Monday February 12, 2024
Scripture: 1 Samuel 7: 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. 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 to Israel, and Israel delivered the neighboring territory from the hands of the Philistines. And there was peace between Israel and the Amorites.
Meditation: Whereas sin will lead us into suffering and slavery, repentance and sincere devotion to the Lord will lead us out of slavery into victorious living, thanksgiving and praise as we experience the peace God provides to those who honor Him.
– The repentance of God’s people, Israel began with prayer and fasting, led by God’s servant, Samuel. Godly leadership, when listened to and followed can and will bring about transformation within the church; “as goes the leader so goes the people”.
– Repentance, prayer and fasting brought about spiritual revival and renewal among the people of God in Samuel’s day and it will have the exact same effect today! Some churches who have bought into the wicked woke agenda have decided to confess and repent of things the sinfully wicked society around us has decided we are guilty of. This is not true repentance because it is not God focused but man kind focused and based in carnality.
– Israel’s attempts to fit in with the wicked Canaanites around them was the reason they had fallen into enslavement and the same could be said today of the church. But mark it, as soon as the enemies of Israel heard about Israel’s gathering to repent, they immediately launched an attack! This is precisely how the enemy of our soul operates, Satan will launch all out attacks against the congregation focused on repentance, prayer and fasting. What we also can glean from this text is that Israel, though soundly defeated by the Philistines when led by godless, wicked people, overcame the same enemy as they went out on the strength and power of God! What a difference living in obedience by faith makes!