Are we good listeners? Or do we kind of go through the motions, nodding and smiling at the appropriate places? What about when it comes to listening to God?
“So the LORD called Samuel again for the third time. And he arose and went to Eli, and said, ‘Here I am, for you called me.’ Then Eli discerned that the LORD was calling the boy. And Eli said to Samuel, ‘Go lie down, and it shall be if He calls you, that you shall say, ‘Speak, LORD, for Thy servant is listening’.’ So Samuel went and lay down in his place.” ~ 1 Samuel 3:8-9
The Hebrew word used here for “listening” is shama`, which means “to hear, take heed, yield to, obey”.
Not only did the old priest Eli instruct the boy Samuel to listen to the words of the LORD, but he was also to take heed, yield to them, and obey. Listening with intent!
Wow. Do I listen like that when God talks to me? Do I take heed, yield and obey when I read His words? I should. I need to. And with the power of the Holy Spirit, I can.
“Then the LORD came and stood and called as at other times, ‘Samuel! Samuel!’ And Samuel said, ‘Speak, for Thy servant is listening.'” ~ 1 Samuel 3:10
Yatsab. The LORD came and “stood”. He “presented Himself” to Samuel. God called him, presented Himself to him, and began speaking to him on behalf of the nation of Israel.
“And the LORD appeared again at Shiloh, because the LORD revealed Himself to Samuel at Shiloh by the word of the LORD.” ~ 1 Samuel 3:21
The LORD “revealed” Himself, galah, which means to “show oneself, to make yourself known”. Samuel knew God. And he intentionally listened, with the desire to take heed, yield and obey.