TODAY’S SPECIAL: 1 Samuel 7:2-13

TO CHEW ON: "Then Samuel took a stone and set it between Mizpah and Shen. He named it Ebenezer, saying, 'Thus far has the Lord helped us.'” 1 Samuel 7:12

God’s predictions for Eli’s family soon came true. The next time the Israelites were losing against the Philistines, someone suggested they bring the ark to the battlefield to help them win. So Eli's his sons brought the ark. But the Philistines beat them anyway. On top of that they killed Eli's sons and took the ark back home with them.

The Philistines didn’t keep it long though. Because wherever they took it, sickness broke out. They soon sent it back to Israel where it was stored in a little town. But even then the Philistines didn’t stop hassling the Israelites. They were as cruel and bossy as ever.

This went on for twenty years. By now Samuel was a grown man. The people began coming to him for advice. “What can we do to defeat these Philistines?” they asked.

1. Here are some things Samuel could have told him. What did he say? (1 Samuel 7:3)
A. Conscript more soldiers and build a bigger army.
B. Do sword practice three hours a day.
C. Get rid of all the idols and serve only God.

After the people took Samuel’s advice, he called them to gather in the town of Mizpah to fast and pray. While everyone was there word got around that the Philistines were coming to attack the town right now! The people were terrified.

2. What did Samuel do then? (1 Samuel 7:7-9)
A. Got the ark.
B. Sacrificed a burnt offering
C. Broke up the prayer meeting and sent the people to war.

3. What happened next? (1 Samuel 7:10-11).
A. Nothing.
B. The Philistines defeated the Israelites again.
C. Thunder threw the Philistines into a panic. The Israelites easily chased and killed them.

4. Why did the Israelites defeat the Philistines this time when they hadn’t so many times before? (1 Samuel 7:12) ___________

5. How did Samuel make sure the people would remember this? (1 Samuel 7:12) _____

PRAYER: Dear God, help me to trust You for help more than any other person or thing. Amen.

SUPERSIZE IT: Your own Ebenezer stone

The stone Samuel set up reminded the people it was God who helped them defeat the Philistines.

You could make your own Ebenezer stone.
1. Find a smooth stone about the size of a baseball.
2. Think of a time God helped you with something.
3. With felt marker write that thing and the date, on the stone.
4. Put your Ebenezer stone in a place where it can remind you that God helped you in the past – and can do it again.