This famous statement was spoken approximately three thousand years ago by the little boy, Samuel. He had lain himself to sleep in a corner of the then permanently-placed tabernacle under the high priesthood of Eli. The menorah still burned and played flickering, shadowy patterns across the ceiling. But before his eyes closed in sleep, Samuel heard a voice. "Samuel!" Samuel hopped up and ran over to where his slumbering mentor was reclined. "Yes sir?" "I did not call you, boy. Go lay back down."

Three times the voice summoned Samuel. "Samuel!" But the third time, the old priest, Eli, perceived what was happening. "When it happens again, say, Speak Lord, for your servant hears." Samuel did.

Eli, a failure of a father. A failure as a priest. He understood. He was given to turning a deaf ear to the complaints of the people, and a blind eye to the misconduct of his sons. But he loved Samuel. Samuel gave him peace. Samuel was going to be everything his sons were not. Everything - he - was not. Samuel was pure. And Eli knew that Jehovah was going to deliver a message through that young man that, perhaps, he'd been simply too comfortable to hear. He was the high priest, but his title wasn't enough. Jehovah had lost Eli's ear long ago. The message wouldn't be good news.

1Sa 3:17-18  And he said, What is the word which He has said to you? Please do not hide it from me. God do so to you, and more also, if you hide a thing from me of all the words that He said to you.  (18)  And Samuel told him all the words, and hid nothing from him. And he said, It is Jehovah; let Him do what seems good to Him.

The news wasn't good. The priesthood was passing away from Eli and his family in a violent way. God had opened a new channel of communication, however, through a little boy who was willing to listen. Our Father has always been looking for those who would listen. It isn't enough to get the degree, or achieve the position. We must be willing to hear and act on what God has to say. "He that has an ear, let him hear!"