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Hitherto Hath the Lord Helped Us

Daily Reading: 1 Samuel 7

Scripture Focus: Then Samuel took a stone, and set it between Mizpeh and Shen, and called the name of it Ebenezer, saying, Hitherto hath the Lord helped us. (1 Samuel 7.12, KJV)

Devotional Thought: I served as the pastor of a church whose cornerstone at the front door of the church building read, "Hitherto hath the Lord helped us." I always liked going in that door, and being reminded that the Lord had helped us yesterday, and that he would be faithful to help us today. I also wondered, "What, if anything, can I do to receive the help of the Lord?"

As I studied that passage of the Bible and the event it described, I came to see, we can expect help from the Lord when we...

· Call for him: "All the house of Israel lamented after the Lord" (v. 2). The word lament means to mourn for, to grieve after. The people had godly sorrow in their hearts that they had forsaken God. They now returned to him with all their hearts. Will we?

· Consecrate to him: "So the people of Israel put away the Baals and the Ashtaroth, and they served the Lord only" (v. 4). Are we willing to surrender the things that keep us from serving God?

· Cry out to him: "And Samuel cried out to the Lord for Israel, and the Lord answered him"(v. 9). The leader prayed, but the people also joined with him in earnest appeal for God's help. They gathered together to pray, and their prayers were accompanied by fasting. Are we that zealous for the Lord's help?

· Contend for him: "And the men of Israel went out from Mizpah and pursued the Philistines and struck them, as far as below Beth-car" (v. 11). The people were not satisfied with going part way, but went even beyond Beth-car, or "the place of the lamb." Are we willing to join the Lamb of God in sacrifice and service?

Prayer: Lord, thank you for your faithfulness. Day after day, I receive grace and strength, wisdom and direction, comfort and instruction. Grant that I would continually receive your help. In the name of Jesus, amen.

Psalm of the Day: Psalm 77.10-15

10 Then I said, “I will appeal to this, to the years of the right hand of the Most High.”

11 I will remember the deeds of the Lord; yes, I will remember your wonders of old. 12 I will ponder all your work, and meditate on your mighty deeds. 13 Your way, O God, is holy. What god is great like our God? 14 You are the God who works wonders; you have made known your might among the peoples. 15 You with your arm redeemed your people, the children of Jacob and Joseph. Selah

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