Wednesday, June 8, 2011

1 Samuel 7:1-9

1 So the men of Kiriath Jearim came and took up the ark of the LORD. They brought it to Abinadab’s house on the hill and consecrated Eleazar his son to guard the ark of the LORD. 2 The ark remained at Kiriath Jearim a long time—twenty years in all.
Samuel Subdues the Philistines at Mizpah
Then all the people of Israel turned back to the LORD. 3 So Samuel said to the whole house of Israel, “If you are returning to the LORD with all your hearts, then rid yourselves of the foreign gods and the Ashtoreths and commit yourselves to the LORD and serve him only, and he will deliver you out of the hand of the Philistines.” 4 So the Israelites put away their Baals and Ashtoreths, and served the LORD only.

5 Then Samuel said, “Assemble all Israel at Mizpah, and I will intercede with the LORD for you.” 6 When they had assembled at Mizpah, they drew water and poured it out before the LORD. On that day they fasted and there they confessed, “We have sinned against the LORD.” Now Samuel was serving as leader of Israel at Mizpah.

7 When the Philistines heard that Israel had assembled at Mizpah, the rulers of the Philistines came up to attack them. When the Israelites heard of it, they were afraid because of the Philistines. 8 They said to Samuel, “Do not stop crying out to the LORD our God for us, that he may rescue us from the hand of the Philistines.” 9 Then Samuel took a suckling lamb and sacrificed it as a whole burnt offering to the LORD. He cried out to the LORD on Israel’s behalf, and the LORD answered him.

Questions to consider:

  • Where does the ark end up?
  • How long does it stay there?
  • What condition does Samuel give the people for returning to God?
  • Did they meet it?
  • Why do the Philistines want to attack again?
  • What is the response of the people of Israel?

Possibilities for prayer:

Uh oh...we've got a little bit of a cliffhanger here, folks! The Lord answered Samuel, but we don't know exactly what happened yet...

We see a different response on the part of the people of Israel this time around. The last time they were under attack, they relied upon a sort of "good luck charm" to get them through the battle. If you remember last week's passages, that didn't work out too well for them. But this time they are under threat, from the same enemy in fact, but their response is not to look for some symbol or representation of power, but to call on the source of that power itself. I'm feeling much more confident that God's response is going to be positive this time around.

Today, let's ask God to grant us more of his power. Ask that God would make you someone who heals the sick and broken, because of God's power and your reliance upon it.