The Agora
Bible Commentary
1 Samuel

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1 Samuel 7

1Sa 7:6

THEY DREW WATER AND POURED IT OUT BEFORE THE LORD: Water mixed with wine, a traditional sacrifice: cp Isa 12:3; Joh 7:37.

1Sa 7:9

A SUCKLING LAMB: Sig a new nation, reborn (cp vv 3,4), and rededicated.

1Sa 7:12

THUS FAR HAS THE LORD HELPED US: The words "thus far" seem like a hand pointing in the direction of the past. It may have been twenty years or it may have been seventy, and yet, "thus far the Lord has helped!" Through poverty, through wealth, through sickness, through health, at home, abroad, on the land, on the sea, in honor, in dishonor, in perplexity, in joy, in trial, in triumph, in prayer, in temptation... "thus far has the Lord helped us!" We delight to look down a long avenue of trees. It is delightful to gaze from end to end of the long vista, seeing a sort of green and living temple, with its branching pillars and its arches of leaves. In like manner we may look down the long aisles of our years, at the green boughs of mercy overhead, and the strong pillars of love and faithfulness which bear up our joys. We hear the birds singing in the trees, and they all sing of mercy received "thus far".

But the words also point forward. For when a man gets up to a certain age and may write "thus far" alongside his life, still he is not yet at the end; there is still a distance to be traveled. More trials, more joys; more temptations, more triumphs; more prayers, more answers; more toils, more strength; more fights, more victories; and then come sickness, old age, disease, death. Is it over now? No! there is more yet -- awakening in Jesus' likeness, the glories of God's Kingdom, white raiment, the face of Jesus, the company of the saints, the glory of God, the fullness of eternity.

Let us be encouraged, and with grateful confidence raise our "Ebenezer" -- our memorial stones of faith: "Thus far has the LORD helped us..." and He isn't finished yet!

1Sa 7:16

A CIRCUIT: Samuel was circulating amongst the flock of God, to various towns: seeking out those whom he could teach, strengthening and encouraging. He was a shepherd to all of Israel.

Samuel's influence centered in south; all these cities were in the territory of Benjamin.

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