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1 Samuel 7 - The Slow Road

Does it seem like even small progress in your Christian life takes a long time? You're not alone!


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1 Samuel 7 Summary


The Philistines had captured the Ark of the Covenant, the physical representation of God's presence on earth, after the Israelites had tried to use it as a magic weapon. Yet when the Philistines tried to subordinate the Lord by adding him to their collection of gods, they were afflicted with tumors and rats.


So finally the Philistines admitted defeat, sending the Ark back along with gifts to atone for their theft.


So everything was hunky-dory and good times were had by all? Nope.


Twenty years of melancholy ensue. Nothing of significance happens. It took two decades for Israel to realize what it meant to fully repent and give up their dependence upon the world's ways (the gods Samuel instructed the people to put away (v3) were economic tools as much as they were religious idols).


But the difference in Israel's attitude is noticeable. Once again, the Philistines are ready to attack, and once again the Israelites call out for help, but notice the difference from their cry twenty years earlier:

Let us bring the ark of the covenant of the Lord here from Shiloh, that it may come among us and save us from the power of our enemies. (4:3)

versus 20 years later:

Do not cease to cry out to the Lord our God for us, that he may save us from the hand of the Philistines. (7:8)

It took 20 years to accomplish that little - but very important - grammatical change in the hearts of God's people. Be reminded that sanctification often takes a long time. Make every effort to speed that process up in your life, but also don't forget to be patient with yourself and others.



Dig Deeper

Here I raise my Ebenezer;

hither by thy help I've come;

and I hope, by thy good pleasure,

safely to arrive at home.


The opening phrase of the second verse of Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing sounds weird to our modern years, but in today's chapter we're reminded what it means.


Look back often at the Ebenezer's in your life: baptisms, professions of faith, quiet times at the Lord's Table, and others to be reminded of how it's by His help you've come through life.



AAA Prayer:

  • ACKNOWLEDGE WHO GOD IS: Our Father God thunders with a mighty sound against His enemies (v10)

  • ALIGN YOUR LIFE WITH GOD'S WILL: Thank God for the Ebenezers in your life, and pray for strength on the long, slow road of sanctification.

  • ASK GOD FOR WHAT YOU NEED:

 

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