We have sinned against the Lord…. Cry unto the Lord our God for us. 1 Samuel 7:6, 8.
Samuel visited the cities and villages throughout the land, seeking to turn the hearts of the people to the God of their fathers; and his efforts were not without good results. After suffering the oppression of their enemies for twenty years, the Israelites “mourned after the Lord.” Samuel counseled them, “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.” Here we see that practical piety, heart religion, was taught in the days of Samuel as taught by Christ when He was upon the earth. Without the grace of Christ the outward forms of religion were valueless to ancient Israel. They are the same to modern Israel.
There is need today of such a revival of true heart religion as was experienced by ancient Israel. Repentance is the first step that must be taken by all who would return to God. No one can do this work for another. We must individually humble our souls before God and put away our idols. When we have done all that we can do, the Lord will manifest to us His salvation….
A large assembly was gathered at Mizpeh. Here a solemn fast was held. With deep humiliation the people confessed their sins; and as an evidence of their determination to obey the instructions they had heard, they invested Samuel with the authority of judge….
While Samuel was in the act of presenting a lamb as a burnt offering, the Philistines drew near for battle…. A terrible storm burst upon the advancing host, and the earth was strewn with the dead bodies of mighty warriors. The Israelites had stood in silent awe, trembling with hope and fear. When they beheld the slaughter of their enemies, they knew that God had accepted their repentance….
For nations as well as for individuals, the path of obedience to God is the path of safety and happiness, while that of transgression leads only to disaster and defeat.
Conflict and Courage p. 145
—–I’ve been admitted to the hospital with an enlarged heart. My heartbeat is over 120. Please pray for me. Jan
There are times when decisions we have made in the past overwhelm us. Many times we wish we could live our life over again. Often we feel like our sins are rising up to crush us. We are in despair. We are helpless to undo the past. We cannot save ourselves. How often we exclaim as did Isaiah “But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags, and we all do fade as a leaf, and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.” Yet, he does not leave us without hope. “Behold, the LORD’S hand is not shortened, that it cannot save, neither his ear heavy, that it cannot hear: But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear.” Isa 64:6, 59:1,2
Solomon tells us, “He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy.” Prov 28:13 God is attentively listening for our prayer of repentance. He is longing for us to return to Him. He pleads with us, “As I live, saith the Lord GOD, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but that the wicked turn from his way and live: turn ye, turn ye from your evil ways, for why will ye die?” Eze 33:11 “Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else.” Isa 45:22 “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.” Joel 2:12 “Turn ye unto me, saith the LORD of hosts, and I will turn unto you, saith the LORD of hosts.” Zec 1:3 “And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart.” Jer 29:13 Precious promises!
Micah assures us, “He will turn again, he will have compassion upon us, he will subdue our iniquities, and thou wilt cast all their sins into the depths of the sea.” Micah 7:19 John adds, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness….My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous: And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world. And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments.” 1John 1:9-2:3 Thank God! He is “not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.” 2 Peter 3:9 Praise God! He has provided a way of cleansing! “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” John 3:16
Praise God! We can begin again. May we cling to God’s mercy and say as did Jacob, “I will not let thee go, except thou bless me” and accept abundantly of His grace, which He so freely offers is my prayer. Gen 32:26