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God's Double Call

by Julius Hovan

Transcribed from Words of Life Radio Broadcast

 

Welcome to this broadcast of Words of Life Radio. It is our pleasure to come to you with the good news of the Lord Jesus to share lessons from the Word of God and to make God more real to you if you will look toward him. It is my pleasure to talk to you this morning about God’s double call as he seeks to have us come into a relationship with him. We will see how he does that this morning.

In the South where I was raised and where I am presently living, it is pretty common to use the person’s first two names. But we learn, usually as children, that if our parents call us by our first and second names, then there is an urgency to the call. We better pay attention.
Well, God has used a similar method in many of us his calls to various people with various tasks. Let me share some examples of that with you this morning and maybe it will encourage you to listen for God’s call in your life.

In I Samuel chapter three beginning with verse one we are introduced to a young child named Samuel and we read these words, “And the child Samuel ministered unto Jehovah before Eli. Eli was the priest and Samuel was ministering with him. And the Word of Jehovah was scarce in those days. There was no frequent vision. And it came to pass at that time when Eli was laid down in his place and his eyes had begun to wax dim and he could not see and the lamp of God had not yet gone out, Samuel was laid down to sleep in the temple of Jehovah wherein was the ark of God, that Jehovah called Samuel and he said, “Here am I.” And he said unto Eli and he said, “Here am I. You called me.” Samuel, when he heard the voice thought it was Eli calling. ‘I called you not. Go lie down again.” And he went and lay back down. And Jehovah called again. “Samuel. And Samuel arose and went to Eli and said, “Here I am. You called.” And he answered, “I did not call, my son. Go lie down again.”

Now Samuel did not know Jehovah. Neither was the Word of Jehovah revealed unto him. And Jehovah called Samuel again the third time. And he arose and went to Eli and said, “Here am I. For you called me.” And Eli perceived, Eli understood that it was Jehovah that called the child. Therefore Eli said to Samuel, ‘Go lie down. And it will be if he calls again that you shall say, ‘Speak, Jehovah Lord, for your servant hears.’ So Samuel went and lay down and Jehovah came and stood and called as at other times. “Samuel, Samuel.”
Then Samuel said, “Speak, for thy servant heareth.”

Here was God’s double call to the young man Samuel. Eli’s instructions helped Samuel meet the needs of that call. This repetition of the name “Samuel, Samuel,” is akin to hearing our name repeated or to hear our first and middle name together and has a psychological effect. There is an urgency of the call given here in this call.

“Speak, for your servant is hearing.” There is no proper way to say, “No, Lord.” That is a contradiction in terms. If he is Lord, then we cannot say no to him. If he calls, we are obligated to answer the call on his terms. Samuel learned the double call of Jehovah God as he listened in the night watches to the Lord.

Maybe you are going to hear the voice of God very soon as you maybe will hear it through this radio broadcast this morning. How will you answer the call? Will you say, “Hear am I, Lord. I am listening. Give me the message that I need to hear”?
Another example is found in the book of Exodus chapter three in a very familiar Old Testament man named Moses. Moses is standing before the burning bush here and he says, “I will turn aside now and see this great sight, why the bush is not burned up.” And Jehovah saw that he had turned aside to see and God called unto him out of the midst of the bush and said, “Moses, Moses.” And he said, “Here am I.”

This call of God on the life of this man Moses caused him to continue in this place of preparation where he was so that he would become the leader of the people of God to bring them out of captivity down in Egypt. This is the Moses put in the bulrushes in a little basket, saved by one of the queens of Egypt as she found him there and gave him back to his mother to be raised. And then he was given to the woman who found him and was raised as an Egyptian, raised with all the knowledge that the Egyptians had. And they were well learned and far advanced people. Think of the pyramids that they built and so many other things.
Well, he is now a man who has had to run from Egypt and he is in the wilderness keeping sheep. He spent 40 years in the palace of Egypt. Now he is spending 40 years in the wilderness and God is training and preparing him for service. And now the call comes and as with Samuel, this was a time of very great significance. This was an urgent call. God’s people needed help. And the glory of God was in danger of being reproached. People were making fun of God saying that God hated his people and God could not save them.
Well, Samuel led them out of the chaos of the period of the judges. Moses led them out of captivity in Egypt.
But do we see the importance of a call and answering to that call? God calls you to believe in him, to trust his Word. How do you answer the call? Have you answered the call? And have you been faithful to that call?

If not, I would suggest to you God is calling you even today through this Bible broadcast so that you can return and be the person that God would have you to be. Or if you have never followed the Lord, that you would be willing to accept his call and answer, “Here am I,” and receive the blessing that he wants to give you.
There is another call. It is found in the book of Genesis, the very first book of our Bible. It is found in verses 9 and 10 of chapter 22 and you are certainly going to be familiar with the man that is here. They came to the place which God had told him of and Abraham built an altar there and laid the wood in order and bound his son Isaac and laid him on the altar upon the wood. Now you remember this. Abraham and his wife Sarah had waited until they were over 100 years old to have the son God promised. Now here is that son, a young man, no doubt, in his mid to late teens. And God has given the order to Abraham to slay his son as a sacrifice. Abraham didn’t question that. They went to the place that God told them to go and led them to and he bound Isaac upon the altar.

Listen to verse 10 and 11. And Abraham stretched forth his hand and took the knife to slay his son. And the angel of Jehovah called unto him out of heaven and said, “Abraham, Abraham.” And he answered, “Here am I.”

What a story this is as you read the call of God, “Abraham, Abraham.” God found that he could test Abraham with the most difficult test in the world, that Abraham could stand the test, that he passed the test. And we know because he answered the call he became the father of a great nation. And it was through the seed of this man Abraham that the glorious Savior Jesus the promised Messiah, Savior came into the world. All throughout history the devil has had the best efforts on his part to destroy this seed from Abraham. But he has been unable to do that. And because Abraham was faithful to the double call of God, he is now able to have a nation we know as the Jews, the nation of Israel, God’s chosen people through whom the Savior has come.

Turn to the New Testament for some examples of this in Matthew chapter 23 and beginning there with verse 37 from the mouth of Jesus comes this call.

“Oh, Jerusalem, Jerusalem, that kills the prophets and stones them that are sent unto her, how often I would have gathered your children together as a mother hen gathers his chicks under her wings and you would not. Behold your house is left unto you desolate”.

Here is the call of Jesus to the city of Jerusalem. What a sad picture it was. Jesus had gone there. He had seen how they had rejected the Messiah, the Savior, the Lord that God sent unto them in the person of the Lord Jesus.

And so there is an urgency of this call. Oh, Jerusalem, Jerusalem, as Jesus calls out to them to turn to him and to be saved from the terrible judgment of God that came 70 years later when Titus came and literally destroyed the temple and the beautiful city that we know as Jerusalem.

Oh, Abraham, Abraham, Samuel, Samuel, Moses, Moses, Jerusalem, Jerusalem.

Look now, if you will, at one other example in the gospel of Luke chapter 22. We read these words in verses 31 and 32. ‘Simon, Simon’. There is our double call. ‘Behold, Satan has asked to have you that he might sift you as wheat. But I have made supplication for you that your faith fail not. And do thou when you have turned again, establish your brethren’.

Oh, Simon, Simon. Simon Peter. Who can imagine the Lord’s feelings for this man, who he knew was going to deny him three times, one that was so near to him and yet so far away. The Lord Jesus knew that tragic denial was just around the corner. He says, “The devil is going to test you, Simon Peter. And you must try to stand that test.” And so it is now that here is the double call of God. And, oh what good news. ‘I have prayed for you that your faith fail not. And when you do fail, that you will have the courage to turn again and be able to follow me and be my faithful servant’.

One other passage is in the book of Acts chapter nine, the first four verses. “But Saul, yet breathing threatening and slaughter against the disciples of the Lord went to the high priest and asked of him letters to Damascus desiring to go into the synagogues to find those that were Christian, that is, those that were of the way, whether men or women. He wanted to bring them bound to Jerusalem. And as he journeyed on the road, it came to pass as he got close to Damascus, suddenly there shone round about him a light out of heaven. He fell upon the earth and heard a voice saying, ‘Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?”

And so here is the double call of God to the man we know as Saul who became to us as the apostle Paul, the man who has written a great deal of our New Testament, who was that great missionary who carried the gospel message to so many different places around that part of the world.
Here is God’s call. My friends, that call is coming to you this morning through his radio broadcast, this afternoon, whatever time of day it may be. What will your response be? You can say. “Speak, Lord, I have my ears tuned to listen to you.” You can say, “Here am I.” And you can say, “Lord, I am waiting for your direction.” You can say, “Well, who are you, Lord?” That was the man Saul, that was his request. He wasn’t sure who the voice was.
Well, let me say to you this morning. Though a simple sinner saved by God’s grace that I am, there has come to you this call of God that you would know how to put your faith in him. You notice in each case with Samuel, with Moses, with Abraham, with Simon Peter, with every one of these it involved a response. It involved a matter of listening. It involved obedience. It involved a work that needed to be done.

Listen carefully to me as we close this broadcast this morning. Go to the last book of the Word of God and go to the last chapter of that book, chapter 22 of the Revelation letter. If the call that we have talked about thus far has not gotten your attention, listen to the 17th verse of Revelation chapter 22. “And the Spirit and the bride say come. And he that hears let him say come. And he that is athirst, let him come. He that will, let him take the water of life freely.”

Not only is this a two fold call, but a four fold call. The Spirit and the bride say come. He that hears, let him come. He that is athirst, let him come. He that will, let him take the water of life freely.

My friends, God cannot close his book without your hearing the message anew, the urgency of your needing to respond to God who will satisfy your spiritual thirst. He will give you the water of life. It is free for your taking as you hear the call of God and turn to him in the person of Jesus Christ his Son.

So we have heard the call of God this morning, maybe even a double name call. Maybe you, as a listener, have you heard it? Would you respond to the call? You are going to respond in some way. You will either say no or yes. You will come for salvation if you need that, or, if you are a Christian that has been a little lazy for God you will say, “Lord, it is time for me to get it together and follow you in faithful service.”

So as we close this broadcast, let me invite you to tune your ears from the Word of God to hear the call of God and to respond with the right answer.

Lord, here am I. What would you have me to do to receive Jesus as Savior or to repent if need be as a Christian who has been unfaithful to become more faithful in your service?

May God bless you today is our prayer in Jesus’ name. Amen.

 

Julius Hovan preaches for the Bohon Church of Christ near Harrodsburg, KY

 




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