Updated: Jul 15
"The Lord came and stood there, calling as at the other times, 'Samuel, Samuel.'" (I Samuel 3:10, emphasis mine)
God's call to Samuel wasn't from a faraway atmospheric location. And it wasn't in a spiritual game of hide and seek: "Samuel, Samuel. Do you hear me? Try to find me." No, I Samuel 3:10 clearly states that the Lord "came and stood there," as He, once again, called out Samuel's name.
Earlier this morning as I read this very familiar verse that I've read many times prior, I was sure I had never paid attention to the four words came and stood there, until right then in that moment. I just love it when I'm reading the Bible—a book I've treasured and read with daily discipline since my teenage years—and God’s Spirit illuminates a word or phrase that has never stood out to me before, even though the verse or passage may have been read time and again. It's as though God's holy highlighter sweeps over it, as if to say, "Right here. Don't miss this. It's important stuff."
". . .came and stood there" is important stuff.
Nothing more than two uninteresting action verbs, a connector, and an adverb, "came and stood there," undoubtedly highlights the heart of God. These four commonplace words reveal something so extraordinary, something so very powerful: that God's call—His sovereign intersection with Samuel's life—was up close and very personal.
God Most High, the Lord Almighty, the Great I AM literally descended the heights of Heaven and invaded Samuel's personal space and called out Samuel’s personal name.
And, in true like father, like son fashion, this is what the Son of Man did for humanity.
More than 2,000 years ago, Jesus Christ took on flesh and came to this broken world and stood among men. His sinless person invaded this sin-drenched planet and in unadulterated, unabashed love, called sinners by name. All four Gospels beautifully bear witness to this. From the calling of the Twelve to Christ’s countless intersections with men and women in dire need of a Savior, His descent into humanity’s space was in the most up close and personal way.
But if descending on this world wasn’t personal enough, if standing and walking and living among mankind didn’t adequately communicate, “I’m right here. Right where you are. Your life and your purpose exceedingly matter," God’s substitutionary Lamb, spotless and sinless, did the unthinkable. In the greatest act of personal humility the world has ever witnessed or known, He willingly bore the sins of all.
Oh, the heart of our wonderful Savior! Oh, the vast love of our great God!
And then, when the Savior descended into Heaven to take His seat at the right hand of the Father, forty days later another took His place. Another came and stood. Through the giving of the Holy Spirit, God's child is invaded with the very presence of Jesus. The Spirit comes upon and then stands within these mortal bodies so that, through Christ, our fellowship with God is as up close and personal as we can get.
As up close and personal as we desperately need as we live life in this damaged, deficient world.
What a comfort to know that my God is ever so near me. What calm and peace are mine when I remind myself that He comes and stands with me in my day-to-day life. That when my mind is plagued by fears or the burdens feel too weighty to bear, I can confidently know that He isn’t just some remote and inaccessible being. That because my Savior—Immanuel, “God with us”—willingly came and stood among men and then willingly laid down His life, I can experience the sweet, up close and personal presence of my loving Father.
Every moment of every day.
It’s a blessed reality that’s absolutely undeserving. And one I know I can't live without.
Fellow sojourner, if you're a precious child of God who's been saved by the blood of His Son, then the Father is up close and personal in your life too. Every moment of every day. No matter the hill you’re presently climbing or the hardship you’re enduring. No matter the terrible trial you’re in the midst of or the temptation you think you’ll never overcome, your God has come. And He’s standing there. Right there with you. In the middle of it all.
Know it. Believe it. Live it.
Don't allow the enemy—that diabolical father of lies—to convince you otherwise.