Wednesday, August 13, 2014

The Different Ways the Lord Delivered Israel in 1 Samuel 7


After the Lord helped Israel win against the Philistines by thundering and confusing the enemy, the text also includes a list of other ways the Lord helped deliver Israel.

13 ¶So the Philistines were subdued, and they came no more into the coast of Israel: and the hand of the Lord was against the Philistines all the days of Samuel.
14 And the cities which the Philistines had taken from Israel were restored to Israel, from Ekron even unto Gath; and the coasts thereof did Israel deliver out of the hands of the Philistines. And there was peace between Israel and the Amorites.
15 And Samuel judged Israel all the days of his life. (1 Samuel 7:13-15)

1. The Philistines were subdued.  They didn’t want to fight as much as they had in the past.

2. They came no more into the coasts of Israel.  Incursions across borders, which must have been a source of irritation and trouble, stopped.

3. The hand of the Lord was against the Philistines all the days of Samuel.  This sounds like the Philistines discovered they had a bunch of their own problems they had to worry about that kept them busy so there wasn’t time or energy or resources to spare on fighting the Israelites.

4. The cities the Philistines had taken from Israel were restored.  This sounds like voluntary concession of territory, which would be pretty amazing.

5. The coasts thereof did Israel deliver out of the hands of the Philistines.  This sounds like Israel had a few more successful battles with the Philistines and liberated some of their own people.

6. There was peace between Israel and the Amorites.  This is kind of unspecific, but at its most basic sense, it is an end to hostilities and violence with the other Canaanites living around them.  It may not have included accord and treaties and trading… or it may have. 

I love that all those different conditions were described so carefully and briefly.  I think this block of verses teaches the principle that when we are repentant and righteous as a people, the Lord gives the whole nation peace among our neighbors.  These verses give us a sense of what that looks like.

When a man’s ways please the Lord, he maketh even his enemies to be at peace with him. (Proverbs 16:7)