1 Samuel 3:7 - Now Samuel did not yet know the LORD: The word of the LORD had not yet been revealed to him.
The thought that hit me this morning as reading through 1 Samuel was the idea of ‘being aware of God’ versus ‘knowing God’.
Samuel had been offered by his mother, Hannah, to the Lord … not to help with a one-time service project but to serve a life-long service to God (1 Samuel 1:22 – “ … After the boy is weaned, I will take him and present him before the LORD, and he will live there always.”).
After Hannah gave Samuel to the Lord, Samuel ministered before the LORD (2:18) and served the LORD faithfully (2:26, 2:35). While Eli’s own sons were NOT ministering or serving well, Samuel humbly served. I don’t know exactly what ‘ministering’ or ‘serving’ looked like for a young boy at that time but I think of what ‘serving’ God looks like for most of us today. Serving = preparing food at pantries, volunteering to help the poor, donating clothes, doing dishes at church after coffee, helping paint a house, etc.
Samuel served humbly, faithfully, diligently; all while believing in and being aware of a God much bigger than he was and working his way to be closer to Him. I think we serve with a lot of the same intentions today because we believe in God and are aware that there are many good ways to serve and perform that will help our churches, help the needy, and hopefully make God smile at us.
However, 1 Samuel 3:7 is an interesting verse - ‘Now Samuel did not yet know the LORD …’ I do not know how long Samuel served before this verse appears, but naturally you would assume that Samuel ‘knew’ God since he was serving Him in the house of the Lord under a priest that ‘knew’ God. The verse pretty clearly says that Samuel did ‘NOT yet know the LORD.’ It is only a few verses later that Samuel EXPERIENCES God! With a little help from Eli, Samuel recognizes God’s voice and responds with “Speak, your servant is listening” and then hears clearly from God. Not only does he hear God clearly, but he is obedient and never lets God’s words ‘fall to the ground’ (3:19).
Do we assume that we ‘know’ God simply because we serve Him every once in a while? I think I am guilty of being aware that God exists as opposed to eagerly desiring to KNOW God … I often find myself being satisfied with serving, doing, and performing instead of needing to be CONNECTED to my Father … I see God at work often but stop short of always ENTERING His Kingdom …
What is Your Primary? Is it to simply be aware of God for a few hours each week or do you genuinely desire to know your Creator, your Father, the King Eternal, the only God?