If the word of God is water, the history of Man is like a vast desert, with a spring here and there. You would think, that being the case, that we would all find ourselves clustered around that spring all the time. We would live next to that spring. We would be desperate to be close to it. In fact, Man, for some strange reason, wants to scatter himself across the sand and not really be close to it. The truth is that the word of God is precious, and yet to us it is almost common, ordinary. And certainly I can feel safe in saying that you and I take it for granted.
1 Samuel 3:1—the beginning of Samuel’s ministry (for at that time his ministry to the Lord was pretty simple; he was a child). His job was to fetch and carry for the high priest Eli and the others. It says
The word of Jehovah was precious in those days, there was no open vision. The word of God was
precious. You have to understand that, at this point in time, there was no Bible as you and I know it. There were the five books of Moses, but they were not readily available to the people; they were in the tabernacle. In fact, the originals of all that were in the Ark of the Covenant (although I’m sure documents other than those were available). But apart from that, the existence of the five books of Moses, and perhaps a little written history here and there of Man’s encounters with God, there was nothing that you could call
holy writ or
the Scriptures or a
Bible such as you are familiar with having a Bible. The fact is that the word of God is truly rare. It is unusual for God Almighty to talk to Man. The occasions when he does so are few and far between, and the number of words he uses in the process of communicating with Man are few and very carefully chosen.