Turn

The people of Israel endured terrible consequences for their religious complacency at the beginning of 1 Samuel.  Many of them died in battle and more died when they took the ark of the covenant as a common object.  Finally the Israelite people choose God, but Samuel tells them that they must turn to God.  Turning to God means that we put other distractions aside.  The focus on what is important in life is complete.  God does not compete as a rival with any other interests.  He is the only God now as far as Israelite devotion is concerned.

Of course, tragedy can work in our lives in two ways.  We can learn from it and draw closer to God or we can become hardened and resistant to God.  Which of these describes us right now?

1 Samuel 7:2-4

2The ark remained at Kiriath Jearim a long time—twenty years in all.    Then all the people of Israel turned back to the LORD. 3 So Samuel said to all the Israelites, “If you are returning to the LORD with all your hearts, then rid yourselves of the foreign gods and the Ashtoreths and commit yourselves to the LORD and serve him only, and he will deliver you out of the hand of the Philistines.” 4 So the Israelites put away their Baals and Ashtoreths, and served the LORD only.

Questions

  1. What happened after a long time?
  2. How did the Israelites demonstrate change?
  3. Who did Israel promise to serve alongside God?
  4. What circumstances have brought people you know to a position of surrendered repentance?
  5. What have you had to ‘put away’?

About Plymothian

I teach at Moody Bible Institute in Chicago. My interests include education, biblical studies, and spiritual formation. I have been married to Kelli since 1998 and we have two children, Daryl and Amelia. For recreation I like to run, play soccer, play board games, read and travel.
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14 Responses to Turn

  1. Rebecca Langer says:

    What happened after a long time?
    The people turned back to the Lord.
    How did the Israelites demonstrate change?
    The actually did what Samuel told them to do, and they put away their idols.
    Who did Israel promise to serve alongside God?
    They promised to serve ONLY God.
    What circumstances have brought people you know to a position of surrendered repentance?
    I had a roommate who thought that God was going to do something in her workplace over last summer and she was angry with God when He didn’t work outright immediately. She had to repent of that sin.
    What have you had to ‘put away’?
    I have had to put away relationships that were leading me away from God.

  2. Sandra Tindle says:

    1. After a long time, the Israelites turned back to God wholeheartedly.
    2. The Israelites demonstrated change by putting away their Baals and Ashtoreths.
    3. Israel promised to serve no one alongside God, they promised to serve God alone.
    4. Some circumstances that have brought people I know to a position of surrendered repentance are revelations from God, passages they’ve read, and convictions they’ve felt.

  3. Cassie Clark says:

    1.The Israelites turned back to God.
    2.They got rid of their foreign gods.
    3.No one!
    4.When my parents’ marriage was failing, my dad turned back to the Lord.
    5.Some of my foolish hopes and desires.

  4. Amy Kringle says:

    1. The people of Israel turned back to the Lord.
    2. The put away their idols.
    3. Nobody else…just the Lord.
    4. Division in relationships
    5. Career plans for the future.

  5. [ED2203-01] HyeJin Lee says:

    1.What happened after a long time?
    – The Israel was seeking God and Samuel exhorted them to discard all pagan gods and go back to God with whole heart.
    2.How did the Israelites demonstrate change?
    – They listened to what Samuel said, and got rid of all of pagan gods.
    3.Who did Israel promise to serve alongside God?
    – No one, they decided to serve God only.
    4.What circumstances have brought people you know to a position of surrendered repentance?
    – Me. When I was committing sins with noticing myself doing it, God put me in a situation that I could not keep studying in the program I was in, and He made me repent and come to Moody.
    5.What have you had to ‘put away’?
    – I had to put away my dream; becoming a pharmacist, which I had always wanted to be.

  6. Kristen Patush says:

    1.What happened after a long time?

    The people turned back to God.

    2.How did the Israelites demonstrate change?

    They rid themselves of the foreign gods and the Ashtoreths and committed themselves to the LORD and serve him only.

    3.Who did Israel promise to serve alongside God?

    No one, they served only God.

    4.What circumstances have brought people you know to a position of surrendered repentance?

    Tragedies and painful situations, I have seen God work the most powerfully through tears and pain.

    5.What have you had to ‘put away’?

    I find it so easy to compartmentalize my life. I have had to give that all to God and ‘put away’ my tendecy to take control.

  7. Grace Yoo says:

    1. The ark stayed at Kiriath Jearim for twenty years and the Israelites turned their backs on God.

    2. The Isrealites demonstrated by listening to what Samuel said. They got rid of their foreign gods and served Him only.

    3. Israel promised to serve nobody else except God.

    4. Some circumstances that have brought people to a position of surrendered repentance was in their pain and suffering. They realize that they are nothing without God.

    5. I had to put away my desires so that I could live a more fulfilling life with God.

  8. Jessica Gentry says:

    1. They turned back to the Lord.
    2. The Israelites put away their Baals and their Ashtoreths.
    3. Nobody else!
    4. When circumstances are really hard and the only thing there is to do is to trust in the Lord, people often realize their sinful ways and are drawn to repentance.
    5. I’ve had to put away my desire to be liked by everyone, and trust that God’s way and God’s view of me is far more important than anyone else’s therefore I must rid myself of my self-righteousness, and pride.

  9. Sokloon Dy (Lizzy) says:

    1. they turned back to the LORD, their God.
    2. they put away foreign gods and served God only.
    3. nobody else, but the LORD.
    4. circumstances in their life that are beyond their control such as a death in a family or even a good thing such as a huge blessing from the Lord. it makes them realize that God is taking care of them and that He is faithful.
    5. hopes and dreams for the future.

  10. HeeJin,Choi says:

    1.What happened after a long time?
    -The ark remained at Kiriath Jearim for twenty years and then Israelites turned back to the LORD, getting rid of all the foreign gods, and only served the Lord.
    2.How did the Israelites demonstrate change?
    -Israelites’ change was taken placed by a God’s spokeman, Samuel.
    3.Who did Israel promise to serve alongside God?
    -Only the Lord
    4.What circumstances have brought people you know to a position of surrendered repentance?
    – When they had faced physical suffer and there were no ways to be healed.
    5.What have you had to ‘put away’?
    – When I was younger and my faithe was more insecure, I decided to put away my self-conscious tendency which many times prevented me from seeking for God only with all my heart .

  11. aaron wright says:

    1 Israelites returned their hearts to the Lord.
    2. turned away from their idols.
    3. not a soul. not a statue. nothing
    4. divorces, deaths, huge trials that they cant overcome alone
    5. a lot of my music

  12. Moon [ED 2203;Mon 6:00pm class] says:

    1.What happened after a long time? all the Israelites turned back to the LORD
    2.How did the Israelites demonstrate change?They put away their gods
    3.Who did Israel promise to serve alongside God? God
    4.What circumstances have brought people you know to a position of surrendered repentance? Car accident, death, loosing a job…
    5.What have you had to ‘put away’? money.. relying on people not to God..

  13. Kristin Goffinet says:

    1) The Israelites turned back to the Lord.
    2) They got rid of their gods.
    3) they promised to serve God alone.
    4) Being convicted of sin during a worship service
    5) I have had to put away my self-reliance and tendency towards perfectionism.

  14. Melissa Morris says:

    1. The Israelites turned back to God.
    2. They worshiped the true God instead of their false gods.
    3. God.
    4. Usually things that scare them to death– a life-altering event. Car accidents, disease, death, etc. Things that we know that only God can handle.
    5. I’ve had to put away my pride on many occasions and am still learning how to do that.

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