Daily Devotions – Samuel prays for his people



Click this link to hear an audio version of the below text narrated by SOTH member Jerry Rhinehart: https://sothrichfield.podbean.com/

1 Samuel 7:3-12 (NIV)

So Samuel said to all the Israelites, “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.” So the Israelites put away their Baals and Ashtoreths, and served the Lord only. Then Samuel said, “Assemble all Israel at Mizpah, and I will intercede with the Lord for you.” 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. 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. 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.” 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.”

There are many situations where the nation of Israel has turned away from God, and worshipped foreign Gods. When this happened, God would often withdraw his protection and allow Israel’s enemies to harm her. This was not so much a punishment, as it was a way for God to get the attention of a people who were stubborn and hard-hearted. (Think of how hard it is for God to get your attention sometimes!) In this case, it is the prophet Samuel who intercedes for the people. Notice how his intercession begins with repentance and fasting (v. 6). We do well to follow this example. When God delivers the people from their enemies, Samuel sets up a stone to remind future generations of this rescue (v. 12). This stone is named “Ebenezer” which means “stone of help.” It is referred to in the great hymn “Come Thou fount of Every Blessing” in the line “Here I raise my Ebenezer hither by thy help I’ve come.”

Scroll to Top