Samuel the meeting-point of Israel and God
Samuel begins to act, by
his testimony, upon the conscience of the people, and to
put away that which weakened them by dishonouring God. He
tells them that, if they will turn to Jehovah with all
their heart, they must put away the strange gods, and
serve Jehovah alone. A mingled worship was intolerable.
Then would Jehovah deliver them. The prophet Samuel is
now the meeting-point between the people and God. God now
acknowledges him alone.
The true place of
The ark is not found again
in its place until the king chosen of God is established
on the throne; it is only placed entirely in God's order
when the son of David rules in peace and in strength at
It is consulted once (1 Sam. 14: 18, 19), but its
presence is without effect and without power. It exists,
but in connection with those in whom faith and integrity
were no longer found, so that nothing resulted from it.
It the rather proved that God was elsewhere, or at least
that He wrought elsewhere.
Samuel at Mizpeh:
his intercession and God's blessing
But we will pursue the
history. At Samuel's call the strange gods are put away.
The people gather around him, that he may pray for them.
They offer no sacrifice; they draw water and pour it out
upon the ground in token of repentance (see 2 Sam. 14: 14);
they fast and confess their sin. Samuel judges them there.
But if Israel assembles,
even for humiliation, the enemy at once bestirs himself
in opposition; he will tolerate no act which places the
people of God in a position which recognises Him as God.
The Israelites are alarmed,
and have recourse to Samuel's intercession. Samuel offers
a sacrifice ,
token of entire surrender of self to the Lord, and of the
people's relationship with Him; but it is not before the
ark. He entreats Jehovah, his prayer is heard, and the
Philistines are smitten before Israel. And it was not an
exceptional case, although they lost nothing of their
formidable character, or of their hatred for Israel.
Samuel brings down God's blessing upon the people, and
the hand of Jehovah was against the Philistines all the
days of Samuel.
Samuel the support
and upholder of the people
The cities of Israel were
restored. There was peace between Israel and the Amorites.
Samuel judged Israel at Ramah and built an altar there.
All this is an exceptional and extraordinary position for
Israel, in which they depended entirely on Samuel, who,
while living himself as a patriarch, as though there were
no tabernacle, becomes, through his own relationship with
God, by faith, the support and upholder of the people,
who in fact had no other.
 Compare Psalms 78:
60, 61; 132. The ark is in connection with Sion, the seat
of kingly grace. Solomon only, as the man of peace, could
build the house.
 That is to say, a burnt-offering.
This is remarkable. It was not sacrifice for sin, but
sacrifice which recognised the relationship existing
between the people and God. Christ only, as we have seen
elsewhere, is the true burnt-offering.