Acknowledge the cross of Calvary as our “EBENEZER”
March 22 Bible Reading: 1 Samuel Chapters 7-9
"Then Samuel took a stone and set it up between Mizpah and Shen, and called its name Ebenezer, saying, "Thus far the Lord has helped us" (1 Sam 7:12).
The Ark of God was away for over twenty years and "all the house of Israel lamented after the Lord" (1 Sam 7:2) as they longed for God’s intervention. Samuel urged the Israelites to return to God with all their hearts, put away their foreign idols, prepare their hearts and serve God only and God will deliver them from the Philistines (v. 3). In response, the Israelites put away all foreign gods and decided to serve God only (v. 4). They gathered in Mizpah, fasted the whole day and acknowledged their sins to God (v. 6). Samuel offered a lamb as a burnt offering as a restitution for the sins of Israel and cried to God on their behalf (v. 9). God answered the prayers of Samuel miraculously: "But the Lord thundered with a loud thunder upon the Philistines that day, and so confused them that they were overcome before Israel" (1 Sam 7:10). The Israelites won a great victory only because God intervened for them and fought on their behalf. The reason why God helped the Israelites to win a great victory was because they followed the pathway of repentance and were justified through the sacrifice of the innocent lamb on their behalf. This victory enabled the Israelites to subdue the Philistines in such a way that they never encroached into Israel’s land, and the hand of God was against the Philistines from that point forward (v. 13). Also, Israel recovered all the territory back from the Philistines that was stolen from them (v. 14).