TUESDAY, JULY 29
Scripture: 1 Samuel 7:7-13
1 Samuel 7:7-13 says, “Now when the Philistines heard that the children of Israel had gathered together at Mizpah, the lords of the Philistines went up against Israel. And when the children of Israel heard of it, they were afraid of the Philistines. So the children 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.’ And Samuel took a suckling lamb and offered it as a whole burnt offering to the Lord. Then Samuel cried out to the Lord for Israel, and the Lord answered him. Now as Samuel was offering up the burnt offering, the Philistines drew near to battle against Israel. But the Lord thundered with a loud thunder upon the Philistines that day, and so confused them that they were overcome before Israel. And the men of Israel went out of Mizpah and pursued the Philistines, and drove them back as far as below Beth Car. Then Samuel took a stone and set it up between Mizpah and Shen, and called its name Ebenezer, saying, ‘Thus far the Lord has helped us.’ So the Philistines were subdued, and they did not come anymore into the territory of Israel. And the hand of the Lord was against the Philistines all the days of Samuel.” In 1 Samuel 7 we see the children of Israel asking Samuel to continually cry out for them. A pattern of subjection had developed under Eli. A pattern of subjection has engulfed much of the church. The church is nicer than God! Because of violations of tsed-aw-kaw by Eli and his sons, Israel could not stand. And the difference between Samuel and Eli was that Samuel said yes to the tsed-aw-kaw of God. Samuel lived according to Scripture. Samuel walked in righteousness. And one major difference we see between Samuel and Eli was that all the days of Samuel, the Hand of the Lord moved against the Philistines. Once again, by contract, we can vividly see that those who obey God’s Word are responsible for executing His judgments. Without obeying His Word, we cannot hope to execute His judgments. Obeying His Word requires us to walk through a fire that burns away elements of self. And I suspect the privilege of executing His judgments requires a level of tsed-aw-kaw that can only be gained by consistently walking in purity, maturity and God-confidence. Are we walking in that level of purity? Are each one of our steps evidence of that maturity? And are we secure in representing Jesus? In the days ahead, moving God’s Hand will require us to walk in this place. Will we walk in this place so we can execute His judgments? Restoring the church is the first goal.