Both our readings today involve visions, revelations and God talking directly to a person. There are some interesting parallels throughout which I hope you too observe as you read through these passages.
Samuel is a boy at this point of time ministering to the Lord under Eli. It is noted that the word of the Lord was rare in those days possibly due to the hardness of heart among the people of Israel and the corruption of the priesthood. God will speak, and guide, when His people seek Him, and His ministers seek to serve him diligently.
Samuel initially thinks it’s Eli speaking to him and response with “Here I am!”. There are many other parts of the bible we see faithful servants of the Lord respond in that way. Eli suggests that it is perhaps the Lord speaking to him and recommends some helpful things to Samuel:
- Make himself available for God to speak
- Not be presumptuous about God speaking
- Respond to the word of God
- Humble himself before God and His word.
God reveal things to Samuel that weren’t necessarily great news for Eli. Eli’s response acknowledges the Lord as his God and perhaps was not surprised by the correction and his need for repentance in his leadership.
At the end of this passage we also see Samuel growing and maturing as God establishes him as a prophet.
We journey form one servant of the Lord to another we read the opening chapter of Revelation. John is on the island of Patmos when he received this Revelation. I was always comforted by the promise of blessing for those who hear and keep what is written here. It is a challenging book and there is a helpful assurance for those who endure and try to understand some of the passages we read later in Revelation.
There is some powerful language as John addresses the seven churches of Asia. He is the Beginning and the End; all things are from him and for him; he is the Almighty; the same eternal and unchanged One.
Ron recently highlighted the description of Jesus in verse 14 is very similar to Daniel 7:9 belonging to the “Ancient of Days”. The similarities between the language of the second half of Daniel and Revelation continue throughout.
In a similar way to Samuel humbled himself before the Lord John fell at his feet. There is a comfort from the Lord, “Fear not” and again reminding us that the old is, was and shall be for ever.
How should we respond to the Lord? Are we making ourselves available for him to speak to us?