Tuesday, September 18, 2007

He speaks to the young

...God regards not age in his speaking, but he condescends to speak with young children. Samuel was the Lord’s in his long-clothes, and served the Lord while a boy; and the Lord did not disdain to come to his little cot at night and call him by his name. We often talk as if it could not be possible that the Lord should speak with boys and girls; and yet, my brethren, there is not much more of a stoop in God’s talking with a child than in his speaking to a man. Indeed, the man has more of sin, and thus he is often farther off from God than the child. If the children here present are, by God’s grace, made willing to hear God’s voice — if they are obedient to the Lord, and have open hearts and attentive minds towards his Word — the great God will not pass them by. The Lord stoops to the lowliness of a child, and smiles at its simplicity. If young people are prayerful, thoughtful, reverent, believing, and obedient, the fact that, like Samuel, they are small in stature and young in years, shall be no detriment to them. The Lord will speak, and call them by their names.

My observation leads me to believe that many children have heard more of God than persons who are grown up. They may not find willing ears to hear what the Lord has said to them; but if they did, they could tell us marvellous things. Some of us remember how in our own childhood the Lord dealt wonderfully with us; and there were “prophecies which went before” concerning us, whose meaning we can now read, though at the time we did not understand them. I think that young Samuel was one of the fittest persons in the world for the Lord to choose as his messenger; and so far from its being unusual for young ears to hear the voice from heaven, I think they are the best prepared to do so. Four times the Lord said, “Samuel, Samuel”; and the child responded and said at last, when he knew who it was that called him, “Speak, Lord; for thy servant heareth.” Anyone here who can say from his heart, “Speak, Lord; for thy servant heareth,” will not be long without a word from the Invisible.

From a sermon entitled "A Private Enquiry," delivered October 9, 1890.
Photo by Paul Hart; some rights reserved.

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