One night Eli, whose eyes were becoming so weak that he could barely see, was lying down in his usual place. The lamp of God had not yet gone out, and Samuel was lying down in the temple of the LORD, where the ark of God was. Then the LORD called Samuel.
Samuel answered, "Here I am." And he ran to Eli and said, "Here I am; you called me."
But Eli said, "I did not call; go back and lie down." So he went and lay down.
Again the LORD called, "Samuel!" And Samuel got up and went to Eli and said, "Here I am; you called me."
"My son," Eli said, "I did not call; go back and lie down."
Now Samuel did not yet know the LORD : The word of the LORD had not yet been revealed to him.
The LORD called Samuel a third time, and Samuel got up and went to Eli and said, "Here I am; you called me."
Then Eli realized that the LORD was calling the boy. So Eli told Samuel, "Go and lie down, and if he calls you, say, 'Speak, LORD, for your servant is listening.' " So Samuel went and lay down in his place.
The LORD came and stood there, calling as at the other times, "Samuel! Samuel!"
Then Samuel said, "Speak, for your servant is listening."
1 Samuel 3:2-10, New International Version
Your Servant is Listening
Listening skills! Often the most difficult problem we have, or others have toward us, is just poor listening skills. Our children do not listen, our spouse does not listen, and often our friends do not listen. Samuel had a listening problem as well, in 1 Samuel 3.
His problem, however, was not that he did not listen, but rather, that he did not know the One who was calling to him. After waking Eli three times to find out what Eli needed from him, Eli understood what was happening. You see, God had often spoken to Eli, and he knew the voice of the Lord. However, due to the sins of Israel, and specifically the sins of the sons of Eli, God no longer talked to Eli.
Eli understood that it was God who was calling to Samuel. Therefore, he instructed Samuel to answer, 'Speak, LORD, for your servant is listening.'
I think we are often like Samuel in that we do not always understand the voice of the Lord. God speaks to us through His Spirit, but if our lives are filled with sin or worldly distractions, we may not recognize His voice.
The more time we spend with the Lord in prayer, meditation, and Bible study, the more sensitive we are to the voice of God. I encourage you, this day, to go before the Lord and pray, "Speak, LORD, for your servant is listening." Then, listen!
What an amazing God we have!
God Bless You,