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Let Him Hear “Now the Lord came and stood and called as at other times, ‘Samuel! Samuel!’ And Samuel answered, ‘Speak for Your servant hears.’   1 Samuel 3:10    (All references taken from 1 Samuel) A call was heard. Startled, young Samuel awoke.  The only voice he was accustomed to hearing in such a manner was that of the old priest, Eli.  Attentively he ran to Eli’s bed and was met with an instruction coming from a man with sleepiness covering his eyes. “I did not call; lie down again.”  Once again, the Voice, the run to Eli’s side, and the same reply.  Eli’s sleep was now disturbed and upon the third time, he perceived that the Lord called the boy.  His reply changed, “Go lie down and it shall be if He calls you, that you must say, ‘Speak, Lord, for your servant hears.’ ” (3:5-9)   The house of the Lord had been silent. The word of the Lord was rare. There was no current revelation under Eli’s watch in the temple.  The lamp of God was reduced to a mere flicker in the tabernacle, where the ark of the Lord’s presence was.  Eli had grown old, fat, and blind (3:1- 4, 4:15, 18).  And God called out to one who was listening, to one who would respond.   Eli was in the same place as Samuel, but Samuel was at a different place with the LordEli was lying down in his place, his usual place of comfort and ease. Samuel ministered to the Lord, laying himself before the Lord’s presence. Eli was functioning out of duty. Samuel was ministering out of devotion.  Eli’s eyes were weak; he had lost vision, sensitivity, and perspective. Samuel’s eyes were open.  Eli’s capacity to hear was dulled and misguided. Samuel yearned to know the Voice of His Lord.  Eli was old and presumptuous.  His relationship with the Lord was stale and routine.  Samuel was young, fresh, and hopeful. Eli compromised his faith and the destiny of his household (3:12-14, 4:11).  Samuel secured his faith and the destiny of the Lord’s eternal Household (25:1).  Eli disrespected and dishonored God, yet Samuel obeyed what the Lord said (3:18, 16:4).  Eli tolerated sin in his sons. Samuel addressed sin in Saul, a spiritual son directly and with consequence (15:14-23). Eli allowed evil in the temple courts. Samuel, without hesitation or mercy, purged sin from Israel (15:32-33).  Eli’s name means “lofty, proud.”  Understandably, Samuel’s name means “heard of the Lord with intelligence, attentiveness, and obedience.”   In the midst of a house that was religious, compromising, and sinful, God called out to reveal himself.  We live in a world with the same darkness.  And yet before we look too far, we must look within. In our own heart, our own tabernacle, the temple of the Lord, lies the tendency for both Eli and Samuel to sleep within.   One in heaviness, one with alertness.  May our eyes not become glazed over, our hearts unresponsive, and our actions compromising.     Eli’s heart failed. The ark of the Lord’s presence was stolen. He fell backwards and died (4:18).  Eli had to die as Samuel arose. Samuel was birthed out of barrenness (1:10-11). He was birthed out of faith, desperation, intercession, and consecration.  He, in us, is that hearing ear, turning from the despondent flesh of Eli, and responding to the new move of the Spirit. May the prophetic voice come from our lives, and may the Ark of the Lord’s Glory be ushered in, in this hour.               In Him,   Pastor Sharon Carlson