Bible Studies for Life Lesson for June 20- When External Threats Come
June 4 2010 by Dale Austin Jr., associate pastor, Wakeminster Baptist Church, Raleigh

Focal Passages: 1 Samuel 7:2-17  

We are bombarded with alarming news every day — the economy is faltering, jobs are scarce, food prices are going up, there is unrest around the world, and no one has an answer. Life does bring challenges and tribulations, but will we have the courage to seek and rely on God? We are not the first generation to face such trials; our passage this week details a revival that began to take place in the lives of the people of Israel and how they were able to seek the Lord, get rid of their false gods, and dedicate themselves only to the one true God.

Our Bible study picks up 20 years after the Ark of the Covenant was captured (and returned) by the Philistines. Samuel begins to lead the Israelites as their judge. During the previous 20 years, the people of Israel had fallen back into worshiping false gods as well as keeping lip service to the Lord, but something begins to change, and a spirit of revival begins to take hold across the nation. Samuel leads the people in returning to the Lord with all of their hearts, ridding the land of their false gods, and dedicating themselves to the Lord. As a revival begins, the Philistines decide that this is a good time to march toward Israel. Of course, fear strikes in the hearts of the Israelites as a result of this impending danger. We are so similar to the people of Israel when we are faced with challenges. Just when we begin to grow closer to God, we allow other things in our lives to creep in and shake our very foundations. Samuel does not falter; he cries out to the Lord on behalf of the people of Israel, even in the midst of a terrible threat, and God listens. God moves the Philistines into total confusion so that they flee the land.

There are a number of things that we can learn from this passage and apply to use in our lives:
  1. God wants us; He wants 100 percent of us. God was not willing to share His people with false gods, and He feels the same about us today. We must put away anything that comes between us and God.
  2. The people of Israel rededicated their lives to God with repentance, confession of sins, and a commitment to God. We need to do the same thing with Jesus Christ as our focus.
  3. When trials came to the people of God in the form of the encroaching Philistines, the people cried out for God to protect them. Trials and tribulations are a constant occurrence in our lives. We need to rely on God to take care of us.
Samuel’s words to the people of Israel remind us that a relationship with God is founded on a decision to give our hearts to God and to trust Him with all we are.  
6/4/2010 4:26:00 AM by Dale Austin Jr., associate pastor, Wakeminster Baptist Church, Raleigh | with 0 comments

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