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December 21, 2015

DEVOTIONAL – DEC 22

by Leslie John

THE LORD HELPED US

Leslie M. John

“For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need” (Hebrews 4:15-16)

“For such an high priest became us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and made higher than the heavens” (Hebrews 7:26)

Then Samuel took a stone and set it up between Mizpah and Shen and called its name Ebenezer; for he said, “Till now the LORD has helped us” 1 Samuel 7:12

Samuel the prophet was the last judge in Israel before Saul was made king by God over Israel. The people prospered and were blessed when there was theocracy, i.e. when they were under the direct rule of God. However, soon they drifted into worshipping strange gods and Ashtaroth and God’s anger was kindled against them.

There was a situation when Samuel had to be very tough with the children of Israel and said to them to put away strange gods and Ashtaroth from among them and get ready to serve the LORD only and none else. He promised them that if they obey the LORD, He will deliver them from the hands of Philistines. Samuel’s intervention prevailed and the children of Israel put away Baalim and Ashtaroth and served the LORD only. The children of Israel repented and said “We have sinned against the LORD”.

When the lords of philistines went against the children of Israel to fight them down they said to Samuel to intercede with the LORD on behalf of them to save them from the hand of Philistines. Samuel offered burnt offering to the LORD and the LORD heard him. As Samuel was interceding with the LORD philistines drew near to battle against them; but the LORD’s mighty thunder discomfited them and they were smitten before the children of Israel.

Then Samuel pronounced saying, “Hitherto hath the LORD helped us”. The LORD helped the children of Israel even as they fell into idol worship and turned to the LORD and after every fall and rise they acknowledged “Till now the LORD has helped us.”

“So the Philistines were subdued, and they came no more into the coast of Israel: and the hand of the LORD was against the Philistines all the days of Samuel” (1 Samuel 7:13)

Samuel’s intercession is seen here. People repented. They won the battle against Philistines and erected a stone to remember their victory. Samuel acknowledged God’s help and said “Till now the LORD has helped us.”

As the children of Israel went up to Jerusalem three times a year to worship the LORD they sang…

“I lift up my eyes to the hills. From where does my help come? My help comes from the LORD, who made heaven and earth” (Psalm 121:1-2 ESV)

Yes, indeed where our help comes from? Our help comes from the LORD who gave His only Son, Lord Jesus Christ, for our sake that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have everlasting life; and no doubt, we will then be able to say “”Till now the LORD has helped us”

HE IS OUR HIGH PRIEST

Lord Jesus Christ is our high priest, who is not insensitive to our afflictions, but is sympathetic to us; therefore we can boldly approach Him to find grace and to seek His help in time of our need. He was tempted just as any of us, and yet without sin. He was without any blemish and He was perfect. In His incarnation He became poor for our sake, He dwelt among us, He was despised, He was scourged and suffered pain on behalf us.

“Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth” (1 Peter 2:22)

“For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him” (2 Corinthians 5:21)

Although He did well for mankind, healed the sick, cast away demons from those who possessed evil spirts, people persecuted Him. He was tempted by the devil but the Lord was triumphant in all circumstances. He became sin for us in order that whoever accepts Him as Lord by confessing their sins to Him and believes in heart that God raised Him from the dead will have salvation free of cost.

“That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved” (Romans 10:9)

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