King's Business - 1915-02



speaking to some of us is that we are out of our places. v. 10. “And the LORD came, and stood, and called as at other times, Samuel, Sam­ uel.” What a wonderful picture is this; the great Creator of the universe coming right down, standing right beside the little boy, and speaking to him, but it is just like God. He calls the boy by name too—calls him twice by name—and He calls us by name (John 10:3; cf. 20:16). “Then Samuel answered, Speak; for thy servant heareth.” Though Samuel was but a child there is something not only beauti­ ful but manly in his reply to God. He did not seem in the least afraid and God would not have us afraid when we draw nigh to Him. He would have us look right up in His face with child-like confidence and ad­ dress Him without fear (Rom. 8:151 Eli had told Samuel to say, “Speak, Jehovah, for thy 'servant heareth” (v. 9) ; but Samuel left the “Jehovah” out, possibly he was not quite sure even yet that it was Jehovah, but he was willing and anxious to know and so he soon found out. It is well for us to be sure when we hear a voice that it really is God’s voice (1 John 4:1). Some today are ready to listen and obey any superna­ tural voice they hear, they are so eager for the supernatural, and so some follow demons when they fancy they are following the Holy Spirit. There have been some very sad manifestations of that in recent days in those who have been seeking for them­ selves the gift of tongues without regard to whether that is the gift which the sov­ ereign Spirit, who divides to each one sev­ erally as He will (1 Cor. 12:11) has chosen for them. In their eagerness for communi­ cations from the Spirit-world, they have laid themselves open to communications from any spirit and have not been careful to discern the spirits, whether it is the Holy Spirit or some unclean spirit. When we really do know that it is God who is speak­ ing to us, Samuel’s attitude is that which we should take; from the heart we should say, “Speak, for thy servant heareth.” v. 12. And the LORD said to Samuel,

personal acquaintance of God. It is one thing to know about God from careful in­ struction and to have a certain knowledge of Him in that sense and even a quite full and orthodox knowledge; it is quite an- other thing to really know God, to be on terms of personal intimacy with Him. “Neither was the Word of the Lord yet revealed unto him." Up to this time Sam­ uel had not heard Jehovah speak. From this time on he was to hear Him speak often; he was ready to obey the moment he did hear him speak the first time, that was why he heard Him so often afterwards. v. 8. “And the LORD called Samuel again the third time.” Three times was Samuel called and sent back to his bed mystified, but he was just as ready to re­ spond at the fourth call a? at the first. Most boys would have given up after the first and second call and gone to sleep. Eli, at this time, could not have been very much used to communications from Jehovah or he would have recognized sooner that it was the LORD who was calling the lad. "And Eli perceived that the LORD had called the child.” It was a great thing to see that; it is a great thing to see when Je­ hovah is speaking to any child. Eli in times past had heard the voice of Jehovah him­ self, or he would not have recognized even at last who it was speaking to Samuel. But why did he not recognize it sooner? Alas! the days had come when God no longer spoke directly to him but through others (cf. ch. 2:27). There are some toaay who once knew how to go to the Word of God for themselves and have God speak directly to them from that Book, but now they are dependent upon interpreters who shall explain to them from the Word of God what God is saying. v. 9. “Samuel went and lay down in his place.’’ That was the wise thing to do. If we wish to hear the Lord, we should be in our appointed place. God always speaks to men when they are in their own place (Exod. 3:1, 2; 1 Kipgs 19:19; Luke 2:8, 9; 1:8, 11). Perhaps the reason God is not

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