Daily Devotional

1 Samuel 3:19 - “The Lord was with Samuel as he grew up, and he let none of his words fall to the ground.” (NIV-84)

Samuel has got to be one of my favorite characters in the Bible. The story of his birth and Hannah’s desire to dedicate him to the service of the Lord is inspiring (1 Sam 1:1–28).  As a young boy, he lived in the Tabernacle in Shiloh, wearing a linen ephod like one of the priests (2:18), even sleeping before the ark of the covenant in the Holy of Holies (3:3).  Later he served as Israel’s last judge and first official prophet (1Sam 7:15; cf. Acts 3:24, 13:20).  He was an extraordinary man of faith, courage and obedience (Heb 11:32).

I love the statement in 1 Samuel 3:19 that says when Samuel grew up, “he let none of his words fall to the ground.”  There are two ways of interpreting this verse. The vast majority of people believe “he” refers to the Lord.  In other words, the Lord fulfilled everything Samuel prophesied…he didn’t let any of Samuel’s predictions fail.
However, I tend to think this verse is speaking about God’s words, not Samuel’s words.  For example, just two verses later it says: “The Lord continued to appear at Shiloh, and there he revealed himself to Samuel through his word” (v. 21). So God is the one revealing himself and giving his words to Samuel.  In this case, the meaning of verse 19 is that “Samuel let none of God’s words fall to the ground.”  To me, that is a powerful reminder for us to handle the word of God with great care.

What are some ways we let God’s word fall to the ground?
First of all, by not reading it.  Second, by not listening to it.  Third, by not obeying it.  And fourth, by being afraid of what God might say to us.

Years ago, when I was a fairly young Christian, I was terrified that God would call me to be a street preacher—an evangelist who jumps up on a soap-box and shouts the gospel at people walking by.  I was so afraid that it crippled my prayer life and drove a wedge between me and the Lord.  Every time I prayed, I was afraid to listen to God because I didn’t want to hear what he had to say.  It took me about a year to recover, until one day I finally decided to surrender fully and completely before the Lord—no matter the consequences.  The moment I got on my face and started praying, an overwhelming sense of relief flooded my spirit and I felt completely released from guilt.  The Lord showed that he knows me, he made me, and he has a perfect plan for my life that doesn’t entail me being miserable.
Ironically, several years later I went on a mission trip to Moscow and did open-air preaching on the streets of Russia.  And it wasn’t as bad as I thought.  As it turned out, I was afraid for no reason.  Not only did God not call me to be a street preacher, but he showed me that with him, all things are possible…if I listen to and obey his word.

Today, let’s strive to be the type of sons and daughters who don’t let any of God’s words fall to the ground. 
New International Version (NIV) Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
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