‘Ebenezer: the gospel rock’ (1 Samuel 7:3-17)

The verses of 1 Samuel 7:3-17 describe something of the amazing mercy of God towards the people of Israel. Though had been living in unbelief and idolatry, when the people repented of their sin and returned to the Lord their God, He gave them a decisive victory over the Philistines. To help them remember that event, and the Lord’s help to His people, Samuel set up a stone called Ebenezer. To us who have been rescued by the Lord through the death and resurrection of Jesus, we should never forget the fullness of His grace and mercy to His own.

‘The Ark’s tale: there and back again’ (1 Samuel 5:1-7:2)

These chapters describe the events that took place after the Philistines captured the ark of the covenant. These events underline the vindicating power of the Lord (greater than their god Dagon), the sovereign control of the Lord (seen in his special guidance of the ark home again) and the holy wrath of the Lord (revealed when two men peeped inside the ark). Such events point us to Jesus, the only one who can appease God’s wrath and who is the true God over all.

‘The (original) raiders of the Lord’s Ark’ (1 Samuel 4:1-22)

This chapter reveals how quickly the spiritual life people of Israel began a downward spiral so soon after the call of Samuel. Thinking that they would be guaranteed success in their battle with their enemies, the people of Israel only succeeded in surrendering the Ark of the Covenant to them. Worse yet, they treated something holy in a superstitious way and demeaned the glory of God by their actions. We do likewise if we do not guard well the truth of the gospel and allow man’s thoughts and ideas to lead us toward ungodly religion and superstition.

‘O give me Samuel’s ear …and heart …and mind’ (1 Samuel 3:1-21)

1 Samuel 3 contains three things that contribute to the overall picture it paints. The first is the need of the hour. The word of God was rare in those days. God’s judgement was upon the land because of their idolatry. Also. the chapter speaks of the call of the prophet Samuel one night when God spoke to him in audible tones. Samuel then had to declare the message of the Lord to Eli of the judgement upon his house. All this combines to remind us that Samuel’s heart was intent on hearing and being obedient to the Word of God.