By Yasmin Poitier
WHEN Samuel was a child, he flourished in prominence with the Lord and men. He was the son of Hannah, a woman who prayed to God year after year for a child. When the Lord granted her earnest prayer, the feeling of grief and sorrow she once felt was now filled with exuberant joy and happiness. “For this child I prayed, and the Lord has granted me my petition which I asked of Him. Therefore I also have lent him to the Lord; as long as he lives he shall be lent to the Lord.” So they worshipped the Lord there. (1 Samuel 1:27-28 NKJV)
As a child, Samuel lived with Eli (a high priest) in the tabernacle. Samuel ministered before the Lord, even as a child, wearing a linen ephod. Moreover, his mother used to make him a little robe, and bring it to him year by year when she came up with her husband to offer the yearly sacrifice. And Eli would bless Elkanah and his wife, and say, “The Lord give you descendants from this woman for the loan that was given to the Lord.” Then they would go to their own home. And the Lord visited Hannah, so that she conceived and bore three sons and two daughters. Meanwhile the child Samuel grew before the Lord. (1 Samuel 2:18-21 NKJV)
As the years went by, Samuel continued to serve the Lord. And it came to pass at that time, while Eli was lying down in his place, and when his eyes had begun to grow so dim that he could not see, 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!” So he ran to Eli and said, “Here I am, for you called me.” And he said, “I did not call; lie down again.” And he went and lay down. (1 Samuel 3:2-5 NKJV)
The Lord called Samuel a second time, but he assumed that it was Eli once again and went to assist him. Eli informed him that he did not call him for a second time. After this, Samuel lied down again, for he still did not know that it was the Lord calling him.
The Lord called Samuel again the third time. So he arose and went to Eli, and said, “Here I am, for you did call me.” Then Eli perceived that the Lord had called the boy. Therefore Eli said to Samuel, “Go, lie down; and it shall be, if He calls you, that you must say, ‘Speak, Lord, for Your servant hears.’ So Samuel went and lay down in his place. Now the Lord came and stood and called as at other times, “Samuel! Samuel!” And Samuel answered, “Speak, for Your servant hears.” (1 Samuel 3:8-10 NKJV)
When Samuel answered the voice of the Lord, he told him the prophetic message that He wanted him to know. Then the Lord said to Samuel: “Behold, I will do something in Israel at which both ears of everyone who hears it will tingle. In that day I will perform against Eli all that I have spoken concerning his house, from beginning to end. For I have told him that I will judge his house forever for the iniquity which he knows, because his sons made themselves vile, and he did not restrain them. And therefore I have sworn to the house of Eli that the iniquity of Eli’s house shall not be atoned for by sacrifice or offering forever.” (1 Samuel 3:11-14 NKJV)
Samuel continued to grow, and the Lord was with him and let none of his words fall to the ground. And all Israel from Dan to Beersheba knew that Samuel had been established as a prophet of the Lord. (1 Samuel 3:20-21 NKJV) God has a purpose for each and every one of us. We must listen to the still small voice of God guiding us throughout life and we would undoubtedly find fulfilment in His purpose for our lives. God is calling. Will you answer His call?