In 1 Samuel 3 and Isaiah 6, we read about words that were spoken by God, words that were spoken to God and words that were spoken for God.
In 1 Samuel 3, we begin with a young boy. He hears the Word of the Lord. The Lord is calling out to Samuel. Samuel did not choose to be the Lord’s servant. He was chosen by God. Samuel responded to God’s call. In verse 10, we have the call of God and Samuel’s response: “The Lord came and stood there, calling as at the other times, ‘Samuel! Samuel!’ Then Samuel said, ‘Speak, for your servant is listening.’” In verse 11, God indicates to young Samuel that something wonderful is about to happen: “And the Lord said to Samuel: ‘See, I am about to do something in Israel that will make the ears of everyone who hears about it tingle.'” Did young Samuel understand all that God was saying to him about the future? No! He didn’t. Samuel still had a lot to learn – but he did take the first step and the next step … Step-by-step, young Samuel learned to walk with God – into the great purpose that God had planned for him: “The Lord was with Samuel as he grew up, and he let none of Samuel’s words fall to the ground” (verse 19).
In Isaiah 6, Isaiah learns about the holiness of God – “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord Almighty; the whole earth is full of his glory” (v. 3), and he learns about the love of God – ‘your guilt is taken away and your sin atoned for’ (v. 7). In the presence of the God of holiness and love Isaiah hears the call of God – “Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, ‘Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?’” (v. 8). Isaiah responds to God’s call – “Here am I. Send me!” (v. 8). God says to Isaiah, “Go and tell this people” (v. 9).
Words spoken by God, words spoken to God, words spoken for God – we learn from Samuel, and we learn from Isaiah. God is speaking to us. He’s calling us to speak to him. He’s calling us to speak for him.
May God help us, in our generation, to be like Samuel and Isaiah – God’s faithful servants.