“They said to Samuel, ‘Do not stop crying out to the Lord our God for us, that He may rescue us from the hand of the Philistines.’ Then Samuel took a suckling lamb and sacrificed it as a whole burnt offering to the Lord. He cried out to the Lord on Israel’s behalf and the Lord answered him.” (1 Samuel 7:8-9)
The last time Israel faced the Philistines, they grabbed up the Ark of the Covenant & rushed out to battle certain of their victory because they carried the Ark with them. The Philistines, who dominated the region & perpetuated an atmosphere of fear, are lurking at the doorstep of Israel itching for a fight. Israel wisely turned to Samuel. Of course Samuel immediately met with military advisors & developed a battle plan. Wrong. He humbled himself before God praying & offered a sacrifice … a suckling lamb – one without blemish, innocent. Samuel chose spiritual preparation knowing effective prayer in the shadow of atoning sacrifice opens the door to God’s faithfulness. Any reaction would have proved futile without seeking the One who is faithful. When we place our faith in “the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world” (John 1:29), we activate our faith in ways that move beyond what we can accomplish. We need to pour ourselves out so that we give God room to fill us with Himself. Believe in the One who is faithful. Yesterday, today & tomorrow.