1 Samuel 7:8 MEANING

1 Samuel 7:8
(8) Cease not to cry unto the Lord our God for us.--The fear on the part of Israel was very natural Unarmed--or, at least, very poorly armed and equipped--the assembled Israelites saw from the heights the advancing Philistine army. What hope was there for their ill-disciplined masses when they joined battle with that trained host of fighting men? But they remembered the days of old, and how, when Moses prayed, "the Angel of His presence" saved them. Had they not then with them there a seer equal to Moses, greater than Joshua, one with whom the Eternal of Hosts was wont to speak, as friend speaketh with friend? So in that supreme hour of danger they turned to Samuel the seer. We are just going, they said, all unarmed to meet that armed host; "cease not to cry unto the Lord our God for us," And Samuel, we read in the brief and graphic account before us, hurriedly--for the time was short, and the foe close at hand--and with rites somewhat different from those enjoined in the Law--for the occasion was indeed a critical one--offered up a sacrifice, and raised that weird piercing cry which many in Israel had heard before when Samuel the seer prayed; and while the prophet-statesman was sustaining that loud imploring cry, while the smoke of the slain lamb was still ascending, the first line of the Philistine army appeared on the topmost slope of Mizpeh. Once more, as in old days, the glorious Arm fought with no earthly weapons for the people; an awful thunderstorm burst over the combatant hosts, the storm probably beating in the faces of the advancing Philistines. The tribes welcomed it as the answer to their prophet's prayer, and with a wild enthusiasm charged down and broke the serried ranks of their oppressors. Josephus tells us of an earthquake, which added fresh horrors to the scene of battle. Each crash of thunder, each wild and furious gust of hail and rain, the men of Israel welcomed as a fresh onslaught on the part of an unseen army fighting by their side. The dismayed Philistines fled, and the rout was complete; the defeated army hurried panic-stricken over the same ground in the neighbourhood of Aphek illustrious twenty years before for their signal victory. The scene of carnage now received the significant name of Eben-ezer, or The Stone of Help.

7:7-12 The Philistines invaded Israel. When sinners begin to repent and reform, they must expect that Satan will muster all his force against them, and set his instruments at work to the utmost, to oppose and discourage them. The Israelites earnestly beg Samuel to pray for them. Oh what a comfort it is to all believers, that our great Intercessor above never ceases, is never silent! for he always appears in the presence of God for us. Samuel's sacrifice, without his prayer, had been an empty shadow. God gave a gracious answer. And Samuel erected a memorial of this victory, to the glory of God, and to encourage Israel. Through successive generations, the church of God has had cause to set up Eben-ezers for renewed deliverances; neither outward persecutions nor inward corruptions have prevailed against her, because hitherto the Lord hath helped her: and he will help, even to the end of the world.And the children of Israel said to Samuel,.... To whom they applied, not as the general of their forces, but as the prophet of the Lord; believing his prayers for them would be of more avail to them than an army of men ever so numerous, or so well accoutred:

cease not to cry unto the Lord our God for us: he had been praying for them that day, and they desired he would continue praying for them, well knowing that the effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much; they knew their salvation was of the Lord, and that he only could save them, and that he must be sought unto for it; and as Samuel had an interest in him, they beg he would continue to make use of it on their behalf; in which they expressed their trust in God, their regard to means, the duty of prayer, and the high esteem they had of the prophet of the Lord, whom they entreat to pray for them:

that he will save us out of the hands of the Philistines; who were now coming up against them, and who had for a long time tyrannised over them.

Courtesy of Open Bible