…  The LORD came and stood there, calling as at the other times, “Samuel! Samuel!”

Then Samuel said, “Speak, for your servant is listening.”

And the LORD said to Samuel: “See, I am about to do something in Israel that will make the ears of everyone who hears it tingle  …” . – 1 Samuel 3:1-11 and 19 (NIV)

*   *   *

Maybe only a child could accept this scene so calmly. Rather than speaking to Samuel through a dream or an angel, the unnamable Holy One stands in the room – presumably in human form, even in the dark of night.

And then, rather than issuing a commandment or proclamation, the Holy One draws the child into a confidence, lets him in on a secret, establishes a bond between the two of them: you now know something nobody else does. As if to ask, Are you with me?

In fact, what is about to occur is the Golden Age of Israel, and Samuel will be a key player as it unfolds. There’s much in the history to make the ears of everyone who hears it tingle, indeed.

*   *   *

Therefore hear Instruction and be wise, while the good Spirit of the Lord is nigh to teach you; Seek ye the Lord while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near; and refuse not to hearken to his Heavenly Oracle in your Consciences, whereby under this his spiritual Dispensation, he is pleased to speak unto the Children of Men, left he say by you, as he said by some of old who regarded not his Counsel, They shall call upon me, but I will not answer; they shall seek me early, but they shall not find me. (Elizabeth Bathurst, 1655?-1685)



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