“The Word of God was rare in those days; visions were not widespread.” The people had no connection with God. Eli and his sons were the leaders of the people. But Eli’s sons were evil. They were crooks and cared nothing for God. Because their leaders were lost, the people of God were lost. They had no vision or direction in their lives.
It says, “the Word of God was rare.” It doesn’t mean God was not talking! So, God never intends to leave his people with no vision. And people were not listening to God’s Word. They were not looking for God’s vision. Eli’s sons were corrupt and cared nothing for God. And the people had followed them into sins and ignored God.
If the people of God have no vision, then they are lost. How they know what to do without vision from God? How can a servant do the master’s will if he will not listen to the commands the master is giving?
People with no vision are like a group of blind people trying to lead one another. Jesus talked about the blind leading the blind. I have seen this on the street in Denver. The woman had her hand on the man’s arm and he was leading her. But he had a seeing eye dog to lead him.
People are spiritually blind. People need divine vision to give them direction. People needs God’s vision just like that blind couple needed the dog’s vision to guide them. If there is no vision - the people are lost. They will not arrive the dream destination. They will fall in a ditch on the way.
It was not God’s fault the Word of God was rare and the people had no vision. It was the fault of the leaders. God didn’t want to leave his people in darkness, so God called a prophet for his people. And God decided to find someone who could receive the guidance and the vision.
So, there was Samuel! Asleep in the temple. His job was to attend to the light that burned in the temple. That light was kept burning in darkness to remind people of the presence of God in that holy place.
Then God called “Samuel! Samuel!” Samuel heard the voice but he did not know it was God calling him. He thought it was Eli. He went to Eli, but Eli told him it was not him; to go back to bed. Again, the voice came, “Samuel!” Samuel ran to Eli and Eli again told him to lie down. A third time it called and Samuel ran to Eli again.
Eli realized it was God calling. When God calls a leader, God does not expect that person to be passive. God requires a response. So, Eli told Samuel to go back to bed. And if the voice come again - he should respond. Again, God called Samuel. And this time Samuel responded, “Lord, speak for your servant is listening.”
We live in an era the Word of God is rare! People are lost. They have no sense of direction. They seek hopeless after wealth or power. They chase the pleasures of the world. All in an attempt to find something with some meaning or value. And when they can’t, they try to lose themselves in drugs and sin and death.
So, without the Word of God - we are incomplete. Genesis says God created the first human. God formed the human out of the dust of the earth then God breathed life into it. So, human beings are basically the dust of the earth made alive by the breath of God.
God is speaking and some have listened. God has given us vision to follow. Martin Luther King, Jr. had a vision. He had a dream of a world where people are judged by the content of their character and not, the color of their skin. That dream has not been fully realized yet. We have come a long way, but we have not arrived yet.
Where would we be without the vision of Christ or Martin Luther or John Wesley or Martin Luther King, Jr. We would be lost! We would be like the people in Samuel’s day. Do you see what I mean?
We need God’s vision. God never leave us visionless. God walks with us around in the dark. God is calling people to be leaders. But they need other people to help them hear that call.
God is calling all people into ministry. We are here in the temple of God. The lights are burning! God calls, “Eaton UMC! Eaton UMC!” Will we respond, or will we ignore and go back to sleep. Again, God calls, “Eaton UMC! Eaton UMC!” Join me and together we will say, “Lord, speak your servant is listening!” Shalom and Amen!
Scripture: 1 Samuel 3:1-10