Questions for Littles: To whom was Samuel speaking (v3)? What did he tell them to do with all their hearts? What did they have to put away? What would they need to prepare, if they were to serve the Lord only? What did Samuel promise, as God’s prophet, would happen if they did this (v3)? How do the people respond in v4? Then what does Samuel offer to do in v5? Even though the people have changed their ways, what do they do and say in v6? And what does Samuel do there? What do the Philistines do, when they realize that Israel is gathered in one place (v7)? And what do the people, now all the more, ask Samuel to do in v8? What does Samuel do, first, before he prays in v9? How does this verse describe his praying? What was Samuel doing in v10? How did the Lord respond? What did the Israelites do in v11? What did Samuel set up in v12?This week’s Invocation and Confession of sin came from 1Samuel 7:3-12, a point at which the Lord had severely humbled the Israelites. He had killed more than fifty thousand of them. This was so unbelievable that a few Hebrew manuscripts went ahead and deleted the fifty thousand and just left the seventy!
The question in 6:20 is one that we all need to ask: “Who is able to stand before Yahweh, this holy God?” And there are three good answers here.
The first good answer is: those who come to God through His appointed Mediator. Samuel, here, is acting as a prophet, as a priest, and even as a ruler of sorts (a judge). He is a foreshadowing of Jesus. Who is able to stand before the holy God? The one who comes to Him in Jesus.
The second good answer is: those for whom there is an atoning sacrifice. Again, this looks forward to Jesus. He is the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world.
The third good answer is: certainly not God’s enemies! The holiness of God, and His almighty power, are great comforts to those who belong to Him in Jesus Christ. We know that no enemy, however powerful, can stand before Him.
At some point, every single one of us is actually going to stand before the holy God. Will we do so, as those who are coming to Him through Jesus Christ, our Prophet, Priest, King, and Atoning Sacrifice? Or will it be as an enemy who is about to perish? Lord, bring us to faith in You!
If you were to stand before the Lord, the holy God, today… could you?Suggested songs: ARP32A-B “What Blessedness” or HB281 “How Blessed Is He Whose Trespass”