Read 1 Samuel 3:1-21
“Do you hear voices that no one else hears?”
That question is not uncommon as counselors gather intake information from new clients. Let’s face it, most of us might steer clear of those who would answer “yes.” Indeed, some mental illness and even some medications can cause individuals to “hear things.”
How about Samuel? Would you have kept a safe distance from him? He was likely an adolescent or young adult when he first heard “a voice.” Attributing it to Eli, Samuel went to him repeatedly asking why he had called. But it wasn’t Eli. No, this voice had a different origin. This was God speaking to Samuel. The Lord wanted Samuel to understand in advance the judgment He was going to bring on Eli, his family, and his heirs. He wanted Samuel to realize that He was up to something . . . that He would not put up with the nose-thumbing blasphemy that had characterized the priest’s sons.
This was not the only time Samuel “heard voices.” In His sovereign grace, God had selected Samuel as a prophetic mouthpiece to His people Israel. His prophetic calling was confirmed by the fact that God let “none of his words fail” (v. 19, cf. Deut. 18:21, 22).
How about you? Heard any voices recently? I am guessing you would be reluctant to give a “yes” answer. Me too. Meanwhile, part of me wants that. In fact, part of me would be surprised if we haven’t. Sound scary? It shouldn’t when we remind ourselves of the words of Jesus from John 10:27:
“My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me.”
How might you hear the voice of your Shepherd today? Well, it may not be as dramatic as with Samuel. It may not be as prophetically predictive as with this prophet of old. But it will be real nonetheless. You might “hear” it as you tune into a sunset or a star-filled sky that speaks of His power and glory (Ps. 19:1, 2; Rom. 1:19, 20). You might “hear” it through the His written Word that bears witness of Him. You might “hear” it in a less clearly explainable prompting that comes from His Spirit, who dwells within you (Rom. 8:16).
Are you listening?