“Speak Lord, For Thy Servant Heareth”

“Speak Lord, For Thy Servant Heareth”

These are the words which Eli the priest advised young Samuel to say to God the next time

God called him, (1 Sam. 3:9). There is much wisdom contained in these words, which would

benefit each of us to seriously ponder. Consider the attitude of heart which is displayed when

these words are seriously spoken, even today.

1. It is wise to let God “speak.” We sometimes are too quick to speak ourselves. In religious

matters, people usually have strong opinions, and are prone to offer them prematurely. It requires

self control, discipline, humility and respect, to pause first, check our tongue, and let God speak.

God is speaking through his word, the Bible, (2 Tim. 3:16-17). He has also demonstrated his

everlasting power and divinity through the created universe, (Rom. 1:20). The question is, Are

we listening? When it comes to spiritual direction, are we “waiting upon the Lord,” (Is. 40:31)?

Or, are we too quick to state our own position, our own preferences?

I sometimes feel that we are guilty of undervaluing the public reading of God’s word in our

worship services. When God’s word is read to us, God is speaking. We should probably be

standing, with heads bowed in reverence, recognizing that this is certainly one of the most

important things we will do that day. More important, perhaps, then our prayers and our singing

– where we are doing the talking. It is very wise to let God speak.

2. It is wise to acknowledge that our God is “Lord.” The word “Lord” is a title of respect.

It reminds us that our God is not merely a friend and companion. He is not a co-equal party to

our conversations – he is the absolute ruler of our lives.

When people on any job site forget who is the boss, chaos results. In any country, any

jurisdiction, when people insist on doing “what is right in their own eyes,” anarchy is soon to

follow. As Christians, we are not tending our own vineyard, we are working in the vineyard of

the Lord. He is the boss, and his relationship to us is more than merely as an advisor or consultant.

His word on any matter settles the question for the faithful Christian.

3. It is wise to acknowledge that we are God’s “servants.” The word “servant” is used in

the Bible to describe our relationship to Jesus Christ, and it suggests one of slavery and

unquestioning obedience. We are not the master, we are the slaves.

Jesus placed the matter into very clear perspective: “Even so ye also, when ye shall have done

all the things that are commanded you, say, We are unprofitable servants; we have done that

which it was our duty to do,” (Lk. 17:10). There is no room for bragging or boasting. There is no

occasion to feel we have earned our salvation, or even earned any reward from God. The works

that we do, when added all together, still are “unprofitable,” because we are still saved by the

grace of God, (Eph. 2:8-10).

4. It is wise to continuously reaffirm that we are listening to, or “hearing” God. To “hear”

God involves much more than sensing the audible sounds when his word is read aloud. It implies

an attitude of submission and obedience. It says that when we hear what is said, we will listen to

it and obey.

To truly “hear” God requires us to give up our own biases and prejudices. It requires that we

soften our hearts. “Today if ye shall hear his voice, Harden not your hearts,” (Heb. 4:7). Jesus

taught this important principle in his oft-repeated phrase, “He that hath ears to hear, let him hear,”

(Mt. 11:15; 13:9, 43, etc.). Jesus knew that not everyone who sits and listens to a gospel sermon,

or reads a challenging Bible passage, is going to put it into practice in their lives. Hence the

exhortation to “hear God.”

The next time you listen to a gospel sermon, or read your Bible, remember that God is

speaking. He may be speaking through a ministering servant, a gospel preacher who is delivering

the message of salvation, or through the inspired word. May all of us try to earnestly adopt the

attitude which Eli was advising for young Samuel. May we humbly say in our hearts, “Speak

Lord, for thy servant heareth!”

– by Robert C. Veil, Jr.