It is true that difficult times will either bring out the best or the worst in us. That depends on what we have learned to value before the difficult times come.
Israel had many seasons when they were spiritually bankrupt. Disobedience and idolatry plagued the nation as soon as they got into the wilderness. God gave them His best in leadership and communicated His will verbally and in writing. They had no viable excuse for their declining state and resistance to the promptings God gave them. After years of providing judges to be God’s voice to them, they still “did what was right in [their] own eyes” (Judges 21:25).
Sometime after this, a poor, mistreated wife, made a rash vow to the Lord that if He would “give to Your servant a son, then I will give him to the Lord all the days of his life” (1 Samuel 1:11). The wonderful result of this vow was that God answered her deep longing and commitment with the boy Samuel. Later, “the boy Samuel was ministering to the Lord in the presence of Eli. And the word of the Lord was rare in those days; there was no frequent vision” (3:1).
The paradox of this statement is that Samuel was listening for the Lord to speak when no one else was, and he heard. Who is listening today? The conditions around us do not need to dictate the state of your heart and mine. As I talk to some today, I am appalled that so few are eager to spend time in God’s Word and ask Him to speak to them. Is His Word rare to you?
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