He cried out to the Lord on Israel’s behalf, and the Lord answered him, Samuel sacrificed and stood as interceder.
Often we cry out for ourselves, but how often do we cry out for others? That’s a sacrifice of standing down, moving ourselves out of the way and putting another person’s prayers first EVEN IF they are not praying them themselves.
Samuel was chosen for leading the people and especially for interceding for them in front of the Lord. The Lord chooses not a middle man but a mediator, just like Himself. All the leaders in the book of Judges interceded, for they were instructing the people. Their type of judging was judging you worthy after your sacrifice. Moses, Joshua, Caleb were all chosen as leaders. Samuel was saved from birth for his dedication. We too are to lead by example and by simply being the children of God He created us to be. Show our Love.
Who among us would be able to willingly dedicate our lives to His tasks. God Himself already knows why He calls us. He knows the skillsets He cultivates. He puts us out sometimes to lead nations, foster familyness, or at least keep the home fires burning.
For us, we have a merciful Lord who lives to lead us, set an example for us, forgive our folly and whom lives to love us. Fear of the Lord becomes respect when cultivated and our hungering becomes hopefulness.
We all have our own “Philistines” of attackers, just like in Samuel’s time. A pesky or a gnawing problem. Samuel interceded for others. We must see the Philistine challenges in other people’s lives so that we too, in God’s guidance, can come from behind and counterattack – routing the enemies. We ESPECIALLY can surround others in prayer, even those whom we don’t know. An intertwined brier path of pain in this broken world, we need to put on our Armor of the Lord in infinite teflon toughness. Guard our hearts and hear our calling.
Let us find some Samuel in us today and guide others in His Way. Let us full-circuit travel and check in on others. Let us be dedicated to be His Hands and Feet and let us always be His Breath of Forgiveness.
1 Samuel 7
Then all the people of Israel turned back to the Lord. So Samuel said to all the Israelites, “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.” So the Israelites put away their Baals and Ashtoreths, and served the Lord only.
Then Samuel said, “Assemble all Israel at Mizpah, and I will intercede with the Lord for you.” 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.” Now Samuel was serving as leader of Israel at Mizpah.
When the Philistines heard that Israel had assembled at Mizpah, the rulers of the Philistines came up to attack them. When the Israelites heard of it, they were afraid because of the Philistines. 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.”
Then Samuel took a suckling lamb and sacrificed it as a whole burnt offering to the Lord. He cried out to the Lord on Israel’s behalf, and the Lord answered him.
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. The men of Israel rushed out of Mizpah and pursued the Philistines, slaughtering them along the way to a point below Beth Kar.
Then Samuel took a stone and set it up between Mizpah and Shen. He named it Ebenezer, saying, “Thus far the Lord has helped us.”
So the Philistines were subdued and they stopped invading Israel’s territory. Throughout Samuel’s lifetime, the hand of the Lord was against the Philistines. The towns from Ekron to Gath that the Philistines had captured from Israel were restored to Israel, and Israel delivered the neighboring territory from the hands of the Philistines. And there was peace between Israel and the Amorites.
Samuel continued as Israel’s leader all the days of his life. From year to year he went on a circuit from Bethel to Gilgal to Mizpah, judging Israel in all those places. But he always went back to Ramah, where his home was, and there he also held court for Israel. And he built an altar there to the Lord.