And the Word was Rare

Listen to this article instead.

Summer is coming, and I recently got the calendar out to note the camps, swimming lessons, mission teams, and church events.

The busy-ness of Spring gave me pause before I loaded the day squares with pink, purple, and green ink. Do I really need to be doing all these things?

In my mind’s eye, I thought of an ancient Israelite woman waking up and walking to the door of her tent. Before she looked at the calendar, she needed to see what the cloud of God’s presence was doing.

“As long as the cloud rested over the tabernacle, they remained in the camp, but when it lifted, they set out.”

She did not know the day before if she would be staying or going. And if she would be going, she didn’t know where she was going. However, she trusted the Lord, and she looked out the door to see what He was doing before looking at her own calendar and agenda!

Scripture tells a sad story when it says that only a generation later, in Samuel’s time, “The word of the Lord was rare in those days; there was no frequent vision.”

The people had become complacent, happy to mind their own business, do their own thing, and consult their own calendars- regardless of the Lord’s plan. So, He stopped speaking to them.

If ever there was a picture of our society today, it would be wrapped up with this statement. The Word of the Lord was rare in those days.

Yes, there are plenty of YouTube prophets anxious to spew the new revelation they’ve been handed, but I hope we don’t confuse that for the Word of the Lord.

There are plenty of books on the self-help shelf that promise to interpret your dreams, reveal the visions of God, and make you healthy, wealthy, and wise to boot, but they aren’t the Spirit who came to “convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment.”

There are even plenty of preachers, programs, and paradigms in our own churches that cater to our itching ears and assuage us into the complacent, happy to mind our own business state of mind that ignores and neglects God’s Truth and His plan.

In Samuel’s day, it took a little boy who was listening. His very name meant “He Hears,” and Samuel was awake and listening! 

Children rarely consult their calendars or think about what will happen “tomorrow.” Perhaps, that’s why Samuel heard God’s call.

The result? “And the Lord appeared again at Shiloh, for the Lord revealed Himself to Samuel at Shiloh by the Word of the Lord.”

It wasn’t visions, oracles, or mysteries. It was the Word.

God has given us the Word too- “The Word became flesh and dwelt among us.”

More substantial than the cloud that led Israel by day and brighter than the fire that led them by night, Jesus Christ, Immanuel, God-with-Us, is here revealing Himself to us so that we can follow His plan and not our own.

Next week, I will be sharing my summer Bible club lessons! I am praying that many children hear the Good News of Jesus this summer and become children of God!

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