October 8, 2012

1 Samuel 3:1b-3a

In those days the word of the LORD was rare; there were not many visions. One night Eli, whose eyes were becoming so weak that he could barely see, was lying down in his usual place. The lamp of God had not yet gone out.

 

About 15 years ago I became aware of the fact that my eyes could no longer focus on certain reading material. It has been all downhill from there. Now I have one dollar store pair of glasses for reading books, another for reading the computer, another for reading my sermon material as I preach, and yet another for watching the TV from across the room. My wife assures me that if I just went to an eye doctor I could get one pair of glasses that would serve all these functions but sometimes I’m just an idiot about things and I haven’t done this yet. The passage above is a great little story and deserves your time to read the whole thing. But for this piece I only want to point out the images dealing with sight. Eli, the old priest, could barely see. My guess is that this reinforces the statement that “In those days the word of the LORD was rare; there were not many visions.” Sometimes in our personal life, sometimes in the life of a church, sometimes in a whole culture, we can feel like we are stumbling along blindly. We wish we knew the way to go but can’t see the direction. I think that is a fairly common human experience. Yet the passage goes on to remind us that “the lamp of God had not yet gone out,” there still is a light to behold. In the larger context of the passage above God raises up Samuel to be a prophet, God gives him vision- though often vision of difficult things, and through Samuel God leads his people into their future. If you are reading this passage while feeling the strain of seeing the way ahead, let me just remind that the lamp of God has not yet gone out. This week how you look for the light?

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