Todays readings.. I Samuel 3, Isaiah 49, Revelation 7, 8&9
“SPEAK FOR YOUR SERVANT HEARS”
Today – do we ‘hear’ what God says to us through his written word? Can we, in praying to our Creator, say I am “your servant” who ‘hears’ what you are saying through my reading of your written word for I read it every day. Parts of it, especially as we are reading Isaiah and Revelation have messages, both of warning – and encouragement.
Our first reading was 1 Samuel ch. 3 and how young Samuel first heard the voice of the LORD and eventually responded, under the direction of Eli and said “Speak, for your servant hears” [v.10] Let us ‘read’ intent on ‘hearing’ the message God has made sure is preserved for us. Let us make sure we absorb it into our minds – and hearts.
God’s initial message through Samuel was about the fate of Eli’s godless sons – although they served in the Tabernacle. Samuel grew up to serve the LORD in a meaningful way – and challenge others to do the same – and what a wonderful eternal future awaits those who do: a lesson for us! In the language of Revelation – they were “sealed.”
Today’s 7th chapter begins with a picture of those “sealed from every tribe of the sons of Israel” [v.4]. Then the vision opens out in v.9 & 10; “after this I looked, and behold a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands, and crying with a loud voice, ‘Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!’”
This event was prefigured when Jesus entered Jerusalem on a donkey and the crowd “took branches of palm trees and went out to meet him” [John 12 v.13] and the crowd said, “Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord, even the King of Israel.” These words will find their complete fulfilment when Jesus comes again. The symbol of the white robes is explained in v.14 (of Rev. 7) “These are the ones coming out of great tribulation. They have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.” We can understand the symbolic language here.
Ch. 9 tells us of the final terrible judgements, “but only those people who do not have the seal of God on their foreheads” [v.4] will suffer. How vital to be among the “sealed”- surely those who see themselves as servants, who hear!
The words about those “sealed from every tribe in Israel” – tie in with today’s Isaiah reading, “Thus says the Lord GOD, ‘Behold , I will lift my hand to the nations … and they shall bring your sons … and your daughters … Then you will know that I am the LORD; those who wait for me shall not be put to shame.” [Ch.49 v.22,23] They will be those who truly ‘hear’ among “the nations”.
World crises are increasing, especially north of God’s Holy Land – Lord, how long? At that time Israel will be caused to know! But the question for each one of us today is – will I be among that “great multitude”? How we “hear” really matters – eternally.