A Word Out of Season

Dec 03, 2023 By: Pastor Joseph LoSardo Series: Twilight Kingdom Scripture: 1 Samuel 3:1-4:1
In Chapter 3 we learn of the call of Samuel; he enters the chapter a boy and exits a prophet. The opening narration sets the stage for this activity by repeated images of the decreased light – the rarity of God speaking in those days, no frequent vision (v. 1), Eli’s diminution of eyesight, not being able to see (v. 2). Verse 3 leaves us with a glimmer of light, telling us that 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. Though this was a season in Israel where “the word of the Lord was rare,” God speaks when He chooses to. Israel needed the light of a prophet amid their darkness; so, three times God spoke from the blackness of night; and three times Samuel heard a voice while failing to discern its origin. When the Lord called Samuel a fourth time, he was prepared with an answer given to him by Eli the priest: “Speak, for your servant hears” (3:10). God’s call is effectual – His Word is always heard by His sheep (John 10:27-28) and accomplishes His purpose (Isaiah 55:11). Samuel’s first assignment was a difficult one, as God spoke a prophecy of judgment on Eli, his mentor (3:11-14). Though uneasy to share it immediately, Samuel humbly, carefully, and faithfully proclaims the prophecy to Eli (3:15-18). Samuel’s office and gifting are confirmed by the people of God and his ministry would overshadow the wickedness of Hophni and Phinehas (3:19-21). In Samuel, the sun would begin to rise in God’s kingdom. This story is replete with application for the church. May God call, gift, and raise up prophets who will faithfully preach Christ, the light of the world, amid a hostile and dark world.