“And word from the Lord was rare in those days, visions were infrequent…Samuel did not yet know the Lord, nor had the word of the Lord yet been revealed to him…Behold, I am about to do a thing in Israel at which both ears of everyone who hears it will tingle…What is the word that He spoke to you, Please do not hide it from me…And the Lord appeared again at Shiloh, because the Lord revealed Himself to Samuel at Shiloh by the word of the Lord” (1 Samuel 3:1,7,11,17,21, NASB).
In ancient Israel the presence of absence of God’s prophetic voice was considered to be evidence of the presence or absence of God and the presence or absence of His favor.
At the time in Israel’s history when it was still a confederation of tribal groups, God spoke to Israel through priests and prophets. These religious leaders were also the political leaders of Israel.
In the time of Samuel, there had been diminution of God’s voice being heard among the religious leaders of Israel. So much so that it seemed that Israel was no longer favored by God.
In our personal lives, we consider the presence or absence of God’s voice as the presence or absence of His favor.
God speaks to us personally through His Word, the Bible, but He speaks to us within the context of His word. So, we should apply this same pattern for hearing God’s voice when we read the Bible as God explained to young Samuel .
When you read the Bible, you should first try to understand what the passage you are reading means. Then you should try to understand what the passage you are reading means to you.
Now, if a word from the Lord is “rare” in your life, if God’s not speaking to you, it may be because you’re not speaking to Him or else you’re not hearing what He is saying to you. In either case, it may be that you’re not reading your Bible to find out what God has to say. Or else, when you read your Bible, you’re not having a quiet time of prayer and meditation to hear what God has to say to you .
In Matthew 7 and Luke 11, when Jesus taught the disciples how to pray, He also emphasized that they should pray diligently, persistently, relentlessly. In both texts Jesus remarked that when you pray in this way, God will answer, God will speak!
So, when God’s not speaking, then you’re not seeking!
“So I say to you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks, receives; and he who seeks, finds; and to him who knocks, it will be opened.” (Luke 11:9-10, NASB)