I Samuel 7
From Samuel's Journal
I might have turned into a gray hair old man at a young age if Israel hadn't repented.
With Eli gone the priestly leadership duties came to me. And quite truthfully, I loved serving the Lord, but there were times when the people I was responsible for frustrated me. They worshiped other gods like Ashtoreths and Baals each day. It broke my heart, and...made me angry.
Sure they followed some of the ceremonies God commanded, but their heart simply didn't worship God. They came to a ceremony for the Almighty and put this here, put this there, say this, say that...a dog could be trained to do the same thing.
When will they hear the Words of God, feel His love in their life, choose to truly worship Him?
I feel like I'm dragging a thirsty camel to a water trough, pushing its head into the cool, refreshing liquid, and telling it to drink. The result? I step back and watch the camel walk away without drinking one drop.
But last year a most wonderful change came.
The Philistines stole the ark...this is not the wonderful part (read that story here ), returned to Beth Shemesh where 70 people disrespected God and died (read that story here ) and then moved to Kirjath Jearim.
Next came the wonderful change. At that place, at that time, the people cried out to God, saying from their hearts they were sorry for their sins. They threw away their Ashtoreths and Baals and gathered together as one nation serving our great God. They prayed together and confessed their sins. What a sound!
Those nasty Philistines heard the Israelites crying out to God and chose to gather their army to squash us. Big mistake. God took over and won the battle for the Israelites (read that story here)
So why am I writing this journal entry today? Because all is well; all is at peace.
I decided to visit the Israelites to encourage, judge, and teach them once a year. I started my journey at my hometown, Ramah then north to Bethel, down the mountain and east to Gilgal, back up the mountain and to the west to Mizpah then home to Ramah. After finishing the journey each year I built an altar to the Lord.
Each year I spent time with the people...teaching and guiding them to follow God. They grew to know me and I learned their names. Together we worshiped God.
Well, the Philistines, our number one enemy...the ones who fought us and made us slaves time and time again--left us alone! They didn't come into our territory anymore. God kept his hand against the Philistines every day of my life. The Israelites could wake each morning in their own homes, without fear of an attack. Such peace.
What did we do?
The people not only worshiped God and God alone, but also gathered together and went to our cities which had been conquered by the Philistines from Ekron south to Gath. They helped their brothers and sisters rebuild their cities.
This is what people do who worship God and God alone. Such blessed peace.
The Promised Land rested in peace...not only Israelite brother with his brother mind you, but also with the Amorites who still lived in the land.
All is well.
All is Peace.
1. What did the people need to do to have peace in the land?
I suppose that tells the whole store. :)