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1 Now the boy Samuel was ministering to the LORD before Eli. And word from the LORD was rare in those days, visions were infrequent.

2 It happened at that time as Eli was lying down in his place (now his eyesight had begun to grow dim and he could not see well),

3 and the lamp of God had not yet gone out, and Samuel was lying down in the temple of the LORD where the ark of God was,

4 that the LORD called Samuel; and he said, Here I am."

5 Then he ran to Eli and said, Here I am, for you called me." But he said, I did not call, lie down again." So he went and lay down.

6 The LORD called yet again, Samuel!" So Samuel arose and went to Eli and said, Here I am, for you called me." But he answered, I did not call, my son, lie down again."

7 Now Samuel did not yet know the LORD, nor had the word of the LORD yet been revealed to him.

8 So the LORD called Samuel again for the third time. And he arose and went to Eli and said, Here I am, for you called me." Then Eli discerned that the LORD was calling the boy.

9 And Eli said to Samuel, Go lie down, and it shall be if He calls you, that you shall say, `Speak, LORD, for Your servant is listening.'" So Samuel went and lay down in his place.

10 Then the LORD came and stood and called as at other times, Samuel! Samuel!" And Samuel said, Speak, for Your servant is listening."

11 The LORD said to Samuel, Behold, I am about to do a thing in Israel at which both ears of everyone who hears it will tingle.

12 In that day I will carry out against Eli all that I have spoken concerning his house, from beginning to end.

13 For I have told him that I am about to judge his house forever for the iniquity which he knew, because his sons brought a curse on themselves and he did not rebuke them.

14 Therefore I have sworn to the house of Eli that the iniquity of Eli's house shall not be atoned for by sacrifice or offering forever."

15 So Samuel lay down until morning. Then he opened the doors of the house of the LORD. But Samuel was afraid to tell the vision to Eli.

16 Then Eli called Samuel and said, Samuel, my son." And he said, Here I am."

17 He said, What is the word that He spoke to you? Please do not hide it from me. May God do so to you, and more also, if you hide anything from me of all the words that He spoke to you."

18 So Samuel told him everything and hid nothing from him. And he said, It is the LORD; let Him do what seems good to Him."

19 Thus Samuel grew and the LORD was with him and let none of his words fail.

20 All Israel from Dan even to Beersheba knew that Samuel was confirmed as a prophet of the LORD.

21 And the LORD appeared again at Shiloh, because the LORD revealed Himself to Samuel at Shiloh by the word of the LORD.

1 Oh give thanks to the LORD, for He is good, For His lovingkindness is everlasting.

2 Let the redeemed of the LORD say so, Whom He has redeemed from the hand of the adversary

3 And gathered from the lands, From the east and from the west, From the north and from the south.

4 They wandered in the wilderness in a desert region; They did not find a way to an inhabited city.

5 They were hungry and thirsty; Their soul fainted within them.

6 Then they cried out to the LORD in their trouble; He delivered them out of their distresses.

7 He led them also by a straight way, To go to an inhabited city.

8 Let them give thanks to the LORD for His lovingkindness, And for His wonders to the sons of men!

9 For He has satisfied the thirsty soul, And the hungry soul He has filled with what is good.

10 There were those who dwelt in darkness and in the shadow of death, Prisoners in misery and chains,

11 Because they had rebelled against the words of God And spurned the counsel of the Most High.

12 Therefore He humbled their heart with labor; They stumbled and there was none to help.

13 Then they cried out to the LORD in their trouble; He saved them out of their distresses.

14 He brought them out of darkness and the shadow of death And broke their bands apart.

15 Let them give thanks to the LORD for His lovingkindness, And for His wonders to the sons of men!

16 For He has shattered gates of bronze And cut bars of iron asunder.

17 Fools, because of their rebellious way, And because of their iniquities, were afflicted.

18 Their soul abhorred all kinds of food, And they drew near to the gates of death.

19 Then they cried out to the LORD in their trouble; He saved them out of their distresses.

20 He sent His word and healed them, And delivered them from their destructions.

21 Let them give thanks to the LORD for His lovingkindness, And for His wonders to the sons of men!

22 Let them also offer sacrifices of thanksgiving, And tell of His works with joyful singing.

23 Those who go down to the sea in ships, Who do business on great waters;

24 They have seen the works of the LORD, And His wonders in the deep.

25 For He spoke and raised up a stormy wind, Which lifted up the waves of the sea.

26 They rose up to the heavens, they went down to the depths; Their soul melted away in their misery.

27 They reeled and staggered like a drunken man, And were at their wits' end.

28 Then they cried to the LORD in their trouble, And He brought them out of their distresses.

29 He caused the storm to be still, So that the waves of the sea were hushed.

30 Then they were glad because they were quiet, So He guided them to their desired haven.

31 Let them give thanks to the LORD for His lovingkindness, And for His wonders to the sons of men!

32 Let them extol Him also in the congregation of the people, And praise Him at the seat of the elders.

33 He changes rivers into a wilderness And springs of water into a thirsty ground;

34 A fruitful land into a salt waste, Because of the wickedness of those who dwell in it.

35 He changes a wilderness into a pool of water And a dry land into springs of water;

36 And there He makes the hungry to dwell, So that they may establish an inhabited city,

37 And sow fields and plant vineyards, And gather a fruitful harvest.

38 Also He blesses them and they multiply greatly, And He does not let their cattle decrease.

39 When they are diminished and bowed down Through oppression, misery and sorrow,

40 He pours contempt upon princes And makes them wander in a pathless waste.

41 But He sets the needy securely on high away from affliction, And makes his families like a flock.

42 The upright see it and are glad; But all unrighteousness shuts its mouth.

43 Who is wise? Let him give heed to these things, And consider the lovingkindnesses of the LORD.

1 My heart is steadfast, O God; I will sing, I will sing praises, even with my soul.

2 Awake, harp and lyre; I will awaken the dawn!

3 I will give thanks to You, O LORD, among the peoples, And I will sing praises to You among the nations.

4 For Your lovingkindness is great above the heavens, And Your truth reaches to the skies.

5 Be exalted, O God, above the heavens, And Your glory above all the earth.

6 That Your beloved may be delivered, Save with Your right hand, and answer me!

7 God has spoken in His holiness: I will exult, I will portion out Shechem And measure out the valley of Succoth.

8 Gilead is Mine, Manasseh is Mine; Ephraim also is the helmet of My head; Judah is My scepter.

9 Moab is My washbowl; Over Edom I shall throw My shoe; Over Philistia I will shout aloud."

10 Who will bring me into the besieged city? Who will lead me to Edom?

11 Have not You Yourself, O God, rejected us? And will You not go forth with our armies, O God?

12 Oh give us help against the adversary, For deliverance by man is in vain.

13 Through God we will do valiantly, And it is He who shall tread down our adversaries.

1 O God of my praise, Do not be silent!

2 For they have opened the wicked and deceitful mouth against me; They have spoken against me with a lying tongue.

3 They have also surrounded me with words of hatred, And fought against me without cause.

4 In return for my love they act as my accusers; But I am in prayer.

5 Thus they have repaid me evil for good And hatred for my love.

6 Appoint a wicked man over him, And let an accuser stand at his right hand.

7 When he is judged, let him come forth guilty, And let his prayer become sin.

8 Let his days be few; Let another take his office.

9 Let his children be fatherless And his wife a widow.

10 Let his children wander about and beg; And let them seek sustenance far from their ruined homes.

11 Let the creditor seize all that he has, And let strangers plunder the product of his labor.

12 Let there be none to extend lovingkindness to him, Nor any to be gracious to his fatherless children.

13 Let his posterity be cut off; In a following generation let their name be blotted out.

14 Let the iniquity of his fathers be remembered before the LORD, And do not let the sin of his mother be blotted out.

15 Let them be before the LORD continually, That He may cut off their memory from the earth;

16 Because he did not remember to show lovingkindness, But persecuted the afflicted and needy man, And the despondent in heart, to put them to death.

17 He also loved cursing, so it came to him; And he did not delight in blessing, so it was far from him.

18 But he clothed himself with cursing as with his garment, And it entered into his body like water And like oil into his bones.

19 Let it be to him as a garment with which he covers himself, And for a belt with which he constantly girds himself.

20 Let this be the reward of my accusers from the LORD, And of those who speak evil against my soul.

21 But You, O GOD, the Lord, deal kindly with me for Your name's sake; Because Your lovingkindness is good, deliver me;

22 For I am afflicted and needy, And my heart is wounded within me.

23 I am passing like a shadow when it lengthens; I am shaken off like the locust.

24 My knees are weak from fasting, And my flesh has grown lean, without fatness.

25 I also have become a reproach to them; When they see me, they wag their head.

26 Help me, O LORD my God; Save me according to Your lovingkindness.

27 And let them know that this is Your hand; You, LORD, have done it.

28 Let them curse, but You bless; When they arise, they shall be ashamed, But Your servant shall be glad.

29 Let my accusers be clothed with dishonor, And let them cover themselves with their own shame as with a robe.

30 With my mouth I will give thanks abundantly to the LORD; And in the midst of many I will praise Him.

31 For He stands at the right hand of the needy, To save him from those who judge his soul.

1 The LORD says to my Lord: Sit at My right hand Until I make Your enemies a footstool for Your feet."

2 The LORD will stretch forth Your strong scepter from Zion, saying, Rule in the midst of Your enemies."

3 Your people will volunteer freely in the day of Your power; In holy array, from the womb of the dawn, Your youth are to You as the dew.

4 The LORD has sworn and will not change His mind, You are a priest forever According to the order of Melchizedek."

5 The Lord is at Your right hand; He will shatter kings in the day of His wrath.

6 He will judge among the nations, He will fill them with corpses, He will shatter the chief men over a broad country.

7 He will drink from the brook by the wayside; Therefore He will lift up His head.

1 Praise the LORD! I will give thanks to the LORD with all my heart, In the company of the upright and in the assembly.

2 Great are the works of the LORD; They are studied by all who delight in them.

3 Splendid and majestic is His work, And His righteousness endures forever.

4 He has made His wonders to be remembered; The LORD is gracious and compassionate.

5 He has given food to those who fear Him; He will remember His covenant forever.

6 He has made known to His people the power of His works, In giving them the heritage of the nations.

7 The works of His hands are truth and justice; All His precepts are sure.

8 They are upheld forever and ever; They are performed in truth and uprightness.

9 He has sent redemption to His people; He has ordained His covenant forever; Holy and awesome is His name.

10 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom; A good understanding have all those who do His commandments; His praise endures forever.

When God Speaks

1 Samuel 3:1-21

The story of Samuel and how he learned to recognize God’s voice provides an important lesson for all believers. The Bible tells us that in Samuel's day, communication from the Lord—by word or vision—was rare (1 Samuel 3:1). At the same time, we are informed in verse 12 that God had been saying a lot to the priest Eli about his family and their evil conduct. It appears, however, that there had been very little listening.

Fortunately, young Samuel put an end to all that. At first he, too, was unable to recognize God's voice. Even though he was immersed in religious activity, the Bible tells us that the word of the Lord had not yet been revealed to him (1 Samuel 3:7). When God first spoke to Samuel, the boy had to appeal to his religious superiors before he could understand what was going on.

What this suggests is that when we think we hear God's voice, we shouldn’t hesitate to discuss it with our spiritual leaders or other mature Christians. Prayer and wise consultation of this sort can help recognize who really is speaking. The devil seeks to imitate the voice of God, so we must carefully discern the source of the message.

Once we hear from God and get our bearings spiritually, we must not shrink from testifying to what we heard. At first Samuel was fearful about sharing the message with Eli, but he finally did so. And remember, we should never ask God to speak if we are not prepared to act on the message we hear.

Bible in a Year: Psalms 107-111 

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