“The Lord is a holy God. Who can stand in front of Him? Where can the ark go up to from here (6:20)?”
God set apart Eleazer to guard the Ark. This was his primary purpose aside from knowing God, because God had a specific task for this man.
God is declaring to the world that He is holy. God is not simply one of their buddies, but He is absolutely holy and cannot even look upon sin.
Before we are in the battle, we need to learn that God is absolutely holy. God is far smarter than we are. And, God is all-powerful. When we step into battle, we are not the first one to see what we will experience. God goes before us.
The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged (Deut. 31:8).
When Life is Good. . .
For twenty years, the Ark remained at Kiriath Jearim and life was good. The people of Israel turned back to the Lord – which is the most important indicator of “life is good”.
Samuel’s honest wisdom applies to us too.
If we really want to return to God, we need to do so with all of our hearts and seek Him alone (see 7:3-4).
The people of Israel gathered together, fasted from food, and repented before the Lord that they had sinned against Him (see 7:6). This is something profound, but we often don’t see this anywhere in our culture – today.
How often do we see our loved ones coming together, fasting together, and being prayed over as we truly repent?
Worship in the Battle
Israel’s hearts were changed from that day. You can sense it, as you read their heartfelt plea to Samuel – one of God’s prophets. “Don’t stop crying out to the Lord our God to help us. Keep praying that he’ll save us from the power of the Philistines (7:8).”
Worship guarded their hearts. As they worshipped God in the midst of their battles, God answered them (see 7:9). He did not abandon them, but He answered their prayer. Worship was their weapon against the enemy. As they worship, God acted with a mighty hand – displaying His power before the enemy.
The Illustration of Pursuing Worship
Now as Samuel was offering up the burnt offering, the Philistines drew near to battle against Israel (1 Sam. 7:10a).
This is a powerful verse, that we need to remember in our daily lives. Many of us face great battles. What are we doing in those moments, when we could be worshiping the Lord our God?
The Lord has helped us every step of the way (7:12b).
Samuel was a leader we should seek to learn from. He was an incredibly leader who stood for God with unwavering faith and a heart for worship (see 7:15-17).
Feature image by Bonni Bird.