Then Samuel said, “Assemble all Israel at Mizpah and I will intercede with the LORD for you.” When they had assembled at Mizpah, they drew water and poured it out before the LORD. On that day they fasted and there they confessed, “We have sinned against the LORD.” And Samuel was leader of Israel at Mizpah. When the Philistines heard that Israel had assembled at Mizpah, the rulers of the Philistines came up to attack them. And when the Israelites heard of it, they were afraid because of the Philistines. 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 offered it up as a whole burnt offering to the LORD. He cried out to the LORD on Israel’s behalf, and the LORD answered him. While Samuel was sacrificing the burnt offering, the Philistines drew near to engage Israel in battle. But that day the LORD thundered with loud thunder against the Philistines and threw them into such a panic that they were routed before the Israelites. The men of Israel rushed out of Mizpah and pursued the Philistines, slaughtering them along the way to a point below Beth Car. Then Samuel took a stone and set it up between Mizpah and Shen. He named it Ebenezer, saying, “Thus far has the LORD helped us. – 1 Samuel 7: 5 – 12
The Old Testament church that finally inherited the Promised Land soon started losing their hope and heritage because of the enemies that surrounded them. The devil had brought the church to a situation where it thought that all the avenues of divine protection and providence have been blocked forever.
They did not realize the truth that it was their disobedience and discord, transgression and trespass, which had delayed their deliverance. The marching and the going, shouting and the dancing before the Ark of the Covenant did not work; they never knew that the presence of the Lord was not with them though the Ark was there.
In the battle, they lost to their enemy. More than thirty four thousand youths, the promises of the future were killed mercilessly. At the end, they lost the Ark of the Covenant, the Holy presence of the Lord. The enemy carried the Ark to their land and placed it in their Temple.
Dear friend, you may be in a similar situation today where you think that the Lord has forsaken you. You must be in a siege and you think that the enemy has closed all the doors behind and before you. The devil may be asking where your God is.
Like the psalmist, you are crying,
“My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? Why are you so far from saving me, so far from the words of my groaning? O my God, I cry out by day, but you do not answer, by night, and am not silent”.
Please know, the Lord does not want you to loose to your enemy even if the situation is grave and beyond control. Leave the comfort zones and go to Mizpah for a time of personal encounter with God. If you are ready to confess your sins and the sins of your father’s house, God will bring the enemy to your footstool; victory will be yours.