I Samuel 7: 1-14
The Israelites lost the battle against the Philistines at Ebenezer in Chapter 4; with over 30,000 soldiers killed. Ophini and Phineas the two priests died; the Ark of God was seized by the Philistines; Eli their father died; the wife of Phineas died also while having a child; such that she named the child Ichabod – the glory has departed. It was a bitter war for the Israelites.
In Chapter 5, the Philistines took the Ark of the Lord to their major city of Ashdod and kept it in the house of their chief god (Dagon). When they came in the morning, Dagon statue was prostrating before the Ark. They help Dagon to his feet again and left. The following morning, Dagon was not only prostrating this time, it’s head and hands had cut off.
Also, God struck the people with emerods plague; both old and young. They began to cry.
The Philistines send the Ark to another city (Gath); similar experience began to happen. Plague of emerald on the people; mice all over the city, destroying things.
They again send the Ark to another city (Ekron). It was the same experience. The seven months that the Ark stayed in the land of the Philistines; it was a great suffering. So, they decided to do something about it.
In Chapter 6, their wise men and magicians advised that they send the Ark back to Israel; citing the example of the plagues in Egypt; that as Pharaoh allowed the people to go back, the plagues stopped.
They said not only should they send the Ark back; but they must send it with gifts. They agreed on 5 gold representation of emerods (to represent their 5 lords); and 5 gold mice (to represent their 5 major cities (Ashdod, Gath, Ekron, Ashkelon, Gaza). In this wise, they would give glory to the God of the Israelites that He is mightier than their own gods.
The Philistines put the Ark on a new cart driven by 2 milking cows, whose calves have been taken from them and see which direction they would go. If they go to Israel, then it would be a proof that it was the God of Israel that had been punishing them. But if the cows go another direction; it would be that what they suffered was just bad luck. So, it happened that when they set the cows free to go; they took the highway to Beth Shemesh, the closest Israelite city about 20 miles away! They were mooing as the went; as if to say, ‘Give way, the Lord Himself is coming’!
Jehovah will come to your rescue. You will not return empty. Where you had lost before; you will win now.
Our teacher at Digging Deep last Wednesday told us that as children of God; if we fail in one thing; it is not an outright failure. It is First Attempt In Learning. We are to try again, until God gives us victory.
Prayer: Father, where I have failed before, help me to enjoy victory now.
The leaders of Philistine followed the cows at a distance until it entered Beth Shemesh and then returned. The people of Beth Shemesh were so happy to see the Ark returned.
They rejoiced greatly; gave the sacrifice of trespass offering; unfortunately, they looked inside the Ark, which made God angry and they were smitten by a plague that killed 50,070 people. They then sent a message to the people of Kirjath-jearim to come and take the Ark.
So, in Chapter 7: 1-14 we read, the people of Kirjath-jearim came to Beth Shemesh and fetched up the Ark of the Lord and left it in the house of Abinadab. His son Eleazer was consecrated and asked to keep it. The Children of Israel were lamenting having been under the control of the Philistines for the next 20 years.
Samuel now had grown; he advised that if Israel returned to God fully with all their hearts and serve Him only; then God will deliver them from the hands of the Philistines. The people repented and began to serve God only; so, Samuel asked the whole of Israel to gather at Mizpeh for a re-dedication service/rally; which they all did. (Mizpeh – Laban/Jacob covenanted forever; God/Israel covenant forever).
The people fasted and gave water offering unto the Lord as a sign of repentance unto God before Samuel at Mizpeh. When the Philistines heard that the whole of Israel were in Mizpeh; they saw an opportunity to wipe off the people, so they sent their armies to Mizpeh.
When the Israelites heard that the Philistines armies were approaching; they became terrified and they told Samuel ‘Cease not to cry unto the Lord our God for us, that He will save us out of the hands of the Philistines’.
Samuel offered a burnt sacrifice unto God and cried unto God for help, and God heard him. As the armies of Philistines drew near to attack the Children of Israel, God thundered with a great thunder on that day upon the Philistines; they were thrown into panic, confusion and as they fled, they were smitten before Israel.
The men of Israel pursued after the Philistines and smote them until they came to Bethcar. Samuel then built an altar unto God and called it Ebenezer (Stone of help – Hitherto, the Lord has helped us).
So, the Philistines were subdued before Israel. They could no longer attack Israel anymore all the days of Samuel because the hand of the Lord was upon them. All the cities which the Philistines had taken from Israel were restored to Israel (Ekron; Gath; the coastal cities were all taken back), for God was on their side.
Prayer: Father, let every power that is trying to attack me be thrown into panic and confusion; make them flee in terror in Jesus name.
4 Factors that can aid surprise victories
1.Fasting – self-denial in order to please God is an essential ingredient to victory. It increases our power supernaturally. Jesus Christ Himself fasted before the commencement of His ministry. He was able to generate supernaturally power to overcome all powers of the enemy.
Luke 4: 13-14 13 And when the devil had ended all the temptation, he departed from him for a season. 14 And Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit into Galilee: and there went out a fame of him through all the region round bout
2.Offerings – love offering, peace offering, burnt offerings, etc are sacrifices that serve as ingredients for surprise victories. Solomon did not fight wars like his father David, as God gave him rest on all sides.
I Kings 3: 4-5 4 And the king went to Gibeon to sacrifice there; for that was the great high place: a thousand burnt offerings did Solomon offer upon that altar. 5 In Gibeon the Lord appeared to Solomon in a dream by night: and God said, Ask what I shall give thee.
I Kings 3: 9-13 9 Give therefore thy servant an understanding heart to judge thy people, that I may discern between good and bad: for who is able to judge this thy so great a people? 10 And the speech pleased the Lord, that Solomon had asked this thing. 11 And God said unto him, Because thou hast asked this thing, and hast not asked for thyself long life; neither hast asked riches for thyself, nor hast asked the life of thine enemies; but hast asked for thyself understanding to discern judgment; 12 Behold, I have done according to thy words: lo, I have given thee a wise and an understanding heart; so that there was none like thee before thee, neither after thee shall any arise like unto thee. 13 And I have also given thee that which thou hast not asked, both riches, and honour: so that there shall not be any among the kings like unto thee all thy days.
3.Humility before God – acknowledging and confessing before God that you cannot help yourself is an ingredient to surprise victory. Those who boast in their strength shall always be defeated and humiliated.
2 Kings 18: 33-37 33 Has any of the gods of the nations at all delivered its land from the hand of the king of Assyria? 34 Where are the gods of Hamath and Arpad? Where are the gods of Sepharvaim and Hena and Ivah? Indeed, have they delivered Samaria from my hand? 35 Who among all the gods of the lands have delivered their countries from my hand, that the Lord should deliver Jerusalem from my hand?’” 36 But the people held their peace and answered him not a word; for the king’s commandment was, “Do not answer him.” 37 Then Eliakim the son of Hilkiah, who was over the household, Shebna the scribe, and Joah the son of Asaph, the recorder, came to Hezekiah with their clothes torn, and told him the words of the Rabshakeh.
2 Kings 19: 1-4 And it came to pass, when king Hezekiah heard it, that he rent his clothes, and covered himself with sackcloth, and went into the house of the Lord. 2 And he sent Eliakim, which was over the household, and Shebna the scribe, and the elders of the priests, covered with sackcloth, to Isaiah the prophet the son of Amoz. 3 And they said unto him, Thus saith Hezekiah, This day is a day of trouble, and of rebuke, and blasphemy; for the children are come to the birth, and there is not strength to bring forth. 4 It may be the Lord thy God will hear all the words of Rabshakeh, whom the king of Assyria his master hath sent to reproach the living God; and will reprove the words which the Lord thy God hath heard: wherefore lift up thy prayer for the remnant that are left.
2 Kings 19: 32-37 32 Therefore thus saith the Lord concerning the king of Assyria, He shall not come into this city, nor shoot an arrow there, nor come before it with shield, nor cast a bank against it. 33 By the way that he came, by the same shall he return, and shall not come into this city, saith the Lord. 34 For I will defend this city, to save it, for mine own sake, and for my servant David’s sake. 35 And it came to pass that night, that the angel of the Lord went out, and smote in the camp of the Assyrians an hundred fourscore and five thousand: and when they arose early in the morning, behold, they were all dead corpses. 36 So Sennacherib king of Assyria departed, and went and returned, and dwelt at Nineveh. 37 And it came to pass, as he was worshipping in the house of Nisroch his god, that Adrammelech and Sharezer his sons smote him with the sword: and they escaped into the land of Armenia. And Esarhaddon his son reigned in his stead.
4. Ceaseless cry unto God – crying to God for help continuously will guarantee surprise victory eventually. The Children of Israel told Samuel to do this. It was like the last hope of a dying man. God heard them.
2 Chro. 20: 10-1 10 And now, here are the people of Ammon, Moab, and Mount Seir—whom You would not let Israel invade when they came out of the land of Egypt, but they turned from them and did not destroy the — 11 here they are, rewarding us by coming to throw us out of Your possession which You have given us to inherit. 12 O our God, will You not judge them? For we have no power against this great multitude that is coming against us; nor do we know what to do, but our eyes are upon You.” 13 Now all Judah, with their little ones, their wives, and their children, stood before the Lord.
You have indeed lost a particular battle before, that same battle is brewing again, you will however not lose to it this time. That affliction shall not rise the second time.
Every god that is seeking to make a mockery of you shall be silenced by God.
The gods that are equating themselves to your God shall be disgraced.
Every hand that has smitten you before or trying to smite you shall wither in Jesus name.
Whatever has been stolen or taken forcefully from you shall be returned with gifts.
Those that took what belongs to you or your God shall not have rest nor peace till they return what they have taken.
There is someone listening to me now; God says He will bring you into a season of restoration and rejoicing.
There is another person; God is granting you a life upgrade. He says He will look after you.
There is another fellow, your lamentations have come up before God for compassion. He will come to your assistance.
There is someone listening to me now, you have suffered and endured a particular hardship for a number of years; your freedom has come today.
There is another person, it is close to 20years that you lost something precious to you. That thing is been replaced right now by God.
There is someone listening to this, God says it is not that His hands are too short to deliver you; but that you have combined serving Him with the Baalim and Ashtoreth gods of your time. If you serve Him with all your heart, He will deliver you. (Baal – lord of storm/fertility; Ashtoreth – goddess of fertility, sex, love and war). Looking for this in other places than from God; then you are serving them.
God is calling you to a new covenant of a re-dedicated life as He is ready to shine His face on you.
There is someone listening to this, those who had oppressed you before will soon figure out that you are a different person now. Mount Zion Film (Abejoye 1 – visited his son in America, he was an unbeliever at the time, because of power struggle, chief Oluoje slapped him in the dream; Abejoye 2, he tried to slap him again; he got 3 hot slaps that paralysed him). God will make you surprise them. They will now be afraid of you.
To another person, certain powers though they have found a particularly good opportunity to deal with you; but it was a Divine trap for them to be disgraced forever.
Those who are disturbing you from serving your God the way you want shall soon have themselves to be blamed. Daniel 6: 4-5: So the governors and satraps sought to find some charge against Daniel concerning the kingdom; but they could find no charge or fault, because he was faithful; nor was there any error or fault found in him. 5 Then these men said, “We shall not find any charge against this Daniel unless we find it against him concerning the law of his God.”
The Lord God shall thunder upon your enemies with great thunder.
They will be thrown into utter chaos.
Your hands shall be upon them continuously.
They shall be pushed back the frontline. You shall claim their territories.
They shall not be able to withstand you in Jesus name.
Surprise victory awaits you now in Jesus mighty name.
Do not forget to give all the glory of your victories to God. He will then grant you new ones. Samuel immediately built an altar to thank God for their surprise victory.
All the days of your life, your adversaries shall be subdued before you. All the precious things the enemy has taken from you shall be restored. Those that they did not even take shall be confiscated by God and given to you as a gift.
You shall not need to fight. Jehovah Sabaoth shall fight for you. You shall hold your peace and enjoy the results in Jesus name.
Father, help me never to lose another battle again.
Father, bless me with supernatural power and might that come from you.
Father, grant unto me surprise victory in every area of my life.
Father, let all my adversaries know that it is a different me they are facing.
Father, incapacitate my enemies and let my hands be strong upon them.
Father, glorify Yourself in every battle I face.
Father, grant me perpetual victory like that of Solomon.
Sermon delivered on June 7, 2020.