Hebrews 11:32, I Samuel 3:1-21
As we have explored in all the other “heroes of faith,” the story we are about to read is a good reminder that faith is what God sees, not position. To understand some of the significance of the story, I am going to backtrack a little into the priest, Eli’s story. Eli had been serving God in the temple and had sons who were also priests. Eli’s sons were not honest and were taking parts of sacrifices to eat before they had been given to God. When Eli heard these things, he rebuked his sons but did nothing else. A prophet came to Eli and told him that because of this, Eli and his sons were going to die. Now we get to read about Samuel’s call.
Samuel had been given to the Lord by his mother and was raised by Eli to serve in the temple. As you read today’s story in I Samuel, notice how God speaks to the unlikely person. Samuel received a message from God; not Eli. I also wanted to note that verse one says, “In those days the word of the LORD was rare, there were not many visions.” We can make an assumption that the people were not used to hearing from God at this time and had gotten used to the corruption that was happening in the temple with Eli’s sons. If we look back to chapter 2:18, we may be able to see why God chose to speak to Samuel. It says, “But Samuel was ministering before the LORD – a boy wearing a linen ephod.” It was significant that he was wearing a linen ephod, because that meant that he was a priest in training. So we know that he was not yet a priest, which means that he was doing some of the work behind the scenes such as cleaning furniture and sweeping the floors. Yet the Bible tells us that he was “ministering before the LORD.” Even if it seemed small, Samuel had faith that he was doing God’s work.
Samuel received a message from God and later became a great prophet. As I was reading this, his faith really struck me. God spoke to him before he was a priest; he was still in training. God wasn’t looking at his position; He was looking at his faith through his service to God. Go to Matthew 25:14-30, what does the master say to the servants who were faithful with little? “Well done good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Com and share your master’s happiness!” (verse 21). Jesus explains that God is looking for the faithful no matter what the task is. God knew Samuel’s heart and He knew He had a faithful servant.
Sometimes when we do small details, it doesn’t always feel like we are serving God. Don’t let the size of the task keep you from enjoying the service you are giving to God. You are ministering before the Lord! It doesn’t matter if you are helping clean the sanctuary or rocking a precious baby to sleep in the nursery, you are serving God. God knows your heart and He knows your faithfulness.
Are you enjoying ministering before the Lord? Are you serving with a faithful heart? Let’s follow young Samuel’s example and learn to be faithful in the small things.