This message is particularly helpful for our youth but it is appropriate for anyone who is young in the Lord. In 1 Sam 3:1-21, in the life of Samuel, we see a great example of how to get to know the Lord. Look at Samuel’s life from his childhood to his adulthood and see how he knew the Lord.
At first, Samuel didn’t know the Lord or his word – 1 Sam 3:7 – “Samuel did not yet know the Lord.” When Samuel was young, he didn’t know the Lord. Children don’t know the Lord when they are young. They know ABOUT the Lord but they don’t KNOW the Lord. We worry about them getting saved. And we’re relieved when we think they have gotten saved. In fact, they need to know the Lord. We shouldn’t be so concerned about them praying a prayer. We should be concerned about them knowing the Lord, which is a process that develops through their entire childhood and adolescence. “Neither was the word of the Lord yet revealed unto him.” The Lord must reveal his word to us. The Lord wants to reveal his word to our children.
Then the Lord spoke to Samuel in his words – 1 Sam 3:8-14 – the Lord had been speaking to Samuel but Samuel didn’t know it was the Lord. He thought it was Eli. Your children don’t know that God is talking to them in his words. They see you talking to them or their Sunday school teacher talking to them. And this is important. It was Eunice and Lois’s faith that Paul saw in Timothy [2 Tim 1:5].
Notice how Eli directed Samuel to answer the Lord and listen to him. This is a very important transition for children. Timothy, from a child, was made wise unto salvation through the scriptures [2 Tim 3:15]. Children need to listen to the words of the Lord. They need to know that God is talking to them in his words. Help them with this. You will know when they are comprehending his words. They will repeat them and they will understand their application. They will believe them completely.
Then Samuel faithfully spoke the Lord’s words – 1 Sam 3:15-18 – Samuel told Eli exactly what the Lord had told him. And Eli knew, when he heard Samuel speak, that “It is the Lord.” Like Solomon said, “… the man that heareth speaketh constantly,” [Prov 22:28]. When you get to know the words of the Lord well enough that you can repeat them even when you are afraid of the reaction of the person to whom you’re talking, you’re growing in your knowledge and understanding of his words [Prov 22:17-21]. But Samuel didn’t stop here.
Then the Lord was with Samuel – 1 Sam 3:19-20 – as Samuel grew, it was evident to him and to others who knew him that the Lord was with him. He was God’s man. He was like Joseph in this regard [Gen 39:2-3; 39:21-23; 41:37-40]. We need to be transformed by the renewing of our minds, not conformed to this world. The words of God will transform you as you read and apply them to your life. In this way, God will mold you to be what he has called you to be. Samuel was a prophet. Timothy became a preacher. Everyone knew these men were called.
The Lord revealed himself to Samuel by the word of the Lord – 1 Sam 3:21 – notice that the Lord revealed his word to Samuel after he called him. But in this verse, he revealed himself to Samuel by the word of the Lord. This is when Samuel really knew the Lord. He had to go through the process of listening to God in his words and faithfully living by and speaking God’s words. As the Lord was with him, then he revealed himself to Samuel in his words. Oh, this is the lifelong pursuit of knowing God. And it starts with admitting that you don’t know him if you really don’t know him. Then you can believe on him and receive him and become his child. From here, you can begin to grow like Samuel did.
Conclusion: When we’re in our normal routines, it is easy to overlook or neglect this very important duty in our homes. Right now, with social distancing and “stay-at-home” orders, we’re not in our normal routines. For many of us, our children are at home with us because they are not in school somewhere. So, now is a good time to establish a new routine with them. If you homeschool, you should already be doing this. Help them to start daily and faithfully listening to God’s voice in his words. This would be an excellent change to make in your family life right now.