S21P17 – Portraits of faith: Samuel

1 Sam. 3:19-20
The Lord was with Samuel as he grew up, and he let none of Samuel’s words fall to the ground. And all Israel from Dan to Beersheba recognized that Samuel was attested as a prophet of the Lord.

God walked with Samuel from a young age. Actually, God was with Samuel well before that. Remember that Samuel’s mother had asked God for a son and promised to dedicate him to God for his whole life. Still, there was a clear turning point when Samuel went from not knowing God to knowing him. It was when God gave Samuel a critical and frightening word. Young Samuel then had to decide whether to speak the word that God gave him or remain silent out of fear.

Samuel’s task here was simple. He was to repeat to Eli the several sentences that he had heard from the Lord the prior evening. The difficulty came in the nature of the message. Here was Samuel, the priest’s helper, having to deliver a message about God’s judgment to the priest himself. We know that God could have spoken directly to Eli, but He chose instead to begin to develop in Samuel the mustard seed of faith to speak what He knows has come from God’s mouth. This small task, a message delivered to a party of one with whom he was comfortable and familiar, would lead to more difficult talks for the great prophet.

In all of Samuel’s spoken words from God, not one of them “fell to the ground.” This means that no word was wasted. The stiffest rebukes, the harshest judgments, all worked as God intended them to work once Samuel spoke them. Samuel’s faith in God is what took him from a mere servant of the priest to being the last great judge of Israel and the one to anoint their first two kings. Because of his faith, Samuel grew from a boy who did not recognize the voice of God to a man who became God’s voice to a nation. Father, give us the faith to honor You in the small things first, knowing that You are building us for greater things to come.