Times Without Vision
Monday Club Sermons
1 Samuel 3:1-10
And the child Samuel ministered to the LORD before Eli. And the word of the LORD was precious in those days; there was no open vision.…

I. THERE ARE TIMES OF OPEN VISION. This phrase has been a difficulty to interpreters, It has been explained as referring to the times in earlier Jewish history when God appeared in the pillars of cloud and fire, and by angelic ministry. It has also been explained as referring to the opera and authoritative promulgation of Divine truth. It has been noticed as a feature of human history that it divides into alternate periods marked by the possession and the lack of spiritual insight. There are times of open vision. Heaven, then, is near to men. They are sensitive to spiritual impressions. They are inclined to attach spiritual meanings to material things. The gift of vision is diffused. The things that are unseen and eternal appear. These are periods of religious activity and progress. The happy age following the conquest under Joshua was a time of open vision. The nation had enjoyed the heavenly gift. The present century, in contrast with the past, is a period of vision. It is a characteristic of this age that the supernatural is looked for and readily believed. With all our vast material progress, we have made a spiritual advance vet greater. It has been a period of delusions, so ready have men been to listen to all voices. But it has also been an age of faith. Would that we might be spared its dreary contrast.

II. THERE ARE TIMES WITHOUT OPEN VISION — when heaven is far away, when men have faith only in what they see and handle. The eighteenth was such a century. Science and philosophy made marvellous advances; but they were atheistic. The light of the Puritan century had faded out of the sky; or the eye of the new generation could not receive its illumination. Men questioned, derided, triumphed over religion Then was the deification of the worldly spirit. The church was invaded. The clergy became unspiritual. With the loss of vision, truth is lost. This is especially true of the stern truths — our accountability to God, the guilt and doom of sin, the fixed and narrow limits of probation, the final judgment, and the eternity of its awards. In such an age there is no fear of God before men's eyes. The picture of the times of Samuel, in the account of the wickedness of Eli's sons, is appalling.

III. THERE IS NO TIME WITHOUT THE WORD OF THE LORD. Though the vision is at times withholden, God is always with us in his word. Why the vision is withdrawn we may not be able to explain. God has a purpose, It is sufficient that he still speaks. Samuel represented a renewed and more extensive dispensation of the word. The spoken word, like the written, has never been lost. Visions might be interrupted, but not the continuity of revelation. It has never ceased.

IV. THE WORD REQUIRES A HUMAN EAR. Eli's sons wanted the ear that hears God's voice. The hearing of Eli, like his sight, was dim; Samuel had a sensitive ear. "The Lord revealed himself to Samuel." "'Literally,' says Stanley, 'the Lord uncovered the ear' — a touching and significant figure taken from the manner in which the possessor of a secret moves back the long hair of his friend and whispers into the ear thus laid bare the word that no one else may hear."

V. THE WORD OF GOD REQUIRES HUMAN LIPS TO SPEAK IT. Samuel has received the message. He must deliver it to Eli.

(Monday Club Sermons.)

Parallel Verses
KJV: And the child Samuel ministered unto the LORD before Eli. And the word of the LORD was precious in those days; there was no open vision.

WEB: The child Samuel ministered to Yahweh before Eli. The word of Yahweh was precious in those days; there was no frequent vision.

The Word of the Lord Precious
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