On Christmas day 2021 Nasa launched what’s known as the JWST telescope. This amazing piece of technology has allowed scientists to view and to photograph farther out in space than ever before. Many of the scientists who work on this project are motivated to find life on other planets. For Christ followers, however, the images simply serve to demonstrate the awesome power of God and the beauty of His creation.
Thinking about the trillions of objects that exist in space, it’s difficult to comprehend that the God of all Creation, He who made everything seen and unseen, is the same one who invites us to know Him through our Lord Jesus Christ. If God can hold all things together in the universe, what can He not do in our lives? The fact that we can know God in an incredibly intimate way is one of the greatest mysteries of all. And yet, it’s reality.
My reading schedule has me in the Old Testament book of 1 Samuel at the moment. While reading this morning, I was struck by 1 Samuel 3:7. In the ESV this reads:
Now Samuel did not yet know the Lord, and the word of the Lord had not yet been revealed to him.
It’s interesting to realize that when this was written Samuel was ministering at the Temple in Shiloh. He was right in the center of the place of worship in which the Ark of God was located at that time. He must have known a great deal about God, and he must have been present during times of faithful worship. And yet, even though he knew about God, the Scripture is clear as quoted above that Samuel did not yet know God personally.
This situation, knowing about God and yet not knowing God in a personal, intimate relationship, describes my life until the age of 21. Since I was a child I knew about God. I went to church as a young boy, and was even “confirmed,” as a believer. And yet I had no intimate knowledge of God himself. It was not until a friend introduced me to God’s word that I began to understand that our sins can be forgiven through the death of Jesus, and that through accepting Him as Savior we can be reconciled, and thus draw near, to God.
What’s more, once we receive Jesus as Savior we have the amazing opportunity to follow Him as our Lord. In effect, we can pledge our sword to Jesus, and be led by him as we seek to please God and to overcome the world, the flesh, and God’s spiritual enemies.
Thankfully, the account of Samuel’s life does not end with the verse quoted above. The remainder of the Chapter describes how God drew near to Samuel, and how their relationship changed. 1 Samuel 3:19-21 says:
And Samuel grew, and the Lord was with him and let none of his words fall to the ground. And all Israel from Dan to Beersheba knew that Samuel was established as a prophet of the Lord. And the Lord appeared again at Shiloh, for the Lord revealed himself to Samuel at Shiloh by the word of the Lord.
Please don’t miss the words in the verse above that describe how God “was with” Samuel. There is no greater privilege in all of the universe than for God to be with us. Yes, the very God who created everything that can be discovered by the skills of man, and everything beyond that, is the same God who desires an intimate relationship with us. We don’t have to walk alone. Instead, we can walk the journey of this life with God.
Also note the end of this passage. It was “by the word of the Lord” that God revealed himself to Samuel. God still reveals himself today to those who live in and by God’s word.
May we know God in the intimacy he desires. May we pledge our lives to Jesus as Savior and Lord, and may we be led by His word as we walk the paths of this life until we see him face-to-face in heaven. Amen!