Sunday, January 18, 2009

Entrusted Revelation

When he was a very young boy, Samuel's parents dedicated him to the Lord. This meant something different than when we do baby dedications at church; they actually left him under the care of Eli the priest, allowing him to be raised in the temple, to serve there. One night after bedtime, Samuel responded when called, and went to Eli: "Here I am." But it was not Eli who had called him. This was repeated twice more, and Eli realized what was happening. It was actually God calling to Samuel, and Samuel did not recognize God. Eli gave Samuel brief instruction in this new experience: "Go and lie down, and if he calls you, say, 'Speak, Lord, for your servant is listening'" (I Samuel 3).

God had been there the whole time, but Samuel had not yet learned to recognize Him, and did not know how to respond. This young boy had been entrusted to the care and instruction of Eli. What a privilege, and what a responsibility! Young Samuel grew up to be a tremendously influential figure in the story of Israel. I wonder what may have been different if Eli had not taken hold of such teachable moments with him.

Parents, grandparents, teachers, coaches, neighbors, friends, and others -- which potential conversations does God entrust to you, and how will you respond, this week, and beyond?

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