Photo by Panos sakalakis.
And Samuel grew, and the LORD was with him and let none of his words fall to the ground.1 Samuel 3:19 ESV
One of the meanings of the name Samuel in Hebrew is “asked for”. The name his mother gave to him after being barren for very many years. He was the child his mother asked God for so she could give him back to God. The way I see it is God asked Hannah for Samuel before he was even conceived.
Even though Samuel was his mother’s answered prayer, he was first asked for by God. God was looking for a faithful priest for himself and he found a mother in Hannah to bring forth what he wanted. He said of Samuel, “ I will raise up for myself a faithful priest who shall do according to what is in my heart and mind.” 1 Samuel 2:35.
Few things to learn from Samuel:
He grew. Growth is necessary for our walk with God. If God is going to be with us, we have to grow up. I believe Samuel grew up physically but most of all he grew spiritually and this is what made God to be with him. 1 Samuel 2:21 says meanwhile the boy Samuel grew up in the presence of the LORD. His growing up had a foundation and it was in the presence of the Lord. Because he grew up in the presence of the Lord he became who God wanted him to be. Samuel grew in stature and in favor with God and with men. 1 Samuel 2:26 because he grew in the presence and in the things of God, he was pleasing both to God, and to men.
God was with him. There are a few people in scripture who were said God was with them. We’ve seen for Samuel he was consistently in the presence of the Lord growing up and God was with him. 1 Samuel 18:14 we are told of David, “ and David behaved himself wisely in all his ways; and the LORD was with him.” because God was with him, David had success in everything he did. When we live like we believe God is really with us, we will have very different results from others. This was David’s secret.
God being with us has a lot to do with how we live. Remember God is holy and He will not dwell with sin. So there has to be a separation between us and the things that would defile the God who lives in us. Both Samuel and David honored God with their hearts and their lives. God could be with them. Both of them valued the presence of God above everything else, and this was another reason why God choose to be with them.
If we want God to be with us, we cannot live like the world and look like the world. We are going to have to make changes and make room for God to dwell in our lives.
God let none of his words fall to the ground. Everything Samuel spoke was backed by God. There wasn’t a word he said that God didn’t stand behind. What a privilege!
But I believe two things are clear here. One is that Samuel never added to God’s word. We often add to God’s word because we want to exalt ourselves in the sight of man. We fluff up the word of God because we want people to give us glory. and when we do this we short circuit God’s ability to trust us with His word in the future.
Samuel didn’t need to fluff up God’s word for people to know he was chosen. God was with him and that was enough.
The second is, he didn’t remove from God’s word. We often remove from God’s word because of the fear of man. We cannot fear God and man at the same time. We are going to have to choose one. When we fear God we don’t care whether people like us or not. Our concern is to be faithful vessels for God.
We see Samuel’s first test for faithfulness in dispensing God’s word When God sends him to Eli the high priest with a word of judgment. Even though he was afraid, he didn’t add or remove from the word of God. He told it exactly how God wanted it said. 1 Samuel 4:11-22
His faithfulness is consistent he isn’t afraid to judge kings who have sinned against God. He judges Saul when he disobeyed God’s command, without hesitation. 1 Samuel 15 He wasn’t afraid of protecting God’s covenant. God could trust him and this is key.
God says I’m the one who confirms the message of my servant and fulfills the counsel of his messengers. Isaiah 44:26
How will He confirm that which didn’t come from Him? How will He fulfill that which we have fluffed up and removed because we fear men? How will He confirm what didn’t come from our being in His presence? How will He fulfill that which He never told us to say in the first place?
Can God trust us with His word?
So many people in the church want to be prophets. We lust over the gift of prophecy, not knowing that judgment is harder on the one whom He chooses. We want to hear God’s voice and want to be carriers of his word. But will we do everything that God tells us to do or will we choose which words to give and which ones we will not?
If He sends us to kings and great men, will we give His word without fear? Or will you choose the honor of men above His? If He sends us to people who may not want to hear from us, will we fluff up His word to be likable and for the praises of men? Or will we do it only for His glory and honor?
Samuel was asked for by God. God wanted a voice to speak on His behalf to a generation. God is looking for people who will speak truth without fear or compromise to a generation that needs God. He is looking for a people who will carry His love and grace with humility and with the fear of defiling His name.
Are you a Samuel for this generation? Will God find a faithful priest in you? Can God trust you with His word?