From now on we will learn from the bible as to what makes a true leader. The people of Israel were taken the ark of the Lord at a war against the Philistines. Later it was returned to the Israelites. However, they had continued to disobey God and worshipped foreign idols.
Right at that time, Samuel delivered the word of God to the people of Israel. 1 Samuel 7:3 says, "If you are returning to the LORD with all your hearts…commit yourselves to the LORD and serve him only, and he will deliver you out of the hand of the Philistines."
This passage reminded the people of Israel that if they served God, he would save them from the Philistines.
From now on we will see what the people of Israel had done in the bible. 1 Samuel 7:4. It says, “So the Israelites put away their Baals and Ashtoreths, and served the LORD only.” The people of Israel obeyed God. They got rid of their idols and came back to God. What did they do next? Samuel and the people of Israel prayed to God and repented their sins. Repentance is needed for the believers of Christ in order to accept Jesus as Lord and Saviour. Once we repent our sins, our sins are forgiven and we can be accepted by God to be his children.
After this, the people of Israel were afraid because they were attacked by the Philistines. It was a hard time for them, but they came to God. Let us read 1 Samuel 7:8. It says, They said to Samuel, "Do not stop crying out to the LORD our God for us, that he may rescue us from the hand of the Philistines." The people of Israel were troubled but prayed to God. They believed that the mighty God could help them to survive in times of trouble.
The Israelites worshipped and gave their offerings to God. They continued to follow God and asked for his help, so he answered their prayers. This can be applied to our lives. We might endure sufferings and troubles. As a child of God, we need to come to God and ask for his help and guidance. Then our Lord will help us how to overcome our sufferings here on earth.
Hence, the Israelites defeated the Philistines and set up a stone named Eben Haezer (אֶבֶן הָעֵזֶר) to celebrate their victory. Eben(אֶבֶן) means ‘stone’ and ezer(הָעֵזֶר) means ‘help’ in Hebrew. Literally, Eben Haezer(אֶבֶן הָעֵזֶר) means ‘a stone of help.’ We also learn from this passage that God of Ebenezer is still helping his people to survive. For this reason, the children of God must serve God and his people here on earth.
When the people of Israel obeyed God, God cared for them and delivered them out of the Philistines. This can be applied to God’s children today. We believers of Christ are to obey God and ask him for his help. Then, our God will be with us, guide us, care for us, and protect us here in this world.
Rev Dr Je Cheol Cook