And before the lamp of God went out in the tabernacle of the Lord where the ark of God was, and while Samuel was lying down, that the Lord called Samuel. And he answered, “Here I am!” (1 Samuel 3:3-4)
God called Samuel ‘before the lamp of God went out in the tabernacle’. This term refers to the period just before a new day began. The practice was for the lamp in the tabernacle to be turned off at sunrise. The Bible makes a reference to this time to show us a unique trait of Samuel; he was alert and watchful. In the stillness of dawn, he was alert enough to hear God whisper his name.
God called Samuel while he was lying down. It bears noting that the passage does not say he was asleep; simply that he was reclining. The impression you get was that, although Samuel was lying down quietly, he was not in a deep sleep. The young man was probably in a praying mood. What if Samuel had been deeply asleep? Would he have heard the Lord whisper his name?
‘The Lord called Samuel’. God mentioned Samuel’s name. God’s calling to each of us is by name. He knows each name and where to find us when He is ready to speak to us. Our Lord does not give one person’s message to another by mistake. The Lord specifically addresses each one of us when He has to do so.
From Samuel, we learn to wait on the Lord at all times. We learn that even when it seems like we’ve waited so long and it’s almost too late, the Lord will show up ‘before the lamp goes out’. He will not be late. He will be on time.
There are many of God’s children who are tired of waiting as they see their lamps burning out without hearing from the Lord. Some wonder if God really knows about them; they wonder if they still matter to the Lord. Yes, you matter to Him. He knows your name. He knows where you are, and He knows what tone to use to speak to you.
Samuel’s answer to God is the answer that many godly people had used before him, ‘Here I am’. That is how Abraham answered when God called. That is how Moses answered when God called. However, that answer did not seem to be sufficient in Samuel’s case. He answered, ’Here I am’ but heard nothing more.
That tells us that God demands different responses from each of us when He calls. We cannot just respond as others ahead of us have done. We have to respond as God wants us to respond.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, I know you know me. You know my name and where I am. I am ready for you. In Jesus’ name, Amen!
Scripture Reading: 1 Samuel 3:1