Come, and let us return unto the LORD: for he hath torn, and he will heal us; he hath smitten, and he will bind us up. After two days will he revive us: in the third day he will raise us up, and we shall live in his sight (Hosea 6:1-2).
Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the LORD, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon (Isaiah 55:7).
We, as God’s firstborn nation among all nations of the world; a holy nation, God’s own peculiar treasures on Earth: I will like us to see how God delivered and restored our fore-fathers in the days when they could hardly breathe because of the oppression of those who hated them.
In one of such times, Samuel was their Judge and Prophet, while the LORD God was their King. As their King He led them through great victories until He settled them in the land that flowed with milk and honey, which was the envy of nations.
The Philistines became stronger than them because they were weakened because of their sins against the LORD. They even captured God’s Ark of Presence and it was in the foreign land for twenty years. They needed to make peace with God and return His Ark.
O Israel, return unto the LORD thy God; for thou hast fallen by thine iniquity. Take with you words, and turn to the LORD: say unto him, Take away all iniquity, and receive us graciously: so will we render the calves of our lips. Asshur shall not save us; we will not ride upon horses: neither will we say any more to the work of our hands, Ye are our gods: for in thee the fatherless findeth mercy (Hosea 14:1-3 (KJV)
They fell because of their sins against God. This was in fact, when the sons of Eli corrupted the covenant of the Priesthood of Eli’s house, and he did not restrain them. God withdrew His Presence from among them and His judgment was upon the land of Israel. The Philistines slaughtered them in thousands and captured the Ark of God. They also captured many cities of Israel. The Ark of God was in foreign land for twenty years.
The Philistines continued to push and oppress them. They gathered again for another battle against God's people. The people of Israel were thus, distressed and sore afraid. They cried to Samuel the Prophet to cry out to God for them so that he would save them. God already laid out principles for His favor among His people.
GOD’S PRINCIPLES FOR HELP AND RESTORATION
And shalt return unto the LORD thy God, and shalt obey his voice according to all that I command thee this day, thou and thy children, with all thine heart, and with all thy soul; That then the LORD thy God will turn thy captivity, and have compassion upon thee, and will return and gather thee from all the nations, whither the LORD thy God hath scattered thee. If any of thine be driven out unto the outmost parts of heaven, from thence will the LORD thy God gather thee, and from thence will he fetch thee: And the LORD thy God will bring thee into the land which thy fathers possessed, and thou shalt possess it; and he will do thee good, and multiply thee above thy fathers. And the LORD thy God will circumcise thine heart, and the heart of thy seed, to love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, that thou mayest live. And the LORD thy God will put all these curses upon thine enemies, and on them that hate thee, which persecuted thee. And thou shalt return and obey the voice of the LORD, and do all his commandments which I command thee this day. And the LORD thy God will make thee plenteous in every work of thine hand, in the fruit of thy body, and in the fruit of thy cattle, and in the fruit of thy land, for good: for the LORD will again rejoice over thee for good, as he rejoiced over thy fathers: If thou shalt hearken unto the voice of the LORD thy God, to keep his commandments and his statutes which are written in this book of the law, and if thou turn unto the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul (Deut 30:2-10).
Therefore also now, saith the LORD, turn ye even to me with all your heart, and with fasting, and with weeping, and with mourning: And rend your heart, and not your garments, and turn unto the LORD your God: for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and repenteth him of the evil (Joel 2:12-13).
Now therefore fear the LORD, and serve him in sincerity and in truth: and put away the gods which your fathers served on the other side of the flood, and in Egypt; and serve ye the LORD… Now therefore put away, said he, the strange gods which are among you, and incline your heart unto the LORD God of Israel (Joshua 24:14,24).
So, following God’s principles for reconciliation, Prophet Samuel called out to the people to return to the LORD with all their hearts and put away strange gods from among them. I want us to read though how they were delivered and restored. Bear with me for the length of the reading.
And it came to pass, while the ark abode in Kirjathjearim, that the time was long; for it was twenty years: and all the house of Israel lamented after the LORD. And Samuel spake unto all the house of Israel, saying, If ye do return unto the LORD with all your hearts, then put away the strange gods and Ashtaroth from among you, and prepare your hearts unto the LORD, and serve him only: and he will deliver you out of the hand of the Philistines. Then the children of Israel did put away Baalim and Ashtaroth, and served the LORD only. And Samuel said, Gather all Israel to Mizpeh, and I will pray for you unto the LORD. And they gathered together to Mizpeh, and drew water, and poured it out before the LORD, and fasted on that day, and said there, We have sinned against the LORD. And Samuel judged the children of Israel in Mizpeh. And when the Philistines heard that the children of Israel were gathered together to Mizpeh, the lords of the Philistines went up against Israel. And when the children of Israel heard it, they were afraid of the Philistines. And the children of Israel said to Samuel, Cease not to cry unto the LORD our God for us, that he will save us out of the hand of the Philistines. And Samuel took a sucking lamb, and offered it for a burnt offering wholly unto the LORD: and Samuel cried unto the LORD for Israel; and the LORD heard him. And as Samuel was offering up the burnt offering, the Philistines drew near to battle against Israel: but the LORD thundered with a great thunder on that day upon the Philistines, and discomfited them; and they were smitten before Israel. And the men of Israel went out of Mizpeh, and pursued the Philistines, and smote them, until they came under Bethcar. Then Samuel took a stone, and set it between Mizpeh and Shen, and called the name of it Ebenezer, saying, Hitherto hath the LORD helped us. So the Philistines were subdued, and they came no more into the coast of Israel: and the hand of the LORD was against the Philistines all the days of Samuel. And the cities which the Philistines had taken from Israel were restored to Israel, from Ekron even unto Gath; and the coasts thereof did Israel deliver out of the hands of the Philistines. And there was peace between Israel and the Amorites (1 Samuel 7:2-14).
As the people were crying to God and repenting from their sins and restoring their broken covenants with the LORD: the Philistines advanced against them. They had become predators and considering the people of God as their preys. But God promised that the prey shall be taken from the hand of the mighty, and the lawful captives shall be delivered.
So, the people of Israel cried out to Samuel to cry out to God on their behalf. Samuel, being a Priest of God, a Prophet and a Judge, took a kid goat and offered sacrifice unto the LORD as required by the law. At this point, the LORD received the offering and came down with His mighty power against the Philistines. He is the LORD of Hosts, Who delivered them from Egyptian bondage and settled them by His mighty power on that land, which flowed with milk and honey. He had been their Shepherd and everything. Sin was always the problem.
Through His intervention as he thundered against the Philistines, the later were sore afraid. Israel pursued and slaughtered them. They did not only defeat their enemies, all the territories that these people took were restored to them. God’s mighty Hands rested against the Philistines all the days of Samuel and the people of God enjoyed peace, freedom and abundant supply of provision.
It is written… for whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope (Romans 15:4).
All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works (2 Timothy 3:16-17).
Whatever was written in the Old Testament, by the Prophets, Psalmists and even the Apostles: they are for our learning so that through patience and comfort of the scriptures we will have hope of God’s help in our situations and times of need. He is no longer demanding the legalities of the laws such as offering of the lamb for sacrifice and certain rituals. We don’t have to run also to a Prophet Samuel for a sacrifice of a lamb unto God for us because, we have been made Priests of the LORD through redemption in our LORD Jesus Christ. He, as the Lamb of God, offered His life for us as our substitute for God’s judgment so that when we confess our sins and put our trust in Him, His righteousness will cover us and His Blood will speak mercy for us before God. This will cause God to intervene for us. But we must put away our sins, all our idols: all those images of Baal (Enyi) and all those gods that are not our God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. In His covenant with the House of Israel, we must not serve other gods along with our God. One of God’s Names is Jealous.
For thou shalt worship no other god: for the LORD, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God: (Exodus 34:14 (KJV).
He will not share His praise and glory with graven images. Let us put away our idols and turn to Him only for help. The Blood of Jesus will cry out for us on His Throne of mercy and He will execute righteousness and justice for us. He will deliver us and restore to us everything we lost in all our afflictions. He is our God and want to restore the covenant He had with our fathers, with us. He said that we, as the House of Israel, will never cease to be a nation before Him, and the Levites will never cease to minister unto Him while David will continue to be their King. Other lords will not rule over us. We are the head over all nations of the world for all the Earth belong to Him. But we must do it His Way, not our ways. Our LORD Jesus is the only Ark of salvation that He appointed for our deliverance and restoration. He is our only Messiah. My heart is with my people, and we will be settled in our land and serve God because He has returned to us with mercies and has already rebuilt His Temple is in our midst. We are the true Israelites, the true Hebrews. He will never break His covenant with us.
Let’s join the Brooklyn Tabernacle to declare our faith in the LORD’s Shepherding love:
…Even tho’ I walk thru the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil…you are on my side: Surely goodness and mercy are right by my side and will dwell in the House of the LORD forever and bless Your Holy Name.
AdanmaJesus (His Priestly Bride).