. They were also sleeping with the  female attendants of the tabernacle. The word of the Lord was rare, for why would the Lord speak if no one wanted to listen and obey. However, there was a boy serving in the tabernacle that had been given to the Lord’s service by a gracious and grateful mother who had been heard by God. Samuel’s entire life, from the time he was weaned, had been dedicated to serving the Lord – and now that Samuel was old enough, the Lord began speaking to his open and attentive ears. Three times, the Lord called to Samuel in the middle of the night – but Samuel had never heard the voice of the Lord and assumed it was Eli, the only other person in the room. Thankfully, Eli had enough discernment left to realize that it was the Lord who was calling – so he instructed Samuel and went back to sleep. The Lord called Samuel a forth time, and this time Samuel knew Who it was and listened to the word of the Lord. It is not God’s desire to withhold His voice, but He will not waste His words on someone who is not willing to listen. However, if you open your inner ear and make yourself available, the Lord will speak to His servants who are listening, no matter who you are.

NT: “Jesus replied, “Truly I tell you, the Son is not able to do anything on his own, but only what he sees the Father doing. For whatever the Father does, the Son likewise does these things. For the Father loves the Son and shows him everything he is doing, and he will show him greater works than these so that you will be amazed. And just as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, so the Son also gives life to whom he wants. The Father, in fact, judges no one but has given all judgment to the Son, so that all people may honor the Son just as they honor the Father. Anyone who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent him.”” (‭‭John‬ ‭5:19-23‬ ‭CSB)

The Pharisees questioned Jesus about why He would defy their laws by healing a man on the Sabbath. This is part of His response. Jesus healed the man on the Sabbath because the Father desired to heal the man on the Sabbath. Jesus didn’t do anything of his own compulsion, but only what the Father desired to do. Jesus was the ultimate example of the listening and attentive servant… and that pleased the Father – so the Father showed Jesus His Son everything that He was doing, for He loved the Son and knew that the Son would honor His will and obey His word. Because Jesus was completely faithful to the Father, the Father held nothing back. The Father’s life flowed through the Son. The Fathers justice would be administered through the Son. Jesus was the exact and perfect expression of everything the Father desired to do. Amazingly, Jesus prayed that the same oneness that He and the Father shared would be shared with us. If we, like Jesus, will be a faithful, listening, and attentive servant, we too can be the expression of the Father through our union with the Son. As the Father gives life through the Son, the Son will give life through us. As the Father administers justice through the Son, the Son will allow us to share in advancing His Kingdom on earth. We just need to be listening, attentive, and faithful disciples of our Lord, Jesus Christ.

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