King's Business - 1915-02



Heb. 7:25). As a preliminary to praying for Israel, Samuel directed them “all” to gather at Mizpeh. It was needful that there should be an outward manifestation of the unity of God’s people (cf. Matt. 18: 19, 20; Acts. 2:1; 4:24; 12:5). The putting away of idols preceded and was necessary to the gathering together; it is always nec­ essary in order that there may be true union and real power in prayer. They came to­ gether not to discuss conditions nor to dis­ cuss war nor to make war but to pray; it was in the strictest and fullest sense a na­ tional prayer meeting. It pays well to get together to have a man like Samuel pray for us (Ps. 99:6). v. 6. “And they gathered together to Mii- peh and drew water and poured it out be­ fore the LORD, and fasted on that day, and said there , IVe have sinned against the LORD.” The Holy Spirit goes into great detail about that day of prayer. Their pouring out water before God was a sym­ bolic action, setting forth their utter help­ lessness and the pouring out of their hearts before God in prayer (2 Sam. 14:14; Ps. 22:14; Lam. 2:19‘* 1 Sam. 1:15). Their fasting was a sign of their humiliation of self and earnest desire to find God (cf. Dan. 9:3; Acts 13: 2, 3). There is no merit in our giving up our necessary food, but there is power in that realization of our own un­ worthiness and consequent humbling ot our­ selves before God and that real determina­ tion to obtain God’s help that leads us to turn our backs even upon our necessary food that we may wait before God and seek and obtain His blessing. There was hearty and genuine confession of sin. Confession, too, that their sin was against Jehovah, such confession is the condition of forgiveness and of prevailing prayer (cf. Prov. 28:13; 1 John 1:9). Usually when we get together even in religious gatherings, Thanksgiving Days and Days of Prayer, it is not to con­ fess our sins but to boast of our virtues (cf. Luke 18:14). They had the right concep­ tion of sin; it was “against the Lord” (Ps. 51:4). Samuel “ judged” them. God’s order always is that judgment of sin precedes sal­

vation, almost every one of the prophetic books ’begins with judgment and closes with deliverance and victory. v. 7. "And when the Philistines heard that the children of Israel were gathered to­ gether to Mispeh, the lords of the Philis­ tines Went up against Israel.” When God’s people return unto Him with all their hearts and are'united in prayer, the enemies of God will always attack them. Neither the Devil nor the world trouble much about the Church while it is asleep or apostate, but as soon as a revival comes, then the attacks upon the Church begin. "And when the children of Israel heard it, they were afraid of thé Philistines.” It is no wonder that after twenty years of de­ feat and bondage that they were afraid, but there really was no need for fear now (Deut. 20:1-4). It is almost amusing to see the way in which the church that has suffered no attacks from the world gets frightened when the church begins to get right with God and the attacks begin, some even think they had better quit their new activities and lapse back into the old dead condition that they may have peace with the World. But the conflict that comes is a conflict that leads to a better peace than the peace of death. So never fear when the Philistines do gather together and come up against us: it is a good sign, a sign full of promise. v. 8. “And the children of Israel said to Samuel, Cease not to cry unto the LORD our God for us that He may save us out of the hand of the PMlistines.” In their ex­ tremity they looked to Samuel to be their intercessor: it was well that they had him to intercede for them. But we have a better Intercessor whom the Lord always hears (1 John 2:1; Heb. 7:25; Rom. 8:34). They felt the need, not only of prayer but of un­ ceasing prayer (cf. 1 Thess. 5:17; Luke 18: 1-8; Ps. 50:15). They spoke of Jehovah as "our God.” They had a right to say that now: He was their God in the fullest sense and would show Himself such. They had learned true wisdom: they were going to trust in His strength and not their own to

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