I Samuel 3:2-4 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 house of the Lord, where the ark of God was. Then, the Lord called Samuel.
Then the Lord called Samuel. God first spoke to him when he was a child serving in the temple.
This was a time in Israel’s history when the word of the Lord was rare. There were not many visions. It was a time when the people of Israel did not even strive to listen for a message from God. Even Eli, the high priest, was losing his vision both physically and spiritually. His family was in disarray and his sons were openly rebellious.
As a whole, the Israelites were not interested in anything more from God. They felt they had enough info. The Israelites had lost sight of the very core of what it meant to know God. It never was about the information. It was about the relationship. God in His time gives us progressive revelations about His character if we are simply willing to be in relationship with him… to learn and listen.
A phrase that stands out to me from 1 Samuel 1 is … “the lamp of the Lord had not yet gone out”. Many commentators are very literal here. Keeping the menorah lamp lit until dawn was normal practice and it was Samuel’s job was to keep oil in the lamp.
I don’t subscribe to the literal interpretation. There are figurative references shared in these chapters and the lamp of the Lord is a phrase that is very revealing about the situation and about God’s character. Right on the tails of saying that people were not expecting visions, were not praying, were not listening to God, the scripture says: “But the lamp of the Lord had not yet gone out.”
This tells us something very important about God’s character. Even though the people stopped trying to listen to God, stopped reading about God, stopped representing God in their actions –the lamp of God in the temple symbolized God’s presence remaining. It reveals an important truth about God: Even though you’ve given up on God, God has not given up on you.
This is assuring isn’t it? Looking around us today, as crazy as our world may get, the lamp of the Lord has not gone out. He still wants people to know who He is and He longs to be in relationship with each one of us.
Will you take a moment today and listen? Listen for the voice of God in your life. Look for the ways He seeks to continue revealing Himself to you. The Lord just may be calling you.
Yours in faith,