"God be merciful to us & bless us, & cause His face to shine upon us.
That Your way may be known on earth, Your salvation among all nations.
Let the peoples praise You, O God; Let all the peoples praise You.
Oh, let the nations be glad & sing for joy!"
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1 Samuel 3.1-10, a Chapel Devotion
1 Samuel 3.1-10
This story, like all of the stories
in sacred Scripture, is more about God than it is about God’s servants; it’s
more about God’s character than the characters of God’s story! So what does
this true story about God tell us regarding God? (1) God knows us even when we
don’t know him; (2) God’s patience; And (3) God’s kindness.
God knows: Though
Samuel served the LORD, he didn’t know the LORD (v.1 and 7). And yet the LORD
knew Samuel – 4 times he calls him by name! Just as we heard in Psalm 139, “O
LORD, you have searched me and known me! You know when I sit down and when I
rise up; you discern my thoughts from afar. You search out my path and my lying
down and are acquainted with all my ways” (v.1-3), God knows us before we know
him. Something that shocked the socks off of Nathanial when he met Jesus, and
heard Jesus say, “Before Philip called you, when you were under the fig tree, I
saw you” (John 1.48). This all leads us to think, then on:
The word “called” is used 11 times in these 10 verses. God specifically calls
Samuel 4 times. There’s no hurry, no haste, no hassle. God not only knows
Samuel, he knows where Samuel is in his pilgrimage. And so with gentleness he
prods and patiently pilots Samuel until he knows him.
Being a very hyper-active guy, I need
to hear this and be reminded. I want people to make decisions now! I want
things fixed and fashioned this very instant! And when I pray, I often want God
to drop everything and rush over to me and answer me my way in my time! But
thank God, he doesn’t!!! Though God’s patience often perplexes me,
nevertheless, his patience is healthy and wholesome.
God calls this young fellow and begins to employ him in his world rescue
operation. God is famous for utilizing the insignificant and unlikely in his
world reclamation project. Even our Lord Jesus repeatedly reminded his people,
“Everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will
be exalted” (Luke 14.11, 18.14). And both Peter and James tells us, “God
resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble.”
Recount with me the many stories of
God that tell us this: (1) In two stories separated by centuries he takes an
older couple who can’t have kids, and when hope has died, he gives them a child
who becomes important in God’s kingdom [Samson and John the Baptizer]; (2) or
the foreign woman, who is an outsider, widowed and deeply impoverished – God
brings her into his family and gives her the honor of becoming the grandmother
of King David [Ruth]; (3) He turns the smallest and last son of Jesse, a
shepherd boy, into the King of his kingdom [David]; (4) or the young woman who
has no claim to fame, no wealth, no prestige, no power, and God makes her the
mother of his own, unique, one-of-a-kind Son, Jesus! (5) Then think of our Lord
Jesus himself! We just celebrated Christmas, and so it should be fresh in our
minds – God brings his son into the world, not in fame and fortune, not in
grand and glorious fanfare with red carpets, military escorts, but instead born
in something of a stable and laid in a feeding trough out in a backwater town
(Bethlehem), and raised in a shanty town out in the sticks (Nazareth). And once
his earthly mission was complete he was unjustly tried before a lynch mob and
massacred on a cross. But after all hope had died, he was raised from the dead
– body, blood, bones, toenails and hair – raised to be elevated and crowned as
Israel’s Messiah and the world’s true Lord.
As we wrap this up, remember and
recall that God knows – though you may feel you have lost your way he will not
lose you. God is patient – he knows where you are in your pilgrimage and will
patiently pilot you to himself. God is kind – “no count people” – as others might
say who think they count – “no count people” count with God!
Allow me to end with this: you may be
at a place where you are sensing God calling you, tugging and pulling on your
consciousness. What do you do? Here is what St. Paul said, “…if you confess
with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised
him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes and is
justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved…For “everyone who
calls on the name of the Lord will be saved”” (Romans 10.9-10, 13). Respond to
him like Samuel did, “Speak, for your servant is listening” (1 Samuel 3.10);
and reply like Mary did, “Here am I, the servant of the Lord; let it be to me
according to your word” (Luke 1.38). And as you do this, you’ll come to know far
better than Imagine Dragons could ever imagine:
“I'm waking up, I feel it in my bones
Enough to make my systems blow
Welcome to the new age, to the new age
Welcome to the new age, to the new age!”
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