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1 Samuel 3:1–10 ‘Then Samuel said, “Speak, for your servant is listening.”’ (v10)

In the first chapter of 1 Samuel we read of a woman, desperate for a child, who finds the favour of God, and gives back to the Lord what He has graciously given to her – a son.

Samuel becomes a major figure in the life of Israel, anointing both the first king, Saul, and his successor, the shepherd David.

But it all starts here, when he first listens to God. In this passage, God speaks audibly, but Samuel doesn’t know who is speaking.

He thinks it’s the priest, Eli, but Eli eventually realises what’s happening and urges the boy to listen to the voice of the Lord.

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The word of God to Samuel is a difficult one; the Lord speaks judgement against Eli’s family. Surely it was brave of the young Samuel to speak such a controversial word to his mentor. But Eli takes it well (v18).

Listening to God is crucial for the Christian. But we need to be wise with what we hear. We also need to make sure that it really is God speaking to us, and examine our motives if we feel we have heard in prayer for someone else.

God speaks words of love and encouragement; Jesus made it clear that He did not come to condemn the world when He walked on earth (John 3:17), although He is the divine One who will judge at the end of time (Acts 10:36–43).

Sometimes He speaks to us in loving rebuke (Rev. 3:19), and we must remember that as a good Father, God will discipline His children (Heb. 12:6).

We have a great responsibility, therefore, when we listen to Jesus, to listen well, and act in love on what we hear.


A Prayer To Make:
‘Lord, help me to listen to Your voice, and to discern what is of me, and what is of other people as I seek to know You better and share Your great love. Amen.’

An Action To Take:
Do you listen well to God? How important is it to ‘keep in step with the Spirit’ (Gal. 5:25) when listening to Him? Think about this and journal any thoughts.

Scripture To Consider:
Gen. 6:9–22 & 18:16–33; 1 Cor. 5:1–13; Jas 4:1–12

Micha Jazz is Director of Resources at Waverley Abbey, UK.