Okay. Well, good morning. Welcome to show our church. My name is Ben Lin and, er, privileged to be one of the pastors here. Like to welcome those of you who are online as well. Thanks for checking us out or participating in the service here today. Um, just so you all know just a heads up. We’re gonna be going through First Samuel, Chapter four through chapter seven today. So you’re gonna need to grab your bible or grab your phone app because there’s there’s so many verses we can’t get him on the screen on. And I don’t know about you, but I I love digging into four verses when I teach. And so four chapters is, ah, a little bit of a challenge for me, but it’s great. It’s good to have the opportunity to go through more of a narrative. The story aunt to teach from the Bible through the narrative. Uh, because a lot of times we used to, you know, the New Testament. There’s a few verses were pulling apart, disseminating truth, all that kind of stuff. So it’s good. It’s good for me on I think it’ll be good for all of us. but get your Bibles ready and turn to First Samuel. Chapter four. We’re gonna go through four through seven, and next week again, it’ll be another bigger chunk. So we’ll be bringing your Bibles, uh, to church. If you’re at home, grab your Bible and get ready for for this passage. I don’t know if you’ve seen any of the Marvel movies, the Avenger movies, but there’s a There’s this thing in there that’s called a tesseract, and what it is is it’s this object of power, this cube of power, and it holds these things called the six or stones or whatever. I don’t even know, but it’s. But it’s this thing where it’s like if you have it, you have this unlimited source of power. And so there’s these fights and battles to try to get this Tesseract, and whereas the Tesseract and they’ve got the power because they’ve got this, this thing, this object okay, and in this story that we’re going through, it’s called the Ark Narrative. That’s a common name for this section of first Samuel. What had happened? Waas is really gotten to a point in their history where they really didn’t know God personally anymore. They had had a number of years go by from when they were called out of Egypt. And they had that, You know, all those things that God did for them. They knew the stories of old. They knew what God had done to the Egyptians and the others. And so they had heard those stories. And they had this arc of the covenant’s in the midst of their camp and the ark. Just a little bit about the Ark. The ark is when it was formed and crafted. God gave them instructions to essentially re create to create a copy off the throne of God that exist today. Right now, this very moment that exists today in heaven. So there’s this ark and there’s these chair, Um um and this seat and it’s the throne of God. And so he had them create this and put it in the temp, the Tabernacle. And then when God’s presence would come down, he would sit on this throne. And, you know, the cloud would cover the tent of meeting by day, the pillar of fire by night. This is this is God being on the throne. But there’s this arc. Okay. And what had happened was they basically got to the point where they were treating the arc as a tesseract, as a talisman, as an object to power as an idol, just like the other nations around them had these gods that were made out of wood and, you know, and stone a law and silver and golden all this stuff, the Israel lights have gotten to the point where they were viewing this ark of the covenant as their object of power. Um And so that’s kind of where this this story is at, um just to remind you again, um, about about where we’re at, um, in Samuel here, there’s the it’s to these judges and there’s a transition going on. But Israel had gotten to this point where they were viewing this arcas, an object of power. Now I want to ask you a few questions because I think we to can develop that same kind of mentality towards God in a variety of ways, each and every one of us. And so I’ve got a couple of questions for you to think about before we begin here. Do you, in your prayer life as you think about your prayer life and your prayer request to God, Are they mostly focused on God’s helping blessing for yourself? Kind of like a vending machine. God, I want this deep. Deep. I’ll take e six, please. God. Okay, Now I want this. Now I want that. Is that describe some of what happens at times in your prayer life. Do you find yourself trying to make deals with God? Okay. God, if you do this, I’ll do this. Do you find yourself on Lee? Turning to God when all else fails? So you’re just kind of rolling through life. You’re doing your own thing. And also you’re like, Oh, I need God. I’m gonna pray and ask him for help. Do you feel like God won’t bless you unless you’re good? Do you think that prosperity and wealth are guaranteed to those who follow God? Are you trying to use God’s presence and power for your own selfish desires? Oh, man, I want this. And so God is the means to that. If you live your life and only once in a while, bring God into your life when it’s convenience. It’s another sign that you’ve made God into a tesseract. So we’re gonna pray. We look at this fascinating story and see how God responds to his people who have gotten to this point where they just view him as a test racked. Okay, But I just pray that you’d speak to us this morning. I pray that you’d open up the eyes of our heart to your word, pray that you would convict us. Refreshes encourages challenges us, help us to repent and turn anyway, that we’ve treated you like this in Jesus name. Amen. Okay. Before we start reading in chapter four, I just again want to give a little brief overview of this book. It’s important to remember the context of what’s going on here. The Book of Samuel describes a transitionary time in the history of Israel. Up until this point, they had had different leaders called judges, and you read the book of judges and you have these different leaders, different rulers, judging for certain times, periods of time, who that God raised up to be a judge for the people. But God is God. God is king. Overall, God’s the one that wants to guide them on to be their God. And then the judge just interacts with God, finds out what God wants and then guides the people of Israeli and that. But there’s a cycle that happens over and over and over. As you read the book of judges. And the cycle is this. The judge normally dies, but the people rebel. And then God brings judgments. A lot of times, you know, somebody takes over the country, oppresses them, and then it goes. For the while, the people get to a point where they repent. God raises up a judge to deliver the people the people turn, you know, they turn back to God. And then there’s a time of prosperity, peace and wealth. The judge dies, and it happens all over again. People rebel, turn away from God. God brings judgment and on and on and on. You see that cycle over and over and over again. Okay, but that structure was called a theocracy because God was king and God wanted to be their king. God wanted to lead his people. These are my people. Um, and he was to be their king. The judges were just there to, uh, judge over the people. What we’ll see is this is a transitionary book. So it goes from Eli, who is a judge to Samuel, who is the last judge to Saul, who is the first king. So the people of Israel then switched to a monarchy because they want to be like the other nations around them. And Mike will begin to talk about that next week. So our passage today describes the end of the judge named Eli and the installation of Samuel as judge. Okay, starting in verse, Chapter eight transitioned into solace as the first king. Now, I also want to briefly briefly touch on Chapter two because that describes how wicked Eli and his sons had become. His sons were sleeping with the women assistance at the tent of meeting. So you know these. These women were supposed to be helping out and they were helping out. But then they would take and they would go and sleep with these women. They were also disregarding the sacrifices they, instead of following the law, and the law was instructed for the priest to take a fork and to put the fork into the boiling pot and stab out a piece of meat and you’re randomly get what you get. Sometimes it’s the good parts. Sometimes it’s not that not great meat chunks, you know. But what Eli sons were doing is instead they were withholding the rib bides. You know, they’re withholding those good steaks, the best parts of the meat. Whatever they wanted, they would withhold its aan den. They were eating those in. Ely himself was partaking in that meat. It had gotten fat on that meat. So Eli talked to his sons about their sin, about their sexual sin, about doing, not following God’s law. They blew him off, and then he did nothing about it. And in fact, he ate the meat. And so his sons treated the Lord’s offering with contempt. And then God brings about AH profit to speak judgment and a message to Eli to let him know that he and his sons, we’re going to end and that God will raise up a faithful judge to service priest instead of him. So that is, in Chapter two, that prophecy of judgment and all of that. Okay, now let’s dive in. Chapter four through seven is an interesting story involving the Ark and what we’re gonna do is we’re gonna go through the Bible’s. I’m gonna read parts of this and then I’m going to also share the story parts of it, because we don’t have time to read all four chapters today. But follow along with me as we go through this. Chapter four, Verse one. Israel went out to meet the Philistine Zin battle and camped at Ebenezer while the philistine camped at a fink. The philistine is lined up in battle formation against Israel. As the battle intensified, Israel was defeated by the philistine who struck down about 4000 men on the battlefield. When the troops return to the camp, the elders of Israel asked, Why did the Lord defeat us today? Before the Philistines? Let us bring the ark of the Lord’s Covenant from Shiloh. Then it will go with us and save us from our enemies. Then it the ark. It will go with us and save us from our enemies. Here we see the people treating the arc of the gods arc of God, specifically as a tesseract, right, as a talisman of power as an idol, just like the other nations around them viewed their idol gods and we’ll see that more shortly. You know, they did ask Hey, why did the Lord defeat us? But then they turn to the Ark and say, You know what? This is what’s gonna help us. This is what’s going to deliver us. Is this ark this thing, this object, not God. They’re not crying out to God. They’re not asking God for help there, saying, Hey, we’re gonna bring this thing with us. The Ark. So here’s what happens next. They go back, they bring the art to the battle. And when the ark arrives, the Israel lights air so fired up, so excited that this tremendous shout rises up and it shakes the ground. I mean, there they are fired up. So much so that the philistine is here, this and feel this. And they’re like, What’s going on? So they find out about this arc that was brought into the camp, and so the philistine became terrified. But what’s interesting is, instead of, you know, being terrified and then just fleeing, which is normally what would happen, right? I mean, think picture that. You know, you’re going up. You’re getting ready to do some battle. Mhm the one army is all just like so fired up the ground shaking. It’s like nobody Here we go. Right. But, God, in his sovereignty, God was the one doing this. God was the one who caused the defeat is realized. He even recognized it. Why did God allow this to happen? Why do you? You know? So they even knew God was doing this. But God is sovereign. And so he doesn’t let the philistine is run away. Instead, they muster up their courage and then rally all the more and fight and severely defeat the Israel lights. The slaughter was severe. 30,000 ft soldiers died in Israel that day. Eli sons who are the priest. They brought the ark to the battle. They also died. So they were there. And the arc of God was captured by the Philistine. Now a guy ran away from the battle. He runs to Shiloh, where Eli was waiting for news from the battle. And what we see, hear, Read with me in verse 18 of Chapter four when he mentioned the Ark of God. So he’s telling you like what happened at the battle? He said, Your sons are dead. Huge defeat when he mentioned the Ark of God that the arc of God have been captured. Eli fell backward off the chair by the city gate, and since he was old and heavy, his neck broke and he died. Eli had judged Israel 40 years. So here we see that phrase. Eli had judged Israel 40 years. That’s the phrase that’s used to bring about the completion of a judge. If you read the book of judges, you see that phrase over and over. When the judge ends when the judge dies, that signals the transition. Now. Eli, his daughter in law, was also pregnant at this time, and when she heard news of this that the Ark have been captured and her husband was dead. She goes into labor early, and she died giving birth. But before she died, she said, I want you to name my son, Ichabod. And what that means is glory departing. And so the glory of Israel had departed from Israel. Israel is in a really bad spot right now. Think about that. Put yourself in their shoes. Think about what happened. You know, you just had many thousands of people die and they’re in a bad place. They lost their personal connection with God. They lost their relationship with God. They were like the nation’s around them. They had these idols. They were treating the arc as a tesseract of power instead of obedient devotion. Based on a relationship with God, they were engaged in religious idolatry. But again, I want to ask you a question is what’s your relationship with God like? Think about that right now. Uh huh. Is your relationship with God fresh, personal alive is your view of God one that you’re just seeking his power and blessing and doing this religious thing? Or are you really knowing God, you really revere ing God and who he is? Are you treating God as a tesseract? All of us do. At times in revelation, chapter to Jesus warns his church. And he asked them this question. Have you lost your first love? That is a good question today. Have you lost your first love? If you have your treating God is this object of power? Israel did. Israel is in this point, and God is teaching them a lesson. Okay, so let’s continue Chapter five, first one after the Philistine had captured the arc of God. They took it from Ebenezer to Ashdod, and they brought it into the temple of Dagon and placed it next to his statue. When the people of Ashdod got up early the next morning, there was Dagon fallen with his face to the ground before the ark of the Lord’s. So they took dig on and returned to his place So funny, you know, they set up this arc next to dig on. They wake up the next morning they fight, dig on on his face, bowing before the ark. And they think, Oh, it must have just fell over. So they set him up again. How they go this time Deggans head both his hands were broken off and lying on the threshold Onley Dagens torso remain That is why still today the priests of daggone and everyone who enters the temple dig on a Nash dog Do not step on Dagens threshold. Here the ark is treated just like any other idle. You’ve got Dag on the idol. You’ve got the ark of the Covenant that they just confiscated from the people of Israel in that day. You know, it’s it’s like gods were associated with military victory. And so here he is. A defeated nation implies a defeated god. So they took this arc and they set it up in this temple of Dag on the show. Here’s a trophy. Here’s what we took. We took this arc of power. Our God is greater. Look at how much greater Dagon is because we defeated the Israel lights. Oh, yeah. We’ve heard about all these great things of old how the Egyptians couldn’t do this and that. But Dagon is greater. But God was showing them that this is not the case, that God is not an idle, that he’s not just a tesseract to be used by whoever wants to use it. But he, in fact, is the God above all gods, the king above all kings. And he is Lord. Above all, Dagan is broken and bows before the Lord, his head cut off his hands, cut off the head, representing the in mind the ability to think the ability to reason and doing to act on behalf of the people, right? The hands to be ableto work. God is showing. He’s got in fact, Verse six. It is not a coincidence that these words air used. The Lord’s hand was heavy upon the people of Ashdod. God cut off the hands of Dag on, and now his hand was going to be heavy upon the philistine zones demonstrating he is God. They didn’t listen, though, right? They instituted a new superstition. They didn’t realize and recognize and see the power there. They just thought, Oh, my goodness, dig on his head in his hands around the threshold. Let’s skip this step, you know, Let’s not step on that spot. They missed it. God is God. So the Lord’s going to show them. Let’s keep reading. The Lord’s hand was heavy upon the people of Ashdod. He terrified the people of Ashdod in its territory and inflicted them with tumors. When the people of Ashdod saw that what was happening? They said, the ark of Israel’s God must not stay here with us because his hand is strongly against us and our God day gone. What happens next, then is the ark is passed around to a couple different places, and everywhere that it goes, God’s hand brings disease spreading mice and tumors, the plague, probably the bubonic plague. We don’t know exactly, but it’s what it looks like. That’s what it sounds like on the people, got oppressed each city and then relented when the ark was moved. So it’s not just like I mean, it’s just strange. It’s supernatural and everybody recognizes and sees. Okay, this is the hand of God being against us because we’ve got this are great Here he again is showing I am God. I will do what I will do. He’s demonstrating that his hand is powerful, that he’s regardless God, regardless of the circumstances. Think about the people of Israel. Put yourself in their shoes. What is happening? You know they’re defeated, Their destroyed it is. It looks hopeless right there. Arc is gone. And yet God and his sovereign will and power was bringing about these circumstances in these situations to demonstrate to the everybody that he is God. The glory had left for Israel that seems super dark and dark times. We, too, can feel like because of our circumstances. Times can be really dark, difficulty hopeless, and yet God is always at work, and he is always God. Sometimes we can believe God’s not powerful because we’re struggling because You know, we’re going through hard times as a family because our nation is going through hard times because of a certain political parties in power. Because a certain individual is in power because you have a certain boss. That’s horrible. God, however, here is demonstrating to his people that he is God, that he’s sovereign. He’s got a plan. He’s demonstrating his glory. He wants and longs for his people to genuinely turn back to him to yield their hearts to him. He wants them. He wants to be their god and for them to be his people. So this these plagues and this transferring the art goes on for seven months before the philistine get tired of it. And then their priests contact Israel, and they say we want to send the arc back. And so the people who will say Okay, well, you gotta, you know, include some gold as a, uh, as an offering make him out of tumor, you know, make him into the shape of tumors and gold mice and that kind of thing. But then the priests of the Philippines come up with one last plan. One last test to see, you know Is this really God doing this? Or is this just all been random? So turn with me to Chapter six, Verse seven thes air. The priest of the Philistine and says this Now prepare now. Then prepare one new cart and to milk cows that have never been yoked. Hitch the cows to the cart, but take their calves away and pin them up. Take the arc of the Lord and place it on the cart. Put the gold objects that you’re sending him as a guilt offering in a box beside the heart Send it off and let it go its way Then watch if it goes up the road to its homeland toward Beth Shemesh. It is the Lord who made this terrible trouble for us. However, if it doesn’t, we will know it’s not his hand that punished us. It was just something that happened by chance. So in doing this God again once again was taking away any chance, any doubt that he was God and that he was in charge and that he was the one doing this thing. The natural inclination for cows with calves, if you separate them, is for them to go back and be together. I mean, there’s there’s nothing that those that Mama Cow wants to do than to take care of her baby, Right? So they set up this test because there’s no way these cows, we’re gonna go to Israel. There’s no way these cows, we’re gonna go the opposite way. They took the cows away. They kept him in the city by the Philippines. And they sent, you know, appointed the cows in the direction of Israel. And then they watched to see what would happen. And what happens was, instead of those cows turning around to go be with their calves, they went 7.5 miles straight to Israel without waving ring to the right or to the left. And this is the interesting thing. It says that the cows were lowing the whole way. The cows themselves wanted to go back there. There are, you know, like I want to go back to my cows. God was having them go down this path straight 7.5 miles, removing any doubts. This happened by chance. God was guiding them even as they were lowing and desire ing to go back to their calves. They didn’t. And so the art comes to a place called Beth Shemesh, and the people chopped up the cart and offer the cows is a sacrifice but Verse 19 of Chapter six. But God struck down the people of Beth Shemesh because they looked inside the arc of the Lord. He struck down 70 persons. People mourn because the God struck them with a great slaughter. The people of best chemist asked. They asked this who is able to stand in the presence of the Lord, this holy God who is able to stand in the presence of the Lord? This holy God is a very significant change. People previously treated the arcas annoyed Idol as a Tesseract as a vending machine of power. Right? But this people, they opened up the lid. They looked inside. They violated. You know the law of God and God is so wholly It’s so perfect and so pure that the hills melt like wax in his presence. Nothing unrighteous can stand in his presence. They opened it up, they touch the ark boom and God comes down on them. 70 people die and they realized finally, God is God. This conclusion Chapter six verse 20. This phrase kind of brings the whole main point of this passage. The entire point of this whole story here, to this point is leads to this culmination who is able to stand in the presence of Yahweh, the great I am the one who causes everything to be. That’s the word that’s used their Yahweh, the Lord who is able to stand in that presence, the presence of the Holy God. God is all powerful. He is holy. He is really he’s alive. He is not just a Neidl, attest, tracked the Ark of the Covenant. This is God who should be known and revered. That’s the That’s what they discover. That’s the point of this. As you look at Chapters four through Chapter six, some of those main lessons here is God’s not an idle, his sovereign Willis supreme. He’s more powerful than any other God or person, and in fact, no one is even able to stand in the holy presence of God. Those air, the main lessons, the main points, the main reasons the authors, including this story right here, Eli and his sons, his high priest, had corrupted the people of Israel. They had they had gotten to the point where they were just like the other nations where they had this idol called the Arc of the Covenant’s. But God is holy, and he brought judgment and the end of Elyot, the judge he showed the nation’s around them. He showed the philistine that he is God, that he is a holy god and all powerful God, that no one can stand in his presence because their unholy and unrighteous let’s move to Chapter seven, verse two. Time went by until 20 years had passed. So long. Time goes by, Samuels judging the people, and they’re kind of moving along. But 20 years passes a long time since the Ark had been taken to Kirk of Dirham. Then the whole house of Israel longed for the Lord. Samuel told them, If you are returning to me with all of your heart or if you’re returning to the Lord with all of your heart, get rid of the foreign gods, the Astra’s that are among you. Set your hearts and the Lord and worship him on Lee. Then he will rescue you from the Philistine. So the Israel lights removed the bails and the Astros and Onley worship the Lord. It takes 20 years, but after 20 years the people finally get to the point where they’re ready to turn. They’re ready to yield themselves. They’re ready too long and to seek after the Lord. Now Samuel gives them, tells them to repent, get rid of all the idols and foreign gods, and they do that. So Samuel lays out three aspects of true repentance. And I think it’s good to cover these this morning three aspects of true repentance that you see right here in this story. The first one is make a clean break from your sin. Get rid of the idols, get him out of there. Repentance means to take and have 180 degree turn. So you’re doing one thing and you turn you do something completely different. The people of Israel not only had treated God this way, but they also had these ash stress and these idols that were intermingle and mixed within their households and things like that, Samuel says, make a clean break from your sin. Get rid of them. If you really want to repent, get rid of them all Second, he commands them to direct their hearts to the Lord that were direct is literally to make stand firm your heart to the Lord. Don’t just speak with words. Don’t just, you know, have tears here. But this is ah, heart issue. You need to direct your heart toe Lord, you need to surrender it all. You need to yield to him completely and totally and be done with these idols. Third, to serve him on Lee Onley. Serve God, Not yourself, not the sin, not other gods and idols. Or try to do both anything that has an attachment to your heart. Get rid of it. Serve him on Lee Loyalty. The Lord excludes any other attachments of the hearts. So Samuel lays out three aspect of true repentance and the people do them. They get rid of the idols, they surrender themselves completely to the Lord and then they, as a result worship. So let’s look at verse five year Chapter seven. Samuel then said Gather all the Israel at Mizpah and I will pray to the Lord on your behalf. When they gathered at Mizpah, they drew water and they poured it out in the Lord’s presence. They fasted that day and there they confessed. We have sinned against the Lord and Samuel judged the Israel lights at Mizpah. So in response to true repentance, they do three acts of worship. First, they draw out water and they pour it out. And what that symbolizes and signifies is a drink offering. Come that you, you, Philip, this vessel and you dumped the entire thing out. It means everything, all of it. And it’s similar limitations to 19. Pour out your heart like water in the presence of the Lord God, We are giving you it all. We’re not holding anything back. We’re not keeping part of it for ourselves. We’re not keeping part of our hearts back. We’re giving you all of our worship. We’re surrendering ourselves completely and totally to you. And so we pour out this water completely and utterly in your presence as a symbol of what’s going on in our hearts. They fasted, they gave up food. So they’re hungry to show that they’re hungering after God and God alone. And they confess their sin to the Lord. So a sign a true sign of repentance is and change in behavior. They got rid of what? They’re trusted. And they got rid of their idols. They got rid of what costs the money. Those items would probably had some golden silver in there or whatever cost them to buy those things or make those things. They got rid of them and they said, Okay, God were fully and completely surrendered to you like a poured out off drink offering our hearts poured out to you. Continue in verse seven when the philistine is heard that the Israel lights had gathered in Mississippi, other rulers marched up toward Israel. When the Israel lights heard about it, they were afraid because the Philistine Israel Lights said to Samuel, Don’t stop crying out to the Lord our God for us so that he will save us from the philistine. Do you see that radical difference here in their response there gathered for worship, They’ve just repented, they’ve surrendered, and Samuel here is telling them what to do. They’ve turned back the Lord, they’re worshiping him. They have all gathered. And when the philistine is here that they’re all gathered in this worship service, they’re like, now is the time to attack, right? And so they grabbed their army and they march up toward Israel. So here Israel’s looking over and they’re seeing this massive army coming towards them. They’re not ready for battle. They’re not ready for anything. They’re just They’re there to repent and turn back to the Lord. And so their response instead of saying Let’s bring out the old arc, Let’s bring out the tesseract of power. No, they Instead, they properly turn to God and cry out to God. And they say, We need your help on Lee. You can save us. That’s the picture of a dependence upon God. Ah, heart yielded to the Lord of Life yielded to God, a nation yielded to God, God on Lee, You can act. We can do nothing. It is such a big difference from the first time this word cry out cry out to the Lord. It’s much more than just a praying. It’s much more than just asking. This is a This is a desperation. A desperately seeking God’s help cry out for God’s help. Verse nine. Then Samuel took a young lamb and offered it as a whole burnt offering to the Lord. He cried out to the Lord on behalf of Israel and the Lord answered him. Samuel was offering the burnt offering as the philistine approach to fight against Israel. The Lord thundered loudly against the philistine is that day and threw them into such a confusion that they were defeated by Israel. Then the amount of Israel charged at a millisecond pursued the philistine, striking them down all the way to a place below Beth Car. I love this picture. Do you visualize this in your mind, Samuels? Crying out to God. There in this place, the army is marching against them. They’re not ready for battle. They’re finishing up and Samuels doing an atonement sacrifice, a sacrifice in the law to atone for the people’s sins. They had repented. They were They had poured out their hearts, surrendered fully to him. Samuel is doing a sacrifice on behalf of the people there finishing that up while this army is coming against them. And then God acts on their behalf. He causes such a tremendous thunderstorm. We get some big ones here, right? We get some doozies. Some super cells here in Nebraska. So we get a little taste of what this is like. Imagine yourself being outside with all of these people. This army is coming against you. And you see this thunderstorm blow up super fast. And it is just lightning thunder, rain from all different directions. They’re all confused. The army is all in disarray and you’re watching that you’re seeing God caused this toe happen. So they grab their weapons and they go and start the slaughter. What is amazing? What I love if you go back to Chapter two, Verse 10. Hannah Samuels. Mom, When God says that he will give her a son, she does this song of praise this triumphant prayer. Do you remember that? The triumphant prayer in Verse 10. She says this Those who oppose the Lord will be shattered. He will thunder in the heavens against them. I don’t want you, but that just gives me goose bumps. God through Hannah was prophesying what was to come? You know, 2030 years, 40 years later, that God would deliver his people my thundering against their enemies. Mhm. God defeats the philistine. Yeah, So afterwards Samuel Verse 12, Chapter seven, verse 12. Afterwards, Samuel took a stone and set it up right between Mizpah and Shen. He named it Ebenezer explaining The Lord has helped us to this point. So the Philistine were subdued and did not invade Israel’s territory again. The Lord’s hand was against the Philistines. All of Samuel’s life the city’s from Akron to gaffes which they were taken from Israel were restored. Israel even rescued their surrounding territories from philistine control. There was also peace between Israel and the ammonites. So Samuel raises up this stone marker we call the milestone right? Like this is a milestone event in my life. We use that phrase here. They called it an Ebenezer, and we sing that song here. I raised my Ebenezer. That’s where this comes from. This marker stone is this massive stone that he raised up said it between Mrs Puncheon so that any time people were walking by, any time people would see this stone, they would remember they would remember what happens. Remember what the time when we treated God, just like a Neidl, just like a test track, just like a talisman of power, just like a vending machine for own purpose. Remember when we treated God like that? I didn’t go so well and remember what happened when we surrendered ourselves fully and we repented and yielded to him and made him the proper place is God in our life And how he came through and he acted And he demonstrated that he was God and that he is the all powerful king above all kings Lord above our Lord’s God above all gods. That’s what happened, Kids. When that’s what that stone means and God reminds us through this story, he will act in his sovereign will. He reminds us in this story not to treat him the same way that the Israel lights treat did him not to treat him as a talisman. Let me go back to my initial questions. Are your prayer request focused mostly on asking God for help and blessing for yourself? Are you treating God like a vending machine for what you want? Do you find yourself making deals with God? Are you proud? And Onley turn to God when you really need to. When you really when all else fails, do you think God won’t bless you unless you’re good or that prosperity and wealth are guaranteed for those who follow God, Those air signs that when those things are happening that we’re treating God in this way and justice Samuel called the people to repentance. Now is the time to repent. Today is a time to yield yourself to God, to restore your relationship with him, to pour out your heart like water in the presence of the Lord to surrender yourself to him. He desires full and complete recognition that he is God, and that comes as you surrender your life and your will to the control of Jesus Christ as you have that relationship with him through his spirit and just like the Ark was a place where God’s spirit resided in the Tabernacle. Today, as you surrender your life and your will to Jesus Christ, God’s spirit then resides in us, and our bodies become a temple for him and for his spirit. And we have that relationship with the living God. But we need to be surrendered and to surrender ourselves continually because we can dampen the spirit. We can put down the spirit. We can not be filled with the spirits and do our own thing, and we can treat God in the ways that the Israel people of Israel treated him. So today I’m going to take a few moments to pray and have a time of silence. I want to challenge you to repent of any self dependence that you have repent of. Anyways, you’ve treated God as an idol. Surrender yourself and your heart fully and completely and totally to him. And then as we take communion, I want you to lift up praise and thank the Lord for his forgiveness. Thank the Lord for that relationship that he extends to you. Thank the Lord that he wants to be your God and have that relationship with you and have that rightful place in as king of your life. Let’s pray we do surrender ourselves to you, Lord. I surrender myself to you. God, I repent in turn of my own self dependence, my pride, my attempts to do things my own way. We, as a church yield ourselves fully and completely and totally to you. Learn you are God. We acknowledge and recognize that right now in today and we’re so thankful that you are God and that you extend the opportunity to be in relationship with you. We fully yield ourselves to you in Jesus name. Amen.