Samuel the prophet

1 Samuel 9:5-10:13. 1 Samuel 19:24
Saul is looking for some missing donkeys and after a fruitless search the boy with him suggests going to the “seer” or prophet. The boy says (V6) there is a man of God in this town; he is a man held in honour. Whatever he says always comes true”. That is high praise indeed and a sign that Samuel’s dedication to God has resulted in a reputation for knowing and speaking God’s will. Maybe you know the story and are aware that God has already told Samuel that he was going to meet Saul and that he was to anoint him ruler over Israel. God tells Samuel to tell Saul that the donkeys have been safely found and sets about honouring him with a meal and a bed for the night. The next morning Samuel tells Saul what to expect including whom he will meet and what they will say and what he should do. All of Samuel’s prophecies are accurate and 1 Samuel 10:9 says all these signs were fulfilled that day.
Samuel has developed into a well-respected prophet, one who accurately hears from God and tells and obeys what he hears. I want to compare this to Saul’s experience of prophecy, for twice in 1 Samuel people exclaim” is Saul also among the prophets?” (10:11 & 19:24). For Saul the Holy Spirit comes upon him, possessing him, and under that overwhelming influence of the Holy Spirit Saul prophesies within a group of prophets. Saul only prophesies in a group and when the Holy Spirit is working in a very powerful way. In contrast Samuel’s prophecies seem to stem from a place of deep communion with God. Samuel spent a lot of time listening to God seeking his will and God chose to tell Samuel what was going to happen and what he should do. We might say one came from an external influence of the Holy Spirit and one from an internal influence of the Holy Spirit.
Similar situations can still arise today. There are some who can speak God’s Word, pray prophetically or foretell future events only when they are in a group who are under a powerful anointing of the Holy Spirit and there are those who have cultivated a deep and intimate relationship with God and can speak his Word and know and share his will at any time. I pray that we are seeking to be the latter kind. People who know God well and are open to receiving his prophetic word at any time. Let’s start today in committing to spending time alone with God to know him better. Choose a portion of time, whether it be 5mins or 50mins and be still. Simply inviting God to speak. If your mind wanders just repeat the invitation for God to speak. Do this every day or as often as you can. God is very willing to speak with us. As Lynette pointed out yesterday, we need to learn to listen.
Father, thank you for speaking through prophets like Samuel, for speaking through your Son Jesus and through the Holy Spirit. Unblock my ears and help me to hear your word so that I might know you better and more faithfully speak of you with others. Be glorified in my life, Lord. Amen

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