7. Now Samuel did not yet know the LORD, because the word of the LORD had not yet been revealed to him.

8. Once again, for the third time, the LORD called to Samuel. He got up, went to Eli, and said, “Here I am, for you have called me.”

Then Eli realized that it was the LORD who was calling the boy.

9. “Go and lie down,” he said to Samuel, “and if He calls you, say, ‘Speak, LORD, for Your servant is listening.’ ”

So Samuel went and lay down in his place.

1 Samuel 3: 7–9 NLT

Today’s Passage continues The Story of Samuel, presenting us with the earliest portion of the future prophet’s ministry. For the first time, the boy hears The Voice of The Lord. However, Samuel does not recognize God’s Voice.

Verse Seven tells us that God hadn’t revealed Himself to Samuel yet, so there was no reason, or really even any way Samuel would have known God’s Voice. And to go a bit further into the dynamic between God and humankind in that era, Verse One reveals that Communication with God was sporadic at best and, therefore, extraordinary when it did occur.

So, if God intended to use Samuel and replace Eli and his sons, how did He expect the boy to begin his journey if he couldn’t even recognize His Call? The answer to that question also comprises Today’s Lesson, but I’m getting a bit ahead of myself.

Before we get to that, let me ask you this when experience is necessary to complete a task, and you are the one chosen, yet you have no experience in the matter, what do you do? How does one proceed when the very thing they need to move forward is lacking?

The simple answer, someone else has to teach you. Even though we’re talking about changing your trajectory, this isn’t rocket science. When you need to gain experience and time is of the essence, you don’t take the time to go through all the day-in-day-out tedium of incremental learning.

The way to gain experience quickly is to model the actions and patterns of those who’ve gone before you and were successful in their endeavors. You don’t slog through the trenches if someone has already crossed no-man’s-land! If the battle’s won, it is only a foolish soldier who insists on fighting it again.

The point of our experience is to ensure the next time we face a similar challenge, we’re ready to conquer it. And the point of leadership is to shorten the path between initial failure and eventual success. If we’ve come through the pain and drama of battle and don’t pass along our knowledge and expertise to the next one holding the sword, what was the point?

We are not in this just for ourselves; God never intended us to do this alone, and I’m not only talking about Divine intervention either. God always intended those of us who have made it through to lend our understanding to others’ struggles. That is the point of The Church in the first place!

Church isn’t just a place to learn about God. That should be something you search out on your own. God gave us The Bible for just that reason. Church is a place where accountability lives. It’s the place we go to ensure we’re staying on the right path by following others on the same journey. And when we find it, we’re expected to pass it along the same way it was given to us.

That’s why it is so crucial to get your leg of the race right. There are people following you even if you don’t know it! If you go off the rails, you have to expect they will pile up right behind you! That was what Eli’s sons did, and it cost them everything! God will not accept deficient leaders. The stakes are simply too high.

That brings us to Today’s Lesson. Samuel had no idea it was God speaking to him, but Eli did. You remember Eli, the guy God just told He was going to destroy along with his entire family for all time to come? Yeah, that guy! Well, that guy understood what Samuel did not, and even though it didn’t benefit him in the least, he did what was right. Eli had heard God’s Voice and recognized a pattern Samuel could not.

Eli may not have been a great father or a competent Priest, but he was a good teacher. He distinguished the precedent, discerned the intent, and even accepted his horrific fate. Eli understood his time was over and Samuel’s was beginning but still didn’t stand in the boy’s way; he helped him along, even to his and his family’s detriment.

Today’s Lesson is that experience is gained through hard trials, but learning is gleaned from Grace. Our trials are training for teaching the ropes; without them, others struggle. Only the willingness of those with familiarity with the subject, and Today’s Subject is Recognizing God’s Voice, will get us to that goal without prior preparation.

If you remember the struggles of learning to hear God and ever wished someone would throw you a rope to drag you along, it is your responsibility to be what you once longed for! Every one of us with experience can teach others to do what we have.

Knowing how to discern God’s Voice is the most crucial thing we can strive for because even a single Word from His Mouth can change everything. But we can never follow Him if we don’t even know what he sounds like. If you know Him, be like Eli. Teach others you know to know Him too. You may change the trajectory of the one God’s been wanting to use.

Have a Thought-Provoking Thursday And Remember, Experience Isn’t Everything, But We’re Going Nowhere Without it!




A lifelong poet and lyricist, and aspiring novelist, who’s taken to heart the old adage, “Only what you do for Christ shall last.”

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store
Chris Reid

A lifelong poet and lyricist, and aspiring novelist, who’s taken to heart the old adage, “Only what you do for Christ shall last.”