Coming to you today from an article I wrote for The Glorious Table.
You know what I love about children’s Bibles? They get right to the point. They kick out the Bible’s greatest hits one after another, just leaving out some of the details. But, as someone who is in the middle of a chronological read-through, I appreciate the opportunity to skip over the who-begat-whos every once in a while. Sometimes, it’s nice just to get a lesson out of a quick read.
This “quick lesson” is exactly the sort of thing that happened to me the other night. I was reading a children’s Bible to my daughter, and we happened upon the story of Samuel and Eli. We learned that Samuel had become Eli’s apprentice after being given into the Lord’s service by his mother Hannah (1 Sam. 1). And then, one night, Samuel had a strange experience:
“Then the Lord called Samel. 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.”
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.”
A third time the Lord called, “Samuel!” 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.'”
The Lord came and stood there, calling as at the other times, “Samuel! Samuel!” Then Samuel said, “Speak, for your servant is listening.” (1 Sam. 3, excerpts).
I love this story. I’ve read it before. Truth be told, as a parent of young children who come to see me sometimes in the night, I usually find this story amusing. But this time, it struck me differently. I knew God was saying something to me. Actually, I think he was saying something to a lot of us. Here it is:
- It’s okay if he has to call you more than once
- If he wants you to hear him, he will keep calling.
To read the full post follow the link here.