Peace in the Land (vv.7-17)
In the midst of Israel’s ‘national repentance day’, the Philistines came up to attack them. The very reason why they turned to God is nearing their camp and bringing them fear. Isn’t it true that when we’ve finally decided to make that life change, it’s when temptation comes to its peak? Why is it that when you’re almost ready to forgive, he’ll once again provoke you to anger; or after breaking free from an ungodly relationship, she’ll be sweeter than ever; and just when you’ve turned back from everything to follow God’s call, an opportunity of your dreams will personally knock at your door. Give me a break! We all hope distractions would not come when were still so much vulnerable. The Israelites here were not ready for battle. They were gathered at Mizpah to pray. In fear, they pleaded Samuel to not stop crying to God in their behalf. God answered him. Just as Jesus healed the paralytic because of the faith of his four friends, we can also intercede in faith for our loved ones. What is more, the blessings we receive or the bad things were spared from, we can actually also regard as love prayers from our friends. How beautiful is that! And so, God delivered them from the Philistines with a loud thunder and never again did they invade Israel’s territory. Samuel’s leadership also allowed them to restore some towns originally belonging to them, even helped their neighboring towns have their peace as well. Imagine, they could have been freed long ago if they only sought the Lord their God. Exodus could have been just forty days not forty years if only they refused to be stiff-necked people. We could enjoy His peace and presence if only we choose Him over and above our deceitful desires. We will regret soon if we don’t act now. The battle is the Lord’s and He will fight for us. Why try when you can trust? Why run when you can rest? Vote wisely!
Peace is not the absence of danger but the presence of God. Do not be mistaken that saying yes to God means a life free of troubles. In fact, there’s more to come. Our enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. We have to be sober and always vigilant. Peace then doesn’t mean passively reclining but an active exercise of casting our cares on Him. It is the quiet confidence of being in harmony with God and by paying attention to His commands. It comes to those who live their lives in discipline and discernment. If we have trained our bodies as Manny Pacquiao prepares for a fight, no one can easily put us down even with a heavy punch. We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. Let us not lose heart. He will renew us inwardly day by day. Read that again, day by day! He is our power source, but we have to be daily connected to be recharged. I want peace? It is God given. I can’t receive it while I’m running as soon as I wake up. I can’t hear Him if I’m talking all the time. I have to be still and silent. That’s the best breather of all!