1 Samuel 7

Spend time in prayer and silence with God asking him to meet you and speak to you.

Bible Reading
And Samuel said to all the house of Israel, “If you are returning to the Lord with all your heart, then put away the foreign gods and the Ashtoreths from among you and direct your heart to the Lord and serve him only, and he will deliver you out of the hand of the Philistines.” So the people of Israel put away the Baals and the Ashtoreths, and they served the Lord only.

Then Samuel said, “Gather all Israel at Mizpah, and I will pray to the Lord for you.” So they gathered at Mizpah and drew water and poured it out before the Lord and fasted on that day and said there, “We have sinned against the Lord.” 

And Samuel judged the people of Israel at Mizpah. Now when the Philistines heard that the people of Israel had gathered at Mizpah, the lords of the Philistines went up against Israel. And when the people of Israel heard of it, they were afraid of the Philistines.

And the people of Israel said to Samuel, “Do not cease to cry out to the Lord our God for us, that he may save us from the hand of the Philistines.” So Samuel took a nursing lamb and offered it as a whole burnt offering to the Lord. And Samuel cried out to the Lord for Israel, and the Lord answered him. As Samuel was offering up the burnt offering, the Philistines drew near to attack Israel.

But the Lord thundered with a mighty sound that day against the Philistines and threw them into confusion, and they were defeated before Israel. And the men of Israel went out from Mizpah and pursued the Philistines and struck them, as far as below Beth Kar.

– 1 Samuel 7:3-11

Devotion
We see a different Israel during this encounter with the Philistines than the Israel that tried to use the Ark of the Covenant to win the battle without God. In response to Samuel’s command, they put away their foreign gods, served the Lord with all their hearts and fasted in humility and repentance. Then, when faced with an attack by the Philistines, they cry out to God for help and ask Samuel to pray for them.

As a result, God himself fought for the people of Israel, throwing the Philistines into confusion and defeating them. We read in v. 13 that the Philistines did not again enter the territory of Israel in fear of the God of Israel.

This story provides a great example of our need to constantly humble ourselves before the Lord and to pray, to put away our “foreign gods,” and to depend on the Lord for help. We should continually realize our need for a great Savior and respond accordingly.

The Big Question
Are you serving any “foreign god” (pride, wealth, work, family, a spouse, children, happiness, possessions, beauty, fame, etc.) that interfere with placing the Lord first in your life and fully depending on Him?

Conclude in prayer and silence reflecting on what you’ve learned.

Questions?