SOURCE: The Gospel Reminder, 9/1/2002, P.O. Box 159, Bay, AR 72411
Let None of His Words Fall to the Ground
by Marvin Rickett
During the days of Eli, the Lord was not communicating with Israel very openly. And the word of the Lord was precious in those days; there was no open vision (1 Samuel 3:1). This apparently was caused by the wickedness in Eli’s house. His sons did wickedly and were called “sons of Belial” (1 Samuel 2:12). There was no one dependable through whom the Lord could speak.
Hannah, the wife of Elkanah, had dedicated her firstborn son, Samuel, to the Lord. Samuel was taken to Eli when he was but a little lad. Eli began training him. Samuel proved to be faithful and while he was still a youth, the Lord began speaking to him, and through him to Israel. His attitude was “Speak, Lord, for they servant heareth” (1 Samuel 3:10). The scripture says that “Samuel grew, and the Lord was with him, and did let none of his words fall to the ground” (1 Samuel 3:19).
The text seems to be saying that God saw to it that none of Samuel’s words fell to the ground (failed). God made Samuel a believable prophet before Eli and the people of Israel. But Samuel was speaking from God, so it was a matter of God’s Word not failing. God upheld Samuel, but Samuel also upheld God. None of God’s words “fell to the ground” in the hands of Samuel.
We are confident today that the Lord will see to it that the words of faithful proclaimers of the gospel will not “fall to the ground.” The prophet had declared that His word will not “return unto him void” (Isaiah 55:11). Preachers and teachers of the Word sometimes become discouraged because most people seem not to be paying much heed to the message. They are reminded to “Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season” (2 Timothy 4:2). It is encouraging to know that the Lord will not let the words of His faithful ministers fall to the ground.
On the other hand, those who preach and teach God’s Word should resolve that they will not let His words “fall to the ground.” They could become guilty of letting it fall to the ground by failing to declare all the counsel of God (Acts 20:27). Some teachers choose just to remain silent on some subjects, just not bring them up. They want to avoid the diligent study it takes to dig out the answer, or the unpleasantness of the controversy it might engender, or the tough application it might require to those who are in violation of that principle.
They could become guilty of letting it fall to the ground by wresting the scriptures (2 Peter 3:16). Those who “allow” where the scriptures have not allowed, or those who “restrict” where the scriptures have not restricted, are wresting the scriptures. Those who “bend” the scriptures to fit their church’s creed or their own feelings are wresting the scriptures. Those who “read into” the Bible something which is not there or ignore the context of a passage are wresting the scriptures.
They could become guilty of letting it fall to the ground by failing to apply it to their own lives. No one likes a hypocrite. The word of God suffers when those who proclaim it do not live up to it. When one who proclaims God’s marriage laws beaks up his own marriage, the word of God suffers. When one who contends for the truth and honesty of the Bible fails to pay his debts, the word of God suffers in his hands. When one declares the Bible’s teaching on wholesome language and then is heard taking God’s name in vain and using obscene language, the word of God suffers. How does one succeed in seeing that God’s words do not fall to the ground?
The words of God should be defended against the assaults of the devil and his lying servants. Paul said, “I am set for the defense of the gospel” (Philippians 1:27). No servant of God should stand silently by and let the word of God be tampered with, distorted, and misapplied in the hands of false teachers. Jude wrote to exhort Christians to “earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints” (Jude 3).
The words of God should be seen in the lives of those who claim to live by them. Those who respect God’s Word will “deny ungodliness and worldly lusts” and will “live soberly, righteously, and godly in this present world” (Titus 2:12). They will see to it that their manner of life is consistent with their profession of faith.
Not only preachers and teachers, but all Christians should resolve that they will not let the words of God fall to the ground.
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