TODAY’S SCRIPTURE REFERENCE: 1 Samuel 7:1-17
*7* 1 So the men of Kiriath Jearim came and took up the ark of the
Lord. They took it to Abinadab’s house on the hill and consecrated
Eleazar his son to guard the ark of the Lord.
/Samuel Subdues the Philistines at Mizpah/
2 It was a long time, twenty years in all, that the ark remained at
Kiriath Jearim, and all the people of Israel mourned and sought after
the Lord. 3 And Samuel said to the whole house of Israel, “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.” 4 So the Israelites put away their Baals and
Ashtoreths, and served the Lord only.
5 Then Samuel said, “Assemble all Israel at Mizpah and I will
intercede with the Lord for you.” 6 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.” And Samuel was leader of Israel at Mizpah.
7 When the Philistines heard that Israel had assembled at Mizpah, the
rulers of the Philistines came up to attack them. And when the
Israelites heard of it, they were afraid because of the Philistines. 8
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.” 9 Then
Samuel took a suckling lamb and offered it up 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 Car.
12 Then Samuel took a stone and set it up between Mizpah and Shen. He
named it Ebenezer, saying, “Thus far has the Lord helped us.” 13
So the Philistines were subdued and did not invade Israelite territory
Throughout Samuel’s lifetime, the hand of the Lord was against the
Philistines. 14 The towns from Ekron to Gath that the Philistines had
captured from Israel were restored to her, and Israel delivered the
neighboring territory from the power of the Philistines. And there was
peace between Israel and the Amorites.
15 Samuel continued as judge over Israel all the days of his life. 16
From year to year he went on a circuit from Bethel to Gilgal to
Mizpah, judging Israel in all those places. 17 But he always went back
to Ramah, where his home was, and there he also judged Israel. And he
built an altar there to the Lord.
1 Samuel 7 is an incredible account of what happens when God’s
people set time aside and repent earnestly. True repentance, is a act
that involves every part a person: will, emotions, decisions. It is a
right about turn, involving an apology, a request for forgiveness and
a genuine desire to not sin in that way again.
When true repentance happens, God moves! That’s a principle that you
can rely on. True repentance – whether the repentance of an individual
or a nature, moves the heart of God in ways we can’t really
When the nation of Israel needed to repent, they went to Mizpah. It
was a very specific move, and their journey had a purpose. They were
going, as a nation, to a particular place in order to pray, repent and
fast. When that happened – as we read above – victory was theres! The
blessing of God was upon them.
A CALL TO ACTION
What is your ‘Mizpah’? Mizpah represents a place and time that is
set aside for intentional repentance. Maybe your ‘Mizpah’ is the
act of turning off your phone for an hour to spend that time searching
your heart and repenting. Maybe your ‘Mizpah’ is an actual place –
a place in your home, your garden, a public park – where you can spend
intentional time with God. The more often we go to our own
‘Mizpah’ the purer our walk with God, and we being to live a life
constantly blessed of God because we are constantly in a repentant
state before him. Today – take time out to go to Mizpah. Search your
heart for anything that needs to be repented of, then do it. Pray,
A PRAYER TO PRAY
Lord as I step into my own ‘Mizpah’ I thank you that you are
faithful to forgive all unrighteousness. In the next while, help me to
search my heart, so that I can bring before you everything that I need
to repent of. Amen.
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