Today's Promise

Subduing the Enemy

Today's Promise - August 18

Dr. Bill Bright


"At that time Samuel said to [the Israelites], 'If you are really serious about wanting to return to the Lord, get rid of your foreign gods and your Ashtaroth idols. Determine to obey only the Lord; then He will rescue you from the Philistines'" (1 Samuel 7:3).

As I was reading and meditating upon the Word of God this morning, the thought struck me forcefully that this passage relates to multitudes of defeated, frustrated Christians today who feel that they have lost contact with God. They are puzzled as to why He has withdrawn His blessing from them, but the reason, in most cases, is very simple.

Throughout the history of Israel, the people alternately obeyed God and disobeyed Him. When they obeyed, He blessed, and when they disobeyed, He disciplined. At this particular time the Lord seemingly had abandoned them. It was because, as Samuel explained, they were worshiping foreign gods and idols. "If you will only obey God," he counseled, "He will rescue you from the Philistines."

So they destroyed their idols and worshiped the Lord, and then a miracle happened. Samuel invited all of Israel to come to Mispah and said, "I will pray to the Lord for you." As they gathered there, the Philistine leaders heard about it and mobilized their army to attack. Of course, the Israelites were terribly frightened, but God spoke with a mighty thunder from heaven, and the Philistines were thrown into terrible confusion. Israel surrounded them, and subdued them, and the Philistines did not invade Israel again for the remainder of Samuel's life.

Enemies can take many forms, but their intent is always to destroy. What are the Philistines in your life? Lust, pride, jealousy, materialism, financial indebtedness, physical illness, resentments, antagonism, criticism, discrimination? Do you feel that God has forsaken you?

Why not look into the mirror of God's Word? Ask the Lord to reveal the idols of your life, then turn away from them. Confess your sins and claim God's victory over those areas of life that are destroying you.



1 So the men of Kiriath Jearim came and took up the ark of the Lord. They brought it to Abinadab’s house on the hill and consecrated Eleazar his son to guard the ark of the Lord. 2 The ark remained at Kiriath Jearim a long time—twenty years in all.

Then all the people of Israel turned back to the Lord. 3 So Samuel said to all the Israelites, “If you are returning to the Lord with all your hearts, then rid yourselves of the foreign gods and the Ashtoreths and commit yourselves to the Lord and serve him only, and he will deliver you out of the hand of the Philistines.” 4 So the Israelites put away their Baals and Ashtoreths, and served the Lord only.

5 Then Samuel said, “Assemble all Israel at Mizpah, and I will intercede with the Lord for you.” 6 When they had assembled at Mizpah, they drew water and poured it out before the Lord. On that day they fasted and there they confessed, “We have sinned against the Lord.” Now Samuel was serving as leader of Israel at Mizpah.

7 When the Philistines heard that Israel had assembled at Mizpah, the rulers of the Philistines came up to attack them. When the Israelites heard of it, they were afraid because of the Philistines. 8 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.” 9 Then Samuel took a suckling lamb and sacrificed it as a whole burnt offering to the Lord. He cried out to the Lord on Israel’s behalf, and the Lord answered him.

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.”


Today's Action Point

I will carefully examine my life to see if I am harboring any idols that would cause the Spirit of God to be grieved and quenched. I will destroy any that I find, and will confess my sins and appropriate God's fullness to live a supernatural life for His glory.

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