Thursday, June 9, 2011

1 Samuel 7:10-17

10 While Samuel was sacrificing the burnt offering, the Philistines drew near to engage Israel in battle. But that day the LORD thundered with loud thunder against the Philistines and threw them into such a panic that they were routed before the Israelites. 11 The men of Israel rushed out of Mizpah and pursued the Philistines, slaughtering them along the way to a point below Beth Kar.

12 Then Samuel took a stone and set it up between Mizpah and Shen. He named it Ebenezer, saying, “Thus far the LORD has helped us.”

13 So the Philistines were subdued and they stopped invading Israel’s territory. Throughout Samuel’s lifetime, the hand of the LORD was against the Philistines. 14 The towns from Ekron to Gath that the Philistines had captured from Israel were restored, and Israel delivered the neighboring territory from the hands of the Philistines. And there was peace between Israel and the Amorites.

15 Samuel continued as Israel’s leader all the days of his life. 16 From year to year he went on a circuit from Bethel to Gilgal to Mizpah, judging Israel in all those places. 17 But he always went back to Ramah, where his home was, and there he also held court for Israel. And he built an altar there to the LORD.

Questions to consider:
  • Who was victorious in battle?
  • Why were they victorious in battle?
  • How long did the protection against the Philistines last?
  • How long was Samuel the leader of Israel?
Possibilities for prayer:

Yay! We learn that the Lord does indeed look out for the people of Israel this time around, and they definitely did a better job of seeking strength and victory from the correct source. It's pretty interesting to note that God protects them from the Philistines not only during this particular battle, but also throughout Samuel's lifetime.

And what do you think about Samuel? Here is this man who was once just an answer to a humble and courageous woman's prayer who has now become the leader of a nation. This seems to reflect the way in which God can take things (and people!) that seem to be of little account and transform them into something truly great. Let's ask that God would use us for great things also, even if that doesn't seem probable or possible right now.