The Restoration Of Israel

14 The Israelite villages near Ekron and Gath that the Philistines had captured were restored to Israel, along with the rest of the territory that the Philistines had taken. And there was peace between Israel and the Amorites in those days.
1 Samuel 7:14 (NLT)

We shall continue with the story from the previous article. After the Philistines returned the Ark to a border town in Israel called Beth-shemesh, the people there celebrated. Unfortunately, 70 of them did the unthinkable. They opened the Ark to see what was inside. In doing to, they removed the cover, which represents the mercy of God to look at the Law, which represents God’s holiness. No human is pure enough to face directly at the pure holiness of God. As a result, they died instantly. The joy had turned into sorrow. The people became fearful. So, they passed the Ark to the next town to avoid further trouble.

21 So they sent messengers to the people at Kiriath-jearim and told them, “The Philistines have returned the Ark of the Lord. Come here and get it!”
1 Samuel 6:21 (NLT)

The people from Kiriath-jearim went there to take over the Ark. In the subsequent chapters, you will find that not only no one in Kiriath-jearim died because of the Ark, the guy that kept the Ark in his house became blessed by it. Why is that so? Those Kiriath-jearimers knew how to treat the Ark with proper respect. They did not do silly things like trying to remove the mercy of God to look into his Law. They kept the cover in its place. As a result, they received the mercy of God.

This tells us that our God is not a pervert as propagated by the theologians. He does not delight in killing people or making people sick. His greatest desire is to bless us beyond our greatest dreams.

The capture of the Ark also marked the end of Prophet Eli’s rule as the judge of Israel. He died in sorrow over the defeat of Israel and the death of his sons. His successor Samuel took over the job. This first thing Samuel did was to reform the nation. He wanted his people to start obeying God again.

3 Then Samuel said to all the people of Israel, “If you are really serious about wanting to return to the Lord, get rid of your foreign gods and your images of Ashtoreth. Determine to obey only the Lord; then he will rescue you from the Philistines.”
4 So the Israelites got rid of their images of Baal and Ashtoreth and worshiped only the Lord.
1 Samuel 7:3-4 (NLT)

The people were quite obedient. I guess it was because of their defeat. I like this sentence: “Determine to obey only the Lord; then he will rescue you from the Philistines.” This means it is never too late to turn back to the Lord. The Lord is always ready to deliver you from your enemies or anything that is oppressing you right now. The question is whether you are ready to turn to him. One you have decided to place your trust in the Lord, he will deliver you.

Samuel even called for a gathering to worship the Lord.

5 Then Samuel told them, “Gather all of Israel to Mizpah, and I will pray to the Lord for you.”
6 So they gathered at Mizpah and, in a great ceremony, drew water from a well and poured it out before the Lord. They also went without food all day and confessed that they had sinned against the Lord. (It was at Mizpah that Samuel became Israel’s judge.)
1 Samuel 7:5-6 (NLT)

However, the Philistines were informed of this gathering (probably by their spies) and they misinterpreted that as a prelude to an attack to their territories. So they responded by gathering up their forces to launch a strike at Mizpah.

7 When the Philistine rulers heard that Israel had gathered at Mizpah, they mobilized their army and advanced. The Israelites were badly frightened when they learned that the Philistines were approaching.
1 Samuel 7:7 (NLT)

The Israelites responded in fear. They still had memory of their previous defeat. They had lost their confidence in themselves. They had no where to turn to but the Lord. They turned to the Lord for salvation.

8 “Don’t stop pleading with the Lord our God to save us from the Philistines!” they begged Samuel.
9 So Samuel took a young lamb and offered it to the Lord as a whole burnt offering. He pleaded with the Lord to help Israel, and the Lord answered him.
1 Samuel 7:8-9 (NLT)

The Lord answered their prayers.

10 Just as Samuel was sacrificing the burnt offering, the Philistines arrived to attack Israel. But the Lord spoke with a mighty voice of thunder from heaven that day, and the Philistines were thrown into such confusion that the Israelites defeated them.
11 The men of Israel chased them from Mizpah to a place below Beth-car, slaughtering them all along the way.
1 Samuel 7:10-11 (NLT)

The Philistines were fast. They attacked when the Israelites were least prepared. The Israelites were in the process of sacrificing the burnt offering when the Philistines attacked. In the natural, it looks like the Israelites were going to be killed but this time the Lord was on their side. The Lord simply made a loud noise that the Philistines were thrown into such confusion that the Israelites defeated them. The Israelites won effortlessly.

This is the example of what will happen when we choose to turn to God for our victory. The Israelites were caught unprepared but it was not a problem to God. All he did is to speak in a mighty voice and the rest is history. The men of Israel did not really fight. They just chased and killed their enemies. All because they turned back and trusted in the Lord.

You may be facing some impossible situations today. You may be afflicted with a terminal disease, faced with a mountain of debt, have some serious problem in your relationship or any other situation where you can’t find any way out. I want to remind you that just because the situation is impossible to you, it does not mean it is also be impossible to God. God loves you and he desires to overcome the situation for you. However, he is not going to do that without your permission. Are you willing to turn to him, place your full trust in him and give him the permission to deliver you? If you do, that “impossible” situation is as good as over. All you need to do is to make up your mind that you are going to trust in God no matter how bad the situation appears to be. Believe and you shall receive.

As the result of the victory, Israel enjoyed peace.

12 Samuel then took a large stone and placed it between the towns of Mizpah and Jeshanah.[a] He named it Ebenezer (which means “the stone of help”), for he said, “Up to this point the Lord has helped us!”
13 So the Philistines were subdued and didn’t invade Israel again for some time. And throughout Samuel’s lifetime, the Lord’s powerful hand was raised against the Philistines.
14 The Israelite villages near Ekron and Gath that the Philistines had captured were restored to Israel, along with the rest of the territory that the Philistines had taken. And there was peace between Israel and the Amorites in those days.
1 Samuel 7:13-14 (NLT)

They got back their territories that were previously captured by the Philistines. The Philistines would think twice before trying to mess with Israelites again. This is restoration.

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2 Responses to “The Restoration Of Israel”

  1. Bookmarks about Israel Says:

    […] – bookmarked by 1 members originally found by Maxpowers5240 on 2008-10-22 The Restoration Of Israel https://cheee.wordpress.com/2008/09/04/the-restoration-of-israel/ – bookmarked by 1 members […]

  2. kelvin Says:

    Thank you Jesus for this wonderful fulfilling massage of hope and encouragement.


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