Tuesday, December 08, 2020

2020.12.08 Hopewell @Home ▫ 1 Samuel 7:3–12

Read 1 Samuel 7:3–12

Questions from the Scripture text: To whom was Samuel speaking (1 Samuel 7:3)? 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 (verse 3)? How do the people respond in 1 Samuel 7:4? Then what does Samuel offer to do in 1 Samuel 7:5? Even though the people have changed their ways, what do they do and say in 1 Samuel 7:6? And what does Samuel do there? What do the Philistines do, when they realize that Israel is gathered in one place (1 Samuel 7:7)? And what do the people, now all the more, ask Samuel to do in 1 Samuel 7:8? What does Samuel do, first, before he prays in 1 Samuel 7:9? How does this verse describe his praying? What was Samuel doing in 1 Samuel 7:10? How did the Lord respond? What did the Israelites do in 1 Samuel 7:11? What did Samuel set up in 1 Samuel 7:12? 

Next week’s Call to Worship, Prayer for Help, Song of Adoration, and Prayer of Confession all come from 1 Samuel 7:3–12, so that we will see that we are singing God’s thoughts after Him with Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing.

At this point, the Lord had severely humbled the Israelites. He had killed more than fifty thousand of them (1 Samuel 6:19). This was so unbelievable that a few Hebrew manuscripts went ahead and deleted the fifty thousand and just left the seventy!

The question in 1 Samuel 6:20 had been 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 (1 Samuel 7:3), as a priest (1 Samuel 7:51 Samuel 7:8-9), and even as a ruler of sorts (a judge, 1 Samuel 7:6). He is a foreshadowing of Jesus—the ultimate Prophet, Priest, and King. 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 (1 Samuel 7:9-10). Again, this looks forward to Jesus. He is the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world. Only with His atonement having wiped out every last particle of our guilt can we stand before God.

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 (1 Samuel 7:10-11).

We must live in continual remembrance of how the Lord has helped us in Christ. Samuel raised the stone of help (“Ebeneezer,” 1 Samuel 7:12). The Lord has given us His Supper, nourishing us upon Himself, as in our eating and drinking He shows forth His death until He comes.

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? And if so, how is that possible?

Suggested songs: ARP32AB “What Blessedness” or TPH429 “Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing”

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