2 One night Eli, whose eyes were becoming so weak that he could barely see, was lying down in his usual place. 3 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. 4 Then the LORD called Samuel.
Samuel answered, “Here I am.” 5 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.” So he went and lay down.
6 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.”
7 Now Samuel did not yet know the LORD: The word of the LORD had not yet been revealed to him.
8 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. 9 So Eli told Samuel, “Go and lie down, and if he calls you, say, ‘Speak, LORD, for your servant is listening.’” So Samuel went and lay down in his place.
10 The LORD came and stood there, calling as at the other times, “Samuel! Samuel!”
Then Samuel said, “Speak, for your servant is listening.” (I Samuel 1)
|Samuel thought Eli was calling him, but it was God's call he heard.|
I was reading a small publication recently and it was talking of people answering God's call to serve in various fields. Mostly these individuals and couples felt God leading them to other parts of the United States or to foreign fields so they could tell others about Him. We all know of Abraham's call by God to leave his father and native land to settle in a new place. Moses was called to a leadership role while conversing with God in a burning bush. Some such as Samuel (mentioned above), Joseph and David were called as youth while still others like Samson, John the Baptist and Jesus were chosen prior to their births with instructions given to their parents. Jonah knew he was called yet went the other way. He didn't want the call. Isaiah volunteered when the question was posed.
8 Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?” And I said, “Here am I. Send me!” (Isaiah 6)
Noah built the ark. Nehemiah rebuilt the wall. Deborah lead the nation as judge. David lead the nation as king. Isaac and Jacob fathered "the chosen people." Elisabeth and Mary mothered the one who "prepared the way of the Lord" (John) and the one who declared himself the Way to the Father (Jesus), respectively.
Men and women. Visions, dreams, a burning bush, angelic visits. All felt called by God and the Bible records each of them doing something in the plan of God.
But does God still call people today? Does God still have a plan for humanity where He chooses to use people today? Ever wonder about His criteria for selecting this person for this task and that person for another? Does He still use dreams and visions? Any angels visiting? Or does He use that still small voice that speaks to our hearts?
|Listening for the call of God|
Maybe God is no longer calling people. All the "big tasks" from the past are over. We need no more prophets, judges, warriors, kings and saviors and we are to be content in this phase of world history with ordinary accounting, doctoring, teaching and factory jobs among scores of others. But then again maybe He still does call people to action. Even accountants can do something for God. A teacher can offer her services to women who have been kept illiterate by a society that wants to control them. One gifted in speaking can raise funds for people in rural Afghanistan who need schools or hospitals. Doctors, nurses and dentists can go overseas or even stay right here at home and offer their services to those who can least afford medical treatment. Those motivated to right wrongs can work for changing societal problems from within. Actually there are quite a number of "big tasks" still left to do!
What do you think concerning the call of God? Do you ever feel He has called you? To do what? And how did you know?