Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Sleeping in the presence of God

Got to 1 Samuel 3 today in my readings.

The account of Eli and Samuel does not have a very positive beginning. God's prophetic word was an endangered spices. It would seem that Eli the chief priest was tired and maybe even disillusioned. It would seem that he had accepted things as they were with no real belief that things would change. His spiritual insight was starting to match his physical sight - becoming dim. He had fallen asleep in his usual comfortable place.

Contrast this with Samuel who was lying down in the temple of the Lord where the ark of God was. This speaks to me of anticipation for God to speak. The circumstances were still the same but Eli had given up hope of hearing God whilst Samuel still expected it and was going to put himself in the best place possible ready to here it. He may have been lying down to rest but he was not going to leave the symbol of God's presence the Ark.

Thankfully later in the story Eli recognized, eventually, that God was speaking to his understudy Samuel. I think Eli has to be congratulated because he could have got bitter and twisted about this situation. When God finally did speak he bypassed him and spoke to his servant. But Eli encouraged Samuel and gave him some instruction.

I don't think this story is about age, because God can and has used people younger and older its about heart and readiness to hear the voice of God. If you place yourself in the right place next to the presence of God he can speak to you in the bleakest of situations.


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