TCC 09: Jonathon Sims – The Repenting Believer

1 Samuel 7:12 12 Then Samuel took a stone and set it up between Mizpah and Shen and called its name Ebenezer; for he said, “Till now the LORD has helped us.”

There is a powerful message from this OT text about the repenting believer.

The context is important from I Samuel 4 – 6 because in these preceding chapters we see the situation in the nation of Israel that has led them to their need of repentance.

In chapter 4 you read that the Israelites had been defeated by the army of the Philistines. In response to this defeat the elders of Israel decide the “fetch” the ark of God for good luck. But the Philistines routed the army of Israel and captured the ark of God.

In chapter 5 we learn of the divine judgment that comes upon the unclean Philistines as they take the ark of God and set it up beside the idols of their worship. God judged the Philistines for their idolatry and sin and they sent the ark back to Israel on an ox cart.

When the Ark arrives back in the town of Beth-shemesh, the people rejoice and begin to worship around the ark; but quickly they are reminded of the holiness of God. Some of the men of Beth-shemesh decided to pry open the mercy seat to look upon the ark of God and they were immediately killed in the presence of all the people.

Now in chapter 7, Samuel calls the people to Mizpah to repent of sin and they come under attack from the Philistines. When they heard it they were afraid. Samuel (v. 9) cried out to the Lord and the Lord heard him. The Lord thundered with a great thunder and the Philistines were never again a serious threat to Israel in the days of Samuel.

Samuel took a stone and called it Ebenezer and set it up in Mizpah. 1 Samuel 7:15-16 And he went on a circuit year by year to Bethel, Gilgal, and Mizpah. And he judged Israel in all these places. The application is that a true believer’s life will revolve around the altars of repentance.

What is an Ebenezer? It is a stone of help. Samuel said, “Hitherto the Lord has helped us.” Brothers, there are some things God has given us to help us to be repenting believers, some Ebenezer stones of His grace that we can return to along the way, as we walk with God day by day.

“Here I raise mine Ebenezer, hither by Thy help I’m come.”

He has given us the Ebenezer of lamentation

Romans 2:4 Or do you presume on the riches of his kindness and forbearance and patience, not knowing that God’s kindness is meant to lead you to repentance?

Repentance is a mark of our sonship, and godly sorrow worketh repentance.

“Here I raise mine Ebenezer, hither by Thy help I’m come.”

He has given us the Ebenezer of a faithful preacher

1 Samuel 7:3 And Samuel said to all the house of Israel, “If you are returning to the LORD with all your heart, then put away the foreign gods and the Ashtaroth from among you and direct your heart to the LORD and serve him only, and he will deliver you out of the hand of the Philistines.”

A faithful Bible preacher is an Ebenezer that God has erected right in the middle of the town to call men to repentance. God has called us to be faithful preachers who call men to repentance.

Samuel spoke and said “return unto the lord with all your hearts,” repair your hearts unto the lord.

“Here I raise mine Ebenezer, hither by Thy help I’m come.”

He has given us the Ebenezer of judgment

1 Samuel 7:4-6 So the people of Israel put away the Baals and the Ashtaroth, and they served the LORD only. 5 Then Samuel said, “Gather all Israel at Mizpah, and I will pray to the LORD for you.” 6 So they gathered at Mizpah and drew water and poured it out before the LORD and fasted on that day and said there, “We have sinned against the LORD.” And Samuel judged the people of Israel at Mizpah.

Samuel rebuked the people and judged them as he preached the word of God and the Spirit of God settled on them and broke their hearts. This was a judgment of absolution, not to destroy but to restore.

God uses judgment in our lives to bring us to repentance…he disciplines those whom he loves and who are his sons. God uses the rod of chastening to drive us back to Him.

Israel poured out the water on the ground as an indication that they had poured out their sin and idolatry never to be taken back up again, and they fasted. They confessed saying, “We have sinned against the Lord.”

“Here I raise mine Ebenezer, hither by Thy help I’m come.”

He has given us the Ebenezer of deliverance

1 Samuel 7:10-13 As Samuel was offering up the burnt offering, the Philistines drew near to attack Israel. But the LORD thundered with a mighty sound that day against the Philistines and threw them into confusion, and they were routed before Israel. 11 And the men of Israel went out from Mizpah and pursued the Philistines and struck them, as far as below Beth-car. 12 Then Samuel took a stone and set it up between Mizpah and Shen and called its name Ebenezer; for he said, “Till now the LORD has helped us.” 13 So the Philistines were subdued and did not again enter the territory of Israel. And the hand of the LORD was against the Philistines all the days of Samuel.

Repentance leads to victory and disobedience leads to defeat.We have these Ebenezer stones of help in our lives and our lives as believers need to revolve around these as altars of repentance.

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About Justin Wheeler

Justin Wheeler is the preaching pastor of Cornerstone Baptist Church in Wylie, TX. He is married to Leigh and has three children.
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One Response to TCC 09: Jonathon Sims – The Repenting Believer

  1. Pingback: Topics about Christian life and Bible readings » Archive » TCC 09: Jonathon Sims - The Repenting Believer

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