1 Samuel 3:3-4
“And ere the lamp of God went out in the temple of the LORD, where the ark of God was, and Samuel was laid down to sleep; That the LORD called Samuel: and he answered, Here am I.”
Eli was an old man, and his sons chose not to follow his ways. Eli was not a bad prophet; he had just become old and had let some things slip. It seemed as if there were no one to carry on the role for the next generation. It seemed as if all the great leaders were gone. There wasn’t another Moses or Joshua. Eli’s boys were certainly not the hope for another great leader in Israel. It seemed as if the hope of Israel was gone.
However, the verses above gave hope to Israel. These verses say, “And ere the lamp of God went out in the temple of the LORD…That the LORD called Samuel: and he answered, Here am I.” What I love about these verses is that before the lamp went out, God called another man to lead Israel for the next generation. What is even more encouraging is that the man, Samuel, answered the call and became arguably the greatest prophet that Israel had. It was Samuel who anointed both Saul and David. It was Samuel who judged Israel and led them into the era of the kings. As God always does, God gave Israel someone to carry the light for the next generation, and he answered and carried the light well.
My friend, God never said how many lights He needs for the next generation. God often uses one great light to influence many lights. When you read the Scriptures, you will find that God always uses the minority to influence the majority. Throughout history, God has always brought someone on the scene before the light goes out.
However, the more lights that answer God’s call, the more hope for the next generation. Could it be that God has called many to carry the light to the next generation, but most never answer the call because they are too busy doing their own thing? Imagine what could have happened to Israel and its history if more than Samuel answered the call of God. God could use one great light to lead America spiritually, but He would rather have many lights to answer His call to reach the next generation.
My friend, we are one generation away from losing the light of the old paths. All it takes for the light to go out is for one person not to answer the call. Imagine if Samuel would not have answered the call. Had he not answered God’s call, there would be no Saul or David. We can revel in the great spiritual leaders of the past, but I can assure you that God has someone for this generation and for the next. If everyone in this generation chooses to play and criticize how the past generation led, we will lose the next generation.
Let me remind you that God always has a light for the next generation. Before the light goes out, would you be the one who answers the call to carry on the light that the previous generation passed to you? Samuel didn’t try to recreate the light; he kept the light of the previous generation lit and passed it on to the next generation. Stop trying to recreate a light and just pass the light of the old paths on to the next generation in the same way that it was given to you. Don’t you be negligent in carrying the light because the next generation depends on you to pick up the light before the light of this generation goes out.