King's Business - 1915-02



was, and no wonder. But he did know before that first meeting between himself and God was over. Jehovah speaks to each of us in childhood. His voice may not be audible as it doubtless was in the case of Samuel, and it may be a voice so still ana small that only the alertly listening soul can hear it, but it is none the less His voice and none the less precious. Yet the voice lis­ tened to, as in the case of Samuel, speaks clearer and clearer; but if disregarded, it soon becomes silent (Prov. 1:24, 25, 28). Many are saying, “God never speaks to me,” but did He never speak ? Did you lis­ ten when He did speak? Do you want to hear Him speak? Would you really like to hear Him speak now? v. 5. "And he ran.” How ready and eager this boy was for service (cf. vs. 6, 8). He leaps out of bed in the middle of the. night and runs in quick response to what he supposes to be the call of Eli. Is it any wonder God selected him as His chosen ser­ vant? If he had closed his ears and turnecf over for another nap, or even had he arisen languidly and come grumblingly to the side of Eli, it is doubtful if God would have called again. God wishes those for special service who are ready to respond, “Lo, here am I,” to His first call (cf. Isa. 6:8; Luke 9:59-62; Acts 9:6). As we read here that Samuel ran to find out what there was to do even in the middle of the night, so we read of Philip that when the Spirit told him to go near and join himself to the chariot of the Ethiopian, “Philip ran” (Acts 8 :30): Today it is hard to get professing Christians even to walk after the unsaved. How seldom do we see. a man on the run in his eagerness to do that holy and blessed work. v. 7. "Now Samuel did not yet know the LORD." This does not mean that he had not been carefully taught about Him. A godly mother like Hannah, whose soul could pour itself out in such Psalms of praise as hers (ch. 2 :1 -1 0 ) and who dedicates n er son to Jehovah from the outset does not leave him uninstructed about God. What is meant is that Samuel had not yet made the

us appreciate our greater privilege than Is­ rael’s and how much greater the wrath of God which we are trearuring up against the day of wrath will be when that day comes (Matt. 11:20-24). v. 2. "Eli zvas laid down in his place, and his eyes began to wax dim that he could not see." Alas! Eli’s eyes had be­ gun to wax dim in more senses than one. He had been a man whom God had most highly honored among the people and to whom God had spoken in times past. But he had allowed his love for his two sons, Hophni and Phinehas, to come between him and God (ch. 2 :27-35) ; and not only were his natural eyes now waxing dim with age but his spiritual eyes were waxing dim because of his unfaithfulness to God. What sadder sight is there than that of an old man, once highly honored of God but los­ ing his spiritual vision as age comes on. v. 3. "Samuel was laid dozen to sleep.” God spoke to Samuel before dawn (cf. V. 15 ; Exod. 27:20, 21; 2 Chiron.- 13:11), and often it is in the early hours of the morning before the light breaks that He awakens us to speak to us. Many of us, however, do not listen but turn over and go to sleep again. The structure afterwards known as the “temple” was not yet built but the sac­ red tent, or tabernacle, of earlier days is so called in a few places (ch. 1:9; Ps. 5:7). It is evident from the opening words of this verse that Samuel slept in the Holy Place in the tabernacle near Eli. He “dwelt in the house of the Lord” (cf. Ps. 27:4) and here it was that God revealed Himself to him. His dwelling place here was right in the presence of God, and typical of the Christian’s abiding place in Christ, for in Him God makes His tent (John 1:14 R. V marg.). Happy is the man who dwells in Him (John 15:7). v. 4. "The LORD called Samuel; and he answered, Here am I.” Samuel had never heard the voice of God before, but he re­ sponds to it at once. Happy is the one, who like him hears and responds to the voice of God in early childhood. But Sam­ uel did not know at first whose voice it

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