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Monday, June 17th, 2024
the Week of Proper 6 / Ordinary 11
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Bible Commentaries
1 Samuel 3

The Church Pulpit CommentaryChurch Pulpit Commentary

Verse 1


‘The word of the Lord was precious in those days.’

1 Samuel 3:1

Where we read of ‘the word of the Lord’ being precious in those days, it means that God revealed Himself but rarely to man, for man was not fit to receive His will. The story of Eli and his sons and their wickedness shows us that they were drawing away the whole of the nation from the service of Jehovah, and therefore the nation was not fit to receive God’s message; but in this chapter we read a far happier story of the innocent little child, brought up in the Temple courts to know and fear God, being called by God and having God’s word revealed unto him. God speaks to us in various ways. Let us consider how His message comes to each one.

I. In the circumstances of our lives.—First of all in the circumstances of our lives, as it was in the circumstances of the life of Samuel. We were placed in the same position, near to God, when we were brought to Him in our baptism. The circumstances of our lives are very much those of Samuel, hedged around, guarded from evil, from temptation, being taught from earliest infancy the will of God, even as he was. We can see all through our lives that God is continually near us, speaking to us, calling to us in the circumstances of those lives. What does He require us to do? If He sends us temptation, He calls us to face that temptation. If He saves us from temptation, He calls us to higher things still that we may advance in holiness. Each one of us can look into our lives and see how God speaks to us in the circumstances of those lives.

II. In conscience.—Then further, God speaks in our conscience—if we do not pay attention to that voice as it speaks to us, if we do not listen for it, then that voice will grow dimmer and dimmer. If we do not act on what that voice tells us, we shall not hear any voice at all in the end. A hardened sinner or a confirmed criminal will commit a sin which you and I would call a deadly and awful sin. Why? His conscience is dead, he cannot hear through it the voice of the Holy Spirit. Let us take care that as the word of the Lord comes to us through the voice of conscience, we listen to that voice and act upon it.

III. In the Bible.—Then there is—taking the more literal meaning of the Word of the Lord—God’s voice speaking to us through the Bible. As we listen to the lessons in church, as we read our chapter day by day, does it bring to us a message from God? Or do we hear or read the words just as a story, interesting, nothing more?

—Rev. P. L. Tomkins.


‘As we listen for the voice of God, either through the circumstances of our life, or our conscience, or the Bible, let us be ready with Samuel to say, “Speak, Lord; for Thy servant heareth.” Speak, Lord, into our innermost being, not only to our outward ears but to our very soul. Speak, Lord, that we may hear, and do Thy will, that we may go on assured that what we do is done under Thy guidance, that we are trying to carry out Thy will, and are in the end bound to come to that everlasting home which Thou, even now, art preparing for us in the heaven above.’

Bibliographical Information
Nisbet, James. "Commentary on 1 Samuel 3". The Church Pulpit Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/cpc/1-samuel-3.html. 1876.
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