1 Samuel 3:1-10

Thursday, August 6, 2020

Can You Hear Me Now?


The Lord came and stood there, calling as at the other times, “Samuel, Samuel.” Then Samuel said, “Speak for your servant is listening.” 1 Samuel 3:10

One of the most memorable marketing moments in advertising history was the launch of the “Can you hear me now” campaign for Verizon in 2002. The phrase was a familiar refrain for cell phone users in the early 2000s when call connection reliability was a key purchase consideration for wireless users. While other competitors were shouting about minutes and pricing, Verizon’s marketing focused on their relentless drive to make wireless connections better. The campaign became an instant hit with consumers, increasing the number of net users 10% and 15% in the first two years of the ad respectively. Even after almost 20 years, the famous phrase is still heard in pop culture contexts.

Three times, God called Samuel. The boy, however, unaccustomed to hearing the voice of the Lord, thought it was his earthly master, Eli, calling him. Then the passage says that on the third call, “The Lord came and stood there” as if in the physical presence of Samuel so there could be no mistaking it was the Lord calling. Samuel, as coached by Eli, responded appropriately acknowledging that he was prepared to receive the Lord’s clear message. The fact that Samuel referred to himself as a “servant” indicated his intention to be obedient to the Lord in whatever that might mean. Unfortunately for many of us, we have become hard of hearing when it comes to listening to the Lord’s call. If we are not hard of hearing, then we may be reluctant to be obedient to the message He has for us.