Precious Words of the Lord
Text: 1 Samuel 3
The ark of the covenant is the most important object in Israel’s life. The ark is where God met with Israel. The ark led Israel to the promised land. The ark was the platform for the voice of the Lord to lead Israel. After a couple hundred years in the promised land, Israel has gone after all kinds of other gods while holding the ark up as important. The priest Eli and his family were the ones responsible for the ark. But now Eli can’t see, he’s in terrible health. His children are unruly and profaning the sacred things of God. And the light in the tabernacle is about to go out. In that case Israel will be completely left to herself among enemies that hate her. But just before that happens, God calls Samuel.
Samuel is called three times and three times he thinks it is Eli calling for him. But on the third time Eli perceives that the Lord is calling Samuel. He tells Samuel to listen to the Lord. The word of the Lord and Samuel’s relationship to the word of the Lord is the theme in this chapter. The first verse describes the words of God as precious. This chapter shows why they were precious and shows that Samuel treated the words of God as precious.
Revelation from God is necessary (vs 3)
- There is a need to hear from the Lord.
- Is it necessary for God to reveal Himself to man?
- Need God to tell me what He likes because otherwise I think if I like it, God is OK with it.
- Need God to tell me what He means
- Love as Christ loved
- Need God to tell me what I’m doing otherwise I’ll deceive myself about myself.
- Need God to tell me who I am
- Need God to tell me who He is
- Thou art the Christ…flesh and blood hath not revealed this unto you
- Thy word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path…
God’s word is the basis for fellowship (vss 7, 10)
- A relationship with God is based on His words
- My sheep hear my voice and I know them
- Eli isn’t hearing from God. He’s going to hear what God is saying through other men. There was a nameless preacher in chapter 2 that told Eli what was going to happen. And now Samuel will be told what’s going to happen.
- Speak Lord for thy servant heareth
- Let’s do an experiment. Look at Acts 8:37 in your Bible.
First message is negative (vss 11-14)
- A prophecy is given to Samuel about Eli’s family future.
- The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom
- Samuel has been obeying instructions in the tabernacle and now God is going to give him information and light for upcoming events.
- Did you notice Samuel responded when he was called? Children would do well to pay attention. And if your mom and dad don’t care whether you listen to them or not, God cares. And that rebellious spirit isn’t going anywhere with the Lord.
- Adults would also do well to pay attention. Samuel is all about taking care of his business even as a child. And the Lord is about to dump something in his lap that will require a faithful man to handle.
- The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom and God will build on Samuel’s fear of the Lord. It doesn’t mean he’s not afraid of the message God gives him, it just means he’s not going to make his decisions based on that fear. Samuel will make his decisions based on the fear of the Lord.
- There will be no sacrifice or offering that will change God’s mind on this matter in verse 14.
No matter how you feel, don’t change the message (vss 15-18)
- Samuel stays up all night struggling with what God has said.
- He’s afraid to carry the message. Sound familiar?
- Samuel faithful with what God said in verse 18.
Faithful with the word of the LORD is a blessing to the LORD (vss 19-21)
- Samuel didn’t let any of God’s words fall to the ground.
- Because of Samuel’s relationship to the words of God the LORD was with him.
- So the Lord continued to appear to Samuel.