Saturday, January 26
In this passage, Samuel is setting up a monument to remind everybody of the great thing God had just done for them.
1 Samuel 7:10-12
10 While Samuel was sacrificing the burnt offering, the Philistines drew near to engage Israel in battle. But that day the LORD thundered with loud thunder against the Philistines and threw them into such a panic that they were routed before the Israelites. 11 The men of Israel rushed out of Mizpah and pursued the Philistines, slaughtering them along the way to a point below Beth Kar.
12 Then Samuel took a stone and set it up between Mizpah and Shen. He named it Ebenezer, saying, "Thus far the LORD has helped us."
Israel was no match for the Philistines. There's no way they should have won, except that God interceded on their behalf. Samuel wanted to erect a physical reminder that God would always care for the Israelites.
It's not a bad idea. Sometimes, when life gets rough and nothing seems to be going right, when friends turn against us and we feel all alone, it's easy to think God has abandoned us, too. It's good for us to have some kind of a reminder of how God loves us and always cares for us.
Think of a time when you felt really close to God or a time when God really helped you out. Maybe you could write about it and tuck it away so that in the future, if you're feeling far away from God, you can read about it as a reminder of God's love. Reflect on these words from Romans: "We know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him." And take some time in prayer, now, to thank God for this time you're thinking about.
If today's devotion spoke to you in a particular way and you feel led to share your thoughts with others, please do so.
Copyright © by Neal Bowes. All Scripture quotations in this publication are from the HOLY BIBLE, TODAY'S NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION® TNIV®. Copyright © 2001, 2005 by International Bible Society®. All rights reserved worldwide.