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. ~1 Samuel 7:12
Samuel was one of the greatest and most beloved of the Old Testament men of God. In Psalm 99:6, he is mentioned alongside of Moses and Aaron, specifically, as one of them that called on the Lord’s name and the Lord answered them. Jeremiah 15:1 mentions Samuel as having influence like Moses in being able to stand before God. In our devotion from 1 Samuel 7 this morning, we see the impact that Samuel had upon Israel. It is an example of the kind of leadership God wants every spiritual leader to have with those entrusted to them.
We see Samuel’s message.
“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.” The Ark of God had returned to the land, but the people were still worshipping false gods and had not repented. Samuel called them out to repent, turn back to the Lord, forsake their false gods, and serve the Lord only. The message of a spiritual leader must boldly and compassionately lead God’s people out of sin and into a devoted walk with Him. Leadership must show the way and go the way.
We see Samuel’s mediation.
“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.” Samuel was one of the greatest men of prayer in the Bible. He said, “God forbid that I should sin against the LORD in ceasing to pray for you.” From early on in his life, his mother taught him how to get a hold of God through prayer. One of the serious deficiencies among spiritual leaders is their inability to pray effectively. The people knew that he was a man whose prayers God heard and answered. They begged him to pray for them over and over again. The credibility of a spiritual leader hinges on his prayer life and being effective with God.
We see Samuel’s memorial.
“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.” As Samuel prayed, the Lord thundered on the Philistines with a great thunder. They were vexed, frightened, and smitten by Israel. When we let God fight for us, He will weaken and overthrow our enemies. The victory was so significant that Samuel took a stone and made a memorial. He called it Ebenezer, which means “Here the Lord has been our Helper.” Spiritual leaders must acknowledge God’s power, might, intervention, and divine working in their life and the lives of people they lead. The memorial would testify for years to come of the victory that God gave them. The stone reminds me of Jesus, Who is our Chief Cornerstone. Never forget that there is no victory apart from the Lord.
We see Samuel’s mark.
“And Samuel judged Israel all the days of his life.” As a judge, he had influence and final say in all civil, family, national, and spiritual matters. He made his mark with God’s people as their judge, prophet, and priest. He established a school of the prophets for training men for the ministry. He made a significant mark in their hearts, their homes, and in their history. He spent his life involved in the spiritual welfare of the people. Samuel inspires us as a spiritual leader who made a lifetime impact on his country.
Have an influential God Morning!
Bible Reading Schedule: Acts 16-17