“Now the boy Samuel was ministering to the Lord in the presence of Eli. And the word of the Lord was rare in those days; there was no frequent vision.” (ESV – Read the chapter)
Have you ever tried to talk to someone who wasn’t really listening? Let me rephrase that: When was the last time you tried to talk to someone who wasn’t really listening? I have three boys at home under the age of 10. In our household that’s a daily exercise, and it will probably continue to be that way for the next 15 years or so. Joy…
For the people of Israel, the word of the Lord had grown cold. He was rarely speaking and giving visions to the people to guide them forward. They felt like they were on their own. For most of the people this didn’t present much of a problem to them. They had grown used to doing life ignoring the Lord. There were some, though, for whom this was a distressing development. They still sought the Lord and grieved that He never seemed to speak anymore.
But, can you blame Him? Our God is personal. We do not serve the impersonal force of the various Eastern and New Age religions. We serve a God who is a person and wants to be in a personal relationship with the people He created and loves. He is a God who speaks. He speaks and desires to be heard like any person.
The people of Israel had stopped listening. When the generation arose who did not know Him after Joshua and his generation passed (Judges 2:10), He continued to try and speak for a while, but they refused to listen. So eventually, He quit trying as often.
Have you been through a spiritually dry season when it seemed like the Lord had quit speaking to you? Perhaps you’re there now. The reasons for this could be many. It could be that He is using His silence to draw you into a deeper relationship with Him. It could be that He’s putting you through a season of testing and purifying. But, it also could be that you’ve quit listening.
Our God has lots to say and wants to be heard. But if you aren’t going to listen, eventually He’s going to stop speaking as often. If you haven’t heard the Lord for a while, ask the question: God, have I stopped listening? Then, reintroduce the discipline of listening to the Lord into your life rhythms. This involves praying, sitting quietly before the Lord, and reading the Scriptures. You’ll be surprised at just how much He has to say.