I find the words of 1 Samuel 3 intriguing. “In those days the word of the Lord was rare; there were not many visions.” (1 Samuel 3:1, NIV) And, “then, the Lord called Samuel.” (1 Samuel 3:4 NIV)
I want to ask all kinds of questions about this. Why was the word of the Lord rare? Was God not speaking; or were people not listening; or both? Why does the Lord pick this moment in time to step into history? Might there be some parallels to our time? It often feels like “the word of the Lord is rare;” but, how do we measure “rare?” What would frequent look like? The text does not elaborate. But, it goes on to say,
The Lord was with Samuel as he grew up, and he let none of Samuel’s words fall to the ground. And all Israel from Dan to Beersheba recognized that Samuel was attested as a prophet of the Lord. The Lord continued to appear at Shiloh, and there he revealed himself to Samuel through his word. (1 Samuel 3:19-21, NIV)
Let us pray for others that, “the Lord might be with them as they grow up.” May we all be filled with the words of the Lord and may he continue to reveal himself to us. I pray that we might not live in a time in which the word of the Lord is rare; a time when there are not many visions. May we hear from and see the activity of God in our time and place.