Word at Work December 2, 2016

Scripture: Hebrews 11:32-33, 1 Samuel 7:7-13

Hebrews 11:32-33 says, “And what more shall I say? For the time would fail me to tell of Gideon and Barak and Samson and Jephthah, also of David and Samuel and the prophets: who through faith subdued kingdoms, worked righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions,…” We are given a list of people in verses 32-33 who, through faith, subdued kingdoms. The word translated “subdued” means ‘overcoming, by the Spirit and the Word, the opposition to God’s Will and making sure His Kingdom is established.’ All the individuals listed here did that, and they did not do it the same way. The value of looking at their assignments and encounters with opposition becomes a real and valuable source of training for us. In 1 Samuel 7:7-13, we see what Samuel initially learned about subduing Kingdoms. This is an account of the battle with the Philistines. First we need to remember that, in Samuel’s lifetime, the Philistines took whatever they wanted from Israel, whenever they wanted it. The Philistines were a major enemy, all the days of Eli and his sons. But when Samuel began to take over for Eli, Samuel brought a completely different type of integrity to the nation and victory started to develop because Samuel refused the sin of Eli and his sons. Righteousness and holiness accounts for the transition between Eli and Samuel. Samuel was a man of righteousness and obedience and consequently was a man of the Holy Spirit. In 1 Samuel 7:8, Israel cried out to Samuel, “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.” Verses 9-10 records Samuel making a burnt offering and crying out to God. In the middle of the offering, God thundered upon the Philistines, confused them and they were overcome before Israel. Samuel subdued Kingdoms by prayer. Samuel was a man of faith and righteous and as a result, God answered his prayers. Verse 13 says, “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.” Samuel subdued kingdoms through faith and through prayer. He prayed, God heard and God intervened based on those prayers. We need to develop the faith of Samuel and learn to use that faith on our flesh to walk in righteousness and holiness and obedience as Samuel did. James 5 says there is no difference between us and Elijah, for he was a man like us. God is calling us to start doing His Word. Will we do it?

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