Read: 1 Samuel 3:4-18
And Samuel said, “Speak, for your servant hears.” (v. 10)
You’ve probably heard this old saying: “God gave us two ears and one mouth for a reason.” This statement implies we should listen twice as much as we speak. In their seminal study on listening, researchers Ralph G. Nichols and Leonard A. Stevens found people typically remember only about half of what they’ve heard someone say (Are You Listening?, p. 5). When we don’t listen with the intent of understanding what a speaker is saying to us, we are likely to miss a key part of the message.
In today’s passage, Samuel hears someone calling his name. Samuel’s only connection to God up to this point has been through Eli. Because Samuel does not yet have his own relationship with God, he is unfamiliar with God’s voice. That all changes when Eli realizes God is speaking directly to Samuel. Following Eli’s instructions, Samuel responds to God’s voice and listens carefully to God’s message. Eli demands to hear what God said. Though the message includes an unfavorable end for Eli and his sons, Samuel tells it all word for word.
It’s never too early to teach children the importance of listening to God. Even if in the past we have failed at listening well, we can start changing our behavior. We must be willing to speak less to become better listeners (James 1:19). The more we listen to God, the better qualified we are to share his message. Let’s all be quick to say, like Samuel, “Speak, for your servant hears.” —Ericka Loynes
As you pray, remember to pause and listen to what God is saying.