God May Be Silent, But He Is Still at Work

March 28, 2012 at 12:47 pm | Posted in Devotional thoughts | Leave a comment

“The word of the LORD was rare in those days.”  (1 Samuel 3:1 ESV)  Reading that, one might think God was not at work, because there were no prophets and visions from God were infrequent.  However, God was still working in the world to carry out his eternal plan.  I pondered this statement in my devotions when I read it last week, and over the next few days, thought about some numbers.  This verse takes place when Samuel was a little boy.  God brought about a miracle birth for Samuel to come into the world.  But about the same time that was happening, God was doing something else.

The priest Eli was old at this time, and though we know he was a judge of Israel for 40 years, we don’t know how long he lived after this event.  We can assume it wasn’t long because Samuel began to rule Israel when he was still a youth.  We don’t know how long Samuel ruled, or at least I didn’t see any definite numbers in my quick scan, we only know it was “all the days of his life,” (7:15); and “from his youth until he was old and gray.” (12:2)  After Samuel, Saul ruled as king in Israel for 40 years.  So it was roughly 10 years of rule under Eli, 50 years under Samuel, and 40 under Saul from this event until the coronation of David.

On another front, David was 30 when he became king (2 Samuel 5:4).  He was the eighth of son of Jesse, who, to have that many children, must have been near 40 at the time of David’s birth.  Jesse’s father was Obed, who we can assume was probably 20-something when Jesse was born.

In other words, it was about 100 years before David became king, when the Lord called Samuel, and it was about that same 100 years when Ruth and Naomi came to Bethlehem, where Ruth became Obed’s mother and, eventually, David’s great-grandmother.  Just when the “word of the Lord was rare,” God was raising up the family of the ruler he promised would come from the tribe of Judah many years before. (See Genesis 49:10)

Even when God seems silent in your life, he is at work on his eternal plan.

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