Knowing God

Before JI Packer wrote a book about it, there were these verses in 1 Samuel 3:

Verse 7:
“Now Samuel did not yet know the LORD: The word of the LORD had not yet been revealed to him.”
Verse 20:
“The LORD continued to appear at Shiloh, and there he revealed himself to Samuel through his word.”

I’ve read through the historical books before. All of them – Joshua through Esther. But I had never been struck before in 1 Samuel 3 like I had today. Well, I had been. Just not by these verses. We usually focus on God speaking out loud to Samuel and wonder if that will ever happen to us. We kind of long for that sort of experience with God. Or we read and study the terrible consequences the line of Eli faces because he has not reined in his two evil sons who have been abusing their positions at the tabernacle. Or we marvel at Samuel and the fact that his mother, Hannah – after praying so long and hard for him – gave him over once he was weaned, only to see him once a year during her visits to Shiloh.

Never before had I seen these two verses that speak of God revealing himself to his people. The prophet of God – Samuel, the one who anoints David king of Israel – learns about God not through the word of God.

We learn about God no differently today. And in America we have the privilege of reading God’s word in so many different ways that it can be confusing. Shakespeare’s English make no sense to you in Holy words any more than from the mouth of King Henry V? There are a multitude of translations to choose from. Whatever your reading level, cultural background, interests, or walk of life, a publisher has made a Bible that conforms particularly to you. And each one of them is the Word of God, which He intends for you and me to lean about Him.

Relationships evolve through shared experiences and conversations – living and talking. And God talks to us through His word. It’s amazing. We can know God. He has made Himself readily available to us – just open up His Word and start the conversation.

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