The Lamp of God Went Out
the Lamp of God Went Out
TEXT: 1 Samuel 3:1-3
Introduction: 1 Samuel is a book of "transition" – God is going to end the times of the judges and institute a "monarchial" form of government. In the life of Hannah we find a picture of the remnant of godly Jews; in the life of Eli & sons we see the overall spiritual decline of a nation. Let us examine Chapter 3 and learn more about the decline Israel – May God help us to learn from their mistakes!
I. Ere the Lamp of God Went Out (1 SamUEL 3:1-4)
A. Notice the phrase – "And ere the lamp of God went out in the temple of the LORD…"
1. What a testimony of the spiritual condition of Israel!
Leviticus 24:1-4 And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying, Command the children of Israel, that they bring unto thee pure oil olive beaten for the light, to cause the lamps to burn continually. Without the vail of the testimony, in the tabernacle of the congregation, shall Aaron order it from the evening unto the morning before the Lord continually: it shall be a statute for ever in your generations. He shall order the lamps upon the pure candlestick before the Lord continually.
2. The "lamps of God" in the tabernacle were to burn continually – a statute for ever in your generations – he shall order the lamps upon the pure candlestick before the LORD continually!
3. As one man wrote concerning this – "Night reigned; the lamp of God was going out in the Temple; the High Priest’s eyes were grown dim so that he could not clearly see; and both he and Samuel were asleep."
4. It is a sad testimony that the things of the LORD were not more important to His people; is this not often the case in many churches today?
5. Just as Eli was placed in charge of the things of God during this time – as both a Judge and Priest, are not we who are born-again children of God also commissioned to do the same?
Matthew 5:13 – "Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? It is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men.
Matthew 5:14 – "Ye are the LIGHT of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven."
B. God desires that the Church of God "Shake & Shine" for Jesus!
II. What Causes the Lamp of God to Go Out?
A. There were many contributing factors that caused the lamp to go out in the nation of Israel: disobedience; fear; idolatry; lusts; envy; strife; selfishness, etc.
1. These are the things that also cause the Church of God today to suffer spiritually.
2. In the case of the times of the Judges, "there was no king in Israel in those days; and every man did that which was right in his own eyes!"
B. There must be in the Church of God an understanding what it takes to accomplish the work God has commissioned us to do!
John 9:4 I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day; the night cometh, when no man can work.
1. In Revelation 2-3 we find The Messages of Our Lord (He who walketh among the seven golden candlesticks) to the 7 Churches of Asia.
2. In these seven churches (pictured as candlesticks), we find a sampling of every spiritual condition possible in the Church of God.
3. The 7 Churches that were known for a variety of things: patience; persecution; pollution; paganism; peculiarity; purity; and passiveness.
4. The Lord knows each and every local assembly today. He knows those that are dedicated; determined; delinquent; diseased; and downright dead spiritually!
5. Christ warned Ephesus to Repent or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place... Revelation 2:5
C. As we look at the Life of Samuel in 1 Samuel 3, I believe we can learn valuable insight for what the Church of God should do in order to maintain the "Lamp of God".
III. Samuel: A Picture of What the Church Should Be Today
A. Samuel’s Activity (1 Samuel 3:1)
1. The first thing we read about Samuel was that he Faithfully Ministered unto the LORD during a time in which the "word of God was precious (rare)". His Activity evidenced Faith!
2. How important is FAITHFULNESS?
1 Corinthians 4:2 Moreover it is REQUIRED in stewards, that a man be found FAITHFUL
3. Samuel was just a child, perhaps only age 6, yet he is found in the Temple ministering unto the LORD before Eli!
4. Our children need to understand that going to church is more important than any worldly activity – They need to know that parents put a great value on attending church – They need to see us go to church – They need to see us willing to sacrifice, if need be, in order to worship and minister unto the LORD!
5. F-A-I-T-H: "Forsaking All; I’ll Trust Him!"
6. Faithfulness forsakes the things of the world and desires the things of God.
7. Faithfulness is motivated by the Love of Christ which constrains us.
8. Faithfulness thirsteth for righteousness; longs for the Word; desires to commune with God in prayer.
9. Samuel ministered unto the LORD as a small child in a time in which the Word of God was precious (rare) and there was no open vision.
10. The Church of God today should also be willing to do the same, "ere the lamp of God go out!"
B. Samuel’s Humility - "Thy Servant" (1 Samuel 3:2-10)
1. In this passage, we find that young Samuel is a picture of Humility!
2. There is NO ROOM for SELF in Christian service!
3. Sadly, this is the cause of many of churches to have their candlestick removed.
4. In the church of Corinth, there were many problems which existed among the believers – Paul rebuked their carnal (fleshly) actions and instructed them to grow up spiritually!
1 Corinthians 2:13-3:9
5. Notice that Paul mentions 3 Types of Men – Natural (lost); Spiritual (saved & mature); Carnal (saved & immature).
6. James 4 – Illustrates the reasons for divisions.
7. Samuel illustrates how every believer ought to behave in the sight of God and man.
8. Had Samuel NOT been in a position faithfully, he would have missed God’s message. 1 Samuel 3:10
C. Samuel’s Sensitivity "Thy Servant Heareth" (1 Samuel 3:10)
1. Samuel was not only Active & Humble, but he was also Sensitive to the things of God.
2. Every local assembly should be sensitive to the things of God if God is going to be able to use us as Salt & Light.
3. To know what God’s Word says yet not obey is hypocrisy!
4. James 1:22 tells us to "Be ye doers of the Word…."
5. Samuel said, "SPEAK…for thy servant HEARETH!"
D. Samuel’s Availability (1 Samuel 3:11-21)
1. Samuel not only Heard, he Heeded God’s Word.
2. Samuel desired to KNOW, GROW, & GO – That’s the unique thing about learning God’s Word – It causes us to tell others what God says! (vs. 18)
3. Notice, Samuel was Fearful, BUT…Faithful.
4. It is alright to be afraid – Just remember, God gives Grace!
5. We find that Samuel caused quite a stir in Israel – remember, this was a time when the Word of God was rare.
6. People took notice that Samuel had been with God.
CONCLUISION: Read – 1 Samuel 3:19-21
MAY GOD HELP US TO KEEP THE LIGHT BURNING BRIGHTLY!