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Trusting In The Lord Alone     1 Sam 7:2-14     Sept.21, 2008

 

Introduction

       What do we learn from this story in the life of Israel as Samuel leads the nation? We certainly should learn how much difference a spiritual leader can make. This is especially true as we see the people trusting the Lord through the work of a godly leader? Through his actions they became people Trusting In The Lord Alone.

 

1.   The . . Evidence From A People Trusting In The Lord Alone. 7:2-4  

       A.   The Evidence Will Be Seen In The . . Desire To Return To The Lord. 7:2-3a

              2 Time went by until 20 years had passed since the ark had been taken to Kiriath-jearim. Then the whole house of Israel began to seek the Lord. 3 Samuel told them, "If you are returning to the Lord with all your heart,

 

       B.   The Evidence Will Be Seen In The . . Decision To Remove False Gods. 7:3b

“. . . get rid of the foreign gods and the Ashtoreths that are among you,

 

       C    The Evidence Will Be Seen In The . . Dedication To Worship. 7:3c 

                “. . . dedicate yourselves to the Lord, and worship only Him.

 

       D    The Evidence Will Be Seen In The . . Dependence On The Rescue Of The Lord. 7:3d

“. . . Then He will rescue you from the hand of the Philistines."

 

       E    The Evidence Will Be Seen In The . . Doing Of Your Decisions. 7:4

              4 So the Israelites removed the Baals and the Ashtoreths and only worshiped the Lord.


       If you and I desire to really follow the Lord there will be evidence everyone can evaluate. There must be a time and place when a decision came forth to initiate this action. After Samuel served the people for 20 years the time came when these people got serious about their relationship with the Lord. Samuel requested they get rid of all foreign gods. He also demanded that they dedicate themselves to the Lord and worship Him alone. The man of God promised the people the Lord would rescue them from the hands of the Philistines. They did as Samuel instructed and certainly demonstrated their dependence for all to see they meant business with Him.

 

2.   The . . Entreaty Of A People Trusting In The Lord Alone. 7:5-9

       A.   The Entreaty . . Requested By The People. 7:5

5 Samuel said, "Gather all Israel at Mizpah, and I will pray to the Lord on your behalf."

 

       B.   The Entreaty Of . . Repentance Offered By The People. 7:6

6 When they gathered at Mizpah, they drew water and poured it out in the Lord's presence. They fasted that day, and there they confessed, "We have sinned against the Lord." And Samuel began to lead the Israelites at Mizpah as their judge.

 

       C.   The Entreaty . . Repeated For The People. 7:7-9

7 When the Philistines heard that the Israelites had gathered at Mizpah, their rulers marched up toward

Israel. When the Israelites heard about it, they were afraid because of the Philistines. 8 The Israelites said to Samuel, "Don't stop crying out to the Lord our God for us, so that He will save us from the hand of the Philistines." 9 Then Samuel took a young lamb and offered it as a whole burnt offering to the Lord. He cried out to the Lord on behalf of Israel, and the Lord answered him.


       When the people of God get serious about prayer they want a person known to be a praying person to pray for them. Of course they requested Samuel to pray for them. Their sincerity shows in their actions of repentance. The pouring out of water before God symbolized spiritual distress and confession before God.  Because the people saw how their assembly angered the Philistines they requested Samuel to repeat his prayers, and to do that continually.

 

3.   The . . Enjoyment Of A People Trusting In The Lord Alone. 7:10-11

       A.   The Enjoyment . . Encounter By Samuel. 7:10

10 Samuel was offering the burnt offering as the Philistines drew near to fight against Israel. The Lord

thundered loudly against the Philistines that day and threw them into such confusion that they fled before Israel.

 

       B.   The Enjoyment . . Evidenced By The People. 7:11

11 Then the men of Israel charged out of Mizpah and pursued the Philistines striking them
down all the way to a place below Beth-car.


       Every praying child of God I know eagerly rejoices in answered prayer. Can you imagine the enjoyment Samuel felt as he saw the confusion of the Philistines because of the thunder God provided. I think I would have laughed in glee to see that sight. What a joy when God intervenes and we know we asked Him to do it.  The men of Israel eagerly charged after the Philistines as they ran away. Most men can enjoy a good fight if they know they are trusting in the Lord and He will give a victory.

 

4.   The . . Evaluation Of A People Trusting In The Lord Alone. 7:12-14

       A.   The Evaluation . . Commemorated Through A Monument. 7:12

              12 Afterwards, Samuel took a stone and set it upright between Mizpah and Shen. He named it

       Ebenezer, explaining, "The Lord has helped us to this point."

 

       B.   The Evaluation . . Convincingly Represented In Peace. 7:13-14

13 So the Philistines were subdued and did not invade Israel's territory again. The Lord's hand was

against the Philistines all of Samuel's life. 14 The cities from Ekron to Gath, which they had taken from Israel, were restored; Israel even rescued their surrounding territories from Philistine control. There was also peace between Israel and the Amorites. HCSB 


            We will benefit further from trusting in God and answered prayer if we evaluate how and why God granted our request. Erecting a stone to commemorate such events will also allow us to pass on the blessings we received to our children and others. The fact of peace with the Philistines all the rest of Samuel’s life makes for a convincing evaluation of the blessing from Trusting God and godly leaders. In this election year let’s allow our votes to convince the nation we are Trusting In The Lord Alone. Amen? Amen!